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Driverless cars set to appear on Australian roads by 2019

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Photo Credit- The Pioneer

Canberra, Sep 12: Perth will be one of the first cities in the world to trial driverless on-demand cars, with a prototype vehicle unveiled on Wednesday.

Manufactured by autonomous vehicle company NAVYA, the cars will include a “chaperone” who will be able to stop the car manually at any time necessary.

The vehicles can carry up to six people and have a maximum speed of 90 kmph, although speeds are likely to be capped at 50 kmph during the trials.

Once unmanned trials are completed in 2019, registered users will be able to order a car to their destination via a phone app, similar to a regular taxi, Xinhua news agency reported.

Royal Automotive Club is responsible for facilitating the tests in Australia and Chief Executive Terry Agnew said Perth was one of just three cities in the world to be trialling the cars.

“How we move around is rapidly evolving and being able to test emerging vehicle technologies right here in Western Australia will help us adapt to these changes in the safest way possible,” Agnew said.

IANS

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Emission case: NGT asks Volkswagen to deposit Rs 100 crore by tomorrow

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New Delhi, Jan 17: National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday asked carmaker Volkswagen to deposit Rs 100 crore by 5 PM tomorrow (January 18) in emission case.

If Volkswagen fails to pay the stipulated amount within 24 hours,
the Tribunal warned of punitive action including the arrest of carmaker’s country MD and seizure of all properties across India.

In November last year, the green panel had directed Volkswagen to deposit Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within a month for causing “serious environmental damage” by using a cheat device that lowered vehicular emissions only during tests.

The German auto major challenged the order in the Supreme Court but the court refused to put a stay on the Tribunal’s directive.

On Tuesday, a four-member committee constituted by the NGT in November, penalised Volkswagen Rs 171.34 crore for causing air pollution in Delhi becuase of excess nitrogen oxide emissions.

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Musk lays foundation of first Tesla plant in China

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Beijing, Jan 7: As the US-China trade talks began, electric car maker Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday laid the foundation of a Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai — the first-ever outside the US — that is expected to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year and double the production capacity of Tesla.

Musk attended the ground-breaking ceremony of Tesla Gigafactory with Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong.

“Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high volume production next year,” Musk tweeted earlier in the day, adding that “Shanghai Giga production of Model 3/Y will serve greater China region”.

“Shanghai Giga will produce affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China. All Model S/X & higher cost versions of Model 3/Y will still be built in US for WW market, incl China,” he further tweeted.

According to reports, the Tesla Gigafactory is the biggest foreign investment in Shanghai.

Tesla’s first Gigafactory in Nevada produces Model 3’s drive units and battery packs. The Shanghai Gigafactory is set to be equipped with production lines for both batteries and electric cars.

According to a report in teslarati.com, by producing its lower-end Model 3 and Model Y in Shanghai, Tesla would be able to price the vehicles very competitively in the country — regardless of the presence of a trade war between the US and China.

Bullish on his Chinese dream, Musk last July said he aims to invest long-term in the country and signed a preliminary agreement with the Shanghai government to build a Tesla Gigafactory.

Musk had earlier said that China’s progress in advanced infrastructure is “more than 100 times faster than the US”.

According to a CNN report on Monday, Tesla is forging ahead in China “at a tricky time for both the company and the country”.

“China’s slowing economy and its trade war with the United States have hit the auto industry hard, with companies including General Motors (GM), Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen all reporting a slide in sales recently”.

“Tesla’s own prices in China have fluctuated wildly, with the company slashing prices several times last year even after China increased tariffs on imported US vehicles,” the report added.

Tesla has also cut its US prices by $2,000 as the federal tax credit granted to its buyers gradually gets reduced and phased out.

IANS

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Tesla asks more employees to test new Autopilot hardware

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San Francisco, Dec 28: Electric car company Tesla is looking for internal participants for its new Autopilot hardware, consisting of a new neural net computer that it claims would be the “world’s most advanced computer for autonomous driving”.

The company’s chief Elon Musk has sent an email to the staffers to find participants within the firm for the system’s beta testing period.

“Tesla needs a few hundred more internal participants in the full self-driving programme, which is about to accelerate significantly with the introduction of the Tesla designed neural net computer (known internally as Hardware 3). This has over 1,000 per cent more capability than HW2!,” the Electrek quoted Musk as saying late on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the Electric Vehicle (EV) maker reportedly sought hundreds of employees to test its full self-driving system and offered free Autopilot upgrades with new purchases.

“If you elect to participate in the programme and provide feedback for improvement to the Autopilot team, the $8,000 cost of FSD will be waived. This is on a first to purchase basis and will close as soon as we have enough participants. this is the last time the offer will be made,” Musk said.

The EV maker is expected to release improved Autopilot features via software updates and Tesla owners with the new hardware can expect more advanced autonomous features.

IANS

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