Self-driving cars

Starsky Robotics / Courtesy

Driverless semi-trucks could be sharing Florida highways as early as next year, and there will be no requirement that surrounding motorists know it.

Nor will autonomous driving systems need to be tested, inspected, or certified before being deployed under a new state law that takes effect July 1, reports the Sun Sentinel.

The U.S. Postal Service is experimenting with self-driving trucks to move mail across state lines.

The USPS has partnered with San Diego-based TuSimple on a two-week pilot program focusing solely on a 1,000-mile route between Dallas and Phoenix.

courtesy: AutoNation

Mike Jackson used to shovel horse manure for one dollar a stall. He wound up leading a company selling over half a million new and used cars and trucks a year.

In March, Jackson stepped aside from CEO of AutoNation, the position he held for 20 years. AutoNation is one of South Florida’s largest publicly traded companies -- worth almost $3.5 billion. And Florida is its most important market, with quarter of its revenues coming from auto dealers it owns here.

The Uber self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian two months ago in Tempe, Ariz., took note of the victim with its sensors, but its software did not engage the car's brakes to prevent the collision, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Uber Technologies has reached a settlement with the family of the woman killed earlier this month in Tempe, Ariz., after one of the company's self-driving test vehicles struck her as she was crossing a street.

Member station KJZZ in Tempe reports that an attorney for the victim's family, Christina Perez Hesano, confirmed the settlement Wednesday night but provided few details.

"The matter has been resolved," Hesano said, adding that the settlement was between Uber and the daughter and husband of Elaine Herzberg, 49.

Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET Wednesday

The future of Uber's self-driving car program is likely non-existent in California, at least for now.

The company announced it will not renew Uber's permit through the state's Department of Motor Vehicles to continue testing a fleet of autonomous-driving cars on California roads, following last week's deadly crash in Tempe, Ariz.

Ford

Driverless cars are coming to Miami-Dade County.

This week, Ford announced that the county will serve as the first test site for its fleet of self-driving cars. 

Two fleets have already hit the road. (Human "safety drivers" are serving as backup.)

The first fleet will use mapping technology to learn Miami's environment while the second group will deliver pizza. Ford is partnering with Domino's to see how customers  respond to the system.

House and Senate Republicans are proposing the creation of a “Statewide Alternative Transportation Authority” that would oversee developing transportation systems for such things as autonomous vehicles.

With more than 1 million autos damaged in recent U.S. hurricanes, car rental firms have had to move vehicles quickly into affected areas. The ability to manage large fleets involves artificial intelligence and data — tools that are keys to a future of self-driving fleets.

Often even before the first rain falls in a hurricane, rental cars are on the way.

Florida has become a hotbed for driverless car technology. The self-driving vehicle is moving from the Jetsons to a road near you, and things are moving fast.

At Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, students are just starting a brand new class that teaches the basics of building an autonomous vehicle.

Uber has started offering rides in self-driving cars in San Francisco without a permit for autonomous vehicles — defying state regulators, who say the permit is mandatory.

Uber's self-driving Volvos, which are operated with a "safety driver" behind the wheel, have already been deployed in Pittsburgh. They hit the roads in San Francisco on Wednesday.

The U.S. government wants to help you take your hands off the wheel.

The Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued its Federal Automated Vehicle Policy, which outlines how manufacturers and developers can ensure safe design of driverless vehicles, tells states what responsibilities they will have and points out potential new tools for ensuring safety.