|Driverless Taxis Blocked Ambulance in Fatal Accident, San Francisco Fire Dept. Says|
|Tesla decreases the price of FSD beta to $12,000|
|Japanese autonomous trucking start-up raises $24m|
|Volvo Removes Safety Driver in Autonomous Mining Operations|
1. Driverless Taxis Blocked Ambulance in Fatal Accident, San Francisco Fire Dept. Says
- On August 14, two Cruise driverless taxis blocked an ambulance carrying a critically injured patient in San Francisco.
- The incident occurred on a four-lane, one-way street in the SoMa neighborhood, delaying the transport of the patient to the hospital.
- The patient, who had been struck by a car, later died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, about 2.4 miles from the accident site.
- Cruise, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of General Motors, claimed it was not at fault and provided footage showing their vehicle had moved from the scene before the ambulance loaded the victim.
- The San Francisco Fire Department confirmed the incident and emphasized the importance of quick access to patients.
- San Francisco officials have protested the expansion of driverless taxi services due to multiple incidents involving autonomous vehicles interfering with emergency responders.
- There have been over 70 incidents of autonomous vehicles interfering with emergency responders in San Francisco.
- City officials plan to file a motion for a new hearing on the service expansion, expressing concerns about the readiness of autonomous vehicles for public use.
The delayed medical care due to the obstruction caused by driverless taxis raises questions about their ability to navigate unpredictable situations effectively. The request for a new hearing and calls to halt the expansion show that cities are actively monitoring and regulating autonomous vehicle services to ensure public safety.
2. Tesla decreases the price of FSD beta to $12,000
- Tesla has reduced the price of its “full self-driving” (FSD) beta software by $3,000, resulting in a 20% price cut.
- The cost of FSD in North America is now $12,000, down from the $15,000 price introduced about a year ago.
- Tesla vehicles come with standard driver-assistance features called “Autopilot.”
- An additional $6,000 is charged for “Enhanced Autopilot,” which includes extras for parking and remote vehicle maneuvers.
- FSD offers enhanced Autopilot features and the ability to detect and ideally stop at traffic lights and stop signs.
- Tesla vehicles are not fully self-driving or autonomous, despite the name of the software.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has raised safety concerns about Tesla’s FSD.
- Tesla intends to eventually license its FSD technology to other automakers.
- Other automakers like GM and Ford are also introducing their own advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that offer hands-free driving on highways but require driver attention.
Tesla’s decision to lower the price of its FSD software suggests a recognition of the need to make the technology more accessible and competitive in the market. The reduction in price may also be a response to the NHTSA’s safety concerns, as lowering the price could encourage more customers to adopt FSD, potentially providing more data for safety evaluations.
3. Inceptio Technology Announces New Orders for Heavy-duty Autonomous Trucks Equipped with its Truck Navigate-on-Autopilot Feature
- Inceptio Technology, a leading developer of autonomous driving technologies for heavy-duty trucks in China, has made several announcements at its second annual Tech Day in Shanghai.
- Inceptio has entered into procurement and strategic collaboration agreements with major logistics companies STO Express, ZTO Freight, and Deppon Express.
- They also announced a cooperation agreement with China Pacific Insurance Co., Ltd. (CPIC) to develop innovative insurance products tailored to autonomous heavy-duty trucks.
- Two joint studies with CPIC and academic teams revealed significant safety and driver experience benefits for Inceptio’s autonomous trucks compared to human-operated trucks.
- Inceptio’s autonomous trucks have shown superior safety, reduced labor costs, improved driver experiences, and better fuel efficiency.
- Inceptio’s trucks are equipped with Truck Navigate-on-Autopilot (T-NOA) and receive regular over-the-air (OTA) updates.
- The core technology elements behind Inceptio’s autonomous trucks include an end-to-end network with safety guardrails, the Inceptio Super Driver (TruckGPT), and the Inceptio Autonomous Truck Platform.
- Inceptio has made substantial progress in commercializing its technology, with over 50 million kilometers of accident-free autonomous driving operations.
- The company received orders for autonomous trucks from its logistics partners, reflecting confidence in its technology.
The collaboration with major logistics companies and the development of insurance solutions indicate the potential for wider adoption of autonomous trucks in the commercial sector.
4. Japanese autonomous trucking start-up raises $24m
- A Japanese autonomous trucking start-up T2 has secured $24 million in funding in its latest financing round.
- The company, founded in 2017, is developing self-driving trucks for the logistics and transportation industry.
- The funding round was led by a Japanese financial institution, and it also included participation from several other investors.
- The company plans to use the funds to continue developing its autonomous truck technology and expand its operations.
- The autonomous trucking start-up aims to address challenges in the transportation industry, including driver shortages and the need for more efficient and cost-effective logistics solutions.
The funding secured by the Japanese autonomous trucking start-up highlights the growing interest and investment in autonomous vehicles, particularly in the commercial and logistics sectors.
5. Volvo Removes Safety Driver in Autonomous Mining Operations
- Volvo Autonomous Solutions has partnered with Brönnöy Kalk, a limestone mining operation in Norway, since 2018 to develop autonomous mining operations.
- The partnership has achieved a significant milestone where human drivers are no longer needed in the trucks used for hauling materials out of the mines.
- The autonomous transport solution involves seven fully autonomous Volvo FH trucks equipped with Volvo Autonomous Solutions’ in-house-developed virtual driver system.
- These autonomous trucks operate in challenging conditions, including steep inclines, extreme weather, and long tunnels, to transport limestone from the mine to the crusher.
- The removal of safety drivers from these autonomous trucks represents a major advancement in the industry and enhances safety, efficiency, and competitiveness.
- Brönnöy Kalk is not purchasing the autonomous trucks but is buying autonomous transport capacity from Volvo Autonomous Solutions, presenting new business models in the industry.
- The solution, developed since 2018, provides a comprehensive package that includes software, site infrastructure, training, and operations support to simplify the integration of autonomous technology into existing operations.
The achievement of fully autonomous mining operations in challenging conditions signifies the continued progress of autonomous technology in various industrial sectors. Volvo Autonomous Solutions’ approach to providing a complete solution, including infrastructure and training, highlights the importance of a holistic approach to the adoption of autonomous technology.
*Contents above are the opinion of ChatGPT, not an individual nor company