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There has been a significant amount of attention centered on autonomous vehicles, but it looks like there is something else to look forward to: self-driving tractor-trailers. Nevada state authorities certified the Inspiration 18-wheeler for public road testing, where they will be tested in "less complicated" traffic environments.
Developing a fully autonomous truck can help make the road safer, according to supporters, because the computer won't get fatigued - and help reduce costs for companies. A human driver will be in the cab of the vehicle to drive the vehicle to handle tricky driving conditions, poor weather, or in case of an emergency.
"You're talking about a series of different technologies; crash avoidance, blindsight, camera technology," said David Sierro, spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, in a statement to The Guardian. "Rather than being a single autonomous [device] it's a series of technologies they're developing. They're building it in an incremental way."
Navigation company TomTom wants to prepare for autonomous vehicles, trying to evolve into the top provider of technology to help self-driving cars get around.
TomTom was best known for its personal navigation devices, but struggled to keep up with Garmin and cheap competitors cutting into the market. To make matters even worse, smartphones with data plans exploded onto the market, hurting TomTom's financial outlook even more.
Google, which is developing its own autonomous vehicle, also has big ambitions in helping carmakers navigate self-driving vehicles. Expect additional partnerships to be forged in an effort to find new solutions to compete with Google - even if no one is entirely sure what will happen.
If you've been waiting for the price on a Model S to drop, you might be waiting for a while, but if you wanted to grab a second hand electric vehicle from Tesla Motors, you can now buy one online.
Tesla has opened up an online pre-owned store where you can buy a used Model S electric car at a much cheaper price, but for the time being, it's limited to just a few cities in the United States and Canada. The cars still include a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty to ensure that you don't just buy a car that will break down in a few months time.
The 'entry' model Model S can be had for around $59,000 which isn't too bad at all.
Just a week after Tesla Motors' Twitter page was hacked, the electric vehicle maker wants to have hackers attempt to hack their cars, something the company will be asking hackers to do at the Defcon convention later this year in Las Vegas, according to anonymous sources of Forbes.
Having hackers try to break into a Tesla vehicle has benefits for the company, as it will make Tesla aware of any security holes in their vehicles and software, and they'll have their picking of hiring anyone who is capable of hacking into their vehicles, and having them instead plug the security holes they discovered.
With a concentrated effort on making vehicles and the world around them smarter and smarter, electric and autonomous vehicle makers are going to need increasingly stronger and near invincible security on their cars. This means we're going to see a huge focus on digital security on cars at both Defcon and BlackHat 2015, both taking place in Vegas later this year.
Apple's decision to reportedly work on a vehicle makes sense, as the Silicon Valley company looks to jump into a market that has more than $1 trillion in yearly sales, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analysts.
In their "5 Reasons Why We Believe Apple May Indeed Be Looking to Build a Car," analysts Toni Sacconaghi and Max Warburton also noted that Apple isn't afraid to enter an established market - and can rely on its established business ties in China to help foster possible car manufacturing capabilities.
In addition, Apple has a large amount of financial resources it can invest, and even with a high luxury price tag, the auto industry is expected to see luxury models increase sales in upcoming years.
Automakers are pushing towards fully autonomous vehicles in the United States, Europe and Asia, but that may not be a welcome change for everyone. Auto insurance companies are expected to have to deal with self-driving vehicles over the next 10 years, though they will likely have more than 30 years to adjust to widespread autonomous adoption.
If vehicles become safer, the $200 billion auto insurance industry could end up losing billions - a realistic, yet frightening issue that insurance companies already must deal with. Higher-end vehicles have semi-autonomous features designed to keep drivers safe and reduce the chance of accidents.
Esurance, State Farm, and other auto insurance companies seem to be taking a cautious approach, waiting to see how autonomous vehicles develop before they hit the open road. It's possible policy rates could be calculated based on miles driven by humans or autonomously - but it's extremely difficult to pick hypothetical scenarios.
It wasn't too long ago when electric vehicles were seen as niche products for more affluent car buyers, but auto manufacturers want to make EV more affordable for everyone.
Price of batteries used in EVs has decreased, helping generate more sales, with a 14 percent annual drop from 2007 to 2014, according to a recent study. Manufacturers choose to keep the cost of lithium-ion battery production relatively secret, but mile ranges are increasing - which is another appealing aspect to drivers.
It looks like "events" are "moving quicker than expected in lithium-ion battery technology," though the price tags often could be misconstrued, according to Luis Munuera, energy analyst for the International Energy Agency, in a statement to the MIT Technology Review.
We keep hearing about electric vehicles, like the Model S from Tesla Motors, but what about electric bikes? They're a thing, and they've hit Indiegogo in a big way thanks to Wave and the "fastest and most affordable" electric bike ever with its eBike.
Wave is hoping to raise $70,000, with its eBike costing $499 right now, down from it $999 price when it hits stores in the near future. Wave's eBike is promising a top speed of up to 28mph, and a range of just over 26 miles in electric-only mode, from a single charge. The Wave weighs in at 50lbs, has a 750W motor, and a 12aH battery that can be charged in 3-5 hours.
Owners can ride it with its electric motor, or they can use the Wave like a normal bike, disabling the electric mode by twisting the throttle.
Japanese automaker Nissan can't wait to get its autonomous vehicle technology on Japanese highways, pledging self-driving vehicles by next year. Fully autonomous vehicles designed to navigate urban environments should be available by 2020, as Nissan and NASA continue their custom partnership.
Nissan self-driving vehicles should be able to avoid hazards and safely change lanes by 2018, and will have full autonomous capability by 2020.
"There will be a Nissan product in Japan, which will carry autonomous drive," said Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan, during the New York International Auto Show. "Obviously when you have this kind of technology, you want also the Japanese market to enjoy it as soon as possible."
Tesla Motors has been making some big waves in the industry lately, but how many cars did the electric vehicle maker ship in Q1? According to their first quarterly sales report: 10,030 vehicles were delivered to consumers over the three-month period.
The company has said that it will continue to provide more information in the future, three days after the end of each quarter. Tesla reported a new record for the company, with a 55% rise in sales for the quarter over the same period of 2014. We don't know how many of the AWD P85Ds, or the Model S cars the company sold, but a 55% jump in sales over the previous year is great to see from Tesla.