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Autonomous Car

by   -   March 17, 2017

Amongst all the activity in autonomously driven vehicle joint ventures, new R&D facilities, strategic acquisitions (such as Mobileye being acquired by Intel) and booming startup fundings, two big players in the industry, NVIDIA and Bosch, are partnering to develop an AI self-driving car supercomputer.

Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla
Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla

NHTSA released the report from their Office of Defects Investigation on the fatal Tesla crash in Florida last spring. It’s a report that is surprisingly favorable to Tesla. So much so that even I am surprised.

Brad Templeton discusses Waymo and why it is an important move away from being a unit of a mega-company like Google or Alphabet.

by   -   October 10, 2016
Oxbotica testing Selenium. Credit: Oxbotica/YouTube
Oxbotica testing Selenium. Credit: Oxbotica/YouTube

Oxbotica, a UK technology company with a focus on mobile robotics and driverless vehicles, has created Selenium, an autonomous software system acting similar to a ‘brain’ for a vehicle. Selenium can work in pedestrianised environments as well as roads and motorways, and is not reliant on GPS to operate – meaning it can transition between indoor and outdoor settings, overground or underground. The system has been developed to be “vehicle agnostic” and can be applied to cars, self-driving pods (e.g. for campuses and airports), and warehouse truck fleets.

Tesla P85D car. Source: Tesla
Tesla car. Source: Tesla

Brad Templeton describes Tesla’s Autopilot as a ‘distant cousin of a real robocar’ that primarily uses a MobilEye EyeQ3 camera combined with radars and ultrasonic sensors. Unlike robocar sensors, Tesla doesn’t have a lidar or use a map to help it understand the road and environment.

Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla
Tesla Model S autopilot-software. Source: Tesla

In this article, Brad Templeton provides a rundown of different approaches for validation of self-driving and driver assist systems, a recommendation to Tesla and others to have countermeasures to detect drivers not watching the road, and permanently disable their Autopilot if they show a pattern of inattention.

Google has announced a minor partnership with Chrysler where they will be getting Chrysler to build 100 custom versions of their hybrid minivans for Google’s experiments.

A reddit user posted a short video of a lucky driver in Japan who was able to turn his car around just in time to escape the torrent of the tsunami. The question was asked: how would a robocar deal with this?

Our latest reader poll prods at the intricate challenges and implications of developing collision optimization algorithms for autonomous cars.

by   -   February 2, 2013

Mel Torrie of Autonomous Solutions

As guest speaker for a CMURobotics RI Seminar, titled Lessons Learned Bootstrapping a Robotic Vehicle Company, Mel Torrie of Autonomous Solutions (Petersboro, Utah), describes how he got into robotics in the first place, why he made the jump from academia to a startup, how that startup survived their “near-death experience”, what the company has been doing since, and what he’s learned along the way. There is a strong agricultural theme, both in his original motivation and in the history and current operation of Autonomous Solutions.

View on YouTube

Mel Torrie was recently interviewed by Robots Podcast

by   -   December 26, 2012

The past year was a watershed moment for robotics. From defense to exploration, startups to legislation, we saw products, laws, and investments that have shifted robotics out of the lab and into our lives. They have built on decades of basic and applied research, taking advantage of plummeting component costs and maturing core technologies such as batteries and communications. Below are the top 10 stories of 2012. And choosing only 10 from so many successes, research, and new products was extremely difficult. Perhaps that’s really the best story of the year.

by   -   November 18, 2012

The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford released a video of their panel discussion on “How an (Autonomous Driving) Bill Becomes Law” that took place earlier this month. The discussion builds on recent legislation in several US states (Nevada, California, Florida) to authorize autonomous vehicles. Focus is given to Nevada, which was the first in the world to issue a test plate for Google’s self-driving cars.



ICRA 2017 Company Showcase
December 10, 2017


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