"Old people began to cross the continent in their own cars. Young people found the driverless car admirable for petting. The blind for the first time were safe. Parents found they could more safely send their children to school in the new car than in the old cars with a chauffeur"

«The Living Machine» by David H. Keller, Wonder Stories, 1935

A longtime dream that is about to come true: autonomous – and therefore driverless – cars have been fascinating the professionals of the automotive sector, digital and IT experts but also people in general who will one day finally be able to «sit down, relax and enjoy the ride». BEAST decided to take a look at the latest developments and selected the key dates of 2018, highlighting the great promises of autonomous driving.

January 11, 2018: World premiere of the Volkswagen SEDRIC Active at CEBIT 2018: the self-driving technology platform for individual mobility at the touch of a button is designed for water and outdoor sports enthusiasts.

February 23, 2018: Nissan and DeNA start their Easy Ride robo-vehicle mobility service trial in the Minatomirai district of Yokohama. The route spans about 4.5 kilometers between Nissan’s global HQ and the Yokohama World Porters shopping center.

February 27, 2018: Domino’s Pizza and Ford begin second round of self-driving delivery vehicle testing in Miami, with a focus on the customer experience, notably allowing clients to track the Ford Fusion Hybrid via GPS.

March 16, 2018: In Tempe, Arizona, an Uber self-driving car strikes and kills a woman. It is the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the US.

April 16, 2018: Chinese web giant Alibaba announces it is already testing self-driving and is therefore joining its biggest tech giant rivals Baidu and Tencent in China’s autonomous car race.

June 8, 2018: In Luxembourg, Sales-Lentz showcases its brand new autonomous vehicle, powered by Navya. It will officially hit the road by the end of the year.

June 26, 2018: German carmaker Audi partners with autonomous vehicle simulation platform provider Cognata to speed up the development of autonomous vehicles. The startup is based in Israel.

Early July 2018: ZOOX, the American startup which aims at creating the full realization of autonomous mobility with its robo-taxi, raises 500 million dollars and is now valued at $3.2 billion. Its first vehicles are to hit the road in 2020.

July 10, 2008: BMW Group and Baidu sign a MoU under which the German manufacturer joins Apollo, an open autonomous driving platform by whose mission is to accelerate the development of self-driving in China.

July 20, 2018: Waymo (formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project) has self-driven 8 million miles (12,8 million km) on public roads, as announced by its CEO John Krafcik. Moreover, more than 5 billion miles (8 billion km) have been virtually driven.


The article has already been published in BEAST #12

Alexandre Keilmann