Photokina 2014 highlights

Autonomous Vehicles

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

Google has revealed its first self-drive vehicle build, which as you guessed requires no d...

Google has revealed its first self-driving car prototype, which as you guessed requires no driver. The prototype accommodates for two passengers and is missing quite a few of the features you'd expect to see in a standard car. With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals, the car comes fully equipped with special software and sensors that feed information into an onboard computer, which then drives the car.  Read More

The Californian Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has released guidelines for testing of ...

California has joined much of Europe as well as Nevada, Florida and Michigan in setting rules for how, when and where autonomous vehicle tests can take place.  Read More

An S60 prototype that's part of the 'Drive Me' project

Whether or not drivers are ready for it, self-driving cars are moving forward at a rapid pace. Making good on an announcement from late last year, Volvo becomes the latest automaker to start testing on public roads. The first test cars of its planned 100-car fleet are now out and about on the roadways in its headquarter city of Gothenburg, Sweden.  Read More

Google's self driving car waits for a cyclist who is making a hand signal

There are an extraordinary number of companies converging on the idea of self-driving cars from all sorts of different angles, but the undisputed leader of the pack is Google, whose self-driving vehicles have logged a total of nearly 700,000 development miles. In a video released today, Google shows some fantastic visualizations to demonstrate what the car is seeing in complex traffic situations. You can watch how the car handles roadworks, level crossings, complex intersections and a range of interactions with cyclists – including recognizing their hand signals.  Read More

Volvo has completed a research project testing the use of magnets in the roadway to help s...

Volvo is continuing its work on autonomous vehicle technology with a research project that involves the use of magnets to keep self-driving cars on the road. As well as preventing cars from running off the road, the Swedish automaker says the technology could help improve road maintenance and allow for lanes to be narrowed.  Read More

Subaru's Viziv 2 Concept, on display at the Geneva Motor Show

After providing a sneak peek of the vehicle last month, Subaru has now fully revealed its Viziv 2 Concept, at the Geneva Motor Show. The four-door crossover hatchback hybrid builds upon ideas previously presented in the Viziv Concept, which debuted at last year's event. Taking its name from an amalgamation of the words "Vision for Innovation," it's intended to combine eco-friendliness with spirited performance.  Read More

VTTI researchers demonstrate connected-vehicle technology on the Northern Virginia Connect...

An important element to the notion of self-driving cars is that they are able to communicate between each other and surrounding infrastructure. While automotive manufacturers have begun to explore this technology and even banded together to hasten its emergence, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been quietly working toward a similar goal. With the an award of US$1 million in funding courtesy of the US Department of Transportation, its researchers hope to develop a framework to facilitate a safe future for autonomous vehicles.  Read More

AdaptIVe will look at the best way for drivers and autonomous driving systems to interact

There’s more to putting self-driving cars on the road than technology and algorithms. There’s also some very basic thinking that needs to be done as to what autonomous vehicles are and what their implications are. Towards this end, Volkswagen has announced the start of Automated Driving Applications & Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles (AdaptIVe); a 42-month project by a consortium of 29 partners, including ten major automotive manufacturers, aimed at developing more efficient and safer autonomous systems.  Read More

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