If you live in Southern California and you’ve ordered one of those fancy new smart refrigerators in the past few weeks, it may have hitched a ride to you on a robotruck. Since early October, autonomous trucks built and operated by the startup Embark have been hauling Frigidaire refrigerators 650 miles along the I-10 freeway, from a warehouse in El Paso, Texas, to a distribution center in Palm Springs, California.
A Silicon Valley company did something exciting last week, and for once it involved something more significant than a new app to help us kill time on our smartphones. Tesla, the company that already is making electric cars, unveiled a prototype electric-powered semitrailer that can go 500 miles on a single battery charge and is powerful enough that it goes 65 mph up steep hills.
With the House of Representatives having passed its tax reform plans and the Senate having released its version, the uncertainty around the basic existence of the federal EV tax credit, as evidenced by the difference between the two proposals, will be disruptive to the industry. It’s this uncertainty that leads everyone to a fundamental question: If the government chooses to end EV tax credits, will that affect the EV market overall? The answer is yes.
Waymo’s self driving minivans - the Chrysler Pacifica - hit public roads for the first time in Mountain View, CA and Phoenix, AZ by the end of the month. The project is a collaboration between Google and Fiat Chrysler. Google opens up about their new Waymo self-driving car company and the history of their self-driving program, giving us a tour, a ride, and never before soon footage and images of the early days of self-driving cars.
The Trump administration is already in the process of updating its federal guidance for driverless vehicles, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Thursday. The Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled a new framework in September designed to pave the way for autonomous vehicles and build upon efforts from the previous administration.
The auto industry is getting ready to plug into battery power in a big way. In recent months, virtually every major automaker has announced some form of “electrification” and, by the middle of the coming decade, conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure battery-electric vehicles could account for nearly one-third of all new vehicle sales -- even more if California regulators ban the internal combustion engine entirely, as they’re now considering.
In an industry of closely guarded business strategies and technical development, it is relatively rare for two automakers, especially mainstream ones like GM and Ford, to collaborate. But the two have a technical track record, most recently around a pair of fuel-saving transmissions, and often walk in lockstep around major community projects and charitable giving in metropolitan Detroit.
Silicon Valley graphics chipmaker NVIDIA unveiled on Tuesday the first computer chips for developing fully autonomous vehicles and said it had more than 25 customers working to build a new class of driverless cars, robotaxis and long-haul trucks. Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world’s largest mail and logistics company, and ZF [ZFF.UL], a top automotive parts supplier, plan to deploy a fleet of autonomous delivery trucks based on the new chips, starting in 2019, NVIDIA said.
A Senate panel approved bipartisan legislation on Wednesday to pave the way for driverless cars, representing the latest congressional step to address the emerging technology. After months of debate over whether to include trucks and buses in the measure, the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee agreed to advance a bill that would only remove certain obstacles for getting self-driving cars on the roads.
China has said it will eventually ban gasoline-powered cars. California may be moving in the same direction. That pressure has set off a scramble by the world’s car companies to embrace electric vehicles. On Monday, General Motors, America’s largest automaker, staked its claim to leadership. Outlining a fundamental shift in its vision of the industry, it announced plans for 20 new all-electric models by 2023, including two within the next 18 months.