Google, Tesla, Nissan: 6 Self-Driving Vehicles Cruising Our Way - InformationWeek
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11/6/2015
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Google, Tesla, Nissan: 6 Self-Driving Vehicles Cruising Our Way

Traditional car makers, such as Nissan and Daimler, are joining tech giants like Google in the race to create self-driving vehicles. Here's what you need to know.
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(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

Nissan is just the latest automobile maker to enter the self-driving car market, announcing this week that it would begin testing autonomous cars on the road in its native Japan.

The car company joins of growing roster of other players, such as Daimler, which is currently testing self-driving big rigs on German highways, and Tesla Motors, which offers its Autopilot mode on its Model S.

In addition to automakers, technology giants Google and Apple are hard at work developing their own vehicles. While Google has been regularly posting (and boasting) about its successes, the famously secretive iPhone maker has ensured Project Titan is shrouded in mystery.

A McKinsey survey released in September that polled 3,000 potential owners in the US, China, and, Germany found that consumer interest in self-driving vehicles is high, as long as drivers have the option of taking the wheel when they want to.

Still, even with these vehicles confined to testing grounds right now, there's a lot of hype. Autonomous vehicles like Google's self-driving car and Apple's unofficial Project Titan, have advanced on the curve of Gartner's 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report.

[Apple's Project Titan is a mystery. Here's what we know.]

Self-driving vehicle technology has shifted from pre-peak to the peak of the Hype Cycle, and while autonomous vehicles are still embryonic in their development, this movement represents to Gartner "a significant advancement, with all major automotive companies putting autonomous vehicles on their near-term road maps."

Now, what do you need to know about these self-driving cars, the companies behind them, and what's all this testing about? To answer these and other questions, InformationWeek has assembled a collection of the current crop of self-driving cars to give you a good idea as to where this market is going, and how long it will take to really accelerate.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
11/6/2015 | 7:33:22 AM
Automated lorries, Volvo
While automated cars are exciting, I want to see automated lorries more than anything. They have the ability to not only eliminate some of the most deadly crashes that we have on our motorways, but also allow for faster and more efficient transport thanks to non-stop journeys. 

Volvo is also producing some fun automated features, such as animal detection, which looks at the side of the road to see if cows, horses or deer may be about to cross. They can give the driver a warning or slow the vehicle automatically. 
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2015 | 1:56:07 AM
Re: Automated lorries, Volvo
Automated lorry makes more sense. For the private car, I prefer to drive by myself. Driving is fun and also, I am concerned if the software on driver-less car was hacked...
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2015 | 2:36:38 PM
The real state of things...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrwxEX8qOxA
DanK921
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DanK921,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2015 | 4:00:22 PM
Self-driving cars have huge quality-of-life potential
Today, NPR had an article about the difficulties of telling an elderly relative that they need to give up driving. As hard as it is for the person breaking the news, it's a huge and sudden loss of independence for the person giving up their keys.  The article discussed ways to ease the transition.

In the foreseeable future, self-driving cars could provide a new and welcome option.  Even without the ability to manage highways and cross-country trips, a self-driving car could provide access to friends, shopping, doctor's appointments, and restaurants.

I am very hopeful that, long before I need it, self-driving cars will have become so mainstream that they are routine and affordable.  I intend to drive as long as I can, but when I can't, I still want to be self-reliant.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2015 | 10:46:40 PM
Re: The real state of things...
@stevew928 I watched the video. The guy says: Wow. Wow, indeed, Was that a glitch?. A hacker (angry girlfriend?) took control of the vehicle? Scary!
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2015 | 11:15:29 PM
Re: The real state of things...
No, I think it this case, it just isn't meant to do that. So, the guy is kind of using it improperly. From my understanding, it's just meant to keep the car kinda in it's lane on the freeway while you glance at a map or something quickly. Apparently, it's your duty to be in control of the vehicle (which, seems to kind of defeat the purpose?).

Anyway, I'm not sure whether it's a more a stupid feature problem or stupid people problem.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
11/23/2015 | 8:25:55 AM
Self parking
Self parking has more value than self driving. It will take decades before public trust is built on self driving cars. But self parking cars are in high demand. It's equivalent of personal valet service available every where.
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