Super-Charged P100D Tesla Plans Discovered in Firmware Update

Tesla enthusiast and self-proclaimed white hat hacker Jason Hughes has been doing some digging, taking apart the latest Tesla firmware update that was sent his own Tesla P85D, and it looks like he’s uncovered a secret!

The Model S currently comes in three variants, but it seems Elon Musk has a fourth model in the pipeline, and it’s going to be powerful! Jason claims to have spotted files pointing towards a 100kWh car, which is quite a bump from the current 70 and 90kWh models available. With the available models being named the 70D, 90D and the P90D, it would be safe to assume that a new 100kWh model would be called the P100D.

The information was discovered in Firmware Update 7.1 and while he could have release the information immediately, he decided to tease Elon a little bit first with the following tweet as well as some forum posts. Followed up later the next day with “You guys are great. Fun to get home and find people have cracked some SHA256 I posted. Nice work.”

I don’t have to tell you this whole thing needs a pinch or fist full of salt, but it’s certainly believable that some information to a future car would be held within the firmware. Tesla would likely use their cars firmware to test future models and we’ve seen similar leaks in the past for graphics cards and other bits of tech.

“There are quite a few things that are in the firmware that I’m not prepared to share publicly. Just like the P100D has been in there for months with my lips mostly sealed.” said Hughes.

However, Tesla rolled back an update, perhaps to remove the files or tighten up the encryption keys on the files unlocked, and potentially other parts of the system that used the same keys, who knows. Either way, Elon seems to be playing it cool right now, so we’ll have to wait and see.


What Year is This? The DeLorean is Back in Production!

Great Scott! It’s like something out of Back to the Future today, as the iconic car, made famous by the now legendary time travel movie is back in production!

Thanks to a recent change in the federal law, the facility in Humble, Texas, is now allowed to start making the car again, for what will be the first production of the car in thirty years. The DeLorean was first made famous all the way back in 1985, but it seems the movie fame just wasn’t enough to sell the already failing and somewhat ahead of its time (no pun intended) vehicle. This was further ruined after the founder, John DeLorean, who was arrested on drug charges, and the company went bankrupt shortly afterward.

The cars are iconic, a much-prized collectors item, especially so if they’re modded to look like time machines, flux capacitors and all. How successful the return will be still remains to be seen, or how the car will come back. Will it be improved, or will they keep that iconic if somewhat rubbish specification in its original format? The company is said to use the original authentic parts that have been stored away for many years, but how they use them is what could be interesting.

“It’s fantastic! It is a game changer for us. We’ve been wanting this to happen,” said Stephen Wynne, CEO of DeLorean Motors.

Want to get one ordered? There will be around 300 cars put into production, with the rollout starting at one per month and slowly moving to one per week. With a referb currently costing around $50,000 and a new one $100,000, not a lot of people will be opening their wallets, but the prospect of seeing more of these cars on the road again is one that’s just too fun not to think about.

Would you put in an order for one of the new DeLoreans? If you had the money for it of course!

Nvidia Showcase Drive Technology @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Nvidia are paving the way for innovation in the driving world. Their new Drive PX2 computer is one of the most powerful devices they’ve ever created, allowing for a huge range of smart and connected features for next-generation vehicles. The hardware was up and running at the show, showing off their pedestrian detection systems, a vital component for any self-driving/autonomous car.

The software can quickly scan and monitor threats to the vehicle instantaneously.

PX2 is capable of powering multiple connected displays, allowing for cameras, AR overlays, dashboard displays and more, with extensive customisation in terms of design and layout.

You can bet that the best of the best cars in the near future will be powered by the green teams hardware and having seen some of it in action, I really can’t wait to see it on the roads!

Automotive Companies Choose Microsoft At CES

The Automotive industry is an avenue with which tech companies are always striving to exploit, from self-driving cars, clever Sat Nav that manages to avoid rivers to the self-aware AI system that has become ubiquitous for many branded vehicles. Now, four further automotive companies have announced partnerships with Microsoft with the aim of enhancing their computing power.

