All posts tagged: selfdriving

Stellantis CEO says there’s still life in Waymo deal for self-driving delivery vans

Stellantis CEO says there’s still life in Waymo deal for self-driving delivery vans

Stellantis, the automaker that owns 14 brands including Chrysler, Jeep and Ram, and autonomous vehicle technology company Waymo are not only still working together, the companies are deepening the partnership, CEO Carlos Tavares told TechCrunch in a recent interview. This “deepened” partnership will focus on commercial self-driving Ram delivery vans, a target that was first announced in 2020 and promptly faded from public view. Discussions on this “improved” deal have focused, in part, on a crux around driverless delivery: how does the package get from the vehicle to the customer? “When you reach the destination, how do you take the parcel out of the van?” Tavares said in a wide-ranging interview. “This has been a point of discussion that doesn’t seem easy to solve and we are now upgrading our collaboration deal with them to take that into consideration.” “At the same time, we understand their needs and there are a lot of things that we can do for them in terms of engineering,” he said, adding it is too soon to share details. “But …

Self-driving taxi service Waymo’s expanions plans are put on pause

Self-driving taxi service Waymo’s expanions plans are put on pause

Self-driving taxi service Waymo has had a 120-day suspension, halting its efforts to expand its operations in 2024. The California-based company applied to expand its robotaxi service to Los Angeles and San Mateo counties, but had the process suspended for 120 days by the California Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division (CPED). This doesn’t mean that Waymo has to stop its current operations but does infringe on its plans for the future. At the moment, Waymo has operated a fleet of driverless vehicles in San Francisco since March of 2023 following a trial in Santa Monica, offering a 24/7 service. It recently expanded to include some areas of Los Angeles and had planned to expand its service in 2024 but will now need to wait until at least June 2024. Why was the application suspended? According to the CPED’s website, the application has been suspended for further review. However, Tech Crunch reported on Wednesday, February 21 that San Mateo County Board of Supervisors vice president David J. Canepa said it came down to …

Watch Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta v12 autonomously look for a parking spot

Watch Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta v12 autonomously look for a parking spot

A Tesla driver using the new Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta v12 software managed to showcase a new behavior: FSD Beta autonomously looking for a parking spot. The Tesla v12 software update is expected to introduce what CEO Elon Musk has been calling “end-to-end neural nets”. The biggest difference with previous FSD updates is that the vehicle’s controls would now be handled by neural nets rather than being coded by programmers. It is being touted as the difference maker. Tesla was supposed to release v12 last year, but it was delayed. The automaker started to push the update last month, but only to a few customers. The company has yet to do a wide release of FSD Beta v12 software update, but a new version of the system was pushed to a few more owners this week. Arthur on X was one of them and he posted an interesting video of a test drive on FSD Beta v12: FSD Beta 12: The One Where It Parks Itself After consistently having the car either park itself into …

Ford preps for its next big fight, Waymo recalls its self-driving car software and layoffs come for another AV startup

Ford preps for its next big fight, Waymo recalls its self-driving car software and layoffs come for another AV startup

TechCrunch Mobility is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click TechCrunch Mobility — to receive the newsletter every weekend in your inbox. Subscribe for free. Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. This week’s news includes a BMW security lapse that exposed sensitive information, blowback from a federal agency over an anti-Tesla Super Bowl ad and a new federal investigation into Fisker. But first, some words about my recent visit to Detroit, where I met with a few Ford executives to find out what they’re focused on for 2024 and beyond. It’s safe to say that Chinese EV automakers and Tesla are top of mind; and in the view of Ford execs, a low-cost EV and cutting-edge software are the best ways to thwart those threats. The company’s EV skunkworks project, which recently came to light, is charged with that task. Ford CFO John Lawler didn’t mince words during an interview at the company’s headquarters. “We have to assume that …

San Francisco Giants replace Cruise self-driving car uniform patch with another GM brand

San Francisco Giants replace Cruise self-driving car uniform patch with another GM brand

The San Francisco Giants said goodbye this week to a uniform patch that advertised Cruise and its robotaxis — the latest fallout for the GM self-driving subsidiary and its controversial presence in the city. The marketing partnership, which was announced in August 2023, will continue, but with another GM brand. For the 2024 baseball season, SF Giants uniforms will show the Chevrolet logo with the “EV” in bolded orange. Chevrolet’s all-electric vehicle portfolio includes the Chevy Blazer EV, the upcoming Equinox and the Chevy Silverado EV. The automaker recently stopped making the Chevy Bolt and Chevy Bolt EUV and paused sales of the Chevy Blazer EV over a software problem that affects the infotainment system. The uniform patch change comes several months after San Francisco-based Cruise lost its commercial permit to operate robotaxis in the city following an October incident that left a pedestrian stuck under, and then dragged by, one of its self-driving cars. In the months since, Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt resigned, 24% of its staff were laid off, the Department of …

Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta saved me once and tried to kill me twice

Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta saved me once and tried to kill me twice

