|Cruise is cutting its robotaxi fleet by 50% after two crashes in San Francisco|
|Kodiak Robotics and Pilot Company Open Inaugural Truckport for Autonomous Trucks|
|Commercial Vehicle Safety Solutions Company ADUS Receives Seed Round of Funding|
|San Francisco launches driverless bus services on Treasure Island|
1. Cruise is cutting its robotaxi fleet by 50% after two crashes in San Francisco
- Cruise, a robotaxi company owned by GM, is reducing its San Francisco fleet by 50% in response to recent collisions involving its autonomous vehicles.
- One crash involved a Cruise robotaxi and an emergency vehicle on August 17, resulting in non-severe injuries to a passenger.
- The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ordered Cruise to cut its fleet while it investigates the accidents, with the reduction staying in place until safety improvements are made.
- Cruise had recently gained approval to operate its driverless cars at all hours in San Francisco, with 50 vehicles allowed during the day and 150 at night.
- The San Francisco Fire Department has been opposing the expansion of robotaxi services in the city, citing concerns about safety and disruptions to emergency responses.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had previously launched an investigation into Cruise due to reports of driving malfunctions.
- These crashes occurred shortly after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Cruise for expanded operations in the city, a decision that faced opposition from local officials and residents.
Cruise’s decision to reduce its fleet in response to accidents shows a commitment to safety and compliance with regulatory authorities. The collision with an emergency vehicle raises questions about the ability of autonomous vehicles to respond to unexpected and complex traffic situations, especially those involving emergency services.
2. Kodiak Robotics and Pilot Company Open Inaugural Truckport for Autonomous Trucks
- Kodiak Robotics and Pilot Company have opened their first truckport in Villa Rica, Georgia.
- This facility will serve as a launch and landing point for Kodiak’s autonomous trucks and a hub for first- and last-mile deliveries.
- It supports Kodiak’s 18,000-mile autonomous deployment network, which is one of the industry’s largest.
- The truckport will provide essential services like refueling, maintenance, and inspections for self-driving trucks.
- Pilot Company, a major travel center operator, is collaborating with Kodiak to integrate autonomous trucks into their network.
- Kodiak’s partnership with Pilot Company began with a strategic investment in August 2022, and they plan to explore further expansion within Pilot’s travel center network.
The opening of this truckport is a significant step in the development of autonomous trucking infrastructure. It provides a central location for Kodiak’s autonomous trucks to operate and receive essential services, making autonomous trucking operations more efficient.
3. Baidu and automaker Changan build computing center for intelligent driving
- Baidu and Changan have formed a partnership to establish a computing center aimed at advancing smart and connected vehicles with autonomous capabilities.
- The facility is expected to achieve a remarkable 1,420 quadrillion operations per second in terms of computing power.
- Xpeng Motors, a rival automaker, previously disclosed training its autonomous driving deep neural network at 600 petaFlops using Alibaba’s cloud computing platform.
- Other Chinese automakers like Great Wall Motor and Geely have also launched computing facilities with substantial computing power (670 and 810 petaFlops, respectively).
- Baidu is additionally working on an AI chatbot service for a new Changan vehicle, leveraging its ChatGPT-like tool named ERNIE Bot.
The partnership between Baidu and Changan reflects the growing importance of advanced computing power in the development of self-driving vehicles. The substantial computing capability of 1,420 quadrillion operations per second suggests a significant commitment to pushing the boundaries of autonomous technology. China’s automotive industry is showing a strong interest in building computing facilities to support autonomous vehicle development. This reflects the nation’s ambition to become a leader in the autonomous and smart vehicle market.
4. Commercial Vehicle Safety Solutions Company ADUS Receives Seed Round of Funding
- ADUS, a provider of commercial vehicle safety systems and autonomous driving services, has secured funding in a Seed round.
- The investment was led by Anda Asia Ventures (VC) and Futureplay (AC), recognizing ADUS’ potential business model, technology scalability, rapid monetization, and market penetration.
- ADUS focuses on autonomy, safety, and service for commercial vehicles and has a team with experience in the autonomous driving market.
- They offer a range of six product lines, including scalable safety integrated system solutions.
- ADUS signed a mass production development contract with a European OEM just six months after its founding in October 2022.
- The funding will be used to expand domestic and international sales and marketing, improve existing products, and develop new ones.
- The company’s ability to adapt to stringent UNECE safety regulations through component upgrades is a strong selling point.
- ADUS plans to monetize its technology, starting with commercial vehicle safety solutions, and aims to make an impact in various areas, including autonomous driving and mobility.
ADUS’s successful Seed funding round highlights the growing interest in commercial vehicle safety systems and autonomous driving technologies. Rapid monetization and market penetration are critical indicators of a company’s viability, especially in the highly competitive autonomous driving industry.
5. San Francisco launches driverless bus services on Treasure Island
- San Francisco has launched a pilot program offering a free driverless shuttle service on Treasure Island to test the viability of autonomous vehicles in public transportation.
- Beep, the operator, runs the electric shuttle, which can seat up to 10 passengers and is equipped with an attendant who can take control if necessary.
- The shuttle follows a fixed route with seven stops, connecting residential areas with shops and community centers.
- The goal is to provide a convenient and eco-friendly transportation option for the island’s 2,000 residents who currently rely on buses and ferries.
- San Francisco aims to gather data and feedback on autonomous vehicle performance and safety through this pilot.
- The move towards autonomous public transportation comes amid controversy surrounding the deployment of driverless taxis in the city, with concerns about traffic issues and safety incidents.
The introduction of a driverless shuttle service on Treasure Island is part of a broader global trend where cities are exploring autonomous vehicles to enhance public transportation options. Finding a balance between automation and human oversight is a critical consideration in the development of autonomous public transportation solutions.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company