The four companies who have confirmed a working relationship at CES in Las Vegas (Where the gang at eTeknix insert plug here) are Volvo, Nissan, Harman and engineering partner IAV. These companies join a growing list for Microsoft which also include Toyota, Ford, Qoros (Chinese automotive manufacturing company) and Delphi (UK manufacturing company)

Microsoft envisage that every car will be connected to the Internet and strangely to other cars and will also be a “Companion within your digital life”. The following is a quick summary of how Volvo, Nissan, Harman and IAV plan to integrate Microsoft tech into their cars.

  • Volvo – plan to interrogate Microsoft Band 2 with a Windows 10 smartphone and also the Volvo Call Universal App. This means that consumers can interact with the Microsoft Band by holding down the “action button” and requesting a function
  • Harman – Plan to offer drivers the ability to access the Office 365 productivity suite within the Harman infotainment systems. This means that drivers will be able to interact with Office 365 via an intelligent personal assistant software to schedule meetings etc.
  • IAV – Plan to use Windows 10 Continuum to stream Windows 10 via a mobile device directly to a car’s dashboard, giving drivers access to Windows 10 features and apps such as Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music.
  • Nissan – Plan to incorporate Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) which will be powered by Microsoft Azure. This will be incorporated into the LEAF and Infiniti models.

Tech will always be pushed into the automotive industry with the aim of offering consumers a different experience, companies will need to make sure any software is secure and, therefore, cannot be remotely hacked. Drivers will also need to be mindful and not be distracted by the many tech options, imagine attempting to schedule a meeting while travelling at 60 miles an hour down a motorway.

Image courtesy of digitaldealer

At Least 30 Managers Behind VW Emissions Scam

The Volkswagen emission saga continues, as German news company Spiegel reports that at least 30 VW managers are suspected to be involved with the VW emissions scandal, as a result of the ongoing internal investigation. Up until now, VW has proclaimed that only a small group of executives had overseen the installation of the software used to manipulate the emissions results of millions of engines worldwide. If true, that certainly isn’t the “small group” of managers it was once thought to be. However, a Volkswagen spokesman rejected the claim, saying “the number is without foundation”.

It is thought that the emission device responsible for this scam dates back to 2008 and can be found in over 11 million cars worldwide. Meanwhile, as the investigation progresses and uncovers more facts, VW lost yet another manager! The newly elected Skoda Chef Winfried Vahland left the Skoda division owned by VW over differences of opinions. Whatever way you cut it, this is not looking good for VW as the investigation progresses.

Despite VW losing a significant amount of its shares over the last month, alongside the risk of being fined billions for their fraudulent activities, do you think VW will be able to pull through? Let us know down in the  comments below.

Thank you Spiegel for providing us with this information.

Tesla to Release V7.0 Software with Autopilot on Thursday

It’s strange to live in a world where cars can become even better, at no extra cost to the owner, via a simple firmware update, but that’s exactly what keeps happening for owners Tesla electric cars! Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter that on October 15th, the company will release software version 7.0 with Autopilot for their popular Model S.

This is one of the biggest updates for the car to date, as it will bring with it an important UI overhaul, as well as a range of new Autopilot features. These features have been run in a trial for a while now, with up to 700 cars in the US and Europe having tested them out, but many owners have been eagerly waiting for the last year for the official rollout.

With the new Autopilot, drivers of Tesla’s Model S will get auto-steering, lane change activated by the turn signal, as well as auto-parking for parallel space; great news for those who suck at that last one.

Even if you don’t have the hardware package that can support the Autopilot features, you’ll still reap the benefits of improved climate control, improved efficiency, improved performance on the RWD model, a better hill start assist mode for multiple road surfaces, as well as the new UI we mentioned earlier.

Thank you Electrek for providing us with this information.

Is Apple Planning An iCar?

Tech companies used to be very much specialized to their own field, from the standard PCs and Software to advanced medical equipment. Over the last few years, these same companies are now beginning to challenge the established status quo of many other industries, such as the automotive industry. The rumours of Apple designing a vehicle have become stronger after hiring a senior engineer from electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc

Apple have been looking to build a team of automotive design experts with the aim of producing a car for market and now James Carlson has been appointed after leaving Tesla. How do we know of these secret plans? He placed his new job on his LinkedIn or course, this is along with at least 6 others which have experience developing self-driving technology and systems which have also advertised their new position in the same way.

