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Category Archives: Transportation

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Baidu Announces Plans To Launch A Self-Driving Bus In China

Tyler Lee October 18, 2017

It is no secret that many tech companies and carmakers are working on making self-driving cars a reality. In fact over in China, internet search giant Baidu is making some progress of their own and had previously teamed up with the likes of BMW and Microsoft to help further their self-driving car efforts.

However it seems that Baidu’s interest does not lie just with cars, but with transportation in general because during The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live conference, Baidu’s CEO Robin Li revealed that the company had plans to launch a self-driving bus in China. Li announced that the company is working with a large bus maker in China and plans to have a self-driving bus route running in the country by next year.

This is actually not the first time we’re hearing about public transportation going down the self-driving route. Over in Singapore, the country had launched various initiatives, such as driverless pods that can ferry people in neighborhoods to nearby bus stops, or the country’s Nanyang Technological University where they plan to launch an autonomous shuttle bus to ferry students around campus.

It will be interesting to see if Baidu can get a self-driving bus up and running in the country next year. For the most part, self-driving technology is still very much in the testing phase due to various legal and regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome before it can be fully commercialized.

Baidu Announces Plans To Launch A Self-Driving Bus In China , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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GM Will Be First To Test Self-Driving Cars In New York City

Adnan Farooqui October 17, 2017


New York has some strict rules for self-driving cars which is why companies haven’t been rushing there to test their technology. General Motors has seen past that, though, and it’s going to be the first company to start testing autonomous vehicles in New York City. General Motors’ self-driving unit Cruise Automation will begin testing its autonomous Chevy Bolts in the city. GM will thus be the first company to test Level 4 autonomous cars on public roads.

The law that allows testing of self-driving cars in New York lapses on April 1st, 2018 so these tests have to been conducted by then. Moreover, a police escort is also mandatory for each self-driving car and the company will be the one paying for it.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office sent out a press release confirming this agreement with Cruise Automation. As part of this deal, Cruise Automation will be allowed to map a geofenced area in Manhattan where it will be able to test the cars.

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to save time and save lives, and we are proud to be working with GM and Cruise on the future of this exciting new technology,” the governor said.

During testing, there’s going to be an engineer in the driver’s seat to keep an eye on things. There’s also going to be another person in the passenger seat. Cruise will also have to open an office in New York City and hire employees for a new team.

GM Will Be First To Test Self-Driving Cars In New York City , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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CarPlay Becoming A ‘Must Have’ Feature For iPhone Users

Tyler Lee October 17, 2017

The times of when all we demanded from our car’s entertainment system was radio is long gone. Fast forward to today and our requirements for an infotainment system has changed where it needs to have a display, support Bluetooth connectivity, pair with our phones, show maps, and so on.

This has allowed companies such as Apple and Google to come up with their own car infotainment systems like CarPlay and Android Auto respectively. It is also why it is not a surprise to learn that demand for CarPlay is slowly on the rise amongst iPhone users, or at least that’s according to a recent survey conducted by Strategy Analytics.

According to the survey, it has found that in the US, 23% of smartphone users say that CarPlay is a “must have” feature for their next car purchase. 56% have said that they are interested, while 21% aren’t interested. This number is higher in other parts of the world like Europe where 25% say it is a must have, and China where the number is even higher at 36%.

Admittedly CarPlay isn’t quite taking off like iOS given how competitive the field is, and not to mention many carmakers who already have solutions of their own, but what do you guys think? Is CarPlay (or Android Auto for our Android readers out there) a “must have” feature for your next car?

CarPlay Becoming A ‘Must Have’ Feature For iPhone Users , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Waymo Trains Law Enforcement How To Handle Self-Driving Car Crashes

Tyler Lee October 16, 2017

There are many questions surrounding self-driving cars, like the legality behind it, how will our current rules apply to the technology, and so on. One question is that in the event of a self-driving car crash, how will law enforcement or first responders handle it? Should it be treated like a regular car crash? Or will it be accessed differently?

We suppose that is a question that has yet to be answered, but Alphabet’s Waymo is hoping to provide some answers. The company has recently published a 43 page report (via Recode) that attempts to address some of those questions. According to the report, it has been revealed that Waymo is currently training law enforcement in various cities that it is testing its technology on how to recognize and access a self-driving car in the event of an accident.

The report reads (in part), “We plan to continue conducting these on-site trainings, while expanding the scope of the training program as our vehicles become more capable and our operational design domain expands.” Prior to this Waymo was working on teaching its self-driving cars on how to detect emergency vehicles and move out of their way.

That being said, Waymo is just one of the many companies working on the technology so their solutions aren’t necessarily definitive, but we suppose eventually there will be a unified set of rules on how to deal with self-driving cars.

Waymo Trains Law Enforcement How To Handle Self-Driving Car Crashes , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Tesla Recalling 11,000 Model X Cars Due To Seat Cables

Adnan Farooqui October 12, 2017


Tesla today announced that it’s voluntarily recalling 11,000 Model X crossovers worldwide due to seat cables that could potentially break during a crash. The cables might prevent the rear row of seats from locking into place if there’s a crash. The recall covers Model X units built with fold-flat second row seats.

