Jennifer van der Kleut
A roundup of recent headlines in the driverless and connected-car industries.
Michigan State Senate Unanimously Passes Bill That Would No Longer Require a Human to Be in A Driverless Car
Driverless cars are moving full speed ahead in Michigan, where the state Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would no longer require a human to be in an autonomous car being tested on public roads. Backers touted the bill as “necessary” to keep Michigan ahead of the curve on rapidly advancing technology. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder reportedly supports the bill as well, which is on track to have full legislative approval by the end of the year. Other provisions in the bill include: allowing for public operation of driverless vehicles when they hit the consumer market; easing the “platooning” of autonomous commercial trucks traveling closely together at electronically coordinated speeds; help creating a facility to test autonomous and wirelessly connected cars at highway speeds at the site of a defunct General Motors plant; and allowing auto manufacturers to run networks of on-demand self-driving vehicles. Read more from the Associated Press and CBS Detroit.
Lyon, France Debuts World’s First Public Driverless Bus With Daily Service
Lyon, France launched this past weekend what is being called the world’s first driverless bus in its downtown Confluence area. The bus, which uses LiDAR radar technology and motion sensors to help it avoid accidents, can seat up to 15 passengers, and is now serving rides to the public, daily. Two shuttles run a 10-minute route with five stops. The shuttle was designed by French company Navya, and the design is set to undergo trials in Dubai soon as well. Read more about the new Navya shuttle buses from Travel+Leisure Magazine.
Volvo Teams Up With Autoliv to Develop Autonomous Car Software
Volvo Car Group and Autoliv, an automotive safety group, announced this week that they are forming a jointly-owned company to develop advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving systems. Volvo will bring to the table its know-how of decision-making software that determines how an autonomous car will react in different situations. Autoliv will bring expertise in sensor technology and computer vision systems. The two companies say they are committed to creating “a completely open, transparent environment for collaboration.” In a news conference, representatives said the new company, which has yet to be named, will initially have around 200 employees, and could grow to around 600 within two years. The company is set to begin work as early as next year. Read more about the collaboration from Associated Press and Crain’s Detroit Business.