To many, the concept of self-driving cars will still seem absurd. In California, however, they are very real. Not only has testing been allowed on its public roads since last year, but the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has now drafted regulations for the public use of autonomous cars.
When it comes to designing concept cars, Rinspeed doesn't just think outside the box; it crushes the box down, rips it to shreds and uses the shreds to light the bonfire it stares into as it daydreams about its next idea. Next year, it's abandoning its longstanding convention of debuting a creative concept at the Geneva Motor Show, instead using the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. The Etos concept adds a little consumer electronic tech to the Swiss think tank's way-beyond-the-box thinking.
Just a day after Kia and Hyundia announced they would begin testing autonomous driving technologies on public roads for the first time, Ford has followed suit. The carmaker has been awarded a license for testing in California, US. It is described as a "a key element" of Ford's Smart Mobility plan.
Kia Motors is to begin testing its autonomous driving technologies on public roads for the first time, following in the footsteps of firms like Google and Volvo. The carmaker has been granted permission for testing its vehicles by the US state of Nevada.
Lockheed Martin has announced who will build its latest autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) – the Marlin Mk3. The new vehicle boasts some impressive capabilities, including an operational depth of up to 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
Having followed Google's lead into smartglasses development, Baidu is now doing so with autonomous cars. The Chinese search firm says it has successfully tested a fully autonomous car under mixed road conditions, claiming it's the first in China to have done so.
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.