Uber’s fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh are super exciting for anyone interested in the future of transportation—but they could come at a huge risk for passengers riding in the vehicles. A new report from the Guardian, citing documents obtained under public record showed that until June, Uber required anyone riding in one of its self-driving cars to sign a legal document that kept the company free of liabilities in case of their injury or death. Advertisement The report shows that a senior Pittsburgh police officer had signed the waiver that said: “I acknowledge that some or all of the [autonomous vehicles] in which I ride are in a development phase, are experimental in nature, and that riding in an [autonomous vehicle] may involve the potential for death, serious injury, and/or property loss.” The document also said: “Risks associated with riding in an [autonomous vehicle] may include, without limitation, those caused by equipment failure, … [Read more...] about Uber’s Self-Driving Car Passengers Were Signing Their Lives Away
Ethical questions about self driving cars
For a minute, try to forget the hype you hear about self-driving cars and think about the single-occupant, human-driven vehicle like this: A very inefficient way to use expensive city land. Not only do extra-wide roads take up a lot of space, there’s far too much property allocated to parking—about 20 percent of the land in many US downtowns are surface parking lots. Autonomous vehicles will require less than a third of the land that cars do now, which could then be used for anything but cars. Like more housing. This is why San Francisco—a city that, geographically, has very little land—is not just planning on autonomous vehicles as a transportation solution. Done right, self-driving cars can also alleviate the city’s affordable housing crisis. “It’s a space issue,” said Tim Papandreou, chief innovation officer for San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), who recently spearheaded the city’s big proposal. … [Read more...] about How San Francisco Plans to Use Self-Driving Cars to Fix Its Housing Crisis
Google just found a major partner for its self-driving car program. A report from Yahoo Autos claims that, during CES, Ford will announce a joint venture between it and Google to build self-driving cars. The report describes the partnership as a step toward "a new business of automated ride sharing." Auto makers have long been wary of the liability problems with self-driving cars, but Ford and Google apparently plan to solve this by creating a joint venture that is "legally separate" from both parent companies. This way if something horrible happens and lawsuits are filed, the parent companies hope to be free of any legal issues. The report notes that the deal for Google's technology is "understood to be non-exclusive," allowing Google to make similar partnerships with other car manufacturers. Google has been a pioneer in the self-driving car space, with over 1.3 million autonomous miles under its belt. The big question mark … [Read more...] about Google and Ford reportedly team up to build self-driving cars
Google has revealed it plans to build its own self-driving cars from the ground up, per an announcement from founder Sergey Brin at the Code Conference Tuesday. The company revealed one such car to Recode, a highly compact two-seater without a steering wheel. Google had previously been retrofitting Toyota Priuses and Lexus SUVs with its self-driving technology. The cars were approved last week for use on public roads in California, and Google demonstrated the technology's ability to navigate complex traffic situations in cities at the end of April. The prototype Google revealed differs from the Priuses and Lexuses in that they can't let humans take over the job of piloting; they are completely controlled by the onboard computer. In addition to lacking a steering wheel, the Google-built car also has no accelerator, no brake, no mirrors, no glove compartment, and no soundsystem (your tiny smartphone speaker will have to do). The cars are capped at a modest 25mph and are started and … [Read more...] about Google’s prototype electric self-driving car seats two, has no steering wheel
Huawei has launched what it says is the world's first 5G communications hardware for the automotive industry. Experts say it is a a sign of the Chinese firm's growing ambitions to become a key supplier to the sector for self-driving technology. The company, which is also the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker, is striving to lead the global race for next-generation 5G networks. It has come under increasing scrutiny from Washington, which alleges that its equipment could be used for espionage. While Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations, some fear that the technology could be used to monitor passengers inside the self-driving vehicles. Huawei has launched what it says is the world's first 5G communications hardware for the automotive industry (file photo) Huawei said in a statement that its MH5000 module is based on the Balong 5000 5G chip which it launched in January. 'Based on this chip, Huawei has developed the world's first 5G car module with … [Read more...] about Huawei launches ‘world’s first’ 5G network aimed at self-driving cars – but will the firm’s technology be used to spy on the people inside?