The Fuse

This Week in AVs: Five Companies Testing 55 Cars in Pittsburgh; Ford to Have 100 AVs on the Road by End-2019; and More

by Kristen Hernandez | May 06, 2019

Ford claims it will have 100 self-driving cars on the road by the end of the year

Ford president of mobility Marcy Klevorn claimed on an earnings call that the automaker plans to expand its autonomous fleet to 100 vehicles by the end of the year

Ford president of mobility Marcy Klevorn claimed on an earnings call that the automaker plans to expand its autonomous fleet to 100 vehicles by the end of the year. She also asserted that the company will begin testing in a third city later this year, though she did not announce which city. Ford claims that it prefers to test in complex environments with seasonal weather changes and the challenges of urban driving. The self-driving fleet’s expansion will help increase familiarity with the technology and improve consumer adoption prospects.

5 companies are testing 55 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh
Nearly two months after Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto signed an executive order on autonomous vehicle reporting, the city’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has released their first findings on self-driving operations in the city. Aptiv, Argo AI, Aurora, Carnegie Mellon University, and Uber are the five companies currently operating in Pittsburgh, mostly driving their Level 4 vehicles around the Strip District and Lower Lawrenceville areas. Each vehicle contains about five methods for safety drivers to disengage from autonomous mode and the vehicles drive primarily during weekdays both during the day and at night. While this report offers a glimpse into the conditions under which self-driving vehicles operate in Pittsburgh, they lack metrics for gleaning vehicle safety.

Fiat Chrysler picks Google, Samsung for global connected car system
By 2022, all Fiat Chrysler (FCA) vehicles will be connected using technology from Google and Samsung. The automaker announced that they will use Google’s Android operating system and Samsung’s cloud-based digital platform to provide music and video and to facilitate car-sharing and self-driving capabilities. These new capabilities, which will include “predicting maintenance needs, locating fuel and charging stations, receiving traffic prompts and restaurant offers, and providing live customer-care assistance” will go into effect in the second half of 2019. Though FCA, unlike most automakers, has spent very little on developing self-driving technology to date, this announcement suggests they are proceeding with a lower-cost option of incorporating the technology of outside parties for self-driving operations.

GHSA to create expert panel recommendations for self-driving vehicles
The Governors Highway Safety Association will convene a panel of experts for autonomous vehicle safety recommendations. The panel, which will be made up of members from the federal government, the automotive industry, national safety groups, and others, will begin meeting in May with the goal of examining issues surrounding autonomous vehicle safety education and enforcement. Ultimately, they seek to produce a white paper and offer recommendations to state agencies and law enforcement. This convening is the latest in a series of groups examining the critical issue of safety for self-driving vehicles. Last month, SAE joined forces with GM, Ford, and Toyota to advance autonomous vehicle safety standards and prior to that Underwriters Laboratories and Edge Case Research announced plans to write a new safety standard for autonomous products.