Autos


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Daimler-backed Momenta says its robotaxis will be fully driverless and profitable in 2024

In China and the U.S., there’s much debate about when and how humans will achieve fully autonomous robotaxis at scale — cars that chauffeur passengers under complex road conditions without safety drivers behind the wheel. Many pieces are needed to make this happen: mammoth amounts of test data, advanced algorithms, strong operational teams, big checks from investors, local policy support, to name a handful. Until that day arrives, the bold claims from players in the field seem mostly out of reac...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Asia, Elon Musk, Microsoft, China, Softbank, Tech, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Beijing, Automotive, Shanghai, Toyota, Autonomous Vehicles, Baidu


This new radar lets cars see around corners

Researchers at a US university have developed a new kind of radar which — when equipped with some AI wizardry — can help cars see round corners. Princeton university engineers have created a type of Doppler radar, typically used to catch speeding cars, that bounces radio waves off stationary objects to effectively “see” around corners. Coupled with algorithms that interpret how the radiowaves reflect off secondary objects, the radar can interpret moving objects that are out of human view. It kin...
Tags: Startups, Cars, US, Artificial Intelligence, Princeton, Shift, Loch Ness, McDonald, Neural


Audi sets up Silicon Valley office to develop automated driving systems for US market

Audi has opened an office in Silicon Valley that aims to adapt and develop advanced driver assistance systems for the U.S. market.  The Audi Automated Driving Development (A2D2) R&D office will be located in San Jose and initially staffed with about 60 employees. The company said A2D2 will have the “flexibility to quickly develop new software and to collaborate with nearby startups for production-intent applications.” This new R&D office is focused on advancing so-called Level 2 systems, a...
Tags: Europe, California, Cars, US, America, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, United States, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Volkswagen, North America, Audi, Driver, Malibu


Autonomous cars won’t prevent as many accidents as we’ve been told, study says

Some 94% of vehicle crashes are caused by humans. This figure is often touted by autonomous vehicle developers when they try to promote the potential value in their tech. It sounds logical: remove humans and road safety will improve dramatically. However, the improvements might not be as dramatic as we’d hope for. According to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), only one third of vehicle accidents will be avoided if we pivot to autonomous cars or “robotaxis,” AP r...
Tags: Startups, Cars, Tech, Ap, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety IIHS, Neural


Self-driving vehicle startup Argo AI completes $2.6B deal with Volkswagen, expands to Europe

Volkswagen Group finalized Tuesday its $2.6 billion investment into Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving car startup that came out of stealth in 2017 with $1 billion in backing from Ford. The deal turns Argo into a global company with two customers — VW and Ford — as well as operations in the U.S. and Europe and an instant jump in its workforce. Autonomous Intelligent Driving, the self-driving subsidiary that was launched in 2017 to develop autonomous vehicle technology for the VW Group...
Tags: Startups, TC, Europe, Washington, Cars, Palo Alto, Artificial Intelligence, Austin, Munich, Vw, Ford, Automation, New Jersey, Transport, Miami, Volkswagen


UK getting 200 mile route to test self-driving vehicles on public roads

A mobility consortium in the UK has begun work on a real-world test route for self-driving vehicles as part of local government trials exploring the future of mobility tech. The project, led by Midlands Future Mobility, is building the route to include 300 km (190 miles) of roads around the University of Warwick, Coventry, Solihull, and central Birmingham, Coventry Live reports. [Read: Engineer finds Tesla Model 3 is secretly equipped with hardware for powering homes] It should give autonomous v...
Tags: Startups, UK, Cars, Tech, World, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, University of Warwick Coventry Solihull


Scale AI releases free lidar dataset to power self-driving car development

High quality data is the fuel that powers AI algorithms. Without a continual flow of labeled data, bottlenecks can occur and the algorithm will slowly get worse and add risk to the system. It’s why labeled data is so critical for companies like Zoox, Cruise and Waymo, which use it to train machine learning models to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles. That need is what led to the creation of Scale AI, a startup that uses software and people to process and label image, lidar and map dat...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Technology, California, San Francisco, Tech, AV, Artificial Intelligence, Cruise, Automotive, Machine Learning, Silicon Valley, Self-driving Cars, Lidar, Emerging-technologies, Wang


