When is a city not a city?
When it is so small that it is really a hamlet!
Toyota has announced that its brand-new Woven Planet Group will buy ride-share company Lyft's self-driving technology unit, "Level 5", for $550m. The deal will see Lyft exit the increasingly crowded field of autonomous car contenders and focus on partnering with self-driving companies that want to use its app. Initially, …
May have kicked off the beginning of the great winnowing in this sector. There are only a few players who could exploit this effectively. I would expect the competition to buy the other autonomous car programs (at least the ones that are not vaporware) over the next year or 2.
Toyota has hybrid fairly licked, as well as E Cars.
Musk might have electric and some automation - but not the volume
Where are Ford/GM/Volkwagen/Fiat crysler /Renault Nissan and Daimler-Benz?
>Where are Ford/GM/Volkwagen/Fiat crysler /Renault Nissan and Daimler-Benz?
Ford and GM have largely retreated back to North America to fight over the full-size pickup truck market, which is still a high volume, high margin sector that uses its penchant for excessive waste as a selling point. Ironically this is the segment that would probably welcome full autonomy the most, given how stuffed those vehicles are with distracting gadgetry now.
Everyone else, I presume, is just waiting for the smaller companies to do all the work and then go bust, so they can scoop up the completed research for bargain prices. Toyota doesn't need to wait though, as they've effectively consumed the entire mid-size passenger car market in America and have more than enough money to just do whatever they please at this point.
"That will be a very long wait."
Absolutely : Anything less than level 5 automation is a total waste of time because:
A) Are they really expecting experienced drivers (like me) to sit behind the wheel poised to take control should the automaton crap out during my 1 or 2 hour commute (if and when it resumes) ? I might as well drive the car myself (I guess I am not the target audience)
B) level 4 and below still need a qualified driver, so the person in the car will still have to learn to drive and pass a test. But if a new driver spends most of his/her time poised over the wheel (as above) then 5 years down the line they will still have almost zero experience of actually driving. Expecting them to take over is an act of folly.
Case (B) has been shown to be an issue with airline pilots where the plane mostly flies itself, lack of awareness (Air France) or insufficient recent flying experience has caused more than one crash.
Apparently it is a campus/airport shuttle (or delivery) vehicle with virtually no road clearance, capable of traveling up to 19kph (12mph). It looks and specs like what I think a reasonable person would hope an early autonomous vehicle might look like. Most conscious vertebrates should be able to elude it if turns rogue. Pictures at https://global.toyota/en/newsroom/corporate/29933371.html