Tag: self driving cars

Germany wants robot cars to have a black box

black-box-rev-1000x667Germany is thinking about new laws to require car manufacturers equipped with an autopilot function to install a black box to help determine responsibility in the event of an accident.

The move follows the fatal crash of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car in its Autopilot mode and increased  pressure on industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology can be used safely.

Under the proposed laws from Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, drivers will not have to pay attention to traffic or concentrate on steering, but must remain seated at the wheel so they can intervene in the event of an emergency. Although if you are not concentrating on the road it is hard to see how you can suddenly grab a steering wheel.

Manufacturers will also be required to install a black box that records when the autopilot system was active, when the driver drove and when the system requested that the driver take over, according to the proposals.

The draft is due to be sent to other ministries for approval this summer, a transport ministry spokesman said.


Intel teams up with BMW for self-driving cars

B-M-WThe dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn which suggests that chipmaker Intel is close to a deal with BMW and Israeli collision detection software maker Mobileeye.

The cunning plan is the three-some will build driverless cars together.

So far every chipmaker has had a go at trying to get their chips into cars as the PC market dries up. While some have had some success at getting their hardware into car entertainment systems, the actual take up for autonomous is still small.

The deal with BMW, which has already turned down Apple’s self-driving car is a bit of a breakthrough for Chipzilla.  Of course the deal is yet to be officially announced, but we should hear something on Friday when there is a press conference.

Mobileye has been an early leader in providing cameras, software and other components that allow vehicles to see the world around them. BMW has been a client of Mobileye, along with General Motors and Tesla. As automakers and their suppliers race to create systems to replace human drivers, most companies are betting on some form of artificial intelligence, which requires powerful processing.

Intel elbowed its way onto the car dashboard by producing the components inside entertainment and information systems in vehicles. However, it still lags behind companies such as NXP Semiconductors and Infineon Technologies in providing chips to the auto industry.


VW goes electric

b299405f6eafe0ac98ce9d9405a17663 (1)Adolf Hitler’s favourite car company Volkswagen has decided that the only way to avoid being caught out fudging emission readings is to make more cars that are electric.

Volkswagen wants to make 30 electric plug-in models by 2025 as part of a cunning plan to overhaul its global strategy which has been limping along since it was caught lying about how environmentally friendly is cars were.

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller on Thursday articulated a new vision for the automaker up to 2025, describing electric cars, ride-hailing services and cost cutting as critical to the company’s future.

Volkswagen, which also owns Audi and Porsche, will “significantly” reduce the number of models it makes and will slash almost $9 billion in spending.

This will go some way to help pay the $18 billion it will need to cover the costs of its emissions scandal.

The bet on fully electric vehicles will be paired with an investment in battery technology, though Mueller provided few details of what that would entail. Among the electric vehicles already in the works are the Porsche Mission E sports car, billed as a Tesla fighter, and the Audi e-tron quattro luxury electric crossover concept.

It is a brave move. The electric market is not really established yet, and although some countries like Holland are talking about banning petrol cars, electric cars are still too pricy for the great unwashed to afford.

If VW pull it off, it will be in the vanguard of the electric revolution and go a long way to removing the stain left by the emissions scandal.

Self-driving cars spark sex fears

rockCanadian Government officials have finally revealed that one of the reason that they don’t like the concept of self-driving cars is that people will have sex in them.

Of course people have sex in cars now, sometimes when they are moving, but US Federal bureaucrats are worried that semi-autonomous cars that don’t require much input from the driver will result in their input going elsewhere.

Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence has said that the smarter cars get the more bonking will take place.

“I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars.”

“That’s one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, ‘Take over.”‘

Federal officials, who have been tasked with building a regulatory framework to govern driverless cars, highlighted their concerns in briefing notes compiled for the Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

The report said that the issue of the attentive driver is … problematic.

“Drivers tend to overestimate the performance of automation and will naturally turn their focus away from the road when they turn on their auto-pilot,” said the report.


BMW wants to build cars for tech companies.

Old carsThe German car maker BMW said it is all up to make self driving cars for technology companies if they want to have a crack at it.

The automaker’s production chief said there are currently no such talks between tech companies and BMW but they have his number if they want to call.

Oliver Zipse said in response to a question put to him during a panel discussion about whether BMW could imagine building a car for a software or computer company such as Apple.

“We live in a world of partnerships. We hold regular talks with companies from the telecommunications and IT industry, including Apple, about vehicle connectivity topics, BMW Connected Drive,”

Zipse added that so far car development and production was not the subject of these talks.

The story actually appears to have been manufactured by Reuters acting as Apple’s unpaid press office.  Its hacks only asked Zipse about Apple’s plans.

Jobs’ Mob is a long way behind Google when it comes to making self-driving cars, that of course did not stop Reuters talking to BMW as if Apple was the only one who was doing it.