“It’s horrific. What’s meant to be a festive and family time have been completely shattered by these accidents.” –Greally
### NZ Herald 6:21 AM Wednesday Jan 4, 2017
Holiday road toll ends, 19 dead
Nineteen people lost their lives on New Zealand roads over the Christmas and New Year period. The youngest victim was 2-years-old. The official holiday road toll ended at 6am today. It began on Friday, December 23. Last year’s holiday road toll saw 12 people killed on New Zealand roads, with 71 people seriously injured and 296 minor injuries, according to the Ministry of Transport. […] National road policing manager Steve Greally said earlier the high number of deaths was disappointing and devastating for families.
█ NZTA Road death statistics
Meet the Blind Man Who Convinced Google Its Self-Driving Car Is Finally Ready | WIRED
Google is getting serious about self-driving cars. So serious that it put a legally blind man in one that drove him around safely on his own. The successful trip means that the tech giant can now launch its own self-driving car company, which it’s calling Waymo.
Published on Dec 13, 2016
Consumers will probably get their first taste of automated driving in the backseat of a robo-taxi.
### bloomberg.com 3 Jan 2017 1:01 p.m. NZDT
It’s Aye, Robot, as Driverless Cars Finally Steer Near Showrooms
By Keith Naughton and Mark Bergen
● 140 CES exhibitors from Google to Audi seek auto-tech buyers
● Autonomy is ‘next major battlefield’ for global automakers
Car electronics supplier Delphi Automotive Plc went coast-to-coast in 2015 in a self-driving Audi Q5 sport-utility vehicle to prove the autonomous automobile had arrived. Now, Delphi is shifting from stunts to selling. In Las Vegas this week at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, the company will give test rides to hundreds of potential customers in driverless Audis over a course of rugged terrain and tunnels. The goal: to walk away from this critical conclave with a handful of hot prospects for its self-driving system. “The last two years at CES have been more about just showcasing the technology and saying, ‘Look what it can do,'” said Glen De Vos, Delphi’s vice president of advanced engineering. “This year, the discussion is all about the path to production.” Self-driving cars are finally making the leap from the lab to the showroom. Tesla Motors Inc., BMW, Ford Motor Co. and Volvo Cars have all promised to have fully autonomous cars on the road within five years. Alphabet Inc. just spun off its Google Self-Driving Car Project, renaming it Waymo, and then promptly unveiled its driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivan and said it’s in discussions to put its technology into Honda Motor Co. models. When CES officially opens Jan. 5, the talk won’t be about proving technology — it will be about selling to automakers, ride-hailing companies, transit services and, ultimately, consumers.
At a show once known for mobile phones and video games, vehicle technology will cover an exhibit space the size of four football fields, some 21 percent more than last year. Some 138 auto-tech exhibitors will all be seeking a piece of the autonomy business that Boston Consulting Group says will increase to $42 billion by 2025 and account for a quarter of global sales by 2035. And since it takes about four years to bring a car to market, now is the time to cut deals with suppliers and tech partners to outfit models with self-driving systems that will debut early next decade.
█ For a QuickTake on issues surrounding driverless cars, click here.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
This post is offered in the public interest.