GM and Lyft to Test Self-Driving Electric Taxis

When you hail a cab, soon it may not have a driver.  General Motors and Lyft have announced plans to rollout a fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Blot taxis on public roads. The first test city? That’s yet to be revealed. But in theory, Lyft customers will have the option to opt in, or out, of the self-driving electric taxi test when ordering a car from Lyft’s mobile app.  Here’s more on how GM and Lyft are teaming up: http://www.wsj.com/articles/gm-lyft-to-test-self-driving-electric-taxis-1462460094.

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Ann Arbor: The Next Connected Car Paradise?

Toyota is teaming up with the University of Michigan’s Transportation Institute to create the world’s largest connected car testing ground. Using the roads of Ann Arbor, the experiment aims to track the movements of 5,000 connected vehicles to get more accurate data on the cars’ movements. Currently, connected cars are usually tested in closed environments involving a small numbers of vehicles, thereby affecting the results. Here’s more on the plan: http://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/toyota-umtri-will-turn-michigan-into-connected-car-paradise/

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Connected Cars: The Next Big Target for Scammers?

Your connected car offers amazing technologies – GPS, the ability to stream music, E-ZPass payments, V2I and V2V communications and more. But because your car connects to more platforms than ever, it’s also vulnerable to hackers and scammers.  The FBI and Better Business Bureau have valuable tips on how you can protect yourself (and your car) against these threats, so you get all the benefits of connected car technology and none of the headaches. Learn more: http://www.bbb.org/council/news-events/bbb-scam-alerts/2016/04/internet-connected-cars-scammers-next-target/.

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Should a Self-Driving Car Have a Steering Wheel?

Many conventional car companies see self-driving capabilities as an enhancement for existing car fleets.  But companies like Google are building prototypes designed to be fully autonomous – with no steering wheel.  Unclear, for now, is whether regulators will actually require a steering wheel on autonomous vehicles of the future: http://www.vox.com/2016/4/27/11518396/autonomous-vehicle-steering-wheel

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Are American Cities Ready for Self-Driving Cars?

How will parking work – in major U.S. cities – for autonomous vehicles?  That’s one of many questions on the minds of urban planners.  Shockingly, just six percent of long-range transportation plans in major U.S. cities are factoring the impact of autonomous cars, according to a recent report from the National League of Cities: http://www.wired.com/2016/04/american-cities-nowhere-near-ready-self-driving-cars/

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Want to Test Drive Autonomous Cars? Move to London

Starting in 2017, Volvo’s UK-based “Drive Me London” program, will employ regular, everyday folks to operate autonomous vehicles on public streets. Collected data will be used to develop new cars suitable for real-world driving conditions. “The sooner [autonomous driving] cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved,” said Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson: http://www.pcmag.com/news/344083/want-to-test-drive-volvos-autonomous-cars-move-to-london

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Will Drivers Accept More Safety – But Less Privacy?

Over 80 percent of traffic accidents occur due to – you guessed it – human error.  Connected cars offer myriad safety advantages that can save time, and save lives.  So what’s the downside to connected cars? Information security risks, clashes between automotive and mobile industry product lifecycles, and even debates over the connection itself (built-in vs. brought-in on a mobile device) are just a few of the issues sparking debate.  Here’s what the Huffington Post has to say about it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tatiana-krivitskaya/the-connected-car-is-here_b_9702308.html. Via @HuffingtonPost

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In Beverly Hills, 90210, Forget the Bus

Beverly Hills plans to introduce autonomous vehicles to its public transportation system in the next two to five years.  Residents will be able to use smartphone apps to request autonomous shuttles to take them to their destinations.  This isn’t science fiction – it is science fact: http://mashable.com/2016/04/19/beverly-hills-autonomous-vehicles/#UWNQCYURRZqb. Via @Mashable

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Just How Fast Is the Internet of Things (#IoT) Growing?

Connected cars are one part of the fast-growing Internet of Things, or #IoT. By 2008, there were already more things connected to the Internet than there were people on Earth. By 2020, this ratio will exceed 6:1.  What are 15 mind-blowing statistics about the Internet of Things? CMO.com takes a look: http://www.cmo.com/articles/2015/4/13/mind-blowing-stats-internet-of-things-iot.html. Via @CMOOnline

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