I have been driving with Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta for about two years now, and during that time, it saved me once and tried to kill me twice. How should I feel about that? The Promise In 2016, I enthusiastically listened to Elon Musk announcing that from now on, every new Tesla vehicle will be equipped with all the hardware necessary to become self-driving through future software updates. I had an older Model S at the time and couldn’t afford a new one, but I loved the idea that you can buy a car and in the future, it could become self-driving. In 2018, I bought a Model 3 with the promise that it would become self-driving. I purchased the Full Self-Driving Capability package for $5,000 CAD (now $16,000 CAD). Shortly after Musk announced that all new Tesla had all the necessary hardware to become self-driving with its onboard computer, cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors, he did signal that there might be a need for a computer upgrade. That’s OK. In 2019, Tesla sent …

Elon Musk claims fatal crash was not on ‘Full Self-Driving Beta’ after Tesla said the logs were lost

Elon Musk claims fatal crash was not on ‘Full Self-Driving Beta’ after Tesla said the logs were lost

Elon Musk has claimed that a fatal crash reported by The Washington Post yesterday was not on ‘Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta’ after Tesla told the police that they couldn’t confirm it because the logs were lost. Now, he goes as far as claiming that FSD Beta would have saved the Tesla employee. Yesterday, we reported on a horrible accident involving a Tesla employee, Hans von Ohain, and his friend Erik Rossiter. The duo was returning from a day of golfing outside Denver when von Ohain’s Tesla Model 3 crashed into a tree. Rossiter was able to exit the vehicle as it was catching on fire, but unfortunately, von Ohain was stuck in it as a tree was blocking the driver’s door. He died inside the vehicle. The crash happened almost two years ago, but it was only reported now after The Washington Post obtained the police investigation that came following the crash. The publication talked to the officer leading the investigation, Rossiter, the only witness, and Von Ohain’s loved ones. The cause of the crash …

Tesla Employee Who Loved Elon Musk Reportedly Killed by Full Self-Driving

Tesla Employee Who Loved Elon Musk Reportedly Killed by Full Self-Driving

A Tesla employee — and “devoted” fan of its CEO Elon Musk — named Hans von Ohain was killed after his Model 3 crashed into a tree and erupted in flames back in 2022. His friend and fellow passenger Erik Rossiter, who survived the collision, has since told The Washington Post that von Ohain had the car’s Full Self-Driving feature turned on at the time of the fatal accident. If confirmed, the crash could be the first known death involving the feature, an optional $15,000 add-on that has already drawn plenty of attention from regulators. WaPo also confirmed the vehicle was equipped with the feature — von Ohain received it for free with his employee discount — and his widow also said he frequently made use of it. Despite the company’s misleading marketing, Tesla vehicles are still far from being able to drive themselves, and cautions on its website that drivers must be “ready to take immediate action including braking.” Full Self-Driving (FSD) expands on the company’s Autopilot driver assistance software, and is designed to …

Tesla worker died in horrible crash on Full Self-Driving beta, but he was also drunk

Tesla worker died in horrible crash on Full Self-Driving beta, but he was also drunk

The horrible fatal crash of a Tesla employee using Full Self-Driving Beta has been reported in detail for the first time to highlight responsibility in those accidents. The Crash The Washington Post released a new report on the crash today, which happened back in 2022. Hans von Ohain, a recruiter at Tesla, and his friend Erik Rossiter set out outside Denver, Colorado, in the former’s Tesla Model 3 to go golfing. During the drive there, Rossiter says that von Ohain was driving on FSD beta, Tesla’s driver-assist system that takes over all the driving controls but the driver needs to keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control at all times. Rossiter said that FSD Beta swerved several times during the drive there and von Ohain had to take control. They played 21 holes and drank alcohol during the day before driving back. Rossiter said he seemed composed and “by no means intoxicated” when getting into the car for the drive back. The Washington Post described the crash: Hours later, on …

Crowd sets Waymo self-driving car on fire in San Francisco

Crowd sets Waymo self-driving car on fire in San Francisco

A crowd of people vandalized a Waymo self-driving car on the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown on Saturday evening, with one man lighting it on fire, the city’s Fire Department said. Video of the incident shows a man stop the passenger-less car in the street and bash it with a skateboard. Soon, a crowd forms around the car kicking it and drawing graffiti on its sides. Eventually, one man lights a firework inside, causing a fire that burned the vehicle down. It’s unclear if the vandalism is a random act of violence, concerted protest or pent-up rage over the driverless vehicles, which has long caused tension with city residents. Waymo Vehicle surrounded and then graffiti’d, windows were broken, and firework lit on fire inside the vehicle which ultimately caught the entire vehicle on fire. #SFFDPhotos by Séraphine Hossenlopp pic.twitter.com/aOTqL3Rk8V — SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT MEDIA (@SFFDPIO) February 11, 2024 Nobody was reported injured in the blaze. Mayor London Breed (D) warned that the fire could have been much worse. “Chinatown is one of the densest …