Scale AI releases free lidar data set to power self-driving car development

High-quality data is the fuel that powers AI algorithms. Without a continual flow of labeled data, bottlenecks can occur and the algorithm will slowly get worse and add risk to the system. It’s why labeled data is so critical for companies like Zoox, Cruise and Waymo, which use it to train machine learning models to develop and deploy autonomous vehicles. That need is what led to the creation of Scale AI, a startup that uses software and people to process and label image, lidar and map dat...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Technology, California, San Francisco, Tech, AV, Artificial Intelligence, Cruise, Automotive, Machine Learning, Silicon Valley, Self-driving Cars, Lidar, Emerging-technologies, Wang


The crazy story how self-driving’s biggest star stole Google secrets, joined Uber, and became bankrupt

What started out as a private legal case between Google and its former head of self-driving technology, Anthony Levandowski, that no one really batted an eyelid over, evolved into a public nightmare for all involved. With most cases against Levandowski having been settled, the former Google engineer and his most recent employer, Uber no less, are now left pointing fingers over who would pick up the $180 million bill. During a case between two of Levandowski’s former employers, Google and Uber, W...
Tags: Google, Startups, Cars, World, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, Anthony Levandowski, Levandowski


The Station: Pony.ai turns to delivery, Kodiak cuts, Lime snaps up Boosted’s IP

Hi and welcome back to The Station, a weekly newsletter dedicated to the future (and present) of transportation. I’m your host Kirsten Korosec, senior transportation reporter at TechCrunch. What you’re reading here is an abbreviated version of The Station. To get the complete newsletter, which comes out every weekend, go here and click The Station. Here’s a friendly reminder to reach out and email me at [email protected] to share thoughts, opinions or tips or send a direct messag...
Tags: Google, Transportation, Uber, Technology, California, China, Tech, Ceo, AV, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, DMV, Portland, Sharing Economy, Bird, Mountain View


Here’s why driverless vehicles still need wing mirrors

Last week, TNW reported on driverless autonomous vehicle company Nuro getting the go ahead to test its vehicles in some Californian cities. As I was reading up on the company, I watched one of its early promotional videos which featured a driverless autonomous delivery vehicle with wing mirrors. But why? Why would a vehicle packed with sensors and no space for a human driver require physical wing mirrors? At one point, I thought it was all part of a big conspiracy and the Nuro vehicle featured i...
Tags: Startups, Cars, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, Nuro


Nuro gets the go-ahead to test its driverless delivery vehicles in California

Nuro Inc, the robotics company that raised $940 million in funding from SoftBank last year, has been given the go-ahead to test its autonomous delivery vehicles on the streets of some Californian cities. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Nuro is now allowed to test its low-speed autonomous delivery vehicles in Atherton, East Palo Alto, Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Woodside, TechCrunch reports. [Read: Survey: Drop in pollu...
Tags: Startups, California, Softbank, Cars, World, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, Woodside, Nuro, Nuro Inc, California Department of Motor Vehicles Nuro


Helm.ai raises $13M on its unsupervised learning approach to driverless car AI

Four years ago, mathematician Vlad Voroninski saw an opportunity to remove some of the bottlenecks in the development of autonomous vehicle technology thanks to breakthroughs in deep learning. Now, Helm.ai, the startup he co-founded in 2016 with Tudor Achim, is coming out of stealth with an announcement that it has raised $13 million in a seed round that includes investment from A.Capital Ventures, Amplo, Binnacle Partners, Sound Ventures, Fontinalis Partners and SV Angel. More than a doze...
Tags: Startups, TC, Transportation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Tech, Mit, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Automation, Quora, Nba, Private Equity, Simulation, Uc-berkeley, Robinhood


Starsky Robotics Shuts Down, CEO Says Self-driving Industry Is Losing Steam

Starsky Robotics is shutting down, ending whatever prospects it had at becoming the world’s premier self-driving company for long-haul trucking. The business has hit a snag with funding, with CEO Stefan Seltz-Axmacher announcing the fundraising it scheduled for November worked out rather badly. Lacking capital was what ultimately killed Starsky Robotics, though Seltz-Axmacher claims the issue is quite a […] The post Starsky Robotics Shuts Down, CEO Says Self-driving Industry Is Losing Steam appe...
Tags: Artificial Intelligence, Autos, Automotive Industry, Ai, Autonomous Vehicle, Avs, Self Driving, News Blog, Starsky Robotics, Stefan Seltz Axmacher, Seltz Axmacher, AV startups


Autonomous driving still isn’t a reality in 2020 — and it’s getting people killed

