Driverless car insurance offered with vague exclusions

10 July 2016 by Steve Blum

A British company claims to be the first to offer driverless car insurance. In a commendably plain english document, the Adrian Flux insurance company offers to cover autonomous car owners against hacking, bad software and the operator’s failure to assume manual control, should it become necessary.

The one thing the policy doesn’t do directly is define “driverless car”. It has definitions for all kinds of things, including what “car” means (a passenger vehicle within certain weight limits that’s not designed to carry cargo or hold more than six people).… More

Google and Apple lag behind in self-driving car development, Musk says

9 June 2016 by Steve Blum
, , ,

A head start matters.

Google won’t be making self-driving cars, but Apple probably will, although it’s coming late to the game. That’s how Elon Musk handicaps the autonomous vehicle sweepstakes. He’s in a better position to judge than most people. His company, Tesla, already has a semi-autonomous car on the market and is trying to break out of its Silicon Valley-centric niche and into the mainstream of mass market manufacturers.

Musk talked about the steep competitive slope new entrants into the automotive business have to climb at a recent conference.… More

Musk takes on another impossible dream

29 November 2014 by Steve Blum
, , ,

It’s hard to bet against Elon Musk. He made a fortune as a founder of PayPal, but instead of fading into a life of one-hit wonder obscurity sitting on boards and listening to investment pitches, he doubled down by going weird: electric cars and rocket ships, old ideas with a long trail of broken genius. Each venture had “billionaire vanity project” written all over it. Now, both look likely to revolutionise transportation. We can only hope his Hyperloop daydreaming follows the same path.… More

Six Californias initiative on ice, but Draper hasn't conceded yet

21 September 2014 by Steve Blum
, ,

California’s secretary of state, Debra Bowen, says that a petition drive aimed at splitting California into six new states didn’t qualify for the November 2016 ballot – not enough of the 1.3 million signatures gathered were valid. It’s dead, but the principal backer of the initiative, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, could spend a few million dollars more to try to resurrect it, either by challenging Bowen’s decision or starting a second signature gathering campaign.… More