background preloader


Facebook Twitter

How Hyperloop One's System Becomes Reality. Volvo to phase out traditional engines. Image copyright Getty Images Carmaker Volvo has said all new models will have an electric motor from 2019. The Chinese-owned firm, best known for its emphasis on driver safety, has become the first traditional carmaker to signal the end of the internal combustion engine. It plans to launch five fully electric models between 2019 and 2021 and a range of hybrid models.

But it will still be manufacturing earlier models that have pure combustion engines. Geely, Volvo's Chinese owner, has been quietly pushing ahead with electric car development for more than a decade. It now aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025. 'PR coup' "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," said Hakan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo's carmaking division. "People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs," he said. Analysis: Theo Leggett, BBC business correspondent Tesla targets. Japan to launch self-navigating cargo ships 'by 2025' Image copyright Getty Images Japanese shipping companies are working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. The "smart ships" will use artificial intelligence to plot the safest, shortest, most fuel-efficient routes, and could be in service by 2025.

The AI will also be used to predict malfunctions and other problems, which could help reduce the number of maritime incidents. The companies plan to build about 250 self-navigating ships. Sharing data Developing the technology is expected to cost tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars). Shipping firms Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen are working with shipbuilders including Japan Marine United to share both costs and expertise, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Nippon Yusen has already been working on technology to enable ships to use data to assess collision risks. Japan Marine has been developing a similar data analysis system with the aim of diagnosing breakdowns before they happen. 'Remote-controlled' TED 2017: UK 'Iron Man' demonstrates flying suit. Image copyright Bret Hartman/Ted A British inventor, who built an Iron Man-style flight suit, has flown it at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference in Vancouver.

Richard Browning's short flight took place outside the Vancouver Convention Centre in front of a large crowd. Since he posted the video of his maiden flight in the UK, Mr Browning has had huge interest in his flying suit. But he insists the project remains "a bit of fun" and is unlikely to become a mainstream method of transportation. Media playback is unsupported on your device He was inspired by his father, an aeronautical engineer and inventor, who killed himself when Mr Browning was a teenager. He told the BBC that he always had a passion for making things and loved a challenge. "I did this entirely for the same reason that you might look at a mountain and decide to climb it - for the journey and the challenge. " He said he was also fascinated by the idea of human flight.

Image copyright Richard Browning. Circular runways: Engineer defends his proposal. Media playback is unsupported on your device Last month we published a video arguing the case for circular runways at airports, as part of a series called World Hacks. It took off and went viral. The video has had more than 36 million views on Facebook and generated heated debate on social media - including within the aviation community. Many people are sceptical about the concept. So we decided to hand-pick some of the top concerns and put them straight to the man proposing the idea: Dutch engineer Henk Hesselink. This is what he had to say. Wing tip-off One Twitter user was concerned by what he saw: wings nearly hitting the tarmac. Henk Hesseklink: With the banked character of the runway, the wingtips and engines are closer to the ground than currently is the case. But the bank angle is designed such that even the most constrained aircraft (Boeing 747 and Airbus A380) will be able to land.

Still, there is less margin for error than is currently the case. Henk provided this diagram: Touchdown. Driverless shuttle bus to be tested by public in London. Media playback is unsupported on your device Members of the British public are getting their first extended trial of a driverless shuttle bus. Over the next three weeks, about 100 people will travel in a prototype shuttle on a route in Greenwich, London. The vehicle, which travels up to 10mph (16.1kmph), will be controlled by a computer. However, there will be a trained person on board who can stop the shuttle if required during the tests. Oxbotica, the firm that developed the technology behind the shuttle, said 5,000 people had applied to take part. "Very few people have experienced an autonomous vehicle, so this is about letting people see one in person," chief executive Graeme Smith told the BBC. "We hope to gain acceptance from members of the public for vehicles sharing this kind of space with them.

"We are also looking at how people in the vehicle respond when being transported from A to B. " 'Fail-safe' The shuttle seats four people and has no steering wheel or brake pedal. Other trials. Google Waymo self-driving minivan tests to start. Image copyright AFP Google's Waymo will launch the first public road tests of its self-driving minivans later this month. The trials will take place in California and Arizona, according to Waymo chief executive John Krafcik. Modified Chrysler Pacificas with Waymo-designed sensors were on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Mr Krafcik spoke. One tech analyst said the industry would keenly watch Waymo's performance in the coming months. Waymo plans to develop self-driving technology and provide it to established carmakers. Mr Krafcik said the company had managed to reduce the cost of producing its Lidar laser-based sensor, though did not give details about how, according to Associated Press.