At the end of February, the US National Transport Safety Board presented its findings from a two-year investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model X driving on Autopilot. Given the current state of the tech, it served as another reminder of how dangerous self-driving technologies can be. For years, people have highlighted how misleading it is to use words like “autopilot” to describe a range of cars that have varying degrees of autonomy, and yet nothing has changed. As EVs and self-d...
Tags: Startups, Cars, Tech, World, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, US National Transport Safety Board


Five, the self-driving startup, raises $41M and pivots into B2B, away from building its own fleet

We are still years away from a time when fully-autonomous cars will be able to drive us from A to B, and the complexity of getting to that point is likely going to need hundreds of billions of dollars of investment before it becomes a reality. That hard truth is leading to some shifts in the self-driving startup landscape. England’s Five (formerly known as FiveAI), one of the more ambitious companies in the space, is moving away from its original plan, of designing its own fully self-driving car...
Tags: Apple, Startups, Europe, UK, England, London, US, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous, Automotive, Huawei, Five, Self-driving, David Lin, Boland


Announcing the agenda for TC Sessions: Mobility 2020

TC Sessions: Mobility is back in San Jose on May 14, and we’re excited to give the first peek of what and who is coming to the main stage. We’re not revealing everything just yet, but already this agenda highlights some of the best and brightest minds in autonomous vehicles, electrification and shared mobility. We’ve selected the most innovative startups and top leaders from established tech companies working in mobility. This past year saw huge leaps forward, and we’re thrilled to bring the lat...
Tags: Apple, Transportation, Lyft, Uber, Technology, Articles, Tech, Ceo, AV, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Vw, Porsche, Ford, Automation, Transport


The 6 levels of autonomous driving, explained as fast as possible

Welcome to Shift Basics, a collection of tips, explainers, guides, and advice to keep you up to speed with mobility tech. Autonomous driving isn’t quite as clear cut as it sounds. Despite many vehicles claiming to have self-driving capabilities, they aren’t all the same. As it happens, the industry (Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE) has settled on separating self-driving cars into five classes or levels — six if you include cars that have no automation at all. [Read: These idiots shot a porn...
Tags: Startups, Elon Musk, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Shift, Society of Automotive Engineers SAE


Toyota saddles up for self-driving future with $400M investment into Pony.ai

One of the world’s largest car makers, Toyota, has further demonstrated its intent on supporting self-driving vehicles. The Japanese carmaker is planning to invest $400 million into Pony.ai, a Chiense self-driving car startup that’s based across Silicon Valley in the US and Guangzhou in China, Bloomberg reports. [Read: New algorithm for self-driving vehciles has a bold ‘collision-free guarantee’] With the latest round of funding, Pony.ai is reportedly now valued at around $3 billion. Alongside T...
Tags: Startups, Money, Cars, US, Artificial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Toyota, Shift, Guangzhou, China Bloomberg, Hard Fork


New algorithm for self-driving vehicles has a bold ‘collision-free guarantee’

Researchers have developed an algorithm that could stop self-driving vehicles from getting in crashes and traffic jams. The team from Northwestern University (NU) claims their invention is “the first decentralized algorithm with a collision-free, deadlock-free guarantee.” The algorithm divides the ground beneath the machines into a grid. The robots learn their position through technology similar to GPS and coordinate their movements through sensors that assess where there’s free space to move. “...
Tags: Startups, Cars, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Neural, Northwestern University NU


The engineers behind Google’s Bookbot have launched a delivery robot startup

The engineers behind Google’s short-lived Bookbot — a robot created within the company’s Area 120 incubator for experimental products — have launched their own startup to bring the sidewalk delivery bot back to life. The secretive startup called Cartken was formed in fall 2019 after Google shuttered an internal program to develop a delivery robot — a move that was prompted by the tech giant’s decision to scale back efforts to compete with Amazon in shopping. Unlike Amazon, which acquired r...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Transportation, Uber, Technology, California, Linkedin, Tech, Walmart, Companies, Artificial Intelligence, X, Automotive, Silicon Valley, Mountain View, Google Shopping


NASA wants the auto industry to build its next Moon rover

NASA earlier this week released an official contract inquiry seeking help from the automobile industry in designing a new Moon rover. While this isn’t exactly out of character for NASA, we thought the timing was interesting. After all, if there’s one vehicle that screams “I belong on the Moon,” it’s Tesla‘s recently unveiled Cybertruck. In case you missed it, this meme-of-a-truck is actually a real thing that Tesla CEO Elon Musk forced a team of apparently talented engineers to design and make: ...
Tags: Startups, Space, Elon Musk, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Nasa, Artificial Intelligence, Neural


