News Out of CES

Lots of autonomous vehicle news out of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Ford: The automaker will be tripling the size of its self-driving Fusion vehicle fleet, to 30 cars. Meanwhile, right on the heels of its Google partnership, it is also entering a partnership with Amazon, focused on Amazon’s Echo (virtual assistant) product.

NVIDIA: The graphical chip producer has developed a next-generation, water-cooled super-computer, capable of fitting in the trunk of a self-driving car. The PX2 computer will help cars process images and recognize objects.

Velodyne: LIDAR is the perhaps the most important component of an autonomous vehicle system, and also the most expensive. The world’s chief LIDAR manufacturer announced a smaller (and presumably cheaper) LIDAR system the size of a hockey puck.

Toyota: A new study finds that Toyota has more self-driving car patents than any other company (Google, somewhat surprisingly, ranks 24th). “Non-US companies tend to be more aggressive in filing patent applications than American companies.”

HERE: The navigational company jointly owned by several automakers is building a cloud-based mapping platform, seemingly to rival Google Maps.

Kia: The South Korean car manufacturer is getting into the autonomous vehicle race, but a little bit late. “Kia aims to have fully self-driving cars on the road by 2030 (yes, 14 years from now).”

Faraday Future: This isn’t technically an autonomous vehicle announcement, since Faraday is ostensibly focused on electric vehicles, but the upstart is taking shots at Tesla. “And then after 9 years, [Tesla] delivered their first mass market production vehicle…Faraday Future was founded just 18 months ago…we already have a staggering 750 employees globally, breaking ground on a 3 million square foot factory in just a few weeks, and we will deliver our first production vehicle in only a couple years time.”


Originally published at www.davidincalifornia.com on January 6, 2016.

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