Riding an autonomous shuttle through Times Square was reassuringly boring

Riding an autonomous shuttle through Times Square was reassuringly boringYesterday afternoon, I rode an autonomous shuttle down a short section of



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Drink-drive rules ‘need updating for autonomous car era’

Australia mulls changes in the law to exempt autonomous vehicle passengers from drink-drive laws.
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Norway Takes Lead in Race to Build Autonomous Cargo Ships

Two Norwegian companies are taking the lead in the race to build the world’s first crewless, autonomously operated electric ship, an advance that could mark a turning point in seaborne trade.
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Google's autonomous car company is now testing out self-driving trucks

Google's autonomous car company is now testing out self-driving trucksWaymo is taking its self-driving tech to an entirely new class of vehicles. The autonomous car company, which famously spun off as an independent entity after years of development as the Google X self-driving car project, was recently spotted running tests on something other than its instantly recognizable fleet of Waymo-branded Chrysler Pacifica minivans: a truck.   A photo recently obtained by
BuzzFeed News appears to show a Waymo truck, which company reps confirmed to be genuine. Until the image surfaced, Waymo was only thought to be developing its autonomous driving platform on its cars, Lexus SUVs, and minivans, which have been extensively promoted as it ramps up its efforts with a public self-driving program in Phoenix.      SEE ALSO: Russia's Google rival just jumped into the self-driving car race When reached for comment by
Mashable via email, a Waymo rep shared the same statement given to
BuzzFeed: Waymo is currently testing just one truck, reportedly a Class 8 Peterbilt, outfitted with the company's self-produced autonomous platform. A company spokesperson confirmed to
Mashable that the company is currently conducting tests on a private track at its facility in California, and that the truck has also made it out to public streets — with a human operator behind the wheel controlling it manually at all times — to collect the road data essential for the autonomous platform's development. The Waymo rep also confirmed to us that the road testing efforts will be expanded to Arizona later this year. Trucking and autonomy The move to bigger vehicles isn't a shocker for Waymo — the company has made it clear that it's focused on more than just consumer transportation and has its sights on the future of mobility on the whole, through statements made by CEO John Krafcik and aggressive moves outside the direct consumer market, like its deal with Lyft.  Self-driving trucks could transform an entire industry. Autonomous vehicles could increase productivity and efficiency along freight routes, making the job easier for drivers — and they could fill the gap to combat the projected driver shortage facing the industry in the coming years. By using its autonomous platform on trucks, Waymo could play a big part in transforming American highways.  But it's far from the first player to enter the self-driving truck space. There are projects currently in the works from established companies like PACCAR, the manufacturer behind the Peterbilt brand, which is working with Nvidia, and smaller independent startups like Embark, which is testing its platform on Nevada highways. Perhaps the most notable project is the Uber-owned Otto, which successfully delivered an autonomous freight of beer last year.  Waymo's parent company, Alphabet, is in the midst of a contentious lawsuit with Uber that could stifle or even shutter Uber's own self-driving development efforts. The dispute stems from Otto's founder, Anthony Levandowski, a former Google (and now former Uber) employee accused of stealing company secrets and using them for Otto and then Uber. Meanwhile, the only other company that comes close to matching Google's pedigree, Apple, has reportedly ramped up its own autonomous driving efforts of late, with its own self-driving test car recently spotted on California streets.  WATCH: World travelers will love this suitcase that doubles as a scooter



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Apple Gets Permit to Test Autonomous Vehicles in California

Apple secured a permit for autonomous-vehicle testing in California, the clearest sign to date of progress in the company’s efforts to develop self-driving car technology.
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Ford's new delivery service will use autonomous vans and drones

Ford's new delivery service will use autonomous vans and dronesLife could get a little easier if Ford’s plan for deliveries comes to life. The automaker unveiled its plans for Autolivery at Mobile World Congress. The vision for Autolivery looks like this: Once you place an order from an app. the package will be delivered in a self-driving van, and then a drone will fly it up to a landing pad on the balcony of your 30th-floor apartment. Ford hopes to improve delivery methods in urban areas and help alleviate gridlock and air pollution. Don’t expect to see this new fleet on the road anytime soon, as Ford expects to roll it out in 2021. …



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