Volvo Does Lidar Deal, Bytons Intros Car

A Wired story last week outlined the latest and greatest moves by autonomous car companies, which introduced new apps and new safety rule ideas. They rolled out new concept cars and announced major partnerships. Here are the highlights:

  • Volvo struck a deal with lidar maker Luminar for tech that will help its self-driving vehicles not just see but “understand” the world around them.
  • A new commissioned analysis by a group of labor economists estimates that self-driving cars won’t take human jobs until the mid-2030s, and won’t disrupt many jobs even then.
  • Chinese electric-car maker Byton introduced its second concept car, the chic K-Byte, with all the lidar needed to drive itself.
  • If you’re confused about whether any of today’s cars can actually drive themselves, British researchers say “not really.” The automotive-safety-focused nonprofit Thatcham Research says driver-assistance features like Tesla’s Autopilot, Nissan’s ProPilot Assist, and Mercedes’ Drive Pilot need a clearer grading system.
  • Enterprise car rental company cut a mini deal with start-up Voyager to make a fleet of 12 self-driving cars. It’s the first effort by a car rental company to enter the autonomous car area. Voyager is testing cars in small retirement communities in California and Florida.