He added that he expected Waymo to have completed three million miles of test-driving by May. Ford, for example, is developing vehicles with similar on-board technology and has said it will have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021. Autonomous cars are ‘the vaccine that will cure deaths on the road’, says industry figurehead.

People die on the roads, that’s a fact of life. But it doesn’t have to be, according to the head of an energy industry watchdog in the US. Robbie Diamond, CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), addressed media at CES 2017 overnight in Las Vegas, where he said autonomous vehicles could be a way of dramatically cutting down the road toll on a global level. “Think about this: 1.2 million people die globally on the roads every year. It’s like an epidemic. “For each day that we can accelerate connected and autonomous vehicles, we will save 3300 people a day. “For issues like liability, look at our vaccine companies – they come together and pool together to make a fund every time a vaccine is sold.

“We care about the blood and treasure of the country, of the world, of our young people – and it is lost every day on our roads, and on the battlefields. The recommendations for improving public confidence, according to the report, were: “These are some very, very smart people. Apple reveals self-driving car plans. Image copyright Getty Images Apple has acknowledged for the first time that it is investing in self-driving car tech. In a letter to US transport regulators, Apple said it was "excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation". It added that there were "significant societal benefits of automated vehicles" to be realised. There have long been rumours about the firm's plans but it had not publicly addressed them.

However, Ford, which itself plans to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021, has said it was working on the basis that Apple was building one. The tech firm has already registered several car-related internet domains, including and A company spokesman for Apple said that the letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was prompted by its "heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems" and that it wanted to help define best practices in the industry. Car firms to build electric charge network. Image copyright Getty Images Several large car firms are working together to create a high-powered, electric-vehicle-charging network across Europe. BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group, including Audi and Porsche, say they will build 400 charging sites.

The plug-in points will provide ultra-fast charging for cars along major roads. Tesla cars will not be able to use the charge points as they use different systems. The network will be based on combined charging system standard technology. A statement from the car companies said their goal was the quick build-up of a sizeable number of stations in order to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers.

"This is fantastic news, exactly what the industry needs," said Ben Lane, director of Zap-Map, an app which plots where electric-car owners can charge their cars in the UK. "As batteries get bigger, the time needed to charge them is longer so more rapid chargers on the roads is a good thing. " It's a chicken-and-egg situation. pulls out of US after receiving NHTSA Special Order - Roadshow. Nobody likes dealing with US federal regulations, but a great many companies suck it up and do it anyway so their products can end up with US buyers. It appears and its semi-autonomous driving system would rather take its toys to China instead of dealing with the feds, though. founder George Hotz sent out sent out a series of tweets Friday, claiming that is pulling out of the US market in response to requests from federal regulators. Its first product, Comma One, claimed to add semi-autonomous capabilities to vehicles for approximately $1,000. "Would much rather spend my life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers," Hotz said in via Twitter. "The comma one is canceled. [sic] will be exploring other products and markets. " "We are concerned that your product would put the safety of your customers and other road users at risk," writes Paul A. Hemmersbaugh, NHTSA's chief counsel, in the Special Order request. 2016-10-27 Special Order Directed to

George Hotz cancels self-driving car product after US regulator asks questions. Autonomous driving company announced via its Twitter feed this morning that it would be canceling its forthcoming Comma One product. Comma One was supposed to bring after-market autonomy to third-party vehicles. The company was founded by hacker George Hotz (aka Geohot), who is credited as the first person to hack the iPhone. In his tweets under the account, Hotz said that he decided to discontinue production after he received a stern letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requesting more information about how the product works and safety precautions built into the technology.

“First time I hear from them and they open with threats. No attempt at a dialog,” Hotz tweeted with a link to the NHTSA’s 10-page letter. Finally, Hotz tweeted, “The comma one is cancelled. will be exploring other products and markets. A few hours later Hotz tweeted that the NHTSA “never asked for a test drive.” Uber Self-Driving Truck Packed With Budweiser Makes First Delivery in Colorado - Bloomberg. A tractor trailer full of beer drove itself down Colorado's I-25 last week with nobody behind the wheel. Uber Technologies Inc. and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV teamed up on the delivery, which they said is the first time a self-driving truck had been used to make a commercial shipment. With a police cruiser in tow, the 18-wheeler cruised more than 120 miles while a truck driver hung out back in the sleeper cab, the companies said.

