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What Happened in Autonomous Driving This Quarter: Q1 2017 Edition

What Happened in Autonomous Driving This Quarter: Q1 2017 Edition

Hey, remember how in February we kicked off that monthly AI news roundup series? Well, we thought it’d be helpful for us to do a quarterly one for autonomous driving specifically. What a happenin’ space! Literally—so. much. happening.

Here’s the Q1 rundown. Dig in!

  • Fiat Chrysler unveiled a Level 3 semi-autonomous van concept at CES. Read and see.
  • BMW said it will have a self-driving mode in its cars by 2021. Read.
  • Nissan launched an autonomous vehicle system dubbed Seamless Autonomy Mobility (SAM), developed from NASA technology and combining AI with human backup. Read.
  • Infiniti showcased driver-assist technologies at the Detroit Auto Show. Read.
  • Volvo launched the “Drive Me” research project, in which ordinary Swedes will test out Volvo vehicles equipped with the company’s autonomous driving technology. Read.
  • Automotive News covered industry leaders’ varying predictions and proclamations on when certain levels of autonomy will be reached (and what each of those levels mean). Read.
  • Las Vegas Review-Journal detailed a collaboration between The University of Nevada, Reno, the Regional Transportation Commission, and others on the “Intelligent Mobility” research project—a data-collection initiative for autonomous driving using buses in Nevada cities. Read.
  • Uber and Daimler agreed to include Daimler’s future self-driving cars in Uber’s ride-hailing network. Read.
  • Waymo’s “disengagement report” suggested a significant improvement in its self-driving technology’s performance. Read.
  • Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI, an AI company that builds software for self-driving cars. Read.
  • Representatives from GM Motors and Toyota urged government officials to write new legislation that would address existing safety regulations that are impeding progress in autonomous driving technology. Read.
  • Hyundai combined its autonomous driving unit with Kia’s (a Hyundai affiliate) to form an “Intelligent Safety Technology Center,” and hired a former GM researcher to run it. Read.
  • Mobileye, a leading provider of sensor software for advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), struck deals with Volkswagen and then BMW to integrate its technology into the carmakers’ vehicles. Read (VW) and read (BMW).
  • Google’s Waymo sued Uber, alleging an ex-Googler-turned-Uber-employee ported over Waymo intellectual property in the form of lidar know-how and files. Read.
  • Visual Capitalist produced an outstanding and comprehensive infographic on the autonomous car market. See.
  • Nissan debuted its new Qashqai crossover featuring “ProPILOT” autonomous driving capabilities at the Geneva Motor Show. Read and see.
  • Goodyear also showcased a cool new thing at the Geneva Motor Show: a spherical tire concept covered in “bionic skin.” Read and see.
  • Nissan tested its self-driving Leaf prototype on the tricky streets of London. Read.
  • The state of California signaled it may lift some restrictions on testing autonomous vehicles, allowing for driver-free vehicles on its streets. Read.
  • NIO said at SXSW that it will launch a Level 4 autonomous electric car in the U.S. in 2020. Read.
  • The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets added five new safety and mobility organizations (as opposed to more tech or auto companies) to its membership. Read.
  • Intel bought Mobileye (!). Read.
  • Nvidia and Bosch announced a collaboration to build an AI car supercomputer at Bosch Connected World. Read.
  • Nvidia also announced a collaboration to develop a self-driving truck with PACCAR, a trucking technology company. Read.
  • MIT Technology Review covered the importance of—and challenges with—lidar for self-driving cars. Read.
  • Mercedes-Benz said it will deploy a test E-Class onto Australian roads to gather research for autonomous driving. Read.
  • Fortune highlighted an index that reveals the 10 best cities for self-driving cars. Read.
  • TechTarget explained the tricky, unsolved problem of automating the human gestures and interactions crucial to safe driving. Read.
  • AutoX demonstrated impressive self-driving capabilities with inexpensive cameras, challenging established approaches to sensor architecture. Read.
  • Toyota and NTT shared plans to jointly develop high-speed wireless communication technology for “connected cars.” Read.

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