A large truck speeding in the opposite direction suddenly veers into your lane.Jerk the wheel left and smash into a bicyclist?Swerve right toward a family on foot?Slam the brakes and brace for head-on impact?Drivers make split-second decisions based on instinct and a limited view of the dangers around them. The cars of the future — those that can drive themselves thanks to an array of sensors and computing power — will have near-perfect perception and react based on preprogrammed logic.While cars that do most or even all of the driving may be much safer, accidents still happen. Driver's license for driverless car moves ahead in NJIt's relatively easy to write computer code that directs the car how to respond to a sudden dilemma. The hard part is deciding what that response should be."The problem is, who's determining what we want?" asks Jeffrey Miller, a University of Southern California professor who develops driverless vehicle software. "You're not going to have 100 … [Read more...] about Driverless car ethics: Who should die?
Our homes are tricked out with the latest technology, as is our office and even our pockets and purses. So, why aren't our vehicles?Actually, it's not a question of it happening "down the road." A lot of the tech is available now. Auto manufacturers are doubling down on ways to make your commute safer, entertaining, more connected and better on the environment. The following is a look at a few examples of the latest in emerging automotive tech. Semi-autonomous and autonomous carsGiven the fact human error accounts for more than 90 percent of road accidents, perhaps we ought to rely more on our vehicles to help keep us safe? That's the idea behind "autonomous" cars. Also referred to as "driverless cars" these vehicles are capable of sensing their environments and navigating without any human input. "There's still a lot of work ahead, but along with many tech giants (like Google), all the major automotive companies are working on this because it's the future," confirmed John O'Dell, a … [Read more...] about Driverless cars? Alternative fuel? It’s already here
Ronald De Feo has watched robots take factory jobs for years. Now he sees them threatening a new class of worker: People who drive for a living.“I am in Pittsburgh; it’s a test market for Uber’s autonomous vehicle,” says De Feo, CEO of the industrial materials firm Kennametal. “We see all these (automated) Ubers running around the streets of Pittsburgh, a confusing and difficult place to navigate. If they can make that work, what do you think happens to the job of being a taxi driver?”Computer scientists and economists say the threat isn’t merely theoretical: Automated cars pose an existential threat to the many Americans who drive for a living: 2.9 million truckers and delivery drivers, 674,000 bus drivers, 181,000 cab drivers and chauffeurs.The big question is how long it will take auto and tech companies to clear the technical hurdles to turning the streets over to driverless cars.“I don’t see herds of robotic trucks running down … [Read more...] about Driverless cars and trucks threaten some jobs
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Countless tech start-ups say they want to change the world.A visit to the folks who run Waze, the traffic app, gives a more precise variation of that goal: to ease traffic congestion globally and save folks 10 minutes a day on their commute.“Traffic won’t be gone in five years,” says Di-Ann Eisnor, the No. 2 exec for the Israel-based unit of Alphabet's Google. “It will be better managed.” Google paid $1.1 billion to swallow up Waze in 2013, while still operating its own navigation app, the more widely used Google Maps.Waze is the app for finding the best route around town, usually offering side streets you’ve never considered. It's beloved by a loyal core of users. When USA TODAY asked readers on Facebook and Twitter recently to name the most useful app of the year, Waze won hands down, followed by Uber, Google Maps, Evernote and Yelp.You can find the U.S. operations for Waze on … [Read more...] about Waze’s growth chief: Even driverless cars need a better route
Intel CTO Justin Rattner claimed on Monday that driverless cars will be available within 10 years and will, of course, contain Intel chips. Autonomous or driverless cars have been garnering headlines in recent months. In September, the state of California signed a bill clearing the way for driverless cars to share the road with other vehicles. In October, Google's executive chairman Eric E. Schmidt claimed that in his vision of the future, automated cars to drive us to and from work would be commonplace. U.S. GOVERNMENT TO BEGIN PROCESS TOWARD PROPOSING STANDARDS FOR AUTONOMOUS CARS Rattner added his two cents in an interview with Computerworld prior to the start of Intel's European Research and Innovation Conference. "I think in the past the automakers expressed a lot of doubt about the long-term viability of [autonomous auto] technology. Some were more dismissive than others," he said. "But I would say the automobile industry is definitely warming up to the idea." As … [Read more...] about Intel exec claims driverless cars will be available in less than a decade
