Tesla CEO Elon Musk's latest update of the company's master plan continues its focus on electric cars and the development of self-driving features but also envisions building autonomous, battery-powered trucks and buses. "As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system could break down and your car will drive itself safety," Musk wrote.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project was originally budgeted at $3.1 billion, but Washington state transportation officials say numerous delays have caused the project to go $223 million over budget. Much of the delay was caused by a 2013 malfunction of the tunnel-boring machine, and a lawmaker says increased toll rates might be needed to recoup the added costs.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation says it has scrapped plans to build a bridge over the Tennessee River, because residents were unwilling to pay tolls at the level necessary to fund the project. Officials also cited lower population projections in their decision.
The US Transportation Department has established the Build America Bureau to help address the country's aging infrastructure. The bureau wants to help facilitate private investment in infrastructure projects.
Speakers at a conference on autonomous vehicles discussed the challenges that arise in developing a self-driving vehicle, including the potential of electrical failure and differences in cultures. "We need to create vehicles that can drive in San Francisco and Tehran," said Maarten Sierhuis, who leads Nissan's Silicon Valley research center.
The latest version of Trafficware's ATMS.now traffic management software contains 25 new features and will allow cities to share intersection signal information with connected vehicles. Trafficware, which is used by more than 250 transportation agencies and covers 9,000 intersections, tested the new Connected Vehicle Module extensively in several communities around San Francisco before including it in the software update.
Ford is testing collaborative robots in a Cologne, Germany, plant to help workers place shock absorbers on the Fiesta vehicle. If the test goes well, the company may deploy the robots in more plants around the globe.
General Mills plans to slash 1,400 jobs, or 3.6% of its workforce, globally and close or reduce operations at numerous facilities. The company noted that consumer trends for more natural ingredients reduced demand for some products, such as Progresso soup.
Prototypes of an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt are being driven in San Francisco, and General Motors and Lyft could test the electric vehicle on public roads later this year. No launch date has been set for what is expected to be GM's first self-driving car.
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