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Sony Pictures

The new Blade Runner sequel will return us to a world where sophisticated androids made with organic body parts can match the strength and emotions of their human creators. As someone who builds biologically inspired robots, I’m interested in whether our own technology will ever come close to matching the “replicants” of Blade Runner 2049.

by   -   October 11, 2017

Recently Madrona Ventures, in partnership with Craig Mundie (former Microsoft CTO) released a white paper proposing an autonomous vehicle corridor between Seattle and Vancouver on I-5 and BC Highway 99. While there are some useful ideas in it, the basic concept contains some misconceptions about both traffic management, infrastructure planning, and robocars.

by   -   October 11, 2017

General Motors announced this week that they would “take full responsibility” if a crash takes place during an autonomous driving trip. This follows a pledge to do the same made some time ago by Daimler, Google and Volvo and possibly others.

by   -   September 20, 2017

How do we build robots? How do we program them? Can we improve these processes?

As highlighted in a previous post, despite the fact that robotics is increasingly regarded as a ‘Science’, as shown by the launch of new journals such as Science Robotics, reproducibility of experiments is still difficult or entirely lacking.

by   -   September 15, 2017

NHTSA released their latest draft robocar regulations just a week after the U.S. House passed a new regulatory regime and the senate started working on its own. The proposed regulations preempt state regulation of vehicle design, and allow companies to apply for high volume exemptions from the standards that exist for human-driven cars.

by   -   September 13, 2017
Tesla Motors autopilot (photo:Tesla)

The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has released a preliminary report on the fatal Tesla crash with the full report expected later this week. The report is much less favourable to autopilots than their earlier evaluation.

by   -   September 8, 2017


How will robocars fare in a disaster, like Harvey in Houston, Irma, or the tsunamis in Japan or Indonesia, or a big Earthquake, or a fire, or 9/11, or a war?

File 20170830 24267 1w1z0fj

Future robots will work side by side with humans, just as they do today.
Credit: AP Photo/John Minchillo

by Thomas Kochan, MIT Sloan School of Management and Lee Dyer, Cornell University

The technologies driving artificial intelligence are expanding exponentially, leading many technology experts and futurists to predict machines will soon be doing many of the jobs that humans do today. Some even predict humans could lose control over their future.

by   -   August 16, 2017
PARAMOUR on Broadway – A Cirque du Soleil Musical. Credit: Richard Termine

Last year, Intel partnered with Lady Gaga on the Super Bowl Halftime Show to showcase its latest aerial technology called “Shooting Star.” Intel did a reprise performance of its Shooting Star technology for Singapore’s 52nd birthday this past week. Instead of fireworks, the tech-savvy country celebrated its National Day Parade with a swarm of 300 LED drones animating the night sky with shapes, logos, and even a map of the country.

Source: here.com

Almost all robocars use maps to drive. Not the basic maps you find in your phone navigation app, but more detailed maps that help them understand where they are on the road, and where they should go. These maps will include full details of all lane geometries, positions and meaning of all road signs and traffic signals, and also details like the texture of the road or the 3-D shape of objects around it. They may also include potholes, parking spaces and more.

This week’s news is preliminary, but a U.S. house committee panel passed some new federal regulations which suggest sweeping change in the US regulatory approach to robocars.

In San Francisco, I’m just back from the annual Automated Vehicle Symposium, co-hosted by the AUVSI (a commercial unmanned vehicle organization) and the Transportation Research Board, a government/academic research organization. It’s an odd mix of business and research, but also the oldest self-driving car conference. I’ve been at every one, from the tiny one with perhaps 100-200 people to this one with 1,400 that fills a large ballroom.

by   -   July 16, 2017

Jim Robinson of RRE Ventures said it best last month at the Silicon Dragon Conference when comparing Silicon Valley to New York, “There are two kinds of centers that have a lot of startups and technology, there are technology centers and commerce centers.” New York falls into the later category, while the Valley is the former. Sitting next to Jim, I reflected that Singapore might be in both groups, an Asian commerce hub and a leader in mechatronics. As an advocate for automation, I am often disheartened that the United States significantly lags behind its industrial counterparts in manufacturing autonomous machines. The key to a pro-job policy could be gleaning from the successes of countries like Singapore to implement America’s own ‘Robot First Plan.’

While very few details have come out, Reuters reports that new proposed congressional bills on self-driving cars will reverse many of the provisions I critiqued in the NHTSA regulations last year.



High-Performance Autonomous Vehicles
October 14, 2017


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