Volkswagen said Friday that it would invest $2.6 billion (€2.3 billion) in autonomous driving company Argo AI as part of an alliance with Ford to share the high risks and costs of developing self-driving, electric vehicles. The German carmaker said it would invest $1 billion in cash in the Pittsburgh-based company and add its own $1.6 billion-valued autonomous driving unit to the arrangement. VW's investment would give it and Ford an equal stake in Argo AI and, together, they will have a majority interest in the company valued at $7 billion. Read more: China is most important battleground for carmakers "While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach," Ford CEO Jim Hackett said. Watch video 02:38 Share Electromobility - a viable alternative? Send Facebook Twitter google+ … [Read more...] about VW, Ford cooperate on self-driving, electric car technology
Self driving ford fusion
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Tuesday evening, three local engineers took off for a special kind of cross-country trip. The group from St. Louis Park-based VSI Labs will be taking four days to drive an automated car from Minneapolis to Santa Clara, California. They’re testing one piece of self-driving technology that will eventually become commonplace on our roads. Without the use of cameras, the trio wants to test how well the car can keep in its lane using highly-specialized HD maps and GPS. VSI Labs engineers have been testing the lane keeping system on Minnesota highways, but they’re ready to bring their decked-out Ford Focus on a 2,000-mile journey. “There are plenty of other environmental conditions we don’t have here, like mountains, valleys deserts, heat,” said Sara Sargent, engineering project manager for VSI Labs and one of the drivers on the trip. ”We hope to encounter all of those different landscapes across our drive.” Each of the … [Read more...] about How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?
A shortage of charging points and strain on energy supplies are now the main stumbling blocks to the rise of driverless electric cars, according to the UK boss of insurer Axa. Amanda Blanc said a lack of rapid charging bays and pressure on the National Grid have overtaken questions about accident liability as the biggest barriers to autonomous vehicles entering the transport mainstream. Blanc, a Tesla driver, said personal experience pointed to problems lying ahead for driverless electric vehicles. There are about 125,000 plug-in electric cars in the UK and 14,000 chargers – 2,620 of them being rapid chargers that can give a car an 80% charge in 30 minutes. Shell has recently opened its first charging points for electric vehicles at 10 filling stations, mostly in London and the south-east. Blanc said a recent long-distance family trip showed the potential limitations of a future dominated by autonomous transport. When Blanc recently drove to Edinburgh in the Tesla with her … [Read more...] about UK lacks infrastructure for self-driving electric cars, says Axa
Lyft is planning a significant expansion of its autonomous car testing program. The company is opening a new testing facility, adding vehicles to its fleet, and racking up more test miles. Like rival Uber, Lyft believes self-driving cars are the future of ridesharing. Lyft’s self-driving cars are now driving four times as many miles per quarter in autonomous mode as they were six months ago, Luc Vincent, Lyft’s executive vice president of autonomous driving, wrote in a blog post. The company currently gives rides in test vehicles to employees, and the number of routes where these rides are available has tripled in the past year, Vincent wrote. Lyft is opening a dedicated testing facility for self-driving cars in East Palo Alto, California. This will include intersections, merges, traffic lights, and other road configurations, Vincent wrote. Lyft will also continue testing at GoMentum Station, a third-party autonomous-car testing facility at a former military base in … [Read more...] about Lyft’s self-driving car testing program is racking up the miles
The Obama administration is trying to check as many policy boxes as it can on the way out of the door, and today it finally announced a flexible framework for companies and governments involved in developing self-driving cars. President Obama took just a few short minutes during his final State of the Union address earlier this year to push for what he heralded as a “21st Century Transportation System” that was mostly concerned with transitioning from fossil fuels to alternative energies, with no mention of the burgeoning self-driving car movement. Advertisement Meanwhile, dozens of companies from the automotive industry and Silicon Valley have been hard at work developing the future of the automobile, with Google, Tesla, Ford, General Motors and Maven, Uber and dozens of others shifting research and development towards self-driving vehicles—many companies already operating functioning prototypes in multiple states. And yet, back in January, Secretary of … [Read more...] about America Finally Gets Serious About Self-Driving Cars