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Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz electric minivan appears as a self-driving prototype

Volkswagen has shown its closest look yet at the ID.Buzz minivan in the form of a self-driving prototype developed in collaboration with Argo AI, TechCrunch has reported. If you disregard the mild camouflage and lidar stack on top, you can finally get a good picture of how the production ID.Buzz, due to hit the US in 2023, will look. 

The electric minivan looks a bit more practical though less fun than the original concept. The rounded lines meant to evoke the classic ’70s VW van have been squared off, and the bulgy fenders are considerably less so. It also appears, though it’s hard to confirm with the camouflage, that VW has changed the concept’s funky rear window configuration. Still, it does bear a resemblance, especially from the front-side angle where it looks the best. Seen with a driver, one also gets a sense of the ID.Buzz’s relatively small size.

Volkswagen's ID.Buzz electric minivan appears as a self-driving prototype

Volkswagen

As far as the autonomous tech goes, VW plans to use it in cities first as autonomous shuttles or for deliveries. Argo’s AI system packs cameras, lidar modules, radar and an onboard computer to let it “see” up to 400 meters ahead for obstacles. 

Argo AI founder Bryan Salensky said that the system can navigate with or without GPS and can work without changes to roads and infrastructure. Its sensor array will allow it to “predict the actions of pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles, and direct the engine, braking and steering systems so that the vehicle moves safely and naturally,” Argo said. 

Volkswagen's ID.Buzz electric minivan appears as a self-driving prototype

VW

We have heard this tune before, though, and there are still no real self-driving cars plying city streets and highways. Volkswagen and Argo plan to test and commercially scale the fully-electric self-driving van over the next four years at Argo’s development center near Munich, with plans to develop a fleet by 2025. Argo is also working with Ford and Lyft on a 1,000-vehicle self-driving network with tests planned for cities like Miami and Austin. 

Source: https://www.engadget.com/volkswagens-id-buzz-electric-minivan-arrives-as-a-self-driving-prototype-125030104.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Steve Dent

Detroit’s New Garage Will Help Cars Learn to Park Themselves

An illustration of smart cars in the Detroit Parking Lab.Detroit Smart Parking Lab

The city of Detroit is teaming up with Ford, Bedrock, and Bosch to launch the first real-world test site for automated parking technology. Located in the Bedrock Assembly Garage, the Detroit Smart Parking Lab will help automakers refine smart “valet” systems and develop AI-assisted technologies for the Enterprise rental service.

While self-driving cars aren’t exactly road-ready, automakers feel that automated parking is an achievable short-term goal. Ford and the gang seem most interested in “valet” situations, where drivers exit their car at a building’s entrance and leave it to find a parking space on its own.

As you can see in the above illustration, each space in the Smart Parking Lab features a charging station. Such a system would not make sense in the real world just yet, but that’s not the point. This Smart Parking Lab doubles as a proof-of-concept for Enterprise, the company that orchestrated this joint collaboration between Ford, Bedrock, Bosch, and the state of Michigan.

See, Enterprise has the largest fleet of rental cars in the United States. When a customer returns one of these cars, someone needs to drive it to a parking lot for maintenance. If cars could drive themselves to a parking lot, Enterprise could save a ton of money, especially if those cars are all-electric and can self-charge, eliminating the need for gasoline.

Even if Enterprise doesn’t find what it’s looking for, Ford could develop self-parking technologies that help regular people. The “valet” concept sounds like a luxury for people who live in big cities, but it could greatly help those who are physically disabled, and it could even save you from walking through a parking lot in the rain.

Source: Ford via Engadget

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/94409/detroits-new-garage-will-help-cars-learn-to-park-themselves/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Tesla’s New Autopilot Update Uses the In-Car Camera to Spot Distracted Drivers

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Tesla’s Autopilot system has been subject to heavy criticism this year, and you’ve probably seen the YouTube and TikTok videos of people abusing it. However, it looks like the latest update to autopilot is finally using the in-car camera for driver monitoring.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/85595/teslas-autopilot-update-uses-in-car-camera-to-spot-distracted-drivers/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Cory Gunther

Volkswagen is using its electric ID.Buzz van to test self-driving tech

e88a7300-78ea-11eb-9fdf-b7f9967ee66aVolkswagen at one time said its electric ID.Buzz van would reach dealerships by 2022 (that announcement has been removed but you can view it in the Internet Archive), but news from its commercial division confirms that at least an unveiling is still…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/vw-id-buzz-autonomous-110304889.html
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Ford commits $29 billion to electric and autonomous vehicle development

95ea32f0-678f-11eb-bfad-03a01e7f0de9Ford will invest $29 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025, more than double the $11.5 billion it promised through 2022 less than a year ago, the automaker announced. Of that, it will spend $7 billion on self-driving tech and $22 b…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/ford-plans-to-invest-29-billion-in-electric-and-autonomous-vehicles-103538440.html
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China’s first fully driverless robotaxis hit the streets of Shenzhen

4d197530-3572-11eb-be14-878c2f7deb24Fully driverless robotaxis are now a practical reality on Chinese roads. AutoX has become the first company to put a fleet of the completely driver-free vehicles on the country’s streets, with the cars now roaming Shenzhen. They’re not yet available…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/autox-fully-driverless-robotaxis-china-151438674.html
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Consumer Reports says Tesla Autopilot is a ‘distant second’ to GM’s tech

0e6e90e0-192a-11eb-b8cf-7dd54eeeca91Tesla has taken another bruising for the quality of its driver assistance tech. Consumer Reports has conducted (via Reuters) a driver assistance study where Tesla’s Autopilot placed a “distant second” to GM’s Super Cruise, with a Model Y scoring 57 v…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/tesla-autopilot-second-to-gm-super-cruise-consumer-reports-151025030.html
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World's first fully self-driving car will be ready this year, Elon Musk claims

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‘I’m very confident about full self-driving functionality being complete by the end of this year,’ he says. ‘It’s because I’m literally driving it’

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/elon-musk-self-driving-tesla-artificial-intelligence-a9634311.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Anthony Cuthbertson

The Morning After: Ford’s hands-free driving assist is coming in late 2021

62935260-b155-11ea-8c6c-f03a6bece8ecThis morning, Ford announced driving assist tech that can better compete with GM’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot, but there’s some bad news — Active Drive Assist won’t arrive until late 2021. Ford The electric Mustang Mach-E crossover is its f…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/mach-e-active-drive-assist-pokemon-snap-morning-after-112627704.html
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