Autonomous vehicle technology (AVT) is garnering a lot of attention, and its hypothetical impact on society will very soon be a reality. Earlier in September the House of Representatives passed H.R.3388 - SELF DRIVE Act laying the framework for AVT regulation. That bill, now in the Senate, was the subject of a recent Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on the future of self-driving vehicles and the impact of AVT on the commercial vehicle industry.
Silicon Valley will soon be trying out some home-grown transportation. Through its partnership with Drive.ai, Lyft will dispatch self-driving cars for certain rides at an unannounced date, allowing Drive.ai to gain more feedback on its software and Lyft to test passenger reactions to autonomous vehicles.
To read the full article from the Detroit Free Press, click here.
Congress is cruising through its first venture into an area dominated by Silicon Valley, automakers, and state lawmakers. The House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation that would give federal regulators oversight over safety and performance standards for self-driving cars, allowing for exemptions and flexibility as the technology develops.
To read the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click here.
All eyes are on incoming Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and the road ahead for the company. In some of his first words to the company, he said, "this company has to change. What got us here is not what's going to get us to the next level." Some of the items at the top of Khosrowshahi’s to-do list including bringing order to the company’s board, using the core ride-hailing business to “pay the bills,” evaluating “far-out” initiatives, and going public.
Apple is no longer planning to build its own vehicle, but some of its engineers still are. 17 auto engineers who specialize in elements present in both traditional and autonomous vehicles have left the Fruit for Zoox, a self-driving car start-up developing its own car for a fleet of vehicles. The Silicon Valley rival has been building its team over the past several months and is valued at more than $1 billion.
Ford is shopping around for partners to help realize its self-driving potential. With a new CEO and VP of autonomous cars and electrification, the company is ready for a new approach. Larger commercial vehicles, ridesharing, and delivery services are all possibilities.
No driver means no figuring out the tip, right? Domino’s wants to know it its customers would accept curbside pizza delivery- without a driver. The pizza giant is experimenting early before the autonomous delivery industry gets too sliced up, positioning itself as the leader of the self-driving pack. In essence, the research will boil down to how many steps pizza lovers are open to taking beyond their front door and their comfort in interacting with an unmanned car.
Autonomous cars originally had everyone who’s anyone diving in, but now Silicon Valley’s top companies are stepping back to see who will actually swim. Alphabet’s Waymo, Apple, and Uber are all companies that stepping back from building the actual vehicle, preferring to focus on the technology instead. With the most profitable technology company in the world, Apple, drawing the line at building cars, it looks like Tesla or the likes of Toyota, Ford, and GM need to put the tech on four wheels. Manufacturers, start your engines.
To read the full story from Bloomberg, click here.
Trucking is seriously getting trendy. We recently covered Chanje’s bid in the industry, and now Tesla looks to be heading for the commercial freight market with a prototype of an electric big-rig truck expected next month. The long-range truck is expected to run 200-300 miles on a single charge, which may fit well with the approximately 30 percent of US trucking jobs that cover regional trips of 100-200 miles. Good to know that long range has a short end.
To read the full story from Reuters, click here.
There’s going to be a brave new urban order out there before we know it. Researchers warn that cities must start thinking in systems, rather just zeroing in on self-driving cars. The new technology is expected to redefine residential areas and real estate markets, cast uncertainty over public transportation, and cement trends already started by ride sharing companies like increased city street stopping for drop-offs. Time to think bigger.
To read the full story from The Detroit News, click here.
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