The Mercedes-Benz F 015: this is what tomorrow's self-driving cars look like. Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off a new concept car here at CES this week, and considering the setting, it's appropriately loaded to the gills with technology. The F 015 Luxury in Motion — yes, "Luxury in Motion" is part of the car's name — is basically a sleek pod with a huge passenger compartment, a fortuitous side effect of an imagined future where we spend most of our times chilling out in cars while they drive us around all by themselves. Mercedes actually calls the cabin "lounge-like," thanks to four rotating seats that can face each other. An array of screens throughout the car let passengers interact with controls and entertainment, supporting not-quite-production features like gestures and eye tracking. One notable feature is the pair of "LED fields" at the front and rear that change color based on the car's current driving mode: white in manual, blue in autonomous.
Hint: Use the 's' and 'd' keys to navigate. Autonomous Cars Will Require a Totally New Kind of Map. Nokia HERE is making HD maps that combine detail about roadways with information about traffic flow. Nokia HERE As the vehicle navigated the labyrinthine streets of London and headed for the countryside of Surrey with uncommon speed, the passengers must have felt a bit unnerved.
Having selected their destination, they’d relinquished control. They had no communication with the driver, but they could check their progress on a map. The map must have been reassuring, says Peter Skillman, lead designer for Nokia HERE, the maps division the Finnish communications company. ‘The key to making autonomous driving work is to not forget about the driver.’
Autonomous cars will require maps that differ in several important ways from the maps we use today for turn-by-turn directions. Fully autonomous cars will be ready to hit the road as soon as 2017 (according to Sergey Brin), or perhaps sometime in the 2020s (according to more conservative forecasts), or maybe never (according to naysayers). Hyundai : The Empty Car Convoy. FBI warns driverless cars could be used as 'lethal weapons' | Technology. Google’s driverless car may remain a prototype, but the FBI believes the “game changing” vehicle could revolutionise high-speed car chases within a matter of years. The report also warned that autonomous cars may be used as "lethal weapons". In an unclassified but restricted report obtained by the Guardian under a public records request, the FBI predicts that autonomous cars “will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car.”
In a section called Multitasking, the report notes that “bad actors will be able to conduct tasks that require use of both hands or taking one’s eyes off the road which would be impossible today.” One nightmare scenario could be suspects shooting at pursuers from getaway cars that are driving themselves. Self-driving cars use lidar (laser ranging), radar, video cameras and GPS technology to build up a digital 3D map of their surroundings, including buildings, roads, pedestrians and other vehicles. Artificial Intelligence: How To Build A Robot. Google's driverless car: no steering wheel, two seats, 25mph | Technology. Google has demonstrated its own driverless car, a design that does away with all conventional controls including the steering wheel, and says it will build 100 of the vehicles for testing with the eventual aim of "bringing this technology to the world safely".
The company had for several years been testing everyday cars equipped with sensors, navigation equipment and computers to drive themselves but in the meantime it has secretly developed a prototype from scratch that will have no facility for a human to take control, other than an emergency stop button. An initial 100 testbed versions would retain manual controls, Google said as it unveiled the car on Tuesday. The controls are needed to comply with the law in California which along with Nevada and Florida allows autonomous vehicles but only if a driver can take charge.
Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car project, said the aim was to run extended tests in California where Google is based. Google Shows How Its Self-Driving Cars Are Getting Smarter With 700K Miles Driven. Google has a new blog post detailing some of the progress it’s been making over the last year with its self-driving car initiative.
The driverless cars have been tackling the challenge of navigating city streets lately, using Google’s home town of Mountain View as the test bed for navigating the increased complications that come with dense urban zones vs. relatively uncomplicated freeways. The software Google uses to power its autonomous vehicles has been bolstered to better identify “hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road,” all at once, including things like pedestrians, cyclists making turn and stop indications with their arms, a stop sign held aloft and many, many other signals. Google says its cars are actually better than human drivers in picking up many of these cues, because they’re always watching and never get tired or fatigued. A robo-car speed bump? Toyota, GM defects cast new light on push for self-driving autos.
But in the wake of deadly manufacturer defects at Toyota and General Motors, analysts are raising questions about whether autonomous vehicles could hurtle into dangerous territory. Last month, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration took the first step toward requiring that new automobiles be equipped with sophisticated computers designed to communicate with other vehicles, with the aim of preventing accidents and, eventually, guiding cars through traffic.
Those systems are being field-tested in Michigan. Some other states permit fully autonomous cars to be driven on their roads — in California, Google’s fleet has logged more than a half-million miles without incident. Before the decade is out, Volvo and Nissan say, self-driving cars will be available to the average consumer in dealer showrooms. But while autonomous cars herald great promise, they also pose difficult policy questions.
Who is liable, the driver or the manufacturer, if autonomous vehicles wreck? La voiture autonome remplit déjà les caisses de Valeo.