autonomous cars

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The Car Was Going 93mph. The Driver Was Taking a Nap

Canadian officers say they found both front seats reclined, car apparently on Autopilot

(Newser) - Police in Canada say a man has been charged over a July incident in which he was allegedly snoozing away as his apparently self-driving car traveled more than 93mph. Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers were alerted around 4pm on July 9 to a Tesla Model S speeding down the highway... More »

Cops: Man Smashes Into Patrol Cars While Catching a Flick

North Carolina doctor had his Tesla in 'Autopilot' mode, police say

(Newser) - Bad luck: to crash into other vehicles while driving. Worse luck: to crash into other vehicles that happen to be police cars. Worst luck of all: to do all of the above while you're watching a movie. Officials in North Carolina say that was the fate of a Raleigh... More »

Ex-Google Exec Gets Prison for Stealing Robocar Secrets

Anthony Levandowski also ordered to pay more than $850K

(Newser) - A former Google engineer has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets before joining Uber's effort to build robotic vehicles for its ride-hailing service. The sentence handed down Tuesday by US District Judge William Alsup came more than four months after former... More »

Tesla Crash Kills 2

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating

(Newser) - A Tesla crash killed two people in the wee hours of Sunday in a Los Angeles suburb, and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating. The Tesla Model S was speeding, ran a red light, and hit a Honda Civic at the Gardena intersection, killing a man and... More »

Uber Not Liable in Self-Driving Crash That Killed Woman

But the driver could still face charges over fatal crash in Arizona last year

(Newser) - An Arizona prosecutor has determined that Uber isn't criminally liable in a crash last year in which one of its self-driving SUVs fatally struck a pedestrian in suburban Phoenix. But it's not known whether prosecutors are considering charges against the driver in the March 18 crash in Tempe... More »

A Self-Driving Uber Killed Her. Her Family Targets Where She Died

$10M claim says city of Tempe, Ariz., had brick path that encouraged people to jaywalk

(Newser) - Family members of the first American killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle have settled with Uber itself, but now they're going after an Arizona city for the homeless woman's death. Per the Arizona Republic , Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed March 18, 2018, in Tempe by an Uber Volvo... More »

Elon Musk Just Pressed a Button to Set Off a Tesla First

Company's first car-manufacturing factory outside of US breaks ground in China

(Newser) - With the press of a button, Elon Musk set in motion Monday a big first for Tesla. Per Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal , the company's first car-manufacturing plant outside the US broke ground a couple of hours from Shanghai, a four-year effort that comes during a turbulent time... More »

Study Finds Illicit Side Effect of Driverless Cars

It's likely people will use them for sex, researchers say

(Newser) - One possible side effect of driverless cars that may not have occurred to you? An increasing number of people having sex in cars. In a new study from the Annals of Tourism Research titled " Autonomous vehicles and the future of urban tourism ," researchers note that self-driving cars could... More »

Silicon Valley Swap: Apple Gets Back Top Engineer From Tesla

Doug Field rumored to be working on Project Titan autonomous-car initiative

(Newser) - One Silicon Valley wheel just circled back to its starting point. A top Apple engineer who left in 2013 to join Tesla as its chief vehicle engineer is back with his former employer. The Verge reports that Doug Field, who'd been the VP of Mac hardware for the Cupertino... More »

Apple Employee Allegedly Stole Self-Driving Car Tech

Zhang Xiaolang was arrested as he was about to leave for China

(Newser) - A former Apple engineer was arrested as he was about to board a flight from San Jose to China Saturday, accused by US prosecutors of stealing tech secrets from the firm with the plan of passing them along to a Chinese startup, the Washington Post reports. Zhang Xiaolang, once a... More »

Tesla in Autopilot Mode Crashes Into Police Car

It was 2nd autopilot crash in same spot

(Newser) - A Tesla in autopilot mode created yet more unfortunate headlines for the company when it slammed into a police cruiser in Laguna Beach, Calif., on Tuesday. Police say the patrol vehicle was totaled but it was thankfully unoccupied at the time of the crash, KTLA reports. A Tesla in semi-autonomous... More »

Uber's Self-Driving Car Was Going 40mph, Didn't Slow

The latest on the crash that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg

(Newser) - The death of a 49-year-old pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., on Sunday night is being called the first time a person has been killed by a self-driving vehicle, and Wired provides some perspective: "Human drivers kill just 1.16 people for every 100 million miles driven. Waymo and Uber and... More »

Self-Driving Uber Kills Woman Crossing an Arizona Street

Tempe police have identified her as Elaine Herzberg, 49

(Newser) - A self-driving Uber vehicle fatally struck a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Ariz., late Sunday. The woman, who AZ Family reports has been identified as Elaine Herzberg, 49, was not within a crosswalk; she was taken to a nearby hospital and died there. The vehicle was in autonomous mode... More »

GM's 'Eerie' New Car: Look, Ma, No Steering Wheel

Gas and brake pedals in self-driving car are gone, too

(Newser) - But what do you do with your hands? A question usually reserved for people posing for photographs or performing a monologue can now be asked by potential buyers of General Motors' newest self-driving car. That's because the latest incarnation has no steering wheel, or accelerator or brake pedal, swapping... More »

'Safety' Feature in Self-Driving Cars Was Actually 'Pretty Scary'

Waymo thought letting passengers take over controls would be safer—but it wasn't

(Newser) - When Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car division that started in 2009 as a Google initiative, decided to offer an autopilot "out" for passengers—meaning they could take over the vehicle's controls if a dangerous situation arose—it seemed like a practical and needed feature. But the company's... More »

Critics Worry Over Safety If 'Self Drive Act' Passes

States wouldn't hold sway over design, construction of autonomous vehicles

(Newser) - As Uber, Waymo, and other Silicon Valley companies duke it out on the autonomous-vehicle scene, a House vote Wednesday will determine how and when those vehicles hit US roads. The Mercury News reports on the ballot-casting for the so-called "Self Drive Act," which spells out what role states... More »

Domino's Delivering Pizzas, Ditching Actual Delivery Guy

Chain begins test with driverless cars

(Newser) - No ring of the doorbell, just a text. No tip for the driver? No problem in this test, where Domino's and Ford are teaming up to see if customers will warm to the idea of pizza delivered by driverless cars. Starting Wednesday, some pizzas in Domino's hometown of... More »

A Virginia Driver Is Masquerading as a Car Seat

It's part of a Virginia Tech study of autonomous cars

(Newser) - It's still a couple of months until Halloween, but some in Arlington, Va., are already dressing up—as car seats. An NBC Washington reporter spotted a seemingly autonomous van driving around Arlington on Monday. On closer inspection, he realized there actually was a driver—the man was just disguised... More »

A New Uber Foe: Partnership of Lyft, Alphabet's Waymo

Self-driving vehicle sector just got even more competitive with new deal announcement

(Newser) - Lyft has the brawn via its nationwide fleet of taxis, Waymo has the brains with its self-driving technology, and together they just decided to make lots of money. The Wall Street Journal and New York Times report on a Sunday announcement from the two companies on a sparsely detailed deal... More »

Uber on Driverless Car Infraction: Blame the Human

Company is in talks with California regulators

(Newser) - Negotiations over whether Uber must stop its newly launched self-driving car service in San Francisco have concluded without a clear resolution, according to California transportation regulators. The state has threatened legal action if the ride-hailing company continues to pick up passengers without the correct permit, the AP reports. Uber says... More »

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