Jennifer van der Kleut
A roundup of some of the most interesting headlines to come out of the industry this week:
London to test unmarked driverless cars for fear of ‘bullying’
Volvo is getting ready to kick off a test of around 100 cars in the UK capital of London in 2018–but many people may not even realize. That’s because British lawmakers fear that if motorists realize they are driving next to a self-driving car, they may decide to “bully” it by cutting it off, overtaking it with speed or other similar acts–at least, that’s what a recent research study suggested. Therefore, Volvo has decided not to mark the 4x4s they will be “loaning” to participants in any way, so they are indistinguishable from regular human-driven cars. London’s trial will be one of the world’s first to use public volunteers to test the self-driving cars. Read more from the Telegraph Observer.
Otto driverless truck makes 120-mile trip–to deliver beer
The Uber-owned driverless truck company Otto made history recently when it made a 120-mile journey from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs with its “driver” barely needing to touch the wheel at all. The truck delivered 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer, and the driver was only needed to take the controls for on-ramps and freeway exits. The rest of the time? He was relaxing, monitoring the trip from a comfortable sleeper berth in the back of the truck. Otto representatives are calling the trip a big success. Read more from Automotive News.
Toyota makes big investment in car-sharing service
Toyota has invested $10 million in the on-demand car-sharing company Getaround, based in San Francisco. Getaround operates much like the “Airbnb of cars,” allowing car owners to rent out their cars on an on-demand basis for an hourly or daily rate. The service boasts around 200,000 members and has been operating in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C. and a few other U.S. cities since 2013. Getaround promises up to $1 million of insurance coverage to every renter and owner, and says car owners can make up to an extra $10,000 of annual income by offering up their cars when they’re not using them. Read more about Toyota’s investment in Getaround from Reuters.
Courtesy Image: Otto self-driving truck