The Nissan SAM Utilizes Human Beings in Self-Driving Tech Backup

There is no question that Nissan wants to the-nissan-sam-utilizes-human-beings-in-self-driving-tech-backupbe one of the companies leading the research on self-driving cars. The company plans to have as many as ten models with such capabilities by the year 2020. However, while the tech behind these vehicles is astonishing, even to the layperson, the company also recognizes situations in which the technology might fail. Nissan presents the Seamless Autonomous Mobility system (also known as SAM) as a solution to this problem.

In the event that the vehicle detects a situation it knows is beyond its programming, it will come to a rest. From that point, it will then contact a remote command center for further instructions. In the same way that a referee makes a call based on available information, SAM will rely on mobility managers to assess the situation and then provide the vehicle with the instructions it requires. Using visuals and hard data, a safe path/course of action will be determined for the vehicle and then it will be given the ability to resume self-driving.

Nissan elaborated on the measure by indicating that they are taking their cues from NASA when it comes to accepting the fact that there will be times in which the car does not know how to handle itself. NASA employs something similar to what Nissan would like to achieve with SAM. It is known as VERVE.

The car company further indicated that this will be a measure that all cars will eventually be able to adopt. It will not merely be limited to the vehicles they make.



The New Self Balancing Motorcycle from Honda

the-new-self-balancing-motorcycle-from-hondaImagine never dropping your bike in the parking lot ever again. Honda understands better than most companies that this is a consistent problem amongst motorcycle owners. When a rider is driving at high speeds, maintaining balance is fairly easy. However, when the bike is cruising through parking lots, traffic, or somewhere similar, balance must be maintained by the rider. This is where things can get tricky, and this is the annoyance that Honda wants to get rid of once and for all.

Through their new riding assist technology, Honda wants to do more than merely keep the rider upright. Their Uni-Cub mobility research has endeavoured to create a bike that can establish and maintain a self-balancing mode. At high speeds, this feature isn’t going to prove to be necessary. However, when you need to reduce the speed of the bike, that’s when the feature will kick in. When the bike shifts to balance mode from regular riding mode, your front forks will begin extending your front tire away from the rest of the bike lowering its center-of-gravity.

At the moment, it is unknown as to when bikes actually featuring this technology will be released to the general public. It is worth keeping in mind that bikes featuring the riding assist technology have not even gone into production yet. However, given the popularity of the idea, it seems reasonable to imagine that the bike could go into production fairly soon and perhaps begin to take shape over the course of the next few years.


Uber Suspends Tests of Self-Driving Autos in California

uber-suspends-tests-of-self-driving-autos-in-californiaUber, the original ride hailing company, has been testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco. It has now suspended the tests because of a disagreement with state regulators. While many observers remain steadfast in their belief that self-driving autos will dominate US roadways in the future, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) apparently is not convinced.

DMV officials threatened to revoke Uber vehicle registrations if they did not cease testing these autos. The DMV states that Uber needs the “special permits” the other firms testing self-driving vehicles in California have obtained.

Uber Disagrees with the California DMV

The company disagrees. The Uber position is that it doesn’t need special permits because its vehicles do not use technology that allows their cars to always drive themselves, contrary to advertising them as “self-driving” vehicles. They say drivers must frequently take control of their cars.

The California DMV maintains the auto registrations were mistakenly issued because Uber did not flag them as “test” cars. The DMV “invited” the company to seek permits and permission to operate these vehicles legally in California. Since the Uber home is San Francisco, the DMV believes this offer is reasonable.

Uber is now studying how and where it could use these vehicles, while the company states it’s 100 percent committed to California. Uber also says it will work harder to achieve “workable” statewide rules legislatively. The DMV received support from the Mayor of San Francisco, who said he was happy the DMV chose “enforcement action.” He further stated that he was a staunch supporter of self-driving vehicle development, but only when it puts “human, bicyclist and pedestrian safety first.”

