• 06.27.13

Tracking: Self-Driving Cars

Google, Tesla, and a number of other companies are developing cars that drive themselves, blurring the line between automobiles and mass transit. Whether you call the technology “self-driving cars,” “autopilot,” or something else entirely, these new innovations threaten to disrupt the automobile industry and change the way we work and play. Fast Company is following–and analyzing–the innovations and discourse that surround this emerging technology.

Tracking: Self-Driving Cars

4:20 p.m., 06/27/13


New York State Senate Weighing Self-Driving Car Legislation

Greg Ball, a New York State Senator representing a Hudson Valley district, is introducing legislation expressly permitting driverless cars in New York State:

“This is a tremendous advancement in automobile technology, the future is here,” said Senator Ball. “Vehicle accidents, year after year, always rank in the leading causes of death in New York State and across the United States. In the early testing stages this futurist technology has proven to be safer and more reliable than human operated vehicles. I have introduced this bill because I believe that New York State should welcome this technology with open arms.”

The legislation will allow Toyota in partnership with Google, to test autonomous vehicles on New York roadways to provide the safe development of this technology. This endeavor will allow for safer roadways in the future, reducing the number of vehicular accidents by eliminating human error as well as providing a more efficient flow of traffic.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Toyota and Google testing driverless cars in New York.

Neal Ungerleider

4:10 p.m., 06/27/13

Predicting The Pioneers Of The Self-Driving Car Industry

Massachusetts-based data analysis firm Recorded Future just ran an interesting series of industry visualizations for self-driving cars. Their takeaway was interesting:

1. Google and Tesla are further ahead in driverless car development than traditional industry leaders such as Mercedes or Audi.

2. For driverless cars to truly make it big, an open development standard will be needed.


The following, from study author Alejandro Santacreu, is food for thought:

Places, opinions, and people are geographically and virtually isolated by different services and we have already seen enough sci-fi forecasts showing evidence driverless cars will need Augmented Reality and customer personalization at the same time.

Of course this is not necessary for making driverless car technology a reality but once we get there it will become more obvious how big the demand for those services will be and how difficult they become to build. Nowadays under the current disgregation of information it is an apocalyptic scenario for any programmer, a beautiful but unreachable dream.

In the same way we already have CalDAV and CardDAV protocols to sync our calendars and contacts regardless of the platform we are working on, there will be an emerging need on the horizon to sync all of us with the world, and make everybody and everything part of a distributed network that constantly reshapes itself like a high-efficient flock.

Neal Ungerleider

[Image: Flickr user Steve Jurvetson]