One major component of Level 4 and Level 5 driverless cars is in very short supply. Venture capitalists and engineers from around the world are racing to fill the LiDAR production, price, and performance void.
One of the big hurdles when equipping vehicles with sensors for autonomous driving is the cost. For example, the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) sensors that power many versions of self-driving car technology are pricey, currently ranging from around several thousand dollars up to $85,000 per sensor—and vehicles often need multiple sensors to see enough of what is going on around them to drive safely.
Cruise Automation follows Waymo's and Uber's lead with its debut of a beta version of an app-based driverless ride-hailing service for its employees in San Francisco, ahead of a possible launch of a full-fledged commercial offering within four years.
Uber has been in the hot seat for awhile now, for many reasons, especially for being sued by Waymo over stolen LiDAR designs. But now, perhaps the attention will be taken off both Uber and Waymo as a new contender enters the LiDAR arena; A small, independent company called Luminar has finally let the world in on what it has been cooking up.
News: Why You're Probably Always Going to See Those Ugly Dome-Shaped LiDARs on Driverless Fleet Cars
The large, dome-shaped LiDARs that have become a fixture on driverless car prototypes are expensive and notably ugly. And yet, these unsightly devices should remain planted on driverless cars, even when they become available in commercial fleet services across the country in a couple of years.
Video Analysis: New GM Cruise Self-Driving Video Shows More Mastery of SF Roads... This Time with PiP Proof
A couple weeks ago, GM's Cruise Automation released a remarkable self-driving video from the streets of San Fransisco that Driverless analyzed in detail. And now they've just released a new one giving more insight into their growing mastery of the complex roads in San Francisco, specifically, the Potrero Hill and Mission Dolores neighborhoods.
News: Indian 'Driverless' Startups Like Swaayatt Are Daring to Navigate the World's Most Dangerous Roads
In Bhopal, India, a place nestled in between the royally pink city of Jaipur and the dry (i.e., alcohol forbidden) state of Gujarat, is a team of developers determined to make a fully driverless car suitable to the complexities of Indian traffic. An algorithm elaborate enough has yet to be made by any other company, but is the fundamental key to handling the intuitive habits of Indian drivers, the often intense and gridlocked traffic, and the country's vast expanse of jarring roads.
When the time comes to replace your car, you most likely have a checklist of criteria that you would like on the new one. Your car is possibly the most expensive possession you have—or the second-most expensive, after your home—so you want to make sure that you are not only getting what you want, but that you are getting the best deal possible.
General Motors acquired Cruise Automation in March 2016 for a reported $1 billion (well, at least $581 million). GM President Dan Ammann made a point of being in the press release photograph with Cruise founders Kyle Vogt and Daniel Kan (see photo below). On January 19, 2017, Vogt posted on Twitter: "Took GM Pres. Dan Ammann for a ride in a Cruise AV."
Not only has there been difficulty finding consensus on a name for driverless, autonomous, self-driving, or automated vehicles, there is also the issue of what we actually mean when we say a vehicle is self-driving, automated, and so on.
Autonomous vehicles, aka self-driving cars, are not yet available to the public (at least not ones SAE Level 3 and higher). However, this doesn't make the jobs any less in demand. In fact, if you meet the right qualifications, you could make a lot of money in this industry.
A vulnerability in the design of LiDAR components in driverless cars is far worse than anything we've seen yet outside of the CAN bus sphere — with a potentially deadly consequence if exploited.
Solid-state LiDAR is cheap, robust, and compact in size — this is why the device is seen as the LiDAR of choice for future high-volume production of level 3 and level 4 cars.
Waymo just received approval on a patent for a push-button console that replaces not only a steering wheel in a car but the brake and gas pedals, too. This reflects Alphabet's driverless arm could remain true to its original mantra of developing cars that pilot themselves without human intervention.
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk offered some insight into how hackers might seek to turn driverless cars into zombie fleets, but remained upbeat about what can be done about it.
The automotive industry is traditionally very conservative, so when a carmaker says it will launch a particular model or feature by a certain date, it means a lot.
German groups ZF Friedrichshafen AG and HELLA are collaborating to add to their autonomous portfolios with camera and radar development.
Nvidia has emerged as the indisputable leader in chips for Level 3 and even more advanced driverless applications, catching some of the world's largest semiconductor makers and automotive suppliers by surprise.
Data for mapping and other applications is the lifeblood of machine-driven cars, and so far, Tesla has taken a definitive lead in information it has gathered ahead of other driverless players, including Waymo.
