May 10th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Ford shrinking in profits, Korea to build a city for driverless car testing

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【Summary】Car News of the Day for May 10th, 2017.

Original Claire    May 10, 2017 2:23 PM PT
May 10th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Ford shrinking in profits, Korea to build a city for driverless car testing

Volkswagen's newest sedan the Arteon, can keep you alive even if you pass out while behind the wheel

The autonomous-driving sedan, which VW plans to have available in the U.S. this summer, features a unique function that can recognize if a driver has fainted behind the wheel, and then gently steer the car to the side of the road.

VW's new system is called Emergency Assist 2.0, and integrates four of VW's current advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) Adaptive Cruise Control, Side Assist, Lane Assist and Park Assist. The Arteon will monitor a driver's behavior, such as when the driver last pressed the brake pedal, or the time elapsed since the steering wheel was touched. If such an event occurs, the vehicle will attempt to "wake up" the driver by playing sounds, by visual cues, even a physical tap on the brake pedal. If none of these alert methods are successful, the car itself will make the decision of turning on the hazard lights and steering the vehicle to a safe spot on the side of the road.

Tesla's solar roof tiles is accepting pre-orders today


Tesla's CEO Elon Musk tweeted today that the company is now taking preorders for its much discussed solar tiles today.

Only two of the four styles of tile are available at the moment, which are the smooth black glass and textured versions. The Tuscan and French slate versions will be available to order " in about six months," said Musk in his twitter post.

He also added that the tiles can be ordered in almost any country in the world. Delivery and installation will begin this year in U.S., and next year for overseas buyers. The price of the tiles has not been finalized, although media reports suggest that the solar tiles will cost similar to traditional roofing tiles, plus the cost of electricity.

Ford profits are shrinking and investors questioning whether the company is overly focused on driverless technology


Ford saw its first quarter earnings fall by 42%, and investors are questioning if the company is putting too much focus on developing electric vehicle and self-driving technology. According to Bloomberg, Ford's stock price has fallen 35% since CEO Mark Fields was put in charge of the company 3 years ago. Investors it seems are not quite satisfied with Field's plan to pour billions into new technologies, including battery-powered cars and robo-taxis. Investors have urged Fields to provide an update this week on Ford's future strategy.

Nvidia collaborates with Toyota to make better autonomous cars


Nvidia announced today at the annual GPU Technology Conference that it is partnering with Toyota to help deliver its AI technologies to enhance Toyota's autonomous driving systems.

As one of the largest automakers, Toyota will use Nvidia's DRIVE PX AI computer platform in its autonomous vehicles. The company plans to have it available on vehicles within the next few years.

Also yesterday, Nvidia reported its first-quarter earnings, bringing in $507 million in net income, which nearly doubled the number of $208 million last year. Nvidia's stock price surged more than 10% shortly after the earnings release. The majority of Nvidia's success lies in the increasing demand for the company's powerful processors, which can handle the deep learning problems required for autonomous driving, as well as speech recognition.

South Korea is building a whole city for driverless testing


According to Korean Business Times, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea recently announced that the government is building a small city named K-City, to be used exclusively for autonomous vehicle testing. The site is built on an 88-acre site and will be used by tech giants including Samsung, SK Telecom, Naver, Hyundai, and Kia.

The K-City will include highways, autonomous parking zones, and bus-only lanes to mimic a real world, city environment. Construction on the site is expected to be completed by 2018, and will cost the Korean government approximately $9.7 million.

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