Uber’s Position

The company maintains that their vehicles’ drivers need to “constantly monitor” their cars, and take control at any time. This position is the foundation for their arguments that these autos are not “autonomous vehicles” as defined by California law.


San Francisco is actually the company’s second self-driving vehicle location. September 2016 marked the launch of self-driving autos in Pittsburgh, PA. This long-term test identifies technology quirks and offers drivers and passengers real-world experience with autonomous vehicle technology.

The company hopes to continue testing without special permits, which provide some benefits. Testing without these special permits provides advantages, unavailable to the competition with testing permits. The major benefits: Special permits require companies to report all accidents involving self-driving vehicles in California. Conversely, the Pittsburgh test does not require Uber to release crash information or instances where driver control was required to avoid crashes.


The P100D from Tesla Offers Tech Options to The Rich

the-p100d-from-tesla-offers-tech-options-to-the-richPriced at 134, 000.000, there is no question that the new P100D from Tesla offers a pricey option. However, for those who want to be at the forefront of technology in vehicles, this is definitely something you are going to want to pay attention to. This new vehicle makes it clear that these technologies and features with vehicles like these are becoming closer to the reach of the average consumer.

This vehicle can go from zero to sixty in an astonishing 2.5 seconds. However, there are several additional features and amenities to this vehicle that are worth keeping in mind. Featuring the latest in semiautonomous and EV tech, the Model-S in particular comes with enough room for anything that you might have in mind. The fact that autopilot is limited to posted speed limits on undivided roadways is something else to consider.

The massive 17-inch touchscreen is back. The same can be said for many of the features and design elements that defined the Model X vehicles. The leather seats that have been praised for being extremely comfortable in the past are back, as well. You will also find it possible to seat five people without any difficult, provided all of the passengers are less than six feet tall. Even at capacity, owners of the new P100D from Tesla will find it possible to have room for many other things. The vehicle is designed for use across both short distances and long ones.

Although the vehicle is quite large, the low center of gravity and stiff chassis will keep the vehicle from feeling as though one is trying to drive and steer a boat.

For now, while a vehicle like this is clearly a luxury for those lucky enough to afford it, vehicles like the Model 3 will soon be able to answer the call for those who want something more affordable.


Are We, Like Google, Ready for Auto-Drivers?

cam.jpgThe concept of self-driving technology going commercial became real when the president-elect of the US, Donald Trump, met Alphabet. The latter is the parent company for Google which is involved in the multi-trillion investment of self-drive technology.

Wired Life

The other players in the industry, namely the e-commerce and telecoms, have succeeded in feeding the consumer with wired technology: the phone and the internet. Now, it is time to push for wired driving.

Political Angle

The political dimension from which the concept took shape, shows that the government will be involved in turning our driving experience driverless. The Senate Committee on Science, Transportation and Commerce have already chaired meetings with industry leaders with the aim to making it a reality.

Are We Game?

The road to a driver-less future is paved with some uncertainty. Although there are some feasible benefits, there are some legitimate queries over safety, especially where the interests of the public are concerned. The industry, it seems, has a different perspective from what is shown in reality. The safety benefits, for instance, are not backed up. It is not possible to tell how the technology could save lives in a year. There is no conclusive data available for the number of deaths caused by human error. The self-reporting adopted by the proponents of the driverless technology is, therefore, unreliable and at the very least, misleading.

Accidents of the Future

The accidents based on the automated technology will be different from the ones we see today. They will for one, be unpredictable. The speed they will move at and the fact that they will run together however, will mean fewer accidents.

The Positive Side of a Driverless Future

It’s not all gloom for this technology. For instance, it will lead to massive employment, though others will be ended, like taxi drivers. There will be fewer cars on the roads as people will use the driverless cars and car sharing apps. Car automakers will cut down production and lay off thousands.

The infrastructure to support the technology will be massive and will include refining roads and making them smooth.

Security protocols will have to be changed to reduce the hacking of cars. Perhaps we should be asking: Are we ready to let go of mass transit?

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