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Autonomous Driving

  • Watch what happens when BMW pits a self-drifting car against one with a champion driver

    There was a time, not all that long ago, when drifting was a risky back-street activity that took place outside the bounds of the law. But now it's become so mainstream that car manufacturers are using it to test out the limits of their self-driving cars. Having already proven that the M235i is a really good drifting machine, BMW decided to figure out who was better at drifting it: man or machine. This particular clip is just a trailer for the German marque's full drift challenge video, but it should be more than enough to get you really excited...

  • Wondering what’ll get people into self-driving cars? Think safety

    Fifty years ago, auto insiders predicted that cars would run driver-free by 2000. Now, 15 years into the new millennium, such technology could be within reach. Thanks to the innovations of Google, General Motors and Mercedes, you could be driving hands-free within the next five years. Nonetheless, consumers are split on the issue of taking the human element out of motor vehicle operation. Safety First As recent surveys indicate, safety is one of the biggest incentives in the push towards self-driving cars. More than half the respondents in last month's GFK survey cited safety as a key selling point of the...

  • Here’s why you should be wary about promises of an autonomous motoring Utopia

    Unless you're one of a very small minority of people who actually get excited by the prospect of traffic, you probably don't find the idea of autonomous cars all that threatening. In fact, there's a case to be made that petrol-heads should actually be looking forward to it. Think about it. If you could just switch off, or you know actually do something productive, on your way to work in the mornings and let loose on weekends wouldn't you? In fact, some think that the advent of the autonomous vehicle technology could actually make your commute far more pleasant....

  • This is what Google’s test-ready self-driving car looks like now

    Google’s self-driving car has arrived, not yet in production form but that will happen soon. After spending years working on self-driving cars mostly modifying already existing cars with its AI hardware hardware, Google decided to build its own car from scratch. Google in May released a mockup of what it touted as its first in-house built car, and today the company has released a photo of the real car and it resembles the mockup we saw earlier in the year. Read more: Google’s new 100% self-driving electric car: no wheel, no pedals. Order it like a taxi In other words, nothing much has...

  • Why is no one talking about autonomous motorbikes?

    There are plenty of motorbikes on this pale blue dot we call home. Putting a number on exactly how many there are isn't easy, but the fact that Honda sold 16.8-million of the things in 2013 -- versus 4.3-million cars -- should tell you that there are still plenty of places where two wheels are more popular than four. More popular and more dangerous. According to some studies, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists' risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car. So why, in a world that's going crazy for autonomous cars, is no...

  • Range Rover is set to make off-roading a little more automated

    It takes a certain amount of skill to drive off-road with any kind of real proficiency. There is, after all, a reason that some off-road courses require you to go on a course before you're allowed to tackle them. Thing is, that looks set to change in the near future. Range Rover has just announced a series of updates for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, which it reckons could make your next trek through the wild as easy as a trip to the shops. The technology behind that ease is Land Rover's All-Terrain Progress Control system, which...

  • Your future car could also be your first robot: here’s why

    The first real robot you own could very well be the same machine that ferries you to and from work everyday. Unfortunately for the adolescent dreamer in all of us, that doesn't mean we'll be driving around in cars that can magically transform into robot warriors intent on defending the Earth. What it really means, if tech research company Gartner is to be understood, is that autonomous cars -- which it believes are much closer to reality than we think -- will be the first truly pervasive robots capable of autonomously sensing, interpreting, deciding, acting and communicating that most...

  • Google’s new 100% self-driving electric car: no wheel, no pedals. Order it like a taxi

    The latest project to come out of the tech giant's cutting-edge division known as Google X? Hint: it's not a new version of Glass. Founder Sergey Brin announced at the Recode Conference yesterday that the company has their own design for a self driving car. The car doesn’t have a steering wheel, not even pedals, and they already have a working prototype. Google recently demonstrated how effective its self driving technology is, however it used standard Toyota and Lexus vehicles, albeit ones with some hectic add ons like big red buttons for a manual over ride. The new car proposed...

  • Self-driving cars: a case for and against the autonomous vehicle

    Nearly one quarter of drivers are right now willing to stump up a sizeable chunk of change to have an autonomous driving mode in their next vehicle. That’s according to the results of the recently released JD Power 2014 US Automotive Emerging Technologies Study. Yes, some 24 percent of motorists want to prod a button, surrender all control of their vehicle, and transform their otherwise mind-numbingly boring commute into a period of prolonged productivity. Or indeed a satisfying stretch of deep slumber. Are you one of them? Or do you fall squarely into the I-don’t-quite-trust-machines-to-drive-me-around camp? Alternatively, are you...

  • Google’s autonomous cars pretty much have city streets waxed

    Remember the wise cracking robotic taxi driver Johnny from Total Recall? Well he’s not that far off from our future, well the driving part at least. Google’s official page has announced that its cars (by that we mean the programming system within the car) have started to master the navigation of city streets and all the complexity that that involves, from jaywalkers to weaving cyclists. This is an incredible step for the self-driving car technology, in order for it to be commercially viable it needs to be able to understand and more importantly know how to react our world. The...

  • Volvo wants to stick magnets in the road to aid autonomous driving

    Volvo's got a new solution for autonomous driving and it's got nothing to do with cameras or clever geo-positioning. Nope, what the Swedish car maker is hoping to do, is stick magnets in the road. According to Volvo, which recently completed a trial using the technology, embedded magnets could go a long way to making autonomous driving safer. You can see where it's coming from too. Reliable and highly accurate positioning is one of the crucial issues in the development of self-driving cars. After all, there's not much point to a car being able to steer itself if it...

  • Ford’s self-driving car inspiration? That would be dolphins

    Ford's been gradually moving toward the tech space for a while now. It's had a research centre in Silicon Valley since mid 2012 and is doing some seriously cool stuff with apps and car design. It should hardly surprising then that it's decided to enter the autonomous vehicle space. What is surprising is the inspiration for its self-driving efforts: dolphins. The Dearborn-based marque is teaming up with researchers from Stanford and MIT to launch research into "the challenges" facing autonomous cars. According to Mark Fields, Ford's chief operating officer, the modified Ford Fusion being used for the research takes...

  • Volvo reportedly prepping 100-car strong autonomous driving trial

    We all know Volvo doesn't really muck about when it comes to making sure its cars are safe. Small wonder then that the Swedish manufacturer is behind what is set to be the world's first large-scale autonomous driving experiment. Known officially as the “Drive me—Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility,” the project is a collaboration between Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park, and the city of Gothenburg, Sweden. Kicking off in 2014, it won't take the form of a one-off event either. That makes sense, given that it's meant to help pin-point the social benefits...

More in Autonomous Driving

Self-driving cars? Pah! How about just meeting basic safety standards first?

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