Tagged With car technology

There are very few people in this world who would wonder, “what would happen if I made a jeep that could fly?” It seems more like the kind of thing you’d make a rough crayon sketch of in kindergarten than it does something someone would actually sit down and seriously draft up. But someone out there, well—they really did try it out.

Tesla heads back to court later this month to continue a trial over allegations from the National Labour Relations Board that the automaker’s management violated federal labour laws. When both sides meet in court, they’ll duke it out over a new, potentially thorny legal issue that emerged in late August: a tweet from CEO Elon Musk.

Stories on the inner-workings of Elon Musk's mind have been flowing like wine in recent days, thanks to the Tesla CEO's attempt at taking the company private. The latest comes by way of the Wall Street Journal, which sets the scene with a cheery anecdote about the one time Musk (purportedly) head-butted a car to refute that the company's assembly line needed to be stopped for safety.

We’ve aired our grievances about the fallibility of semi-autonomous driving features again and again, and a new study out this week confirms the fact: Cars with driver-assist systems that include things like lane-keep and auto-steering and braking may not see stopped vehicles. Worse, they could even steer you into a crash.

It weighs 200kg, it endures temperatures up to 140 degrees, and it's been on a four-year stint that amounts to the same distance as going around the earth and then some. Not my luggage, despite what you might assume, but the absolute unit at the back of the first generation of Formula E race cars. Slapping the roof of this bad boy would earn you a disapproving look from the engineers but you can fit 54,500km of racing without a single failure inside it.

Besides a few of the minor, current examples of driverless cars cruising around cities like Phoenix, we're still decades away, if ever, from a full-fledged takeover of autonomous vehicles on public streets. The achievements that have been made to date, however, can be attributed to pioneering engineers like Ernst Dickmanns, whose effort to outfit vehicles with autonomous technology back in the 1980s is profiled in this fascinating Politico story from last week.

The reason an Uber self-driving car fatally struck a pedestrian in March is coming into sharper focus, thanks to the release of a preliminary report on Thursday from the National Transportation Safety Board. But the agency's findings raise a notable question: If the car (a Volvo XC90 outfitted with Uber's own self-driving tech) had had its driver assistance functions from Volvo engaged at the time, including automatic emergency braking, could the impact of the crash been lessened or avoided entirely? It seems almost certain.

Tesla is struggling to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan, but that's not stopping the automaker from thinking about its next vehicle, the Model Y crossover. And if a report from Reuters is accurate, Tesla wants to start production on that vehicle by 2019. In the same California factory as the Model 3. Which is supposed to be at capacity by then. Aaaaalrighty then.

When it comes to autonomous driving, car enthusiasts are first in line to nix the idea. There's a bit of an overarching fear that, one day, human drivers could be rendered unnecessary and manually controlled driving is banned altogether. But even the CEO of the company with the most advanced autonomous driving fleet on the road today believes humans will always have the choice to take the wheel if they please.