A Roundup of An Exciting Week For Self-Driving Technology

Some interesting news from the self-driving industry brings into focus the speed at which companies want to move and the regulatory framework that is holding them back. GM was one of the companies with the most amount of ground to make in the self-driving arena at the start of this year and it basically decided to buy its way into the competition.

A partnership with Lyft, takeover of Cruise automation and public tests in Arizona and California signaled to the customers and GM shareholders that the company was serious about making self-driving happen.

There is no doubt that rivals like Ford and Tesla are probably much ahead currently but things can change quickly in the tech world and make no mistake, the next automotive wars will be fought with tech.

Now, news has come out that GM is deploying self-driving Bolt’s on the streets of Michigan, immediately after the state relaxed the rules governing such tests. Michigan is GM’s home state and it would make sense to base testing facilities around pre-established centers cutting down cost and increasing the efficiency of the research projects.

Uber, a company that claims neither to be a taxi company and is definitely not an automotive company, is among the most aggressive when it comes to pushing self-driving technology. It is easy to see why the company wants to accelerate this change since it becomes significantly more profitable by cutting out the ‘human element’ from its ride-sharing service.

This time, though, it seems that the company has been a little more exuberant than the usually flexible authorities of California is allowing. Self-driving rides being trialed in San-Francisco by Uber have come under the scanner for not being legal.

Apparently Uber forgot that it needed a license to conduct these tests and has been asked by state authorities to cease these operations immediately. Seriously, though, the company had made a statement regarding California’s laws requiring a separate test being applicable to those cars that did not have a driver behind the wheel and since it does have a human behind the wheel to take over in case of any emergency, the laws did not apply to it.

California authorities obviously disagree.

The third piece of news concerns Lucid, a self-driving company that is positioning itself as the next ‘Tesla’. The first luxury sedan by the company was debuted before the invited press and even though only Lucid employees were allowed to drive the vehicles, it was heartening to see that the company is actually building something and not just vaporware.

Lucid is aiming for the luxury market by building what it says is the most powerful electric vehicle made for mass consumption, claiming a mileage of around 400 miles and building the interiors to compete with the best that the industry has to offer.

There is a lot more than that though that goes into making a successful car company, however, at this moment of time, we are just happy that there was something physical to see instead of a computer generated concept video.

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