Category Archives: Driverless Cars

Is The Ecosystem Getting Ready For Driverless Cars?

For a long time, the news about the development and testing of driverless cars are hitting the headlines. Now, it is reportedly making a step by step progress in developing absolute driverless car ecosystem a reality. Gartner predicts that as many as 21 million vehicles will be equipped with data connectivity either by a built-in module or connected to a mobile device in 2017.



Since the driverless car system is using data connectivity to control the mobility of the vehicle, the prediction has more importance in driverless car point of view. It is previously reported that the next important extension of the internet expected to happen in vehicles, after smartphones. The connectivity to the vehicles will make them a larger version of smartphones that can move around. The driverless car would have Wi-Fi, and other connectivity like LTE or more advancement connectivity technologies enabled. Also with LiDAR and radar, each car manufacturer has to design the vehicle in an internet ecosystem. It was previously reported that the automobile industry in owning separate spectrum to use for vehicle-infrastructure and vehicle-vehicle communications.



The advancement of data analytics based on artificial intelligence is a major factor that can leverage the progress of the driverless car. There are reports suggesting that at least 50 percent of the manufacturers would go for advanced data analytics by 2020 and it will help them to identify and correct the defected products. This will reduce the percentage of defect cars selling in the market, thus reduce the recalls and other repairs. The advanced data analytics system would help in developing defect-less autonomous car system.



The progress of biometric and sensing abilities would also play an important role in autonomous vehicle transition. Imagine that there is an option to move to the driverless mode when the driver is in an endangered situation, would become an instant hit. The patent of Ford for a system to prevent incoming calls to the driver when he is not in proper condition can be seen as the first step to it.



However, there are some hurdles that need to be cleared before making connected cars a reality. The regulatory hurdles are the most prominent one as there are concerns regarding the accuracy of the system. Accidents reported in the trials have alarmed the governments to go strictly with rules. Also, considering the various complex systems used in the driverless vehicles and their fragmented developments working against the wishes of the industry.




Uber, Driverless Cars, and an Unhappy California DMV

Uber has shaken up the transportation industry by perfecting the business model of booking a ride from a fellow traveler. Really, those fellow travelers are people looking for full or part-time incomes through performing taxi services in the form of ride sharing. Out on the west coast, Uber is taking its business model to the next, futuristic level. The driver is being removed from the equation and replaced with an automated car. All of this is occurring to the great chagrin of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.


No, Uber is not going exclusively with driverless cars but the testing process is in motion. San Francisco is the city in which the testing has been extended. Testing originally debuted in the Pittsburgh area. And no, the officials in the city of San Francisco are not entirely thrilled with the presence of driverless cars on the roads. At least not without a permit.


Therein lies the issue of contention between Uber and the powers-that-be. Permits require certain qualifications to be met and fees to be paid. Both of those items do benefit the state of California. Uber, however, contends that autonomous vehicles — as the state of California refers to driverless cars — can be operated without a permit. Uber is going forward with keeping the cars on the road.


Uber’s rationale is based on the rules regarding the technology in Tesla vehicles. Uber’s stance is, since Tesla owner don’t need a permit, Uber’s autonomous cars won’t require a permit either.


Where is all this headed? Apparently, it is headed to court. The California DMV is threatening legal action. How that will play out in the state courts is anyone’s guess. A horrible-case scenario could lead to Uber and Tesla cars requiring permits. Tesla owners probably would be more than a bit annoyed at being an unfortunate third-party victim of a disastrous lawsuit. As others who have been in similar situations will attest – it happens.


Uber’s desire to launch self-driving cars is a bit odd. The company is already doing well as a ride sharing service. Why invite controversy and lawsuits? Clearly, the company feels there is a profitable benefit to going this route. Dragged out lawsuits do not exactly help profit margins though. Uber doesn’t seem to be backing down though.