At CES 2014, the cars drive you

LAS VEGAS -- At last year's CES, the topic of driverless cars came up from Audi and Lexus, but it was largely talk. Just one year later, we are seeing real-world demonstrations of the technology. New platforms for app integration in cars were also on display, as was an exciting new trend, letting drivers get information and control some car functions with a smartwatch.

Audi and BMW, along with automotive suppliers Bosch and Valeo, demonstrated some driverless car technologies. Rather than a fully enabled autonomous vehicle that can drive across town by itself, these demonstrations focused on next-generation features … Read more

Audi A7 takes the wheel at CES 2014

LAS VEGAS -- My first few times driving a car with adaptive cruise control, I nervously kept my foot hovering over the brake as I approached traffic ahead. Riding in Audi's A7, fitted with a test version of its Piloted Driving feature, was like that, but more so.

As Audi's autonomous driving technology is still under development, I wasn't in the driver's seat. I watched as a brave Audi staffer pushed a button, then took his hands off the wheel. The car used its forward-looking radars and laser to "see" traffic ahead, a windshield-mounted … Read more

Study predicts 54 million autonomous cars in 2035

A study by analyst firm IHS predicts milestones for autonomous cars entering the market, with global sales of 230,000 in 2025 and 11.8 million in 2035.

By 2035, the study predicts, 54 million autonomous cars will be in use.

IHS breaks down autonomous cars into five levels. Level 3 cars include limited self-driving capabilities based on specific road and traffic conditions. The Mercedes-Benz S550 almost meets this criteria. Level 4 cars will include both manual controls and self-driving capability. Audi has shown a conceptual video detailing this type of vehicle.

Level 5 cars, of which IHS predicts 4.… Read more

Ford's self-driving car unveils itself

In the future, Mustang Sally might be a robot.

Ford Motor unveiled its first self-driving car this week -- well, a prototype anyway. The Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle, developed with the University of Michigan and State Farm insurers, will help the storied US automaker "test the limits of full automation and determine the appropriate levels for near- and mid-term deployment," Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development, said in a statement.… Read more

Crave Ep. 148: App turns you into the dog whisperer

Subscribe to Crave:

iTunes (HD)iTunes (SD)iTunes (HQ)


This week on Crave, we take a look at a robotic guitar tuner that tunes your guitar for you. We also learn how to remote-control dogs from 100 feet away with an iPhone app, and Captain Picard sings us a geeky Christmas carol. All that and more on this week's Crave show. Read more

This crime-predicting robot aims to patrol our streets by 2015

A scene in the 2004 film "I, Robot" involves an army of rogue NS-5 humanoids establishing a curfew and imprisoning the citizens of Chicago, circa 2035, inside their homes. That's not how Knightscope envisions the coming day of deputized bots.

In its far less frightful future, friendly R2-D2 lookalikes patrol our streets, school hallways, and company campuses to keep us safe and put real-time data to good use. Instead of the Asimov-inspired NS-5, Knightscope, a Silicon Valley-based robotics company, is developing the K5.

Officially dubbed the K5 Autonomous Data Machine, the 300-pound, 5-foot-tall mobile robot will be … Read more

Volvo to unload 100 self-driving cars onto city streets

While Google's self-driving car has garnered most of the headlines, a handful of car companies are also working on their own renditions of autonomous vehicles. Volvo is one of the latest car manufacturers to join this list.

The Swedish-based company announced Monday that it has launched a pilot project dubbed "Drive Me -- Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility," which will bring 100 self-driving Volvo cars onto city streets. The project will take place on about 50 kilometers of busy roads in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.

"Our aim is for the car to be able to … Read more

Amazon drones: Bold experiment or shrewd publicity stunt?

Amazon's scheme to send delivery drones into the skies may sound crazy, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

First, let's get the "60 Minutes" profile out of the way. The segment, which had CEO Jeff Bezos pondering the notion of unmanned drones ferrying packages to your doorstep, brought an air of whimsy and innovation to Amazon. It also aired the day before Cyber Monday, the key online shopping day of the year, and quickly injected Amazon's Prime Air octocopter into the top headline of every major news site. (CBS, which produces "60 … Read more

Toyota rolling out near-autonomous cars in five years

The race toward autonomous vehicles appears to be picking up steam. Nissan set 2020 as the year it would put autonomous cars on the road, and now Toyota is laying out specifics on autonomous car technologies it will put into production "in the mid-2010s," according to a press release.

Toyota calls its core autonomous car technology Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA), noting that it consists of two new features, Cooperative-Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Trace Control.

Adaptive cruise control systems have been in production vehicles for a number of years. Using radar or stereoscopic cameras, these systems detect … Read more

Self-driving cars: Why? (The Next Big Thing, Episode 2)

Awaiting you in this episode:

Self-driving cars are coming It won't happen in one step, but it will probably happen during the introduction and improvement of a dozen or so technologies that might be in your car already.

3D gesture technology We are on the cusp of moving from the 2D gestures of touch screens to 3D gestures that happen the way humans have always communicated.

What's next for mobile platforms? If you're waiting to see who will shape up to be the third major mobile platform, you might want to change your viewpoint to if there … Read more