#14
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  • Edge Computing (#2)
  • Pedestrians and traffic lights (#13)
  • Voyage gets green light (#6)
  • Cars and the FCC (#18)


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Jalopnik

The Fisker Karma is a car with a fairly short but quite strange life. Originally released in 2012 as a strikingly designed hybrid gasoline-electric sedan most notable for its dramatic proportions and alarmingly cramped interior, the car has since had a change of ownership and is now known as the Karma Revero. Karma has recently been announcing new models and showing prototypes of new technology. However, I’ve spoken to a source in the company who tells me that the new models have specs that are made up, that there are prototypes that are “movie props,” and that the company itself will soon undergo massive layoffs.


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Express Computer

It’s a no brainer that edge computing is the way forward, however the question is are we totally geared up for it?


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Nikkei

Qi Kong is Chief Scientist and Head of Autonomous Driving at JD Logistics, a business group under JD.com, China’s largest retailer.


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The Conversation

Cars are changing – fast. But are innovations such as autonomous and flying cars a bright new dawn, or just a wild pipe dream? And if they become the future’s way of getting from A to B, can we trust them to take us there safely? Here are five key questions answered by an expert.


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Nikkei

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG — Chinese automated driving startup AutoX has one foot in its home market and one in the U.S., but its priorities are clear cut.


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Tech Crunch

Voyage has cleared a regulatory hurdle that will allow the company to expand its self-driving service from the private roads of a retirement community in San Jose, Calif. to public roads throughout the rest of the state.


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Those who follow this newsletter closely might already be familiar with the California Public Utilities Commission, which last week approved Pony.ai to head for the state’s roads. Here Tech Crunch reports on Voyage, which caters specifically to senior citizens.

VentureBeat

Zoox today published a video showcasing its autonomous system driving for an hour in downtown San Francisco, and performing a range of complex maneuvers in heavy, multi-lane vehicle traffic and dense pedestrian crowds.


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Houston Chronicle

Earl Hesterberg is no stranger to the wild swings of the oil market, having begun his automotive career shortly after the 1973 oil crisis.


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South China Morning Post

SAIC Volkswagen’s Passat cars and other models produced this year will come with JD.com’s smart home services built in


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Economist ($)

When carmakers sold 95m cars and commercial vehicles in 2017 the 100m mark seemed just around the corner. After a disappointing 2018 and 2019, this year was forecast to be a turning point. And it will be — in the wrong direction. As governments around the world have ordered factories to close and locked-down buyers put off purchases, car sales are expected to plummet by a fifth (see chart 1), to a level last seen in the depths of the global financial crisis of 2007-09. A feared second wave of covid-19 makes prospects for 2021 uncertain. The industry, already facing a precarious and colossally expensive shift to electric cars, will emerge from the pandemic transformed — not necessarily for the better.


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Wards Auto

Everyone is worried about the financial impact the COVID-19 crisis will have. It literally caused the global economy to come to a screeching halt. And while every sector of the economy will need help, the auto industry is particularly vulnerable. If the U.S. wants a vibrant auto industry, Uncle Sam needs to pitch in and help now.


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Teslarati

Almost two years ago, Nikola Motors surprised the trucking market by filing a $2 billion lawsuit alleging that the Tesla Semi copied several design elements from the Nikola One, the truck-maker’s flagship hydrogen long hauler. News about the patent lawsuit has been scarce for over a year, but recent updates indicate that Nikola has snatched a small victory from the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker.


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The Conversation

Automated vehicles don’t have human operators to communicate their driving intentions to pedestrians at intersections. My team’s research on pedestrians’ perceptions of safety shows their trust of traffic lights tends to override their fear of self-driving cars. This suggests one way to help pedestrians trust and safely interact with autonomous vehicles may be to link the cars’ driving behavior to traffic lights.


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Self-driving cars won’t just interact with other cars, but pedestrians. Here Lionel Peter Robert Jr explores how to increase trust with something that already exists.

Caixin

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has unveiled a three-year development plan that provides a roadmap for how it sees itself developing, including the volume of trips it hopes to log and businesses that will become its main focuses.


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Freight Waves

It’s been a tough seven days for autonomous trucking startups. Last week, Kodiak Robotics laid off more than a dozen employees. And now Ike, another company aiming to automate long-haul trucking, has laid off ten employees, accounting for 14% of its staff, the Information reported on Wednesday.


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Electrek

Tesla’s head of AI, Andrej Karpathy, released a bunch of new data about Autopilot and its features in a new presentation.


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Jerusalem Post

Driverless vehicle technologies have long promised to transform our societies and urban experiences, eliminating traffic jams and fatal road accidents.Yet the key to handing over control of the steering wheel might not be a question of technology, but rather a matter of trust.


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The Verge

The auto industry is promising to dramatically expand “vehicle-to-everything” communication technology, but only if the Federal Communication Commission rolls back its decision to take away the current airwaves dedicated to that technology.


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This newsletter often touches on regulation, specifically about safety. Here The Verge reports on another battle between authorities and car makers, this time over the airwaves.

Bloomberg

Uber’s filing fills in gaps of a dispute that largely played out behind the closed doors of private arbitration. The ride-hailing company says Levandowski forfeited his indemnification when he asserted his constitutional right against self-incrimination and refused to testify in Google’s legal action against him.By Joel Rosenblatt


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Reuters

Didi Chuxing lacks a spark. A new three-year strategic plan from China’s top ride-hailing outfit includes only vague targets and uninspiring direction, as big tech peers like Alibaba and Meituan Dianping grab post-Covid-19 opportunities in health and more. Didi’s $53 billion valuation will be harder to justify without a stronger drive.


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Clean Technica

Lidar, shorthand for “light detection and ranging,” is conceptually the same as radar except it uses light instead of radio waves to “see” things not visible to the human eye. Lidar units do a better job of detecting living things like people and dogs than radar units, but radar is better at penetrating fog, smog, rain, and other atmospheric anomalies.


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Washington Post

The vehicles could also improve access to transportation and affordable housing, shift tens of thousands of future jobs to the District from elsewhere in the region, and reduce crashes if the technology produces the safety benefits its boosters promise, the study said.


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Road and Track

We took a road trip to understand one of Hollywood’s most captivating women, Hedy Lamarr.


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Mineta Transportation Institute

Over the next decade almost three-quarters of a million people with autism will reach driving age in a highly automated transportation environment. In The Potential for Autonomous Vehicle Technology to Address Barriers to Driving for Individuals with Autism, Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) researchers examined the magnitude of challenges to driving and accessing essential opportunities for adults with autism, and the potential of automated vehicles to address those challenges.


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China Daily

Framework for low-level driverless vehicles a major task this year, says MIIT


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