Tag Archives: autonomous

Tesla Parking Advances, Stirs Controversy

Tesla announced its cars’ popular “summon” feature, which lets them park in tight spots or shift between spaces without a driver behind the wheel, will be upgraded to let them navigate, read signs, and park on their own.

Company CEO Elon Musk said in a series of tweets that all Teslas made in the last two years will get the upgrade, enabling them to “follow you like a pet” if owners hold down the summon buttons on their remote keyfobs.

On the heels of that announcement came a news story that one enterprising Tesla owner was already using the feature to move his car between on-street spaces every two hours during the work day, avoiding parking citations without leaving his office.

Read about the summon-feature upgrade here and let us know in the comments: Is this the start of the autonomous revolution?

Autonomous Shuttles Expand to More Cities

Low-speed autonomous shuttles will be a common sight in more cities shortly, as May Mobility announced its debut in Columbus, Ohio, and the launch of more shuttles in Grand Rapids, Mich.. The Ann Arbor, Mich., based company will have shuttles running in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Columbus.

The Grand Rapids shuttle is part of a larger autonomous cooperative–the Grand Rapids Autonomous Mobility Initiative–which has brought together energy, automotive, and other companies to study how autonomous vehicles affect cities and how they help or otherwise affect the mobility of disabled or elderly people. Its shuttles cover 3.2 miles and 22 stops, and are free for riders.

Read the whole story here.

The Leading Edge of Mobility

Lots is changing in the way people get from place to place, and today Forbes says the state of Michigan is at the leading edge of it all.

While the state is preparing now for more alternative-fuel vehicles, shared rides, and everything we hear about the future of mobility, it’s also already creating jobs in those areas–jobs that may make up for those lost by new technology. Its universities are training students to be prepared for the new ways people will get around and enjoy successful careers in those areas. And it’s working on ways to protect people’s privacy in a connected-vehicle world.

Read the whole story here. 

More Than Driving Lessons

By Kim Fernandez

I’m writing this in a Starbucks, not because it’s summertime and the living is easy, but because the parking lot is where my son and I rendezvoused with a very brave ex-police officer for the teenager’s second, two-hour driving lesson.

My memory of the first time I took the keys and drove off by myself is of pure joy. Real freedom in my non-transit-friendly hometown, the ability to come and go as I pleased, and the feeling of being in control of the 84 horses under the hood of my very safe, very sensible Plymouth Reliant K (oh hush) were about the best thing I could imagine. Driving on an open road remains among my favorite things to do, which is why I haven’t entirely embraced the idea of autonomous vehicles. I like driving myself.

On the third week of his learner’s permit, my son drove me to today’s lesson. We were about a half-mile from the house when he muttered, “I hate this,” and I noticed the death-grip he had on the steering wheel. The idea of having a car drive him instead of the other way around is super appealing to him and he’s already asking me why he has to learn to back-in park when he’ll never have to do it. “Dude, relax,” I said. “This is actually fun.” Eye roll. What does Mom know?

For the moment, he’s out there driving. He’s nervous, I’m nervous, my bet is his instructor is most nervous of all. But it also has me realizing that my perspective—that driving is fun—isn’t shared by everyone. Which makes me wonder how it’ll all balance out when the technology is good enough to take over and a good number of people want it to, but not everyone’s in love with the idea.

P.S.: Unrelated to the above, a minute ago, a state trooper walked in and got in line. Two people, one in line and one who jumped out of her seat as soon as she saw him, insisted on paying for his order and thanked him for his service. Which is another great reminder: There are a lot of good people in this world. Have a great weekend.

Kim Fernandez is IPI’s director of publications and editor of The Parking Professional.