Sources for Reuters have also stated that Apple are actively developing a car and studying self-driving technology, but it is yet unclear if the iPhone maker is designing a vehicle that could drive itself.

When you view the hirings which Apple have made, it is clear the plans are very much in motion, below is a list of recent appointments along with each individual’s previous jobs.

  • Megan McClain – A former Volkswagen AG Engineer
  • Vinay Palakkode – Graduate researcher at Carnegie Mellon University specializing in automated driving research
  • Xianqiao Tong – Engineer who developed computer vision software for driver assistance systems at microchip maker Nvidia Corp
  • Paul Furgale – Former deputy director of the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology

Other Apple appointments since September 2014 with similar experience have worked at automakers BMW, Volkswagen and Ford Motor Co, automotive suppliers Delphi Automotive and Robert Bosch GmbH.

One thing is clear, Apple looks almost certain to be developing an automotive vehicle in some capacity with the aim of competing with similar manufacturers. The tech giant would have an excellent chance of succeeding considering the wealth and investment which has underpinned its performance in the last decade.

Thank you reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of digitaltrends

Tesla Model S to Get ‘Ludicrous Speed’ Upgrade

Think being environmentally friendly means you tear up the roads? Think again. Elon Musk, CEO of electric car pioneer Tesla, has announced that its flagship P85D Model S sedan is to get a ‘Ludicrous Speed’ upgrade. By “ludicrous”, Musk means that the car can reach 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, can travel a quarter-mile in 20.9 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 155 miles per hour.

It won’t come cheap, though: the upgrade alone will cost $10,000, while the Model S is already priced at a hefty $105,000.

Musk was effusive during the announcement of the upgrade, saying:

“While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren’t exactly sure when it will or won’t melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.

That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current.

The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don’t know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail.

What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.

This option will cost $10k to new buyers.”

“It’s faster than falling”, Musk added. “It’s like having your own private roller coaster.”

See people testing the insane launch mode upgrade to get a taster of what is to come.

Thank you TIME and Forbes for providing us with this information.

100% Electric Big Rig Hits German Roads

This week, Europe’s first 100% electric tractor-trailer truck took to the roads in Germany, courtesy of car giant BMW. The 40-ton lorry can travel up to 62 miles per charge in an average of three or four hours and will transport vehicle components, including shock absorbers, springs, and steering systems, across two miles, seven times a day, within the city of Munich.

The vehicle was developed by BMW in conjunction with German automotive service provider the SCHERM Group, and is based on a model from Dutch truck manufacturer Terberg. The rig is advertised as “CO2-free, quiet and generates almost no fine particle pollution.” It will save up to 11.8 tons of carbon dioxide per year, compared to a standard diesel engine truck.

The quantity of greenhouse gasses emitted by goods transportation vehicles is set to surpass that of passenger vehicles on a global scale by 2030, while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that medium-to-heavy-duty vehicles account for around 25% of greenhouse gas emissions and oil use in the US, so efforts such as BMW’s electric truck to reduce CO2 effusions are very welcome.

Jürgen Maidl, head of logistics at BMW Group, said, “With this project we will gain valuable information on what will be possible with electric trucks in the future for city logistics.”

Thank you Think Progress for providing us with this information.

SanDisk Embedded Storage Designs at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Embedded storage is found in so many products these days, and SanDisk also has their fingers in those businesses.

Among the displayed memory products was everything from the iNAND 3000 series, 5000 series and 7000 series as well as Automotive iNAND and OEM SD memory cards.

SanDisk also showcased the next alliteration of the NAND Flash with a blown up SanDisk 10nm Flash Memory Wafer.

Delphi Corp’s Audi Q5 Completes 3400 Mile Autonomous Road Trip

Following on from the news we brought you two weeks ago, The Audi Q5, equipped with Delphi Corp’s radar, cameras and laser sensors, has completed its epic 15-state, 3400 miles road trip from San Francisco to New York. The car mostly stuck to travelling on the various highways between the states, but what’s more impressive is that the self-driving feature managed a near perfect run, having the autonomous systems handle 99% of the journey.