Automakers and technology firms are jumping on the bandwagon of the driverless car, which remains a concept as well as a platform for new technologies to improve safety on the road. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, Toyota and Audi showed off their ideas for autonomous vehicles, in the wake of the push by Google on its driverless car. And others may follow suit. Toyota drew considerable attention with its electronically gussied-up Lexus sedan, equipped with a host of sensors and cameras that can detect what is around the vehicle. READ MORE: STUDY SAYS DRIVERLESS CARS COULD QUADRUPLE HIGHWAY CAPACITY "It has the ability to drive itself, but we won't allow it," said Jim Pisz, corporate manager at Toyota North America. Pisz said the technology is similar to Google's with the use of electronics, but that "the Google focus is on software mapping, that's what they're really good at. Toyota focuses on safety programs and more integrated programs." The … [Read more...] about Driverless cars from Toyota and Audi bring high tech mainstream at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Boston — Imagine you’re behind the wheel when your brakes fail. As you speed toward a crowded crosswalk, you’re confronted with an impossible choice: veer right and mow down a large group of elderly people or veer left into a woman pushing a stroller.Now imagine you’re riding in the back of a self-driving car. How would it decide?Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are asking people worldwide how they think a robot car should handle such life-or-death decisions. Their findings so far show people prefer a self-driving car to act in the greater good, sacrificing its passenger if it can save a crowd of pedestrians. They just don’t want to get into that car.The findings present a dilemma for car makers and governments eager to introduce self-driving vehicles on the promise that they’ll be safer than human-controlled cars.“There is a real risk that if we don’t understand those psychological barriers and address them … [Read more...] about For driverless cars, a moral dilemma: Who lives or dies?
It’s 2027 (or 2037) and the age of the self-driving car. City-dwellers have traded in their car keys for ride hails. Street parking has been replaced by wider sidewalks and bike lanes, while developers are busy converting garages into much-needed housing.That’s one vision of how self-driving cars will affect U.S. real estate, laid out in a report by MIT’s Center for Real Estate. But it’s not the only one. Even as reclaimed parking spaces fuel a downtown building boom, autonomous vehicles will encourage builders to push deeper into the exurban fringe, confident that home buyers will tolerate longer commutes now that they don’t have to drive, according to the report, sponsored by a unit of Capital One Financial Corp.In the first scenario, cities become more like New York, with walkable streets and fleets of autonomous vehicles for public transit. In the second, they become more like Dallas or Phoenix, which already function as a collection of … [Read more...] about Driverless cars may bring new age of suburban sprawl
LANSING — The U.S. auto industry's home state of Michigan is preparing for the advent of self-driving cars by pushing legislation to allow for public sales and operation — a significant expansion beyond an existing state law that sanctions such vehicles for testing only.While 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.Under a newly introduced package of bipartisan bills that would update 2013 laws to allow for the operation of autonomous cars on public roads without anyone at the wheel, tight "platoons" of smart commercial trucks could travel in unison at coordinated speeds. Also, the Detroit Three — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford — and other auto manufacturers would be authorized to run networks of on-demand self-driving vehicles.It is a nod to the … [Read more...] about Michigan bills expand use of driverless cars beyond testing
SAN FRANCISCO — Arizona governor Doug Ducey welcomed Uber's self-driving pilot one day after the California Department of Motor Vehicles moved to revoke the vehicles' registrations.“Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads," Ducey said in a statement. "While California puts the brakes on innovation and change with more bureaucracy and more regulation, Arizona is paving the way for new technology and new businesses."The Uber vehicles were loaded onto trucks headed for Arizona on Thursday. "We’ll be expanding our self-driving pilot there in the next few weeks, and we’re excited to have the support of Governor Ducey," the company said in a statement.Uber began testing 16 self-driving vehicles in San Francisco earlier this month. State regulators ordered the cars off the road until the ride-hailing company obtained a permit. It said the driverless cars were not properly marked as test vehicles."Uber is welcome to … [Read more...] about Uber dispatches driverless cars to Arizona