Author: Darrell Etherington

Apple offers feedback on California’s proposed driverless testing rule changes

TECHCRUNCH Apple has offered feedback to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) concerning its proposed new rule changes regarding autonomous vehicle testing on state roads. The formal feedback provided by Apple is relatively short and to the point, contained in a letter submitted to the DMV and embedded below, signed by Apple Director of Product Integrity Steve Kenner (who also authored the letter that first revealed Apple’s autonomy ambitions). In short, Apple suggests some changes to disengagement reporting that tighten the definition, which would result in fewer incidents requiring a report when an autonomous driving software system is...

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Elon Musk teases Tesla electric semi truck, up to 4 new Gigafactory locations

TECHCRUNCH Elon Musk was on stage at the 2017 TED Conference in Vancouver on Friday, and he revealed some of his tunnel work and aspirations, but he also talked about a few ongoing Tesla projects he’s referenced before. The multi-CEO showed a shadowy image that gives us our first look at what his forthcoming electric Semi Truck will look like, and also let drop the suggestion that Tesla will likely announce four new global Gigafactory locations sometime this year. The truck looks exactly like you’d expect a transport truck to look, roughly, but with a smooth continuous design between...

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Watch how Elon Musk’s Boring Company tunnels will move cars faster

TECHCRUNCH [embedded content] Just what does Elon Musk’s Boring Company want to accomplish? This might be our clearest picture yet – a video shown during Musk’s TEDTalk from Friday morning, which includes a rendering of a future underground transit network where cars travel on criss-crossing layers of tunnels that include sleds shuttling vehicles around on rails at around 130 mph. Musk’s vision includes parking spots that are actually elevator shaft entrances, where drivers can pull in and descend to the network below. Once underground, the car will travel along in a sled, merging with other tunnels and being integrated...

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BMW’s plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance will get wireless charging

TECHCRUNCH BMW revealed its newest electric vehicle, a plug-in hybrid called the 530e iPerformance. The variant’s options include a forthcoming wireless charging pad, targeting a 2018 release window, which will include a charging pad drivers can install in their garage and drive over to provide a power supply with rates up to 3.2 kW, with a total charing time for refilling the vehicle’s onboard battery of about three and a half hours. BMW is already showing the wireless pad and its charging capabilities in prototype form, and the system includes visual feedback and instructions for the driver via the...

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Apple’s self-driving test Lexus SUV photographed on Silicon Valley roads

TECHCRUNCH Apple’s using a Lexus RX450h SUV for its autonomous vehicle testing program, as revealed by documents filed with the California DMV in accordance with licensing requirements for self-driving tests in the state. Now, Bloomberg has images of the vehicle in action, captured by a chance observer who saw the vehicle pull out of an Apple facility in Silicon Valley. The SUV looks pretty much like similar test cars used by Waymo, the former Google self-driving car company whose headquarters are pretty much just down the road from Apple’s Cupertino HQ. The equipment adorning the SUV include optical cameras,...

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StreetDrone’s new autonomous electric car is made for the education market

TECHCRUNCH Self-driving cars are popping up all over, but UK-based StreetDrone thinks it should be easier for the education market to pick one up, ready with all the sensors and tech on board they need to provide the basis for research and study. That’s why they created the StreetDrone ONE, an electric vehicle built using the Renault Twizy with a suite of autonomous driving sensors, ready for self-driving study. The StreetDrone ONE is intended to offer a hands-on learning opportunity for students who would like to explore the growing field of self-driving tech, and comes in a number of...

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Google Wifi now available in Canada

TECHCRUNCH Google Wifi, the mesh router that Google unveiled first last October, is now on sale in Canada. The router sells either individually for $179 CDN, or in a 3-pack for $439 CDN, which is pretty close to U.S. pricing given current exchange rates. The Wifi solution’s mesh networking approach means it can seamlessly pair with other units to extend coverage throughout a house, without sacrificing signal strength, and while also handing off connections from one device to the next with such smooth transitions that you won’t notice the change even if you’re on a VOIP call when it happens....

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Meet Nintendo’s new $150 2DS XL console, launching July 28

TECHCRUNCH [embedded content] Nintendo has a new handheld video game system it released pretty much out of the blue on Thursday. The 2DS XL is basically a 3DS XL without the 3D, with a smaller physical footprint for more portability, but with the same size large, dual displays you’ll find on the 3DS XL. The new console hits store shelves July 28, so we’ll still have to wait a while to get our hands on one, but it has a wallet-friendly $149.99 price tag that’s likely to attract some fence-sitting 3DS fans. The Nintendo 2DS XL follows in the...

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