“We expected we would be in autonomous mode most of the time, but to be in it close to 99 percent of the time was a pleasant surprise,” Owens told The Associated Press Thursday. “The equipment was flawless.”

Traffic was weaving around in a construction zone, there were some police cars on the right side that warranted an extra clear lane for which the driver took control of the wheel, but that’s hardly a big deal as this was a trial run and the car still scored exceptionally well. Some members of the public however, didn’t think too fondly of the car, as it stuck rigorously to the speed limit, even when other drivers we not. This prompted several members of the public to make “a few hateful gestures” at the car and its occupants.

After collecting 3TB of data from the trip, Delphi will now improve the systems which are expected to start appearing in Audi and Volvo cars within two years.

Thank you for providing us with this information.

BMWs April Fools Ad Was No Joke – Woman Walks Away With Free Car!

April Fools was as crazy as ever, but some clever marketing boffin at BMW New Zealand decided to turn the tables on the traditional pranks, with their own reverse prank; they gave away a brand new BMW!

The news paper ad had prank written all over it, telling readers of the Herald news paper that if they took the news paper clipping into the dealership and asked for “Tom”, they could trade their old car (any car) for a brand new BMW. Of course, as you already know, they weren’t kidding around and when Tiaana Marsh from Auckland, New Zealand, walked into the dealership and sheepishly asked for Tom, she got exactly what she was promised.

Perhaps she was going to look at a car that day anyway and figured it couldn’t hurt to take the news paper clipping with her, I bet she’s glad she did.

Credit to BMW for some slick marketing on this one, I bet a few people who passed the ad off as a joke and now kicking themselves, really hard.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

Delphi’s Driverless Car Preparing to Start Its Nationwide Journey

It looks like Delphi is looking to start pushing boundaries today by showing off the true potential of autonomous vehicle technology. The driverless car is set to begin a cross-country trip later today, having the starting point set in California and the destination set as New York. Though driverless cars may be truly advanced, a driver will still be present inside the car to take control in case of emergency.

“Delphi had great success testing its car in California and on the streets of Las Vegas,” said Jeff Owens, chief technology officer of Delphi. “now it’s time to put our vehicle to the ultimate test by broadening the range of driving conditions. This drive will help us collect invaluable data in our quest to deliver the best automotive grade technologies on the market.”

The journey is said to be 3.500 miles and is taking place in order for engineers to collect valuable live data which can further enhance the self-driving car technology. The vehicle is said to be able to accurately navigate a 4-way stop, pass cyclists safely and enter/exit highways on its own.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information

The Bolt, Chevrolet’s Claim to Green Fame

Electric vehicles (EVs) are slowly becoming the norm in today’s society. It all started off with the hybrid Toyota Prius back in the late 2000’s, but now it seems every manufacturer and their brother makes EVs or at least a hybrid. The newest kid on the block is Chevrolet with the “Bolt”. This particular model is to directly compete against Tesla and their future commercially affordable “Model 3”.

Chevrolet first presented this at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was brought as a concept, but Alan Batey, president of GM North America, states that the interest from the public has convinced them to bring the car into production with estimated launch of 2017.

Details are still a little thin on the ground, but released figures show the car will sell for around $30,000 and have a plentiful range of around 200 miles on a single charge; much better than the BMW i3 which would also be in the running for the EV town car title.

Chevrolet is not only looking at producing possibly one of the greenest cars to date, but production will also take place at on of the most economical production plants; based at GM’s Orion Assembly near Detroit, powered by gas from nearby landfills and boosted by a 350 kW solar array.

Full details on the Bolt can be found here.

Thanks to Chevrolet for providing this information

Would Apple Really Buy Tesla?

Internet entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis suggests that Apple may be preparing to go on its biggest ever shopping trip. The company is not typically known for flashy purchases, with the recent Beats purchase being quite a surprise to many, but their next one could blow all of that right out of the water.

Jason thinks that Apple will make its move within the next 18 months, a move that would set Apple back a staggering $75 billion. While he admits he doesn’t have any insider information, his prediction of Apple buying Tesla does make a lot of sense and it’s not like Apple can’t afford it.

While Apple are said to be developing cars of their own, the companies do have a lot in common, no doubt why their respective staff tend to jump from one to the other so often.

