Uber is a "bezzle," doomed to disappoint the suckers who buy into its IPO

Writing in New York Magazine, Naked Capitalism's Yves Smith draws on Hubert Horan's outstanding series on the underlying economics of Uber to describe why the company's IPO will be a terrible bet for the investors who buy into it. Read the rest

Stet, a gorgeous, intricate, tiny story of sociopathic automotive vehicles

Sarah Gailey's micro-short-story STET is a beautiful piece of innovative storytelling that perfectly blends the three ingredients for a perfect piece of science fiction: sharply observed technological speculation that reflects on our present moment; a narrative arc for characters we sympathize with; and a sting in the tail that will stay with you long after the story's been read. Read the rest

EU hijacking: self-driving car data will be copyrighted...by the manufacturer

Today, the EU held a routine vote on regulations for self-driving cars, when something decidedly out of the ordinary happened... Read the rest

Motorola patents a robocop autonomous car that brethalyzes, mirandizes you, calls your lawyer and collects your bail

In Patent 10049419, "Mobile law enforcement communication system and method," Motorola engineers describe "A communication system, comprising: a self-driving vehicle within which to detain a detainee by a law enforcement officer" that locks you up, administers a breathalyzer, reads you your rights, figures out who your counsel of record is, conferences you in with your lawyer, consults with a court on your bail, and lets you swipe your cards to bail out of the car. Read the rest

First pedestrian killed by autonomous vehicle

KNXV in Arizona reports that a pedestrian died last night after being hit by an autonomous vehicle.

The Uber had a human safety driver but was self-driving when it collided with the victim, according to KNXV. Early reports identified the victim as a bicyclist, but the latest updates say she walked into the street. It appears to be the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle.

10 pedestrians were killed in the last week by cars driven by humans in Phoenix in what local officials described as a "major crisis."

Read the rest

US smart traffic flow systems vulnerability would allow a single car to mess up intersection timing

All new cars are equipped with "Connected Vehicle" signaling technology, which allows them to send messages to other cars and to traffic lights and other fixed road infrastructure to help improve road signaling and, eventually, guide self-driving cars. Read the rest

Self-driving cars face a huge challenge in detecting bicycles

Self-driving cars have a hard time predicting bicycle movement, and workarounds that require cyclists to buy transmitters are running into resistance from some. Read the rest

Watch an impressive series of crashes avoided by autonomous vehicles

Some of these near-misses would probably have been catastrophic and unavoidable without predictive autopilot. Read the rest

First driverless shuttle in Las Vegas crashes on first day while shuttling passengers

Las Vegas unleashed its first driverless shuttle packed with passengers yesterday, and within two hours it was hit by a delivery truck with a human driver.

Apparently, the shuttle's sensors recognized the truck – which was backing up – so the shuttle stopped to avoid an accident. The truck, however, did not stop and it hit the shuttle. Luckily, it was minor and no one was hurt.

According to the Huffington Post:

“The shuttle just stayed still and we were like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s gonna hit us, it’s gonna hit us!’ and then, it hit us!” passenger Jenny Wong told KSNV. “And the shuttle didn’t have the ability to move back, either. Like, the shuttle just stayed still.”

Fortunately, no humans were injured in the crash, the city said.

The eight-passenger shuttle is currently offering free rides to people along a half-mile loop in the city’s Fremont East “Innovation District.” The operation is part of a 12-month pilot program, the city said.

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An in-depth look at Castle, Waymo's fake city for testing self-driving cars

Alexis Madrigal got a chance to visit the fascinating town of Castle, a roads-only city constructed by Waymo for the sole purpose of developing self-driving cars. Read the rest

Baidu to launch self-driving car technology project 'Apollo' in July

The Chinese tech firm Baidu said Tuesday it will launch a self-driving car technology in July. A first release will involve a restricted environment, but the company plans to gradually introduce “fully autonomous driving capabilities on highways and open city roads by 2020,” Reuters reports. Read the rest

Securing driverless taxis is going to be really, really hard

Charlie Miller made headlines in 2015 as part of the team that showed it was possible to remote-drive a Jeep Cherokee over the internet, triggering a 1.4 million vehicle recall; now, he's just quit a job at Uber where he was working on security for future self-driving taxis, and he's not optimistic about the future of this important task. Read the rest

A confusatorium for self-driving cars

James "New Aesthetics" Bridle (previously) wants to confuse your autonomous vehicle, so he's designed this Autonomous Trap 001, a sequencing scheme with lots of room for growth. Read the rest

If Google wins its trade secrets suit against Uber, it could tank Uber

Google is suing Uber, alleging that the company recruited a former Google exec who had secretly offered to give them access to trade-secrets from Google's self-driving car project. Read the rest

The six official levels of autonomous vehicles explained

Self-driving cars can mean a number of different things, so the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted a zero-to-5 scale of the types of automation created by SAE International, with level zero being non-autonomous. Generally: Read the rest

Autonomous driving simulators may help reduce driverless anxiety

Visteon makes high-definition dashboard displays for instrument clusters, navigation panels, and entertainment systems. They also know the future is autonomous driving, and to help anxious customers get a sense of the technological possibilities, they are developing driving simulators that demonstrate manual vs. autonomous driving conditions. Read the rest

Tesla announces full self-driving hardware on all models

Tesla released a video of a commute from home to office, including parking as a demonstration of its fully self-driving hardware. "The person in the driver's seat is only there for legal reasons.

He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself." Read the rest

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