Highlights from Interbike 2014

Autonomous Vehicles

GM's first commercial V2V system will debut on the 2017 CTS

General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced this week that the automaker will launch the Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system and vehicle-to-vehicle communications within the next two years. Both technologies will find their way into 2017 model year vehicles, automating key aspects of driving for Cadillac owners.  Read More

The Iris+ quadcopter can follow a paired GPS-equipped Android device

Last year, 3D Robotics announced its Iris quadcopter drone. Like other similar products, it can either be flown manually using radio remote control, or it can use its onboard GPS to autonomously fly between a series of preprogrammed waypoints. Today, however, the company announced its successor, the Iris +. Its big feature is the Follow Me function, which allows it to automatically fly along above a moving ground-based GPS-enabled Android device. This means that when equipped with a GoPro actioncam, it can get tracking footage of you as you cycle, ski or surf.  Read More

V-Charge guides self-driving electric cars to open spots in transit station car parks

Although the battery range of electric vehicles continues to improve, it's still quite likely that as EVs become more popular, so will their integration into larger transportation networks – in other words, people will drive their electric cars to transfer points such as train stations, instead of making entire long trips solely by driving. With that in mind, the European V-Charge consortium is developing a system whereby users can just step out of their vehicle when they reach a public transit station, leaving the car to head off on its own to find a parking spot.  Read More

An autonomous car being tested in the UK

Driverless cars are an exciting glimpse of the future, with great potential to improve road safety. It seems the UK has caught on to this, announcing a £10 million (US$17 million) scheme to test driverless cars on public roads from January 2015.  Read More

The Smart Assistant learns from you to anticipate your needs while driving

We've heard a lot about how smarter cars will help to make highways safer, using self-driving technologies to eliminate human distraction and error from roadways. Eventually, drivers will be free to browse the internet, send text messages, video chat and more. In the meantime, such distracted behaviors continue to pose a grave risk. Jaguar Land Rover's Smart Assistant is designed to minimize that risk, by learning your behaviors and taking care of non-driving tasks that could otherwise absorb your attention.  Read More

A convoy of driverless US Army trucks (Photo: Department of Defense)

Over the next quarter of a century, the US Pentagon sees robots becoming more and more a part of military life with robot warplanes, submersibles, and infantry vehicles taking their place on the battlefields of the future. It may conjure up a very flashy vision of Transformer-like killing machines, but the US Army sees the first robots as autonomous vehicles used in the more prosaic task of delivering groceries and other supplies.  Read More

Thanks to an app update, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision and Vision+ are now able to follow pre-p...

You could almost say that the DJI Phantom is to consumer drones what the GoPro Hero is to actioncams – not the first or the cheapest, but certainly among the best-known. One thing that the Phantom has lacked in comparison to some of its competitors, however, is the ability to fly on its own. Well, it's now able to do that too, thanks to the addition of the Ground Station feature to its existing camera app.  Read More

The Cruise RP-1 turns an Audi A4 or S4 into a semi-autonomous car

Automotive tuners and aftermarket companies offer many ways of adding performance, luxury and personalization to cars and trucks. Each year, the SEMA Show highlights the latest and loudest. Now there's a start-up advertising an aftermarket kit designed to tune your car into a self-driving chauffeur … kind of. Cruise's Audi automation kit lets the car take over most of the driving but still requires a human driver at the ready.  Read More

The HorseFly octocopter could charge its battery and pick up packages from a mobile delive...

When Amazon announced its plan to use drones for home deliveries, a lot of people were quick to point out the huge logistical challenges involved. Among those is the fact that a multicopter's limited battery range would make it rather difficult for just one or two Amazon warehouses to serve an entire city. A team from the University of Cincinnati and AMP Electric Vehicles, however, may have a solution. They've created an octocopter that could make short flights from a traveling delivery van, using that van as a mobile charging station and package depot.  Read More

The autonomous Land Tamer vehicle, which will be dropped off to explore a rugged area by a...

This April, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp and the US Army used a one-of-a-kind autonomous Black Hawk helicopter to perform an unmanned cargo flight demonstration. Known as the Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) Demonstrator, that same chopper has now been enlisted to take the autonomy concept even further. In the new Extended Operational Reach with Autonomous Air and Ground Vehicles project, it will deliver an all-terrain vehicle to a remote site, and that vehicle will then autonomously explore the site from ground level.  Read More

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