Earlier today, LeEco (previously known as LeTV) announced its first set of China-bound phones since its rebranding, but the company also used today’s event in Beijing — attended by more than 10,000 people — to unveil its first all-electric concept car dubbed LeSee…
Since coming out of stealth mode last December, Notorious hacker George “geohot” Hotz’s self-driving car/machine learning startup “comma.ai” hit a few roadblocks, including a cease-and-desist letter from the California Department of Motor Vehicles for operating a “level-4” autonomous vehicle.
Though Hotz is contesting the DMV and says his prototype is currently only a “level-3” semi-autonomous car, but the cease-and-desist is still slowing him down as he now can only test the vehicle in a private parking lot. Expand Expanding Close
It’s kind of an “open-secret” in the auto and tech industries that Apple is developing an electric vehicle codenamed “Project Titan”, yet for the most part, the Cupertino-based company has been able to keep details under wraps.
Google’s self-driving car project first came to Austin, Texas in July of last year, marking its first expansion outside of Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California. It was a logical next step, considering Austin’s forward-thinking political culture and unique environmental challenges (“pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between,” Google said). Now, it appears—thanks to some recently-published FCC documents (via Mark Harris)—that Google has plans to bring the self-driving car program to four more mysterious cities…
Daimler CEO and chairman of the board Dieter Zetsche is returning home from a trip to Silicon Valley where he met directly with several companies, but without naming them specifically. Though he didn’t disclose the companies he met with, Zetsche commented on the car industry effort of some Silicon Valley-based tech firms, namely Apple and Google. Expand Expanding Close
Google published today its annual report on disengagements of autonomous mode for its self-driving car program (SDC), which is required by California’s DMV. The report details events where Google’s test drivers have taken control over the car’s autonomous system, whether it’d be because of a shutdown due to technology failure or for safety reasons.
After having driven over 1.3 million miles in autonomous mode, Google’s self-driving cars were involved in 17 reported accidents, but the company prides itself of not having been at fault in any of them. But with today’s report, we learn the self-driving cars would have caused 10 accidents during the past year if test drivers wouldn’t have disengaged the system and taken controls. Expand Expanding Close
(Thanks to Zac Hall for images and video and checking out the back seats/CarPlay)
I have two electric cars at home – a plug-in Prius and a base model 2013 Tesla Model S. Yesterday, I drove the car that felt like their natural offspring: the compact crossover Chevy Bolt… Expand Expanding Close
Some parts of Google’s self-driving car are still mysterious, but slowly more pieces of that mystery are being uncovered. One mystery, in particular, has been the inside of the car. While Google has allowed dozens of journalists, random lucky souls, and Google employees (of course) to ride in the car, only on very few occasions have we been able to see the inside. The company specifically told journalists not to take pictures of the inside at an event earlier this year, and we barely got a glimpse into a very early prototype in Google’s “A First Drive” video last summer. Now, with a couple of patents Google has received, we’re getting a more detailed look inside for the first time… Expand Expanding Close
Yesterday we reported on comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a recent interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt. The CEO, known for speaking his mind candidly on occasions, made comments that could easily have been interpreted as critical to the design of the Apple Watch and the quality of the company’s hires from Tesla, but Friday afternoon Musk took to Twitter to soften those comments. Expand Expanding Close
More interestingly, The Guardian claims to have obtained documents that suggest the Apple Car is close to leaving the lab as the project deemed ‘Project Titan’ has now an official Engineering Program Manager. When a project gets an EPM, it typically means a product is entering the next stage of development and finishing testing stages.
When Google originally showcased the newer low-speed “cute-mobile” self-driving car, it mentioned a goal of having about 100 of them on the road for testing within a couple years. Now, as the company is bringing its low-speed electric prototypes to Austin a year later, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for Google [X], has revealed that the company is expanding production of the cars (via The Guardian). Hunter says that Google is now producing at least a “few hundred” and hints at a potential future of mass-production… Expand Expanding Close
We first saw the cute-looking cars almost a year ago, when the company explained that they were not intended to ever make it to public sale. Their purpose is to see how people respond to a next-generation driverless car before later seeking partners to actually bring the technology to market.
We learned earlier this week that Google’s existing Lexus fleet has been involved in three low-speed accidents, none of them the fault of the car, but the company still isn’t taking any chances in this latest phase … Expand Expanding Close