The march towards autonomous vehicles is far from limited to the civilian sector, as the military has been doggedly pursuing the idea of driverless vehicles for several years. Its latest initiative seeks to introduce a line of autonomous vehicles by a target date of 2025, according to the Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
If you had told us a decade ago that Google, of all companies, would be developing a driverless car, we likely would have asked you what you were smoking. But here we are, watching the Internet giant not only testing such systems on existing cars, but designing its own vehicles. It won't be the only one, it seems, as reports from China indicate that one of its own is following suit.
An increasing number of people are starting to consider the potential downsides of a transition to autonomous cars. The FBI is already looking at them for the potential ill effects on law enforcement, and a scientist for Toyota is raising the possibility that driverless vehicles could actually be detrimental to the environment over the long term.
Ask any car engineer what's the biggest variable in achieving fuel economy targets, and he'll tell you "the driver." If one human can't understand human driving behavior enough to be certain about an innocuous number like miles per gallon, how is an autonomous car supposed to figure out what hundreds of other drivers are going to do in the course of a day? Ford has enlisted the help of Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find out.
Well, fellow humans, we're going to obsolete soon. A new study by IHS Automotive claims that by 2025, a mere 11 years from now, there will be 230,000 self-driving cars on world's roads. 10 years beyond that, the number will swell to 11.8 million, although only select models will do without any traditional means of human control by 2030. By the middle of the 21st century, nearly every vehicle on the road will be of the autonomous variety.
Autonomous cars may still be in their infancy, but more and more big names in the auto industry are diving in head first. Nissan is already making strides with a semi-autonomous Leaf EV and General Motors is planning to offer semi-autonomous tech by 2020. And then there's Google, doing its thing with a fleet of Toyota Prius. Now, Ford is showing off its latest automated effort, a driverless Fusion Hybrid.
After several years and thousands of miles of testing autonomous cars in California and Nevada, Google finally has something to show for its work – other than driving a blind man to get a taco. According to Technology Review, Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car program, says that Google has data showing that autonomous cars are safer and smoother than actual drivers. This, of course, is a big improvement over Google's statement from 2011 that claimed autonomous cars are saf
Fears over domestic spying operations and privacy concerns have been splattered across the headlines with alarming frequency, and now it appears that even the auto industry isn't immune. According to a report from The Huffington Post, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Deborah Hersman, has argued that black boxes should be mandatory in self-driving cars, like those that Google and Nissan have been working on.
Let's get the most pressing bits of this story out of the way right off the bat: What we see here appears to be a new compact crossover from Buick. According to the spy photographer, this machine may be a little bit smaller on the outside than the current Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain 'utes, which makes sense since recent rumors suggest GM's small crossovers will migrate to a new platform that will mark a convergence between the automaker's Delta (Chevy Cruze, Buick Verano) and Theta (Equino
According to Forbes, Google may be into driverless cars for more than the party tricks. As part of a three-part series on the tech giant's foray into the automotive sphere, writer Chunka Miu says Google's efforts could have a widespread impact on the nature of transportation worldwide. The company believes it can theoretically reduce traffic accidents, energy consumption and the number of personal vehicles on the road by 90 percent should autonomous models take hold, and those savings could equa
It's election time and auto bailouts are not the only thing politicians are talking about. Down in Florida, one group has connected a candidate's support for automated car testing to, well, nothing. And that makes him evil.
As driverless cars make their way to Nevada and Florida, and possibly California, in state-sanctioned test programs, Google continues to play a big part in collecting the data. It's self-diving Toyota Prius vehicles have clocked in more than 300,000 miles of testing. Google has added another car to its test program – the 2012 Lexus RX450h luxury crossover SUV.
From driverless drifting to computerized operation at 150 mph, it appears that--provided the proper algorithm--autonomous cars can do it all. But how well do they compare to the best drivers among their human counterparts?
Do you consider yourself a driving enthusiast? If so, does the thought of handing control of your car over to a series of computers scare you to death? We understand. But perhaps it's time to remember that those of us who love to drive aren't the only ones who want to use the road.