From the Editors
month for AVs. The month saw several advancements related to the
testing of AVs on public roads. Tesla, Uber and Volvo led the
news. California and Michigan also made some strides on the
AVs are being taken more and more
seriously across the globe. Japan, UK, Australia got in the news
this month following the plans of pilot tests of AVs in their
cities. We are also seeing an increasing number of startups and
partnerships between giants that are taking the autonomous vehicle
technology (and its application) forward. Starship Technologies
and Spothero were also in the limelight this month.
Conference Board of Canada, following its very successful AV
conference in April 2016, will organize another conference for
April 2017 in Toronto. Stay tuned for details. CAVCOE will be
closely involved, as it was for the April 2016 conference.
The Automakers, Tier1s and AV Developers
After the fatal accident in May this year, Tesla has decided to
upgrade its Autopilot technology with better radar abilities to go
with the cameras already installed in the vehicles. You can read
more about this in
In another Elektrek news, a Tesla Model S was spotted with
additional sensors, probably LiDARs, on the top of the vehicle
near the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto.
Here is the
Curbed article on Los Angeles city’s vision of the future to
create smarter and efficient transportation that combines
self-driving vehicles with on-demand sharing services. The full
report presenting the road-map to the city’s plans can be found
online at Urban
Mobility In A Digital Age.
Guardian article looks into the options for initiating
communication between the driverless cars and pedestrians or
cyclists on the road. The article cites text messages, illuminated
road surfaces and electronic signage as possible communication
options with vulnerable road users.
SpotHero, a service
that allows drivers to prepay for a parking space in a garage via
app, recently raised $20 million in Series B funding. Currently,
the driver requests the app to book the parking space. But, to go
with the title of this
TechCrunch article “Spothero is ready for future of autonomous
parking”, the future can well be cars itself, instead of humans,
talking with the app and booking a garage space.
America’s Future Energy, SAFE, a Washington based non-profit, is
aiming to bring together a group of transportation, research and
government officials to provide recommendations about how AVs
should be tested on roads. The motive behind the move is to
improve the public confidence in the safety of these vehicles.
Here’s an article in
Automotive News to read more about the same.
more about how AV customers will be using these vehicles in their
daily lives, Volvo has launched its “Drive Me” program. The
program is touted as “world’s most ambitious and advanced public
autonomous driving experiment”. The tests will take place in
Gothenburg, Sweden. Here’s the
Simplebotics article to read more. The article also mentions
that similar pilot tests will follow in London and China.
Autoliv and Volvo have signed a letter of intent to form a
jointly-owned company to develop autonomous driving software. The
plan is to have the venture develop the advanced driver assist
systems and autonomous driving technologies for use in Volvo cars
and for sale exclusively by Autoliv to all car makers globally,
with revenue shared by both companies.
In Japan, the aging
population and the reducing customer base of bus companies Is
becoming a big hurdle. To counter that, Softbank Group Corporation
is building driverless buses that can reduce the operating costs
of the country’s bus companies by half. A plan is being put to
place that will allow Softbank’s driverless buses to carry the
aging population of cities in Japan. Here is the
article on Bloomberg to read more.
Technologies, a German startup, is building a fleet of autonomous
robots to deliver goods locally. Recently, the startup announced
partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans to develop “Robovans” that
integrate the vans with autonomous bots. The vans will drive the
bots around to the neighborhood of delivery, while the bots will
allow for door to door feature. It is expected that Robovans can
help increase the volume of packages delivered by 120%. Read more
about the news directly from
In Perth, Australia, a new driverless
bus, RAC Intellibus which is made by the French company NAVYA, is
being tested to study and investigate how the driverless buses and
cars can be integrated in the daily commutes and Australia’s
transportation system. Read more about the news in this
Start Up Daily article.
Two news items from Uber. The
company has begun testing driverless taxis in Pittsburgh, although
with an attendant who can take over if needed. Click here for
more details. In addition, Uber is testing its own self
driving car on the streets of San Francisco. Here’s the
news and some stills of a sighting of Uber’s self-driving car.
Apple has laid off more than dozen of team members from its
Autonomous Driving Project. Here’s the
Dayshoppe article on the news.
The US Department of
Transportation has published a major policy statement regarding
driverless cars. It includes guidance on vehicle performance and
model regulations for the states so that there is consistency
across the country. The full document is
far as legislation is concerned, AVs could very well see some
improvements coming their way from the City of Michigan. This
article from Stanford Law School lists some interesting
observations by Bryant Walker Smith on Michigan’s automated
On the ethical front, Germany is preparing
to lay down three key rules for autonomous vehicles.
1. It is
clear that property damage is always preferable to personal
2. There must be no classification of people, for
example, on the size, age and the like.
3. If something
happens, the manufacturer is liable.
An ethics team has
been formed to work out the specifics but the three rules can
serve as a good starting point. Read more about the news in
this Inverse article.
In California, legislative
efforts are being made to ensure driverless cars are allowed
testing even without the presence of the driver. Here is the news
California Legislative Information. The article also talks
about the progress in allowing the testing of AVs without a
steering wheel, an accelerator or a braking pedal on roads, albeit
with some restrictions.
The Premier of Ontario,
Kathleen Wynne, has sent a new
mandate letter to Steven Del Duca, the Minister of
Transportation. The mandate includes working with the Ontario
Minister of Economic Development and Growth to develop an
autonomous vehicles Centre of Excellence.
Telematics Wire article comments on the expected market
penetrations of AVs in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The
article mentions that North America and Europe will lead the way
initially with Asia Pacific to follow in the coming years.
This LinkedIn article is a good refresher on the three game
changers in transportation industry: driverless vehicles,
connected vehicles and electric powertrains. Readers can learn
about some benefits that each of these game changers offer. In
addition, the article recommends some key strategies for the
vehicle manufacturers and suppliers to adapt.
article was posted in NY
Times that lists the critical situations that self-driving
cars are encountering today. The article talks about ethical
dilemmas, unpredictable human behaviour and inconsistency in lane
markings that AVs use to stay within the lane, among others.
Upcoming AV Related Events
Webinar on "Truck Platooning - Spreading the word"; Online.
Prof. Homayoun Najjaran, Senior Associate at CAVCOE will be one of
the presenters at this webinar.
Oct 3-4, 2016:
TU-Automotive ADAS & Autonomous USA; Novi, Michigan, USA.
Oct 4-6, 2016: SAE
2016 Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress; Rosemont,
Oct 10-14, 2016:
ITS World Congress;
Oct 25-26, 2016:
Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress 2016;
Novi, Michigan, USA.
Nov 1-3, 2016:
UnmannedCanada 2016, the
annual conference of Unmanned Systems Canada; Edmonton, Alberta,
Nov 2-3, 2016:
TU Automotive Europe 2016,
14th Annual Conference and Exhibition; Munich, Germany.
18, 2016: Transport
Futures - Mobility Pricing and Automated Vehicles Conference;
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AV Update subscribers are
eligible for a 10% conference discount; use discount code CAVC5 in
the "DC" box.
Nov 29-Dec 1, 2016:
SAE 2016 From ADAS to
Automated Driving; Munich, Germany.
Apr 4-6, 2017:
SAE 2017 World Congress and
Exhibition; Detroit, Michigan, USA.
April 19-20, 2017:
AV Conference organized by The Conference Board of Canada;
Oct 29-Nov 2, 2017:
Congress; Montreal, Canada.