Are racing car drivers an endangered species? If so, then Roborace could be the beginning of the end. Slated to kick off next year, this new racing championship will pit driverless electric cars against each other in a round-the-world series. The aim is to provide a competitive platform for the autonomous driving technology that is being developed by automotive and tech firms, as well as universities.
The autonomous vehicle continues to materialize. Volvo joins the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Chevy, Italdesign and Rinspeed in showing a home-cooked vision of the autonomous car of the future. The Swedish automaker drives right to the heart of the matter, skipping the body shell completely and focusing solely on an interior that transforms to allow the driver-passenger to better manage commuting time.
In 2013, Ford revealed a robotic test driving technology designed to spare human drivers the ordeal of on- and off-road vehicle durability testing. This autonomous system wasn't intended for inclusion in production vehicles, but for closed proving grounds where manufacturers subject their vehicles to high stress to simulate years of tough use in the real world. Ford has partnered with Autonomous Solutions, Inc. (ASI) to continue development of the technology, which it is now licensing to other automakers.
Mercedes-Benz is clearly putting its resources toward a self-driving future. After showing the bizarre F 015 at CES earlier this year, it’s now pulled the covers off another autonomous concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Targeted at "Generation Z," the Vision Tokyo is a youthful and funky take on social commuting, a kind of high-tech karaoke booth on wheels with some very out-there features that give an insight into what the company feels personal transport will be like in the next couple of decades.
Unveiled as a showcase of Nissan’s plans for the future of electric vehicles and autonomous driving, the IDS Concept was presented at the Tokyo Motor Show today by Nissan’s president and CEO Carlos Ghosn. Ghosn said that the company is well on track to fulfill its promise of autonomous drive technologies in production vehicles by 2020.
A self-driving vehicle developed by researchers in Germany has undertaken a monster 2,400 km (1,500 mi) journey from the US/Mexico border at Nogales to Mexico City without any guidance from a human hand. While the lengthy road trip took place mostly on highways, the AutoNOMOS car also had to contend with potholes and city streets before safely pulling into Mexico City to complete the longest trip ever completed by an autonomous vehicle in Latin America.
Part mass transit, part personal mobility, the Next Future Transportation system is designed to act as an efficient, coordinated network that shuttles folks from door to door. Still in the early concept stages, the design features a series of modular, self-driving electric pods that pick passengers up on demand and link together in bus-like form on the journey to get each of them from point A to B as efficiently as possible.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation plans to highlight next-generation automotive technologies at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. It will show two related forward-looking concept cars, the Emirai 3 xDas and the Emirai 3 xAuto. The former packs a high-tech, multi-screen cockpit with next-generation human-machine interface, while the latter has a range of automated driving features.
Tesla's semi-autonomousAutopilot upgrades are live. Model S vehicles produced after October of last year are now capable of automatic parallel parking, lane changes with the tap of the turn signal, and traffic-aware cruise control. Version 7.0 of the Model S' firmware will also add new apps and a refresh of the UI that provides the bulk of the driver's interaction with the car's features.
A driverless bus developed by French firm EasyMile is to go into operation at a business park in California and a park in Singapore. The EZ10 is operated entirely autonomously and doesn't even have a steering wheel. Easymile says it hopes to have 100-200 EZ10s in operation by 2017.