“No one else in the world could actually make a run at Tesla, because they either don’t have the cash and, most importantly, they don’t have the ability to give assurances to Elon that they won’t f— it up,” he writes. “Apple’s design team, software, and global distribution would actually LEVEL Tesla up.”

The only questions is, would Elon be willing to sell up shop? It would certainly help him pay for his new spaceships.

Volkswagens New XL1 Hybrid is Capable of 261 mpg

100 miles per gallon has long been the benchmark which automakers have been working to reach. Volkswagen created their Lupo 3L in 1999 which could hit 78.4 miles on one gallon of diesel, a great achievement. Now with ex Bentley and Bugatti engineer Ulrich Hackenberg on board, he was set a goal of breaking the 100mpg barrier. He came back to them with the XL1, which absolutely devastated that 100mpg target by being capable of running 261 miles on a single gallon on diesel!

The car was built from scratch to be efficient, this meant cutting weight, slimming the aerodynamics, adding carbon fiber components in place of steel ones and fitting it out with an 830cc, two-cylinder diesel engine, along side a 20kW electric motor. The car may only be able to max out at 99 miles per hour, but it will travel over 500 miles on a single 2.6 gallon tank of fuel.

This isn’t just a crazy prototype either, the company has every intention of selling 250 of these in Europe and the U.S. as a limited run. No word on price, but it’s not going to be cheap.

Thank you Popsci for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Popsci.

New Peugeot Hybrid Ditches Electric Motors, Uses Compressed Air

The new Peugeot 2008 Hybrid Air looks set to make a mockery of the electric loving hybrid cars that are currently dominating the market. It ditches the electric motors in favour of an air compressor to provide some extremely clean power to the wheels.

While the car is moving, air is pumped into a cylinder with the aid of surplus energy from the petrol engine, energy recovered from the wheels and heat energy from the brakes. The car still uses a conventional petrol engine, but can switch to using a hydraulic air motor and pump depending on driving conditions.

The air motor is ideal for lower speed driving in cities, and it activated automatically when the car is going under 43mph. When climbing hills or accelerating, the can can draw power from both the petrol and air motors and for long distance cruising, petrol only power will be enabled.

A spokesman for manufacturer PSA Peugeot-Citroen said: ‘We are not talking about weird and wacky machines. These are going to be in everyday cars.’

The car will be available from 2016 for around £16,000 and can manage around 94 miles per gallon. For a car that doesn’t need recharging, or require extra heavy duty batteries, this is really impressive.

Thank you Daily Mail for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Daily Mail.


Linux Heading to Open Source Cars, Releasing Automotive Grande Linux Distribution

Open source operating system Linux has apparently shifter its focus towards a new sphere, leaving the real of desktops, notebooks, and even smartphones, having targeting the automobile market. A new Linux distribution by the name of Automotive Grande Linux has reportedly been released this week, being dedicated towards cars in an attempt to bring a new open source solution to the technologically advanced era we live in.

It is said that AGL, in collaboration with and sponsored by the Linux Foundation, brings together a host of partners from the automotive industry, communications, computing hardware, academia, as well as other sectors. The first release has been stated to have launched on June the 30th, having to bring a solution for a wide range of products, from cars, to laptops, TVs and even smartphones. The distribution is said to be based on Tizen IVI and is available for free here.

The first AGL release is said to have support for a limited series of features, specifically designed for deployment in cars and other vehicles. The features consist of Home Screens, Dashboards, Google Maps, HVACs, Media Playback, News Readers in the shape of an app carousel, Audio Controls, Bluetooth Phone support and even Smart Device Link Integration. Participants in the AGL project and the Linux Foundation hope that this initiative will help future ‘connected’ cars run on open source software in order to deliver the next generation of entertainment, navigation and other similar tools for use inside vehicles.

“Openness and collaboration are key to accelerating the development of a common, standard automotive platform so the industry can more quickly achieve its vision of delivering the connected car,” said Dan Cauchy, General Manager of Automotive, The Linux Foundation.

The GM also added that the Linux Foundation expects AGL development to continue steadily after its first release, having to introduce “a number of additional capabilities and features in subsequent releases.”

