Oct 5th, 2017 News of the Day: Boeing to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences in bet on autonomous flight

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【Summary】October 5, 2017 News of the Day

Lydia    Oct 05, 2017 4:30 PM PT
Oct 5th, 2017 News of the Day: Boeing to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences in bet on autonomous flight

Boeing to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences in bet on autonomous flight

Boeing is acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences , a company that focuses on autonomous flight systems designed to make robot aircraft and vehicles a reality. Boeing says that its acquisition of Aurora will help it push forward its efforts around self-flying vehicle development, for both military and commercial use.

Once the acquisition goes through, Aurora will continue to operate as its own independent subsidiary of Boeing, and will continue its work on designing and producing autonomous aircraft. In addition to the XV-24A, Aurora has designed and flown over 30 pilot-free vehicles during its nearly 20 years in operation.

Udacity spin-out Voyage is testing self-driving cars in retirement communities


Voyage, the self-driving technology company that spun out of Udacity earlier this year when some executives and students decided to commercialize their work, has been testing its autonomous vehicles in a retirement community in San Jose, and is looking to expand its trial.

Two self-driving Ford Fusions (with a third on the way) will offer trips to the 4,000 residents of the Villages, a gated community for senior citizens in San Jose. There are 15 miles of roads within the community for Voyage's self-driving cars to learn how to interact with pedestrians, animals, roundabouts, and golf carts. The speed limit is only 25 mph, which helps reduce the risk if something goes wrong. 

Dyson seeks to beat rivals on range with its electric car


Dyson is building an electric car, the company revealed last week , and now we know a bit more about their specific plan to bring one to market. Dyson won't look to partner, and will instead build the vehicle hardware from the ground up itself, according to a new Wired interview with Dyson CEO Max Conze. By relying on its own battery and motor tech, Dyson hopes to be able to beat the range of existing electric vehicles by between 50 and 100 percent, Conze says.

However, Dyson isn't planning on building its own self-driving software, however, and predicts it'll be able to buy autonomous systems "off the shelf" from suppliers once the time comes for that technology to be properly integrated into a shipping vehicle.

Faraday Future loses another founding executive


A second founding executive has left ailing electric car startup Faraday Future . Tom Wessner, the head of Faraday Future's supply chain management, resigned from the company yesterday. FF has confirmed his resignation.

Wessner was one of the five initial executives brought in to run specific parts of the company by its cofounders Nick Sampson, Tony Nie, and Jia Yueting in 2015. Another, Alan Cherry, left in August. And like Cherry, Wessner once worked at Tesla. The other three executives — Dag Reckhorn (manufacturing), Richard Kim (design), and Sampson (R&D) — are still with the company.

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