Tag: Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles

How Google’s Founders Slowly Stepped Away From Their Company

SAN FRANCISCO — About a month after Donald J. Trump was elected president in 2016, Larry Page, the Google co-founder, was summoned along with other prominent tech executives to a meeting at Trump Tower. It was a rare public appearance for Mr. Page. He sported a tan suit and shifted in his seat as he […]

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‘I Think This Guy Is, Like, Passed Out in His Tesla’

I discovered the videos in January. One of the first I saw was posted by the irreverent online car magazine Jalopnik. “Dangerous Idiot Sleeps While Driving His Tesla on Autopilot,” read the headline. The cellphone-captured footage did, as promised, appear to show a man snoozing in the driver’s seat of a Tesla as it zipped […]

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Burrito Delivered by Bot, as Long as Students Don’t Trap It

BERKELEY, Calif. — Come lunchtime on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, thousands of students rush out for a bite to eat and head back to class. But for more than a year, a few hundred have stayed put and instead summoned a knee-high robot bearing a burrito, a burger or other meals […]

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Uber’s Layoff Total Rises Past 1,000 With Latest Cuts

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber laid off 350 employees on Monday, in the latest indication that the ride-hailing company is trying to respond to concerns among investors that it is losing too much money. The cuts, the third round in recent months, were focused in the autonomous vehicle unit, operations, recruiting and customer support, an Uber […]

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These High-Tech Sensors May Be the Key to Autonomous Cars

In a year when the autonomous vehicle business has hit a big reset button, consensus is growing among designers that self-driving cars just aren’t perceptive enough to make them sufficiently safe. So now engineers are considering using more sophisticated sensors and technology — tech that can see through rain and even look underground. “There are […]

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The Concept Cars Gleam, but Executive Dread Clouds the Frankfurt Auto Show

FRANKFURT — Car executives are paid to be optimists, but behind the pomp and salesmanship at the Frankfurt International Motor Show this week lurked an unmistakable sense of angst. The talk among industry insiders at the show, one of the auto industry’s biggest events, reflected the existential threats that carmakers face. The European and global […]

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How High Tech Is Transforming One of the Oldest Jobs: Farming

This article is part of our ongoing Fast Forward series, which examines technological, economic, social and cultural shifts that happen as businesses evolve. Of all the out-of-the-box products a Silicon Valley tech start-up could offer, Bear Flag Robotics may be delivering the most unexpected: plowed fields. The company is developing autonomous tractors, a goal that […]

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Former Star Google and Uber Engineer Charged With Theft of Trade Secrets

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Anthony Levandowski, one of Silicon Valley’s foremost technologists on self-driving cars, was charged by federal prosecutors on Tuesday with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets from Google. The criminal charges from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California open a new chapter in […]

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Cadillac’s Last Stand? Storied Brand Aims (Again) for Revival

DETROIT — Few American brand names have ever achieved the stature of Cadillac, which was once so closely identified with excellence and status that it became shorthand for anything that was top of the line. And few brands have fallen as far. Cadillac rose to prominence a century ago as the pinnacle in General Motors’ […]

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Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using Uber and Lyft?

Martin Gerstell treasures his Thursday morning volunteer stint at the National Gallery of Art, where he fields questions at the main information desk. He patiently responds when visitors ask about the current exhibits, whether the paintings are real, where the bathrooms are. Usually, fellow volunteers give him a ride from his assisted living residence in […]

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Our Cars Are Trying to Keep Us Safe. Here’s How.