Thank you The Var Guy for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Linux Foundation

Sharp ‘Free-Form’ Technology Will Allow For Non-Rectangular Displays

Sharp has announced a new prototype technology which they say will allow future displays to break away from the rectangular shape that they are now and take on any shape that the designer wishes by nearly eliminating the bezel and the gate driver that it covers. Spurred on the current race to develop proprietary display for the likes of Apple’s iWatch, Sharp’s design sees the display drive circuit removed and shrunk down so that it can be dispersed around the pixels on the display area, reducing the bezel right down to almost nothing.

Based in an IGZO panel, the prototype design changes the way in which the power amplifiers are built and with the much thinner bezel, Sharp says that this gives the freedom to make the LCD whatever shape that it needs to be for a particular application, such as a car dashboard as on example.

“Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen’s display area. With the Free-Form Display, the gate driver’s function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and it gives the freedom to design the LCD to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be”

Although this new technology is clearly still in a prototype stage, the huge number of potential applications for the ‘free-form’ display are huge, with the automotive industry just one example of where non-rectangular displays are likely to be found. There is no word on the cost of these displays, nor a projected date when they will be ready for the mass market, but Sharp assures us that they will begin production “at the earliest possible date”.

With many manufacturers racking to develop proprietary displays for the mobile market, with the speculated iWatch just being one example, Sharp may have hit on a potential goldmine right here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a patent appear in the coming months as things develop.

Source and image courtesy of The Verge

Audi Developing Car That Avoids Red Lights

Ever been late for work or a date and you seem to get every red light on the way to your destination? Well that could soon be a thing of the past with Audi developing a car that can sense when traffic lights ahead are about to turn red. The new advanced technology dubbed Traffic Light Assist will let the driver know how long before a traffic light ahead of the driver will change, thus leaving the driver to adjust speed to miss the red light or seek an alternative route. Although the technology is currently still in testing and development stage, Audi has released how this new feature in their cars will work.

The Traffic Light Assist works by using the GPS in the car as well as having access to local traffic light control information, once these two systems work together a display pops up on the dash telling the driver the timer on traffic lights they will encounter on their route and also the timer for those traffic lights. Testing has all ready begun in selected cities around the world, however global release may come under scrutiny from local authorities as some drivers may take advantage use this new piece of technology to speed through red lights that may be popping up ahead of them. I personally love the idea of this new piece of technology that Audi is developing, however I can see where local authorities will have a problem with this, as it might encourage speeding. What are your thoughts on this latest piece of automotive tech?

Thank you for the information provided

Image courtesy of Gizmodo

Google Smart Car, The Future Is Almost Here

Google Self-Driving vehicles, will it be the future of driving? It is to soon to tell, and Google has not given us a timeline as of yet. They have said that they are not interested in getting into the automotive manufacturing market, but rather want to provide us with the technology of tomorrow, working on the extensive algorithms that are needed to produce a Smart Car.

Nearly 34,000 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States alone. With the help of a Google driven vehicle, these numbers could drop significantly. There are only three states that allow the testing of  experimental vehicles in the U.S. currently California, Nevada and Florida, which have legislation allowing automakers to test these self-driving vehicles on the roads. In order to prevent an accident caused by the programing of the vehicle a licensed driver needs to be at the controls, even when the vehicle is in control.

In the U.S. Driving is a privilege, not a right as I am sure it is for most places. What if you didn’t need to drive though. Some people don’t like to drive, they travel by bus, plane, and even train. If all vehicles on the road were self-driving and communicated with each other, it could possibly prevent any and all accidents on the roads. Sensing when someone is crossing a street, or even when another car might have ran a stop sign. SAFETY FIRST! These self-driving vehicles are programed by humans, and “To err is human”, will these Smart Cars make deadly errors? Are The Three Laws programed into these cars?

For those of you that don’t know The Three Laws, I am referring to Isaac Asimov’s, Three Laws of Robotics which are:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Now these vehicles have been being tested for quite awhile now, and I wasn’t able to find any statistics on a single accident that involved one of these new smart cars, though after reading quite a bit about them, it doesn’t sound like one of these cars has been the cause of an accident though they have probably avoided several that a human driver might not have been able to.

Do you feel that there should be any laws in place for these new smart cars?