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Automotive and Technology Leaders to Explore Human Impact of Self-Driving Vehicles

It has been well documented that the implementation of driverless vehicles will likely lead to the elimination of millions of jobs from cabbies to delivery men to truckers. Waymo, Uber, Ford and others have formed the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) as a non-profit which will allow the organization to accept donations and lobby government. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 3.8 million people operate motor vehicles for their work. This includes truck driving, the most common profession in 29 US states, which employs about 1.7 million...
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Kia Debuts Plan for Autonomous Cars

At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Asia, Kia debuted plans that included advanced connectivity and Level 4 autonomous driving technology. Level 4 technology indicates that the car drives without driver involvement. By 2025, Kia plans to adopt connected car technologies across every vehicle segment and intends to make every model a connected car by 2030. Kia also plans to introduce 16 new advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including a range of new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
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Michigan State University Influencing Policy Conversations

Recently, experts from Michigan State University assembled leaders from the academic world, business and government to discuss the implications of driverless technology and how the public can prepare for its commercialization. The workshop discussed issues beyond engineering and technology since this technology will impact the world economically, socially and culturally. The greatest hindrance discussed related to the implementation of this technology was social acceptance.
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Mobileye Will Test Autonomous Vehicles in Turin

Turin, home to Fiat Chrysler, will be the location for test runs of Mobileye’s autonomous vehicles. These test runs will be conducted in cooperation with Fiat, one of the partners of Intel-Mobileye, together with BMW. The Italian press reports that the company is scheduled to shortly begin thorough mapping of Turin’s roads in order to facilitate autonomous navigation in the city and its surroundings. It is still unknown which vehicles will be used for the test runs, but Mobileye is currently converting Chrysler Pacifica test cars in Jerusalem for autonomous driving. These vehicles are...
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Singapore Developed a Town for Self-Driving Buses

Singapore has developed a small-scale town that could take the lead in the race to supply the public with driverless transportation. The two-hectare complex, unveiled in November, has intersections, traffic lights, bus stops and pedestrian crossings, all built to the specifications that Singapore uses for its public roads. The advantage for the city-state is that the test circuit, and the information provided by companies vying to put driverless buses on Singapore’s streets, is helping it build an unrivaled database of information on the challenges and solutions that would allow the...
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Japan to Launch Self-Driving Car Service by 2020

With the Olympics returning to Japan in 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe drafted a growth strategy that includes a launch of self-driving cars in 2020 and a full rollout in 2022. Few details were provided. However, the government hopes to build more than 100 service locations across the nation by 2030. The proposal also includes a plan to expand artificial intelligence research.
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Auto Manufacturers Believe Metal Tariffs Will Make Cars More Expensive

The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the EU, Canada and Mexico will make cars more expensive, threaten jobs and slow the adoption of technologies that keep consumers safe and save fuel, US automaker trade groups said. While automakers purchase most of their steel and aluminum for US plants from domestic producers, the alliance said the tariffs will drive up prices of metals whether they are made in America or imported. GM and Ford Motor Company both have said that costlier raw materials will result in significant profit headwinds this year.
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SoftBank Invests in GM’s Cruise Automation

The SoftBank Vision Fund will be investing $2.25 billion in GM’s Cruise Automation, its self-driving car division. The company will receive an initial investment at the close of the transaction, and the remaining $1.35 billion when GM deploys its self-driving cars for commercial use. (GM has claimed that it will mass-produce autonomous cars without steering wheels or pedals by 2019.) At that point, SoftBank will own 19.6% of Cruise Automation; it has also invested in Uber, Asian ride-hailing companies, Nvidia, and...
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Drugs and Car Accidents

A recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration suggests that more and more people are driving with drugs in their system. In 2016, 44% of drivers who were killed in car accidents and tested for drugs tested positive, and 58% of those who tested positive had taken marijuana, opioids, or both. By comparison, only 38% of drivers in fatal accidents in 2016 had alcohol in their systems. (Nearly half of those who were alcohol-impaired also had taken drugs.) Although it should be noted that the presence of drugs does not necessarily mean that the driver was impaired, the report...
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New Trucking Forum Created To Discuss Industry Trends

International Truck is creating an industry forum, UPNEXT, where leaders of the commercial trucking sector can come together to discuss emerging trends and topics that are driving industry change. UPNEXT will include a number of initiatives intended to create a discussion among industry experts. The first of UPNEXTtrucking.com, which will store content related to pertinent issues.
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Arizona May Have The First City To Adjust Zoning Laws For Self-Driving Vehicles

In late 2017, Waymo announced they would be unleashing self-driving vehicles on the road in Chandler, Arizona. Now, while officials are still working on how to prepare for vehicles on the road, the Chandler City Council is addressing for the impact self-driving vehicles will have on parking. The ordinance, which chief city planner David de la Torre believes to be the first in the country, will allow developers to use less space for parking and more space for buildings if they meet certain accommodations for self-driving vehicles. De la Torre highlighted several examinations on future zoning...
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How Confused Are Consumers About Self-Driving Cars?

A recent study that polled more than 1,000 consumers about self-driving vehicles concluded that the general public is very confused on the topic. A key component of the survey noted that almost half the participants have a hard time discerning the difference between a semi-autonomous vehicle and a fully autonomous vehicle. Another item that stood out in the survey is the government’s role in the development of self-driving vehicles. Over 60% of respondents believe the government should be involved while 34% believe it should be left up to the...
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Autonomous Vehicle Project Reaches Landmark With First Public Demonstration

Driven, a group researching autonomous vehicles, launched its first public demonstration involving two cars driving on their own at its headquarters at the Culham Science Centre in Abingdon. The two vehicles used their cameras, computers and sensors to navigate the track which included basic traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. The Driven group is comprised of a number of companies, including XL Catlin, who is developing a risk assessment tool that will enable the users of autonomous vehicles to make decisions about what level of autonomy and speed is appropriate for what driving conditions,...
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BMW Announces Solid-State LiDAR System For Self-Driving Vehicles

BMW announced it will use solid-state LiDAR system for the company’s self-driving vehicles, which they plan to put into production by 2021. Israeli startup, Innoviz Technologies, along with Magna, will provide the technology that utilizes solid-state LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors with computer vision technology. The BMW contract is one of the first in the automotive industry involving a solid-state system, potentially opening the door for the technology and indicating a new scheme of cheaper autonomous driving.
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