Wednesday, May 31, 2017

National Autonomous Vehicle Day plus Uber vs. Waymo

I found a holiday today on National Day Calendar that is perfect for this blog, National Autonomous Vehicle Day.
Observe the future on May 31 with National Autonomous Vehicle Day and experience the realization of science and technology merging like never before.

An autonomous vehicle, including self-driving cars (both manned and unmanned) and unmanned ariel [aerial] vehicles, may seem like something out of science fiction movie, but these cutting edge technologies have placed a variety of industries at a precipice of change. Cars that take us from point A to point B without having to touch the wheel are already a reality in some states. Autonomous Friendly Corridors, like one proposed in North Dakota, could boost commerce and become centers of more innovation. Pilot programs have launched and are being tested in differing formats.

The year of 2017 is a big year for the Autonomous Vehicle. The first ten testing sites dedicated to developing autonomous vehicles were announced by the US Department of Transportation. While some states grapple with how this new technology affects current laws and what changes may need to be made, others have already addressed those questions paving the way (or the skies) for autonomous vehicles to make their debut in their own states. Testing is underway in proving grounds like Pittsburgh and San Diego and planned in many more.

Advancements in technology are propelling industry and infrastructure to keep pace. Proposals range far and wide, influencing agriculture, commerce, medicine and transportation.

According to the Brooking[s] Institution, one-quarter of all cars will be autonomous by 2040. National Autonomous Vehicle Day recognizes that the future is here and it’s in the form of a self-driving car that gets us safely from here to there.
I first blogged about self-driving cars in 2013, when I wrote "We may not get flying cars for the mass market, but another science fiction transportation idea, self-driving autos, looks like it's on its way."  I wrote about them again in last year's Self-driving cars--fantasy and reality, which showed that autonomous vehicles are still coming but have a long way to go.  They're a lot closer now that there is a day in their honor.

Speaking of fantasy, reality, and self-driving vehicles getting closer, follow over the jump for a story involving autonomous cars, the latest in the dispute between Waymo (part of Alphabet, the parent company for Google) and Uber.

Yesterday, CNBC announced Uber Fires Head Of Self-Driving Tech Unit.

CNBC's Deirdre Bosa reports that Uber has fired Anthony Levandowski, the engineer in charge of the company's self-driving technology unit.
Bloomberg Technology explains Why Uber Fired Levandowski Amid Waymo Legal Dispute.

Uber Technologies Inc. fired Anthony Levandowski, the engineer hired to lead its self-driving car efforts who is now at the center of a legal dispute over the technology with Google parent Alphabet Inc.
Oh, my, self-driving cars must be close if two big companies are fighting over them.

That's it for this month.  I'll be back after midnight with the first post of June.

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