David R. Baker

Business, Technology, Fuel

Gas Plants Will Be Made Obsolete by Wind, Solar, Study Says

Wind and solar farm Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Bloomberg News

Natural gas-fired power plants, which have crushed the economics of coal, are on the path to being undercut themselves by renewable power and big batteries, a study found.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
September 9, 2019
Government, Business, Technology, Fuel, TCA

Energy Revolution: California Approves $768 Million for Electric Vehicles

Charging Station Getty Images

California’s electric utility companies will spend nearly $768 million on charging infrastructure for electric cars, trucks and buses, under a series of proposals approved May 31 by state regulators.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
June 1, 2018
Business, Technology, Equipment, Safety, TCA

Self-Driving Car Firm Aurora Partners With Chinese Company to Hit the Road

Aurora

A Silicon Valley startup created by some of the most notable names in self-driving cars is turning to a new Chinese automaker to put its technology on the road.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
February 6, 2018
Business, Technology, Equipment, Safety, Autonomous, TCA

Self-Driving Cars Need Humans Less and Less, California Data Shows

General Motors Co.

The robot cars test-driving on California roads seem to need their human overseers less and less.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
February 1, 2018
Business, Technology, Equipment, Safety, Autonomous, TCA

San Francisco Self-Driving Car Startup Pony.ai Raises $112 Million

Pony.ai

It’s a measure of the current frenzy surrounding self-driving cars that a year-old startup can haul in more than $100 million in its first fundraising round.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
January 18, 2018
Business, Technology, Equipment, Safety, Autonomous, TCA

GM Buys Lidar Startup Strobe to Accelerate Self-Driving Cars

General Motors Co. world headquarters stands in Detroit. Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg News

General Motors announced Oct. 9 that it is buying Strobe, a Pasadena startup that makes lidar, a laser-based sensor that most autonomous vehicles use to see the world around them.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
October 9, 2017
Business, Technology, Equipment, Autonomous, TCA

Waymo’s Matrix-Like World for Training Self-Driving Cars

Photo by Daimler, Photo Illustration by TT News

Much like student drivers, Waymo’s self-driving minivans regularly stumble upon situations they’ve never seen before.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
September 11, 2017
Business, Technology, Equipment, Safety, Autonomous, TCA

Self-Driving Cars Now Roam Across Former California Military Facilities

Honda researchers are using the GoMentum facility 30 miles north of San Francisco to test automated driving technologies using modified versions of the Acura RLX. Honda via YouTube

The empty runway stretching before Mark Hendrickson extends so far that its edges vanish in the heat shimmer of a broiling Central Valley afternoon.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
September 6, 2017
Business, Technology, Autonomous, TCA

Daimler Sets Up Silicon Valley ‘Shark Tank’ to Take Company into the Future

Attendees try a virtual reality (VR) experience in Smart Brabus concept vehicle, manufactured by Daimler AG, on the second day of the 86th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Jason Alden/Bloomberg News

Facing a future in which private car ownership may fade, Daimler is ramping up efforts to create new products and services — even business models.

David R. Baker | San Francisco Chronicle
August 29, 2017