Elon Musk to solve self-driving with a ‘Super Fun’ AI hackathon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk yesterday announced that he’s throwing a “Super Fun AI Party/Hackathon” with Tesla engineers and a select group of invitees. Tesla will hold a super fun AI party/hackathon at my house with the Tesla AI/autopilot team in about four weeks. Invitations going out soon. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 2, 2020 This comes on the heels of last week’s fourth quarter earnings call, where Business Insider reports Musk admitted Tesla was at least a “few months” from rolling out “feature...
Tags: Startups, Elon Musk, Science, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Musk, Insider


Uber’s self-driving unit starts mapping Washington, D.C. ahead of testing

Uber Advanced Technologies Group will start mapping Washington, D.C., ahead of plans to begin testing its self-driving vehicles in the city this year. Initially, there will be three Uber vehicles mapping the area, a company spokesperson said. These vehicles, which will be manually driven and have two trained employees inside, will collect sensor data using a top-mounted sensor wing equipped with cameras and a spinning lidar. The data will be used to build high-definition maps. The data will a...
Tags: Transportation, Uber, Technology, Washington, Softbank, Toronto, San Francisco, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Ford, Arizona, Dallas, Toyota, Volkswagen, Self-driving Cars


Elon Musk says Tesla’s early access group will get Full Self Driving ‘soon’

Elon Musk is tweeting about Full Self Driving again. Soon — Buff Mage (@elonmusk) January 11, 2020 Full Self Driving is an upcoming Tesla feature that currently exists in an unfinished form. According to Musk, the feature will eventually make it possible for a Tesla vehicle to drive itself from an owner’s driveway in the suburbs, onto the highway at high speeds, into the city where there’s traffic, weather, pedestrians, and who-knows-what-else, and into your office parking lot. Musk also claimed...
Tags: Startups, Elon Musk, Cars, Tech, Tesla, Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Musk


Toyota is building a tiny utopian prototype city filled with people, robots and AI

Toyota researches and tests robotics, material science, automated driving and alternative fuel technology in labs all around the world. Now the automaker is trying a new and far more ambitious project: build a prototype city on a 175-acre site at the foot of Mount Fugi in Japan, where people will live and work amongst all of Toyota’s projects, including its autonomous e-Palette shuttles and robots. This won’t be another test site, Toyota Motor Corp President Akio Toyoda said Monday during a pres...
Tags: Google, TC, Transportation, Japan, New York, London, Cars, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Denmark, Bjarke Ingels, Mountain View, Toyota, World Trade Center, Fuel Cells


Echodyne steers its high-tech radar beam on autonomous cars with EchoDrive

Echodyne set the radar industry on its ear when it debuted its pocket-sized yet hyper-capable radar unit for drones and aircraft. But these days all the action is in autonomous vehicles — so they reinvented their technology to make a unique sensor that doesn’t just see things but can communicate intelligently with the AI behind the wheel. EchoDrive, the company’s new product, is aimed squarely at AVs, looking to complement lidar and cameras with automotive radar that’s as smart as you need it...
Tags: Gadgets, Transportation, Hardware, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, Automotive, Autonomous Vehicles, Radar, Robotics, Eben Frankenberg, Echodyne, Frankenberg


Eyesight Technologies’ in-car A.I. can tell when drivers smoke or use phones

Computer vision startup Eyesight Technologies has developed new in-car monitoring technology for spotting when drivers are using cell phones or smoking while behind the wheel. Here's how it works.
Tags: News, Cars, Trends, Artificial Intelligence, Ai, Emerging Tech, Eyesight Technologies


Vayyar nabs $109M for its “4D” radar tech, which detects and tracks images while preserving privacy

The future of the connected home, connected car, and connected everything will have a lot of imaging technology at the center of it: sensors to track the movement of people and things will be a critical way for AI brains to figure out what to do next. Now, with a large swing towards more data protection — in part a reaction to the realization of just how much information about us is being picked up — we’re starting to see some interesting solutions emerge that can still provide that imaging piec...
Tags: Startups, TC, Internet Of Things, Technology, China, US, Articles, Tech, Smartphone, Companies, Artificial Intelligence, David, Automotive, United States, President, Oil And Gas


Exclusive: How A.I. keeps a fleet of chauffeur-driven electric SUVs charged up

In our exclusive feature, we see how Fleetonomy's A.I. powers the platform underneath Havn, a chauffeur-driven car app running electric SUVs.
Tags: Mobile, News, Cars, Trends, Artificial Intelligence, Fleet Management, Electric Cars, Fleetonomy, Havn



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