The delivery appears to be mostly a stunt—proof that Otto, the self-driving vehicle group that Uber acquired in July, could successfully put an autonomous truck into the wild. "We wanted to show that the basic building blocks of the technology are here; we have the capability of doing that on a highway," said Lior Ron, the president and co-founder of Uber's Otto unit. "We are still in the development stages, iterating on the hardware and software. " Proving the viability of autonomous trucking has become more important amid mounting regulatory and public scrutiny.

Full Self-Driving Hardware on All Teslas from Tesla Motors on Vimeo. BMW just revealed a self-correcting motorcycle you can ride without a helmet. The biggest problem with self-driving cars is that a lot of people still love to drive. Goodnight, sweet prince. BlackBerry/BI It's a strange, somewhat melancholy experience replaying the video games of your childhood. First, there's that warm glow of nostalgia: I can't believe I'm playing this again! But it can quickly sour as the game's shortcomings, forgotten or missed the first time around, come glaringly into focus.

I was reminded of this bittersweet sensation — nostalgia turned disappointment — when I found myself using a BlackBerry again this summer. And having used one, I can see clearly why the company's hardware efforts have failed and why it now plans to stop making its own phones altogether. I had every reason to like the BlackBerry Priv ... The BlackBerry Priv, with the keyboard not extended. For the past few years, I've been a loyal Motorola customer when it comes to smartphones. The Priv was BlackBerry's last major smartphone.

This keyboard was a shameless pitch to ex-BlackBerry owners who have deserted the brand for Apple and Google. ... but it was not to be. US releases highway code for robot cars. Image copyright AP Robot cars in the US will have to be fitted with black boxes that record what happens if they crash, under US policy covering the vehicles. The demand is part of a newly issued US Transportation Department policy covering autonomous vehicles. The guidelines will replace a patchwork of different, and often contradictory, rules drawn up by separate states. The US government plans to vet the code controlling robot cars before they win permission to drive alongside humans. "If a self-driving car isn't safe, we have the authority to pull it off the road," wrote President Barack Obama in an editorial for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette outlining the policy. The president was writing in the Pittsburgh paper because the city is one of the first locations in which ride-hailing firm Uber is testing its autonomous vehicles.

He said the government's involvement would help to ensure the novel technologies were safe to deploy. Image copyright AFP. Uber starts self-driving car pickups in Pittsburgh | TechCrunch. Beginning today, a select group of Pittsburgh Uber users will get a surprise the next time they request a pickup: the option to ride in a self driving car. The announcement comes a year-and-a-half after Uber hired dozens of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics center to develop the technology.

Uber gave a few members of the press a sneak peek Tuesday when a fleet of 14 Ford Fusions equipped with radar, cameras and other sensing equipment pulled up to Uber’s Advanced Technologies Campus (ATC) northeast of downtown Pittsburgh. During my 45-minute ride across the city, it became clear that this is not a bid at launching the first fully formed autonomous cars. Instead, this is a research exercise. Uber wants to learn and refine how self driving cars act in the real world. That includes how the cars react to passengers — and how passengers react to them. “How do drivers in cars next to us react to us?

The experience Later, we sat in traffic on yet another bridge. A litmus test. Self-driving taxi trial kicks off in Singapore. Will that red light end soon? Audi's countdown clock can tell you. Self-drive taxis to be tested in Singapore. Mercedes-Benz's semi-autonomous bus just passed its first major test. Germany mulls self-drive car 'black box' What NASA could teach Tesla about the limits of autopilot. Death robots: Where next after Dallas? New Study Says Failure To Use Turn Signals Is A Leading Cause Of Car Accidents. The technology behind the Tesla crash, explained. IBM, Local Motors ready to commercialize autonomous bus. Electric car sets world acceleration record. Airplane black boxes, explained. Human 'drone taxi' to be tested in Nevada.

Google Teaches Self-Driving Cars the Art of Self-Honking. Cruising with Tesla's Autopilot in Houston traffic. Uber begins testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh. Is Hyperloop the future of travel? Otto offers retro-fit driverless lorries. Hoverboard World Record on Flyboard Air by Franky Zapata Official Video.