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Disney Research Zurich and the ETH Zurich Autonomous Systems Lab create the Beachbot, a programmable computer on wheels dragging a rake that can create drawings in the sand.

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Nissan and NASA have announced a collaboration on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interfaces, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification. Nissan wants to offer such features by 2016, and fully autonomous cars by 2020.

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A report in Autoweek says public adoption of autonomous technology in vehicles will continue with the next-generation A8, which will be able to navigate on its own up to 37 mph, make its way through traffic, find a parking spot and park itself.

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Google announced today that the cute, entirely autonomous car prototype they released in May has been realized as a fully-functional auto ready to hit the roads of Northern California in the new year.

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Fans of the iconic 1980 comedy flick Airplane! may smirk at the image of a blow-up "autopilot" materializing on the controls of the not-quite-doomed aircraft. Those folks (c'mon, we know you're out there) may now imagine a similar site behind the wheel of a long-haul 18-wheeler. Think of it at Zucker Bros. meets B.J. and the Bear. Or something like that.

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Nielsen statistics show Chinese consumers are more interested in autonomous technology than the US and Germany.

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An automaker like Audi will always have a number of different research and development projects going at the same time, and some of them might take on very different approaches. At one end, you'll have its racing programs, and at what you'd assume would be the other, self-driving prototypes. But Ingolstadt is preparing to bridge that gap by running an autonomous prototype at racing speed around the famed Hockenheimring.

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All-Wheel Drive, Autopilot Each Add $4,000 To Cost, Unless You're Talking P85D

Not mentioned during the much-hyped announcement event last night for the Tesla Model S Dual Motor "D" and Autopilot "A" options were how much those advancements will cost. Today, Tesla updated the Model S order page and those pesky little numbers are now available. As it turns out, opting for all of the features mentioned last night will add over $18,000 to the price of your $93,400 Model S P85.

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Does size matter? It could when it comes to self-driving vehicles and a small new hockey-puck shaped device that, when affixed to a vehicle, shoots out lasers to collect data-mapping points. That data is then used to guide an autonomous vehicle down the road. The size – both of the device itself and the potential price tag – is what's interesting here.

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Audi apparently knows how to get to the front of a line when it comes to driverless vehicles. The German automaker had the honor of being the very first company to receive one of California's new autonomous vehicle driving permits. It was a perfect followup to it being among the earliest ones to get a similar permit in Nevada a few years ago.

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Self driving cars represent a tiny fraction of California's approximately 32 million registered vehicles

Computer-driven cars have been testing their skills on California roads for more than four years - but until now, the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn't sure just how many were rolling around.

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We all know that self-driving cars are coming. It's not so much a question of If so much as When. And when it comes to General Motors products, we now have something of a date to work with, as Cadillac has announced plans to roll out what it is calling Super Cruise technology in an unnamed new model within the next two years. As you would expect, this new tech can speed the car up, slow it down and keep it in its intended lane, but GM isn't expected to release a fully self-driving car, saying th

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Autonomous cars are piloting their way into the wide philosophical sea of ethics. Right now the autonomous cars are unaware of this because the driver's will always comes first, but when we start getting cars that can overrule commands or choose a particular ethical outcome either without or in spite of driver input, we'll have a lot of decisions to make. Which means we have a lot of decisions to start considering right now.

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The machine you see in the video here is the Ground Unmanned Support Surrogate. Called GUSS for short – because who doesn't like a handy-dandy nickname – this vehicle, as its proper name suggests, is capable of operating without a driver.

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"Self-driving cars remain a long way from commercial reality."

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Let's face it, autonomous cars aren't coming; they're already here. From Google's continual testing to promises from Nissan and Mercedes-Benz that the tech is on the way, the only direction that driverless vehicles are moving is forward. Although, we're already seeing the first joking jabs about the potential misuse of the cutting-edge systems like in Conan O'Brien's recent parody, and even the FBI is taking the possibility for abuse seriously.

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At what point does a car cease to be a car and start becoming a people-mover? One survey hints that we're less than two decades away from that eventuality. Whether auto enthusiasts think that's a good thing is another matter altogether.

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We are on the cusp of the next generation of semi-autonomous driving technology becoming affordable. Adaptive cruise control is already trickling down to the mass market, and the more sophisticated systems found on vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class are clearly coming, as well. If you're a little adventurous, live in California and drive an Audi, you might be able to upgrade to the next stage of driverless tech even sooner. A San Francisco start-up called Cruise Automation is launching an a

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Updated Pod Car Now Ready For Daily Commuting

Chevrolet is bringing its EN-V 2.0 to the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City in China to show off the "Electric Networked-Vehicle" and demonstrate sustainable urban mobility. The small, two-seat EV concept is an updated version of the original EN-V, a vision of getting around in a future world where space is at a premium and clean air is a priority.

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Things appear to be going well inside Nissan's autonomous vehicle development program. Until now, the automaker believed that self-driving cars would be ready for major markets like the US by 2020. However, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is now speeding up that prediction to 2018 in some places, assuming that local laws are ready to accept the computer-controlled vehicles.

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Google's self-driving car caused a stir last week with people debating whether they would really want to give up complete control of a vehicle to a vehicle. The tech giant has been working with autonomous versions of the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX for years, but if the situation ever got a little too much like Westworld, the driver could always take over. Its latest creation eschews that ability, putting the computers entirely in control. Comedian Conan O'Brien realized that there still could be

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