Leading tier-one supplier Continental has confirmed it will sell driverless platforms developed from BMW, Mobileye, and Intel's previously announced alliance, giving the company a potential edge over competitors by widening the range of technologies it offers directly to OEMs.
Baidu Inc, the "Chinese Google" search engine and technology company, which has been actively pursuing self-driving cars, reported that a gang of hackers recently attempted to steal its driverless car technology.
Rumors that Apple is honing its automated car technology have skyrocketed. Thanks, now, in no small part to some enterprising members of the media who leaked the names of Apple's self-driving car team to the public.
Cruise Automation, the driverless car startup General Motors (GM) bought for $1 billion in 2016, is readying a formidable fleet of robo-taxis for rollout in cities throughout the US. But when it comes to details about how the company plans to realize these lofty goals, it's been fairly tight-lipped.
Elon Musk has repeatedly said Tesla models in production today have the requisite hardware to offer "full self-driving" capabilities. But for features more advanced than Level 3, Tesla will, in fact, have to revamp Autopilot's hardware to handle the extra computing load.
Most carmakers now agree with Waymo that piloting driverless cars is best left to the machine — with no meddling from the human.
The technology driving the automated vehicle revolution relies on the car's ability to see and understand the world around it.
Today it was revealed that Avis Budget Group will now support and maintain Waymo's driverless car fleet in Phoenix, the company's first public trial of self-driving cars. This is an unprecedented partnership in the autonomous vehicle field and conveys the steps driverless companies are taking to make their vehicles more accessible to the public.
Honda president Takahiro Hachigo has just announced that Honda will complete development of fully self-driving cars by 2025. While the company aims to have level 3 — or conditionally autonomous cars requiring human intervention only in emergencies — on the road in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, these level 4 cars would require no intervention in most environments and thus bring Honda one step closer to producing fully driverless cars.
Quanergy CEO and founder Louay Eldada is, by any standard of measure, a pioneer in the development of LiDARs for driverless vehicles.
New "radar road signature" technology from Bosch will be used to create maps for high-accuracy self driving. The new map is the first to use radar signals for a localization layer.
After Ford's CEO Mark Fields' three-year tenure failed to keep up with the driverless industry and resulted in a 40% drop in shares since Field's took over in 2014, Ford is going in a new direction. Jim Hackett, who was previously chairman of Ford's self-driving division, has succeeded Fields as the company's new CEO.
It looks like Chris Urmson has spent the six months since he left Google's Self Driving Car Project trying to build a get-rich-quick self-driving unicorn, along with Sterling Anderson, formerly with Tesla Motors. At least that is one of several scandalous accusations in a Tesla lawsuit aimed at the pair, and their secretive startup Aurora Innovation, LLC.
Velodyne wants to set the standard for the driverless industry when it comes to LiDAR. To do that, the Silicon Valley-based team just announced its next step — create a low-cost, fixed-laser sensor that can be embedded into a wide range of automotive and autonomous vehicles. That next step is named the Velarray. A sturdy, compact, and affordable LiDAR laser.
In the driverless race, technological advances can sometimes just add more tension to an already heated competition, if Waymo suing Uber over their allegedly stolen LiDAR technology is any indication. Now, Sony is offering a new camera sensor, one that should help self-driving cars "see" the road with much more accuracy than any other camera sensors available for vehicles currently.
Japan is in the process of curbing its aging population and mature workforce. According to The Diplomat, the country's population has been declining at a steady rate. To meet future productivity demands in commercial and industrial sectors, local officials are turning to self-driving technology, including truck platooning, where three or five vehicles travel autonomously in a string formation. This practice, according to a study by MIT, can reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% (more about thi...
AutonomouStuff: How a Small Company Punching Above Its Weight Is Accelerating Driverless Car Development
Ask anyone that works on the development of driverless vehicle technology and there is a very good chance that AutonomouStuff will have supplied something to their project.
Many new parents will tell you how hard it is to name a baby. Some have stories of how they knew what the name of their child would be from before conception, only to change their mind when they were born. Sometimes new babies can go weeks without a name since there is an endless selection to choose from.
Former Google and Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski's scathing accusations challenging the physics behind Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk's claims about Autopilot should force Musk to make his case that self-drive cars don't need LiDAR in the next few months.
Nissan has confirmed reports that the Nissan Leaf's Propilot option will go on sale in the US in September, but when it does, don't expect it to compete against the Tesla Model 3's driverless features.
Faraday Future's all-electric super sports car concept attracted a lot of attention at CES earlier this year, but now it is struggling to replace key driverless engineers and program directors who left the company amid its recent financial troubles.