Editor's note: This article is continued from page one.
Then in January, news surfaced that Nissan Motor Co. and NASA formed a five-year research and development partnership that aims to advance autonomous vehicle systems and prepare for commercial application of the technology. Researchers from Nissan’s U.S. Silicon Valley Research Center and NASA’s California-based Ames Research Center will focus on driverless cars, human-machine interface solutions, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification, all involving sophisticated hardware and software used in road and space applications,
Now, with Uber and Carnegie Mellon joining the fray, there are already some major players in the driverless technology market, which is still most definitely in its early stages. Still, if the technology manages to take off, it will have a significant (and positive) impact on developers of such vision technologies as LIDAR, 3D imaging, machine vision cameras, and embedded vision products.
Curiously, though perhaps not surprisingly, Google’s name has popped up not only in driverless car technology, but also in the ride-hailing-as-a-service business. A report from Bloomberg suggests that Google may be launching an Uber-like service in conjunction with its driverless car project. The reason why this may be “curious” is because Google Ventures is one of the largest investors in Uber, having put $258 million in the company in August 2013. In addition, David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, sits on the company’s board. According to the Bloomberg article, Uber executives have reportedly already seen screenshots of a Google ride-sharing app and are weighing whether to ask Drummond to resign his position as an Uber board member. Could fierce competition between the two companies, and others, could be on the horizon?
View the Uber press release.
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