Google-backed DeepMind created an AI sophisticated enough to beat a human champion in the Chinese board game Go, marking another milestone of development and progress in AI research. What will be next as we raise the bar?
Lyft announced a $500M investment from GM with $500M more, pushing them to a $5.4B valuation, which huge but also just a tenth of Uber’s. This was combined with talk of a push to robocars: GM will provide a car rental service to Lyft drivers to start, but the speculation is that whatever robocar GM gets involved in will show up at Lyft.
The majority of people are against the use of autonomous weapons capable of identifying and destroying targets without human input, according to a new survey by researchers at the University of British Columbia.
Most of you will have heard about the revelations that Volkswagen put software in their cars to deliberately cheat on emissions tests in the USA and possibly other places. It’s very bad for VW, but what are the implications for robocars?
Security researcher Jonathan Petit claims to be able to hack the multi-thousand-dollar laser ranging – LIDAR – systems that self-driving cars rely on. How does he do it and is it as dangerous as it sounds?
What should a robocar do when it meets another robocar on a very narrow road? If they’re in control, humans may resolve this in a number of ways, but it’s a widely held belief that this is one of the many problems baffling the developers of autonomous vehicles. Are they right?
This weekend I went to Pomona, CA for the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, where robots (mostly humanoid) competed at a variety of disaster response and assistance tasks. This contest — a successor of sorts to the original DARPA Grand Challenge, which changed the world by giving us robocars — got a fair bit of press, but a lot of it was around this video showing various robots falling down when doing the course …
Google has done over 2.7 million km of testing with their existing fleet, they announced. Now, they will be putting their small “buggy” vehicle onto real streets in Mountain View. The cars will stick to slower streets and are NEVs that only go 25mph.
It was a NAO robot fitted with a 3D printed set of goggles, so that the robot has two real cameras on its head (the eyes of the NAO robot are not in fact cameras). I was in another room wearing an Oculus Rift headset. The Oculus was hooked up to the NAO’s goggle cameras, so that I could see through those cameras – in stereo vision.
All over the world, people (and governments) are debating about regulations for robocars. First for testing, and then for operation. It mostly began when Google encouraged the state of Nevada to write regulations, but now it’s in full force. The topic is so hot that there is a danger that regulations might be drafted long before the shape of the first commercial deployments of the technology take place.
The government-baked robocar projects in the UK are going full steam, with this press release from the UK government to accompany the unveiling of the prototype Lutz pod, which should ply the streets of Milton Keynes and Greenwich.