You Can Now Charge Electric Cars at Shell in the U.K.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc opened its first rapid charging point for electric cars at gasoline stations in the U.K., the latest sign that oil majors are waking up to the disruption plug-in vehicles could have on their industry.

The new Shell Recharge service is available at three sites in London, Surrey and Derby. It will expand to seven other locations in London and Reading by the end of the year, according to an emailed statement.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority Gets NHTSA Permission to Test AVs on Public Roads

CCTA moves one step closer to being first in US to implement sustained & comprehensive autonomous vehicle & transit pilot program.

Authorized by California Assembly Bill 1592, CCTA is positioned to be the first agency in the USA to devise and fully implement a sustained, comprehensive AV and transit pilot program of this kind, where autonomous vehicles will share the road with drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

CCTA is currently leading a pilot demonstration project at Bishop Ranch, operating electric, low-speed, multi-passenger AVs that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. In March 2017, CCTA, GoMentum Station, Bishop Ranch and EasyMile announced the second phase of testing for the EasyMile EZ10 shared autonomous vehicles at the business park.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority Gets NHTSA Permission to Test AVs on Public Roads

CCTA moves one step closer to being first in US to implement sustained & comprehensive autonomous vehicle & transit pilot program.

Authorized by California Assembly Bill 1592, CCTA is positioned to be the first agency in the USA to devise and fully implement a sustained, comprehensive AV and transit pilot program of this kind, where autonomous vehicles will share the road with drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

CCTA is currently leading a pilot demonstration project at Bishop Ranch, operating electric, low-speed, multi-passenger AVs that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. In March 2017, CCTA, GoMentum Station, Bishop Ranch and EasyMile announced the second phase of testing for the EasyMile EZ10 shared autonomous vehicles at the business park.

"PennDOT Innovations Challenge" Contest For High School Students

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) today invited high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to take part in the first PennDOT Innovations Challenge.

"Every hour, about 15 reportable traffic crashes occur in Pennsylvania and although we have made positive steps towards reducing traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities, a disproportionate number of these crashes involve teenagers," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. "Through PennDOT's Innovations Challenge, we are inviting high school students to become an active part of the solution in helping develop innovative ways to tackle this real transportation concern."

The PennDOT Innovations Challenge asks students to look at technologies and innovative methods, aside from traditional paid advertising, marketing and social media channels, that can be developed in the next five to 10 years to curb unsafe teen driving practices.

Lyft Raises $1 Billion At $11 Billion Valuation Led By Alphabet’s CapitalG

Lyft shared the news in an official blog post, and noted that it has run over 500 million rides to date, and expanded its coverage in the U.S. to 95 percent of the population, which is up from just 54 percent at the start of 2017.

Alphabet’s GV early investment fund invested early in Uber, which makes this more interesting. But relations between Uber and Google’s parent company have likely soured in general now that Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving company is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Uber over allegedly stolen trade secrets regarding LiDAR tech.

Lyft Raises $1 Billion At $11 Billion Valuation Led By Alphabet’s CapitalG

Lyft shared the news in an official blog post, and noted that it has run over 500 million rides to date, and expanded its coverage in the U.S. to 95 percent of the population, which is up from just 54 percent at the start of 2017.

Alphabet’s GV early investment fund invested early in Uber, which makes this more interesting. But relations between Uber and Google’s parent company have likely soured in general now that Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving company is engaged in an ongoing legal battle with Uber over allegedly stolen trade secrets regarding LiDAR tech.

To Survive The Streets, Robocars Must Learn To Think Like Humans

Many robotic systems, Anca Dragan, who studies autonomy in UC Berkeley’s electric engineering and computer sciences department, says, come with a built-in flaw: Their makers assume the presence of an autonomous car won’t change how other actors move. “An autonomous car's actions will influence human actions, whether we like it or not,” she says. “Cars need to start accounting for this influence.”

That’s why Dragan and her team have built a system that includes a model of human drivers’ responses to the car. “Our car is no longer ultra-defensive, because it knows it can trigger reactions from people, too,” she says. “Like other vehicles slowing down when our car merges in front of them. We've also looked at actively estimating human intentions, again by leveraging the autonomous car's actions. In that case, our car might slow down gently to see if the person wants to be let in.”
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To Survive The Streets, Robocars Must Learn To Think Like Humans

Many robotic systems, Anca Dragan, who studies autonomy in UC Berkeley’s electric engineering and computer sciences department, says, come with a built-in flaw: Their makers assume the presence of an autonomous car won’t change how other actors move. “An autonomous car's actions will influence human actions, whether we like it or not,” she says. “Cars need to start accounting for this influence.”

That’s why Dragan and her team have built a system that includes a model of human drivers’ responses to the car. “Our car is no longer ultra-defensive, because it knows it can trigger reactions from people, too,” she says. “Like other vehicles slowing down when our car merges in front of them. We've also looked at actively estimating human intentions, again by leveraging the autonomous car's actions. In that case, our car might slow down gently to see if the person wants to be let in.”
More>>

NYT Editorial Board: Would You Buy a Self-Driving Future From These Guys?

While companies like Alphabet, General Motors and Tesla are investing billions of dollars to turn lofty goals for driverless cars into reality, the Pew Research Center found that most people surveyed did not want to ride in them and were not sure whether the vehicles would make roads safer or more dangerous (39 percent vs. 30 percent). And 87 percent favored requiring that a person always be behind the wheel, ready to take control if something goes wrong.

It might be tempting for corporate executives and proponents to dismiss these concerns as part of humanity’s aversion to change and argue that this resistance will soften once people see the benefits of self-driving technologies. That would be a mistake.
More>>

NYT Editorial Board: Would You Buy a Self-Driving Future From These Guys?

While companies like Alphabet, General Motors and Tesla are investing billions of dollars to turn lofty goals for driverless cars into reality, the Pew Research Center found that most people surveyed did not want to ride in them and were not sure whether the vehicles would make roads safer or more dangerous (39 percent vs. 30 percent). And 87 percent favored requiring that a person always be behind the wheel, ready to take control if something goes wrong.

It might be tempting for corporate executives and proponents to dismiss these concerns as part of humanity’s aversion to change and argue that this resistance will soften once people see the benefits of self-driving technologies. That would be a mistake.
More>>