Don't call Google for a ride home from the bar yet

19 December 2015 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Good news and bad news about self-driving cars from the California department of motor vehicles. The good news is that the DMV will allow cars to drive themselves; the bad news is that you still need to have a licensed driver in the front seat who “must be capable of taking over immediate control in the event of an autonomous technology failure or other emergency”. In other words, no robotic designated drivers.

The restrictions don’t suit Google, which has been in the forefront of developing autonomous cars in California, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News

“We’re gravely disappointed that California is already writing a ceiling on the potential for fully self-driving cars to help all of us who live here,” said Google spokesman Johnny Luu in a statement.


Google gets reminder that blocking California traffic is a sin

12 December 2015 by Steve Blum
, ,

A Mountain View cop pulled over Google’s self-driving car to find out why it was holding up traffic by driving too slowly along a heavily travelled section of El Camino Real. According to PD’s blog post

A Mountain View Police Department traffic officer noticed traffic backing up behind a slow moving car traveling in the eastbound #3 lane on El Camino Real, near Rengstorff Ave. The car was traveling at 24 mph in a 35 mph zone.


The Apple car coming in 2019, rumors say

17 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, ,

Apple’s plans to get into the car business – supposedly code-named Project Titan – are taking on a firmer shape, according to an article in Information Week. It lists the top eight Apple car rumors floating through the automotive and high tech communities. Number one on the hit parade is a supposedly leaked target date of 2019 for the launch. That’s considered ambitious in automotive terms, where development cycles can run as long as a decade or more.… More

Manufacturers willing to accept some liability for driverless cars

10 October 2015 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Taking the blame, up to a point.

Self-driving cars might be less than five years away. Toyota is planning to put one on the road in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and Elon Musk has said that Tesla might have one even earlier than that. In fact, Musk has said that some existing Teslas could soon get a software update that will let them go driverless – or at least do the driving while a human watches – on highways and parallel park themselves.… More

Apple ready to do to autos what it did to mainframes and flip phones

20 August 2015 by Steve Blum
, ,

The automotive assembly line of the near-future.

Rumors of an Apple-built car appear to be true. The Guardian, in a story written by Mark Harris, tells of enquiries made by Apple engineers to GoMentum Station, a test site for driverless cars located on the old Concord Naval Weapons Station in the East Bay Area. With military-grade security still in place, the site is run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and is billed as the largest secure test bed site in the United States.… More