Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Myth Of Autonomous Vehicles’ New Craze: Ethical Algorithms

Coming to terms with a world in which we increasingly put our lives in the hands of machines is not simple, but it becomes much less simple when we try to force a false notion of ethics into the conversation. The world of tomorrow does not include a dangerous and slippery slope of software ethics, at least in the sphere of AVs. The sooner we accept this fact, the sooner we can realize the safer streets such technology promises.

Elon Musk Just Dropped Another Hint That Tesla May Take On Uber

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said Thursday night the electric automaker is beefing up its self-driving car software. The urgency of Musk's offer, and the fact that he chose to tweet it to the public, could signal that the company is preparing to launch a self-driving mobility service akin to the one being built by Uber, the $51 billion ride-hailing service.  Tesla declined to comment on Thursday night about how many engineers it hopes to hire and its future plans for them. "We're going to let the tweets speak for themselves," a Tesla spokeswoman told The Huffington Post in an email.

An Innovation Case Study: Pittsburgh

This past February, Uber announced it was partnering with CMU to open a 53,000-square-foot research and development facility focused on designing self-driving cars. It also hired away more than 40 of Carnegie Mellon’s researchers, prompting grumbles about the big tech companies swiping the best local talent. But most people are glad to have them here. “As you’re recruiting executives to move here [for a startup job], Google provides a sense of stability,” says Sean Ammirati, a partner at Birchmere Ventures, a local investment company. “If the startup doesn’t work out, there is a place to transition to. And a lot of people who work at those big companies get bored pretty quick, so they look for something different to do.”

Can Uber And Lyft Be The Ultimate Connected Platforms?

It’s clear that Uber views its service as capable of delivering more than just A-to-B transportation, and its competitors haven’t been blind to these opportunities, either. In fact, Uber’s main rival, Lyft, might be a hair’s length ahead of them in the race to become a truly connected commerce platform,Fortune reported. Not only has Lyft managed to score a partnership with Justin Bieber where riders can receive the pop idol’s new album at a discounted rate if they choose to ride through Lyft’s “Bieber Mode,” but the Uber competitor managed to secure the rights to an exclusive relationship with Starbucks that, though details are still scarce, could see riders’ coffee orders arriving in the same cars they hail.

"Platoon" tech for tractor-trailers is tested in Utah

Utah's Department of Transportation is testing a vehicle-to-vehicle communications system that would let two trucks "platoon" on a highway. The lead truck is controlled by a driver, and the second uses the system to follow closely. The system could reduce fuel costs by 10%, an official says.

GM exec: OnStar offers head start on connectivity

GM's OnStar system, which has jumped from 20 million users in 2013 to 65 million users, gives the company a jump over competitors in the connectivity market, says GM infotainment chief Phil Abram. GM has teamed with Apple and Android on in-car infotainment, but Abram says his team is focused on adding features that go beyond phone capabilities, such as OnStar's new service that notifies driver of impending battery or engine problems.

Uber announces safety advisory board

Ride-sharing company Uber announced it will form an advisory board made up of security experts to help it deal with various safety and security issues, including drivers' and passengers' physical safety, securing data and cooperating with law enforcement agencies.

VIDEO: U.S. public transportation sucks, and this is why

If you’ve ever had the experience of waiting for a very late train, sitting on a broken-down bus for 45 minutes, or trying to navigate what would be a 20-minute drive on three different forms of public transit, you’ve probably wondered to yourself: Why does mass transit in the United States suck so much?Well, we’ve wondered the exact same thing. We turned to two of Grist’s resident public transportation aficionados, Ben Adler and Heather Smith, to help us answer that question and also figure out how we can make all our buses and rails work forus, not against us. Watch our video to learn more about how we became so car-obsessed, and why — even if you have to wait forever for it — it’s actually worth it to get on the bus.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Google's driverless car nearly gets first traffic ticket for being too slow

Google's autonomous vehicle project, which has logged 1.2 million miles, was nearly handed its first traffic ticket Thursday when police officers stopped one of the cars because it was going 24 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Ford First To Test Driverless Cars In The Fake Town Mcity

Ford is eager to stay ahead of the competition and Mcity is part of their strategy to do so. As Michigan University director of Mobility Transformation Center Peter Sweatman explained, “The goal of Mcity is simply to get the technology off our fake streets and on to real streets as quickly as possible.” According to a release from the company, every mile of driving in Mcity is like 10, 100 or even 1,000 miles of on-road experience because of all the obstacles that can be packed into the artificial environment. Still, there are factors that can be difficult to test.