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Luxury automaker Jaguar is working on introducing autonomous functionality to vehicles, but don't expect a full self-driving car anytime soon. Ultimately, Jaguar wants humans to be in control and able to drive their own vehicles while behind the wheel.
"We don't consider customers cargo. We don't want to build a robot that delivers the cargo from A to B," said Wolfgang Epple, R&D chief at Jaguar, while speaking to the media during a recent UK press event.
Instead, Jaguar wants to include semi-autonomous feature in vehicles, boosting driver comfort and making vehicles safer. Offerings such as parking-assist, remote control functionality via smartphone, lane-assist, and other technologies seem to have drawn more interest from engineers at Jaguar.
Delphi and Google were both testing their autonomous vehicles in the Bay Area town of Palo Alto last week, and it looks like a close call never occurred. Reuters has defended itself after originally breaking the story on Thursday, with both Delphi and Google clarifying their versions of the story shortly thereafter.
"During a recent visit with Reuters, our Delphi expert described an actual interaction that we counter all the time in real-world driving situations," a Delphi spokeswoman told the media. "In this case, it was a typical lane change maneuver. No vehicle was cut off and the vehicles didn't even come close to each other. Both automated vehicles did exactly what they were supposed to do."
The Delphi autonomous vehicle and Google test car were about one lane width apart, and there was no immediate danger.
Korean automaker Hyundai is heavily investing in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, expecting the eco-friendly technology to be a major business.
Since beginning production in 2013, Hyundai sold just 250 Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles, with most units sold in California and Europe. The company originally wanted to sell 1,000 vehicles worldwide - and despite the sales hiccup - Hyundai thinks hydrogen fuel cells will be a better opportunity than electric vehicles. There is increased vehicle design flexibility and less competition in hydrogen, as the electric vehicle market receives a tremendous amount of attention.
Hydrogen fuel cells can be refueled just as quickly as a traditional gasoline car, and have a larger travel duration than most electric vehicles. The fuel cell used in the US Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell car can get a bit more than 260 miles on a single charge.
Autonomous vehicles from Delphi and Google had a close call while recently traveling the roads in Palo Alto, according to Delphi.
John Absmeier, director of the Delphi automated driving program, was a passenger in the self-driving Audi Q5 crossover vehicle. While Google declined comment, Absmeier said the Lexus RX400h Google self-driving prototype cut off the Audi as it was preparing to change lanes - and Delphi's car was able to take "appropriate action" before a collision occurred.
Ironically, Delphi and Google both have offices in Mountain View, and want to develop autonomous vehicles, while both their vehicles have been involved in minor traffic accidents with the public. Meanwhile, Google is now testing its latest generation self-driving pods in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Google is now testing its next-generation self-driving vehicle around Mountain View, California, as the prototypes take to the open road. The vehicles are able to travel to a preprogrammed destination, and follow the flow of traffic and roadways to ensure they arrive in a safe manner.
The final version of the vehicle should ultimately operate without the need for a steering wheel or pedals, but the current prototype features a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal - allowing a human driver to take over in emergencies.
"The prototypes' speed is capped at a neighborhood-friendly 25mph, and they'll drive using the same software that our existing Lexus models use - the same fleet that has self-driven over 1 million miles since we started the project," Google said in a blog post.
With $32,470 already raised in one short day on Kickstarter and an interesting concept in mind, Motormood enables you as a driver to do the opposite of road rage. Road... nice?
This remote controlled light-up happy face is setting back donators $19 as the $15 early bird specials are all gone. It sets out to attach to the back of your vehicle and let other drivers know you like what you see. Whether it be them giving way to you nicely, driving a sweet ride or you're just a little creepy - there are a few uses that come to mind straight away.
When the button is pressed, your smiley face will light up for a total of six seconds and comes out in three colors; Blue, Pink and Green. Colors can be chopped and changed in a matter of seconds as pointed out on the official Kickstarter page.
Ford announced it has created a new global team focused on researching and developing autonomous vehicles, while also creating driver-assist technologies.
Ford has shown more focus on automatic breaking, pedestrian detection and other semi-autonomous features that can be rolled out to its vehicles. Improving these technologies can be utilized towards the ultimate goal of an autonomous Ford vehicle.
"For us, autonomous vehicles are about making the technology accessible to everyone, just as Henry Ford did with the automobile a century ago," said Raj Nair, group VP of global product development at Ford, while speaking at the company's Bay Area research lab. "Our team is now working to make this technology feasible for production."
Samsung showed off its "Safety Truck," a customized truck that has a live-feed screen on the back of the truck that streams from a front-mounted camera. The truck is able to let drivers see a real-time view of all oncoming traffic, so you'll be able to determine if it's safe to pass the truck.
The front-mounted camera is cheap enough, but the four outdoor displays are rather pricey - and even with Samsung applying for regulatory approval, it's difficult to imagine this is an affordable effort any time soon. This is still an early prototype project, so additional testing will be required.
If rolled out on a wide scale, this would be especially ideal on single-lane highways - and Samsung has already tested out the truck in Argentina. Additional tests in other locations are currently in the works, though Samsung didn't offer additional details.
It looks like Jaguar is reaching into the future with its latest adoption of technology, thanks to the kind folks at NASA of all places. The new addition is an accident prevention technology that monitors your condition to prevent accidents, something the various features are collectively called "Sixth Sense".
One of which is "Mind Sense" which is derived from a NASA technology that enhances a pilot's concentration skills, where it tries to read your brain waves, using sensors found in the steering wheel. The on-board computer then attempts to assess whether you're alert enough to be behind the wheel, with the steering wheel capable of being programmed to vibrant, or the system issuing the driver a warning sound, in case you've started to fall asleep or begin daydreaming.
Jaguar is also looking to install various medical-grade sensors into the driver's seat, especially when it comes to their luxury sedan, the Jaguar XJ. These sensors will make sure that you're good to drive, so the car will dim the lighting or play some music if it detects that you might be stressed out. Future iterations of Jaguar vehicles will be capable of self-driving, where it will be capable of detecting if you're having a heart attack, or seizure and take control of the vehicle to prevent an accident (and I'd dare say, call an ambulance for you).
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) originally refused to release reports related to self-driving car accidents, but the Associated Press said the DMV was improperly withholding data. Google has tested its self-driving vehicles on public roads for the past seven years, but it was only recently when the state required accident reports to be filed.
The reports indicate most of the incidents occurred when the vehicles were placed in self-driving mode, and other drivers on the road were to blame for the auto collisions. There were no reported injuries to the vehicles or drivers involved.
"After further review, DMV has determined that it is possible to release the factual information related to the autonomous vehicles reports" with drivers' personal information and other sensitive information redacted.