news    views    podcast    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     events

Opinions

by   -   November 13, 2017

Robocar news is fast and furious these days. I certainly don’t cover it all, but will point to stories that have some significance. Plus, to tease you, here’s a clip from my 4K video of the new Apple car that you’ll find at the end of this post.

by   -   November 9, 2017
Credit:Waymo

In a major milestone for robocars, Waymo has announced they will deploy in Phoenix with no human safety drivers behind the wheel. Until now, almost all robocars out there have only gone out on public streets with a trained human driver behind the wheel, ready to take over at any sign of trouble. Waymo and a few others have done short demonstrations with no safety driver, but now an actual pilot, providing service to beta-testing members of the public, will operate without human supervision.

by and   -   November 2, 2017
Citizen Sophia. Flickr/AI for GOOD Global Summit, CC BY

I was surprised to hear that a robot named Sophia was granted citizenship by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

by   -   November 2, 2017
An analysis by Stanford researchers shows that the use of robot-assisted surgery to remove kidneys wasn’t always more cost-effective than using traditional laparascopic methods.
Master Video/Shutterstock

The internet hummed last week with reports that “Humans Still Make Better Surgeons Than Robots.” Stanford University Medical Center set off the tweetstorm with its seemingly scathing report on robotic surgery. When reading the research of 24,000 patients with kidney cancer, I concluded that the problem lied with the humans overcharging patients versus any technology flaw. In fact, the study praised robotic surgery for complicated procedures and suggested the fault lied with hospitals unnecessarily pushing robotic surgery for simple operations over conventional methods, which led to “increases in operating times and cost.”

by   -   October 31, 2017

My previous post on the House and Senate automated driving bills (HB 3388 and SB 1885) concluded by noting that, in addition to the federal government, states and the municipalities within them also play an important role in regulating road safety.

Many websites paint a very positive picture of the robocar future. And it is positive, but far from perfect. One problem I worry about in the short term is the way robocars are going to make traffic worse before they get a chance to make it better.

by   -   October 24, 2017

Healthy humans take for granted their five senses. In order to mold metal into perceiving machines, it requires a significant amount of engineers and capital. Already, we have handed over many of our faculties to embedded devices in our cars, homes, workplaces, hospitals, and governments. Even automation skeptics unwillingly trust the smart gadgets in their pockets with their lives.

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?

← previous page        ·         next page →



Collaborative Systems for Drug Discovery
February 18, 2018


Are you planning to crowdfund your robot startup?

Need help spreading the word?

Join the Robohub crowdfunding page and increase the visibility of your campaign