Tesla has said that this recall only affects units that were produced between October 28th, 2016 to August 16th, 2017. The company also added that it believes only three percent of the vehicles that have been recalled are actually affected by this issue but go through with the recall out of an abundance of caution.

A spokesperson for the company has also confirmed that it has received no reports of any accidents or injuries being caused by this issue. Tesla discovered the issue with the seat cables during internal testing, if the cables fail to lock properly, the row of seats could potentially move forward in the event of a crash.

Those who own an affected unit just need to take their car to a dealer to get in touch with Tesla’s mobile repair unit. The fix takes only ten minutes and it’s something that can be completely be done by the company’s mobile repair unit.

Until those who have affected units get the issue fixed, Tesla cautions them to avoid having two adults in the second row left and center seats. Even with the issue, Tesla says that the seat is strong enough for one single adult or two children.

Tesla Recalling 11,000 Model X Cars Due To Seat Cables , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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California Will Allow Autonomous Cars Without Drivers On Its Roads Next Year

Adnan Farooqui October 11, 2017


There are a few states in the country that have allowed companies to test their autonomous cars on public roads. However, it has been made mandatory to have a human driver behind the wheel at all times in case something goes wrong. With 42 companies testing autonomous cars in California, the state is taking things one step further. It’s going to allow autonomous cars without human drivers behind the wheel on its roads starting next year.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles released its revised regulations today which confirm that autonomous cars without steering wheels, mirrors, foot pedals, and human drivers will be allowed for testing on public roads starting 2018.

There’s a 15 day public comment period for these new regulations before the DMV passes them on to the state government. The enforcement will take place at some point next year, it’s not exactly clear precisely when these new regulations will go in effect.

It’s not surprising that California is opening up to the future of autonomous driving. It has given licenses to 42 companies that are testing 285 self-driving cars in the states.

Almost 1,000 safety drivers have been licensed to sit in those autonomous test beds. Once the new regulations go into effect, the companies testing these cars will no longer be required to have human drivers behind the wheel.

That’s not to say autonomous cars will become commonplace next year. Companies will have to wait for approval or a waiver for exemption from the federal government before they put a fully autonomous vehicle on public roads.

California Will Allow Autonomous Cars Without Drivers On Its Roads Next Year , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Porsche Launches A $2,000 A Month Car Subscription Service

Tyler Lee October 11, 2017

So you’ve probably heard of subscription services for books, music, videos, but a car subscription service? Those aren’t that common, but it seems that Porsche is hoping that there will be a demand for it. The company has recently launched a car subscription service of their own which basically allows members to swap around various Porsche cars.

Buying a new car isn’t cheap, so the idea is that Porsche will charge members of its Porsche Passport program $2,000 a month in which they will allow users to exchange vehicles on a “frequent” basis. “This month-to-month subscription program offers frequent vehicle exchanges, unrestricted mileage, and on-demand access for up to 22 different Porsche models.”

It is unclear as to what “frequent” means – could it be limited to one a week, once a month, once every few months? But basically if you needed a different Porsche vehicle for a different purpose, like maybe you want an SUV to pickup more people for a road trip over the weekend and so on, that’s one of the perks.

However like we said it will cost you with the entry-level membership priced at $2,000 a month, but if you wanted access to the 22 car roster, that privilege will set you back $3,000.

Porsche Launches A $2,000 A Month Car Subscription Service , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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NVIDIA’s New Autonomous Car Computer Will Enable Level 5 Autonomy

Adnan Farooqui October 10, 2017


NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang today announced a powerful new computer that’s meant for autonomous or self-driving cars. According to the company, the DRIVE PX Pegasus AI computer will enable level 5 autonomy. What that means is that the cars powered by this will be fully autonomous, requiring no pedals and steering wheels. They will not require anyone to take control.

We’re still a few years away from level 5 autonomy and even if the technology reaches there faster, there are legal and regulatory hurdles that have to be crossed before fully autonomous cars are allowed on the roads.

NVIDIA says its new computer is great for robotaxis, which are taxis that don’t require any human intervention. Such vehicles will have extraordinary computing requirements all of which has to be done with multiple levels of redundancy to ensure the highest level of safety.

The company’s DRIVE PX Pegasus AI computer is roughly the size of a license plate and it’s capable of replacing the entire truck full of computing equipment that’s used in existing level 5 autonomous cars. It delivers 320 trillion operations per second of computing power. It’s claimed to have the AI performance of a 100-server data center.

NVIDIA has revealed that more than 25 of its partners are working on fully autonomous taxis so they will certainly check out the company’s latest computer. NVIDIA is going to offer it to partners in the second half of next year with its next-generation GPUs that actually haven’t been announced so far.

NVIDIA’s New Autonomous Car Computer Will Enable Level 5 Autonomy , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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