Regrettably, personal jet packs and flux capacitors remain figures of science fiction and have not appeared in our garages. The same goes for fully self-driving automobiles. A few years ago, breathless analysts predicted we’d now be napping behind the wheel while commuting. Nope. Rip Van Winkle may find it popular in 20 years, but full […]

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Driverless Cars Arrive in New York City

Driverless cars have rolled into New York City, finally. But don’t expect to see them traveling down Fifth Avenue anytime soon. The cars have been corralled behind the gates of the sprawling Brooklyn Navy Yard — away from city streets teeming with cars, bikes and pedestrians. The cars will begin shuttling people on Wednesday around […]

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How Jaywalking Could Jam Up the Era of Self-Driving Cars

Imagine Manhattan without jaywalking. Or Los Angeles freeways without speeding, or Moscow without grinding traffic. If self-driving cars are going to move forward, these are among the many possibilities that the people dreaming up the future of cities will have to consider. In New York, the unwritten rule is plain: Cross the street whenever and […]

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And Now, a Bicycle Built for None

As corporate giants like Ford, G.M. and Waymo struggle to get their self-driving cars on the road, a team of researchers in China is rethinking autonomous transportation using a souped-up bicycle. This bike can roll over a bump on its own, staying perfectly upright. When the man walking just behind it says “left,” it turns […]

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The Robot Apocalypse Has Been Postponed

Like many non-Democrats with an interest in both public policy and supernatural religion, I have two favorite 2020 Democratic candidates: Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang. Williamson is interesting because she helps reveal the spiritual shape of political ideas. Yang is interesting because he’s eager to think well outside the existing policy consensus and propose ideas […]

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Renault and Nissan Need Each Other to Thrive in Future, 2 Leaders Say

A hoped-for merger between Fiat Chrysler and Renault is dead. Long live the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance — or else. That, in essence, was the message that emerged from interviews last week with Jean-Dominique Senard, the chairman of Renault, and Keiko Ihara, an independent Nissan board member, about the future of the troubled partnership between the automakers. […]

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Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Way in the Future’

A year ago, Detroit and Silicon Valley had visions of putting thousands of self-driving taxis on the road in 2019, ushering in an age of driverless cars. Most of those cars have yet to arrive — and it is likely to be years before they do. Several carmakers and technology companies have concluded that making […]

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Ford and VW to Share Costs of Self-Driving, Electric Cars

Ford Motor and Volkswagen said Friday they would team up to develop self-driving cars and share electric-car components, significantly broadening an existing alliance and illustrating how automakers are putting aside rivalries to manage the astronomical cost of new technologies. The agreement calls for Volkswagen to purchase a stake in a Ford-backed start-up that is developing […]

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Ford and VW Are Set to Cooperate on Self-Driving and Electric Cars

FRANKFURT — Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen are expected to sign an agreement as soon as next week to share the cost of developing autonomous vehicles and producing electric cars, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The agreement, likely to be approved by Volkswagen’s supervisory board on Thursday, would deepen an existing […]

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Ford to Cut 12,000 Jobs in Europe

LONDON — Ford Motor Company said on Thursday it would cut about a fifth of its European work force and shut down five plants as the company deals with weak demand for its cars. The automaker, which has struggled to turn a profit in Europe, said that about 12,000 of its 65,000 workers across Europe […]

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Getting to Appreciate the Unloved Turn Signal

Around the poker table, the last thing you want is to let anyone know how you’ll play your hand. On the road, it’s just the opposite: Everyone around you should get fair warning of your intentions. If only drivers followed that practice rigorously. For one thing, there might be less fist-shaking by drivers and bicyclists […]

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Fiat Chrysler in Deal for Self-Driving Car Technology

Just days after breaking off merger talks with the French carmaker Renault, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reached an agreement to source self-driving technology from a California start-up, Aurora Innovation. Founded in 2017 by former executives from Google, Tesla and Uber, Aurora is developing hardware and software to enable cars to drive themselves. It has test […]

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Carmakers Turn to Survival Tactics With Industry Under Siege

FRANKFURT — It’s a scary time to be in the car business. The internal combustion engine is under attack from electric challengers. Car ownership is becoming optional in the age of Uber. Regulators around the world are fining companies that don’t do enough to cut CO2 emissions, even as buyers demand gas-guzzling S.U.V.s. Global auto […]

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