While everyone seems fascinated by driverless cars brought to us via Silicon Valley, established suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems are quietly doing a roaring trade
The automotive industry is going through some fundamental changes, mostly because of computer technology.
The changes include higher levels of computer processing, fully driverless vehicles, greater levels of autonomy, internet connectivity, and the switch from petrol-powered combustion engines to electric.
It’s probably inevitable that the combustion engine will be gone from most mass-manufactured cars within a couple of decades, and will eventually only be seen in antique cars and supercars, although even some supercars are going electric.
Volvo Cars, the Swedish car maker, and Uber, the ride-sharing company, are to join forces to develop next-generation autonomous driving cars.
The two companies have signed an agreement to establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in advanced driving technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars.
New research from AXA suggests small firms in the UK are sceptical about the prospects of next-gen tech – from 3D printing, and smart homes, to robotics and driverless cars – reaching their workplaces.
While more than 40 per cent of small businesses don’t yet have a website, the study found that most of them do plan to move online in the next twelve months. If these plans are fulfilled, only 7 per cent of UK businesses will remain offline by this time next year. Few are ready to plunge deeper into the digital revolution, however.
Just one in five plan to migrate to the Cloud in the coming years, and only six per cent of business owners say they expect to adopt smart technologies. Driverless cars, which are set to hit UK roads as early as 2020, have an equally low resonance, as just 8 per cent of business owners expect they will drive one. Continue reading Are Britain’s small firms ready for robotics and automation?
Three in 10 American workers acquire disability prior to retirement. Thomas R. Cutler looks more closely at the issue of safety in the workplace
June is National Safety Month which focuses on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work. Safety is a deliberate act and investing in safety is a sound business decision.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 1 million workers suffer back injuries each year, and account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. A quarter of all compensation indemnity claims involve back injuries, costing industry billions of dollars on top of the pain and suffering borne by employees.
Institution of Mechanical Engineers/ICM Unlimited survey of 2,002 people finds 55 per cent would be unlikely to want to be a passenger in a driverless car
UK Government and companies such as Google, Ford and Uber are all championing driverless car technology, but according to this latest public survey much more work is needed to convince the public of the benefits of driverless vehicles.
The UK Labour Party is urging the government to turn away from “the gods of the free market” and instead roll out the red carpet to our new robot overlords.
Or at least that’s what could be inferred from an opinion piece written by the Labour Party’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who made it clear that he favours mechatronics over abstract notions of free markets.
“A robot driving a lorry may sound daunting, just as a horseless carriage did in 1890. But a driverless car doesn’t get tired, or drink alcohol, or have blind spots,” writes Watson in praise of the machines.
Watson calls for a royal commission into the issue of robotics and automation in the UK, claiming that the chancellor, George Osborne, is leaving to fate to decide whether technological change becomes “out ally not our foe”.
German industrial conglomerate Siemens has won contracts to construct some of the world’s largest intelligent transport projects which will feature autonomous vehicles and connected infrastructure
A 1,300-kilometer corridor between Rotterdam and Vienna in which vehicles and infrastructures communicate with one another; driverless subway trains in Paris, Budapest, and Riyadh; an autonomously-operating public transportation systems in Ulm, Germany – these are examples of how mobility will be networked and increasingly characterized by autonomous systems – developments that Siemens is deeply involved in.
With six lines and a total route length of 175 kilometers, Riyadh is planning the world’s largest subway project. Siemens is to supply the entire turnkey system for two driverless metro lines in the capital of Saudi Arabia.
The five-million city is looking for sustainable solutions for its local traffic problems. Because Riyadh is growing rapidly: since 1990, the population has doubled to more than five million inhabitants. Siemens equips Lines 1 and 2 of the six lines with Inspiro metro trains, the electrification and the signaling and communication systems for driverless operation. Continue reading Siemens gets green light for gigantic intelligent transport projects
Satellite navigation systems are designed to guide a vehicle driver to their destination via the shortest possible route. It’s a principle that will almost certainly be adopted for autonomous cars of the future.
But what if you wanted to take the scenic route? If the autonomous car you find yourself in doesn’t know the meaning of scenic, which it won’t because they don’t understand “meaning”, you’re unlikely to leave the not-so-picturesque highways and byways of the urban jungle. And today’s sat-navs won’t have a clue what you’re talking about either.
Luxury sports car maker Porsche could be going past a big road sign that says “This way to driverless car technology” without even slowing down because the man in the driving seat is steadfastly keeping his machine on a path which has a long tradition, stretching back to the very earliest days of motoring.
Oliver Blume is not alone among high-end car company bosses in feeling something of a mixture of indifference and incredulity at the current wave of interest in and development of driverless car technology.