BMW might use the celebration of its centenary next year to show a concept with nearly production-ready autonomous technology.
The Brookings Institution is forecasting upheaval in local government as the rise of autonomous cars radically changes some of the ways they collect money. In just one example, the driverless vehicles are going to behave more safely on the road, which means less revenue from people paying for tickets.
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.
Apparently not content to field a fleet of four-wheeled autonomous cars, reports are floating in that the Internet giant has petitioned the State of California to allow the testing of autonomous motorcycles, as well. The team at Google, apparently led by engineer Anthony Levandowski, has designed and built a riderless motorcycle cleverly called Ghostrider that is capable of traveling to a predetermined destination without a rider.
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.
The closer automotive technology comes to making good on the promise of fully driverless vehicles, the better we see just what difficult work reaching that ultimate goal will become. That's because, unlike so many other in-car technologies that need only integration into a vehicle, truly autonomous cars will also insist on involvement with the surrounding environment, fellow motorists, infrastructure in cities and other communities and making it all work without exposing automakers to law-breaki