autonomous vehicles

Autonomous cars head for the Big Apple

Oct 18, 2017

Autonomous vehicles are already navigating the verdant hills of Pittsburgh and cruising the pitched avenues of San Francisco. They may soon be tested by the chaos of downtown Manhattan, where pedestrians, taxis, buses and bikes embark daily on an eternal quest to avoid impact. 

Delivery without drivers: Domino's, Ford team up for test

Aug 29, 2017

Forget the delivery driver. Ford and Domino's Pizza are teaming up to see whether customers like having their pizzas delivered by driverless cars. Starting Wednesday, some pizzas in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will arrive in a specially designed Ford Fusion outfitted with radars and a camera used for autonomous testing. For this test, a Ford engineer will be at the wheel. But customers won't be interacting with the driver.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has designated a testing facility in Michigan for driverless vehicles as a proving ground for such technology.

Uber ridesharing
Uber Newsroom / newsroom.uber.com

Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. will soon open an office in Detroit.

Uber's vice president of global vehicle programs, Sherif Marakby, announced the facility at an engineering conference Monday in suburban Detroit.

The office will help Uber collaborate with automakers and suppliers based in the area.

The San Francisco-based company wouldn't confirm where the facility will be located or how many people will work there.

Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

A co-founder of the Lyft ride-hailing service predicts that self-driving cars will handle a majority of his company's rides within five years.

Lyft President John Zimmer also says personal car ownership will come to an end as the cost of autonomous rides falls.

He made the predictions Sunday in an essay on the future of transportation in urban areas.

Companies are moving quickly toward autonomous cars. Lyft is testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco and Phoenix in partnership with General Motors.

Michigan would no longer require that someone be inside a self-driving car while testing it on public roads under bills advancing in the Legislature.

The change won unanimous Senate approval Wednesday and could reach Gov. Rick Snyder's desk within months.

The legislation is designed to keep the auto industry's home state ahead of the curve on autonomous vehicles.

A researcher wouldn't have to be present in a self-driving test car.

Pexels | CC BY 2.0 / Pexels.com

Plans to convert the site of a former General Motors plant that once pumped out World War II-era bombers into an autonomous car testing facility are moving forward.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust on Monday announced a $1.2 million purchase agreement for the acquisition of 311 acres at Willow Run in Washtenaw County's Ypsilanti Township.

teslamotors.com

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says he's optimistic that a software update can improve the semi-autonomous Autopilot system in the company's cars.

Tesla has been working on changes to Autopilot since May, after one of its Model S sedans failed to sense a tractor trailer in bright sun and crashed into it.

The driver was killed.

In a Twitter post Sunday, Musk said that after talking with German supplier Bosch, which makes its radar sensors, it appears "significant improvements" to Autopilot can be sent to drivers automatically through over-the-air software updates.

mtc.umich.edu

Auto-centric Michigan is preparing for the advent of self-driving cars by pushing legislation to allow for public sales and operation - not just testing only.

While the widespread use of driverless cars may be years away, lawmakers and transportation leaders say the technology is progressing so rapidly that Michigan must stay ahead of the curve or risk losing automotive research and development to other states.

Michigan is among seven states with laws related to autonomous cars, while Arizona's governor has issued an executive order.

U.S. Army | via Wikimedia

A convoy of U.S. Army vehicles will cruise along Interstate 69 in Lapeer and St. Clair counties as part of an initial testing of driverless military vehicle equipment on public roadways.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center and the Michigan Department of Transportation held public information sessions on the testing Monday in Imlay City and Capac.

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