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self-driving cars

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.

I was recently asked about the differences between RADAR and LIDAR. I gave the generic answer about LIDAR having higher resolution and accuracy than RADAR. And RADAR having a longer range and performing better in dust and smokey conditions. When prompted for why RADAR is less accurate and lower resolution, I sort of mumbled through a response about the wavelength. However, I did not have a good response, so this post will be my better response.

by   -   December 6, 2016
Source: Intel
Source: Intel

Intel is establishing an autonomous driving division; hacker George Hotz is open-sourcing his self-driving software in a bid to become a network company; LiDAR and distancing devices are changing. What does it all mean?

by   -   September 19, 2016

uber-nutonomy-pilot-cars_1075_361_80_s

Two self-driving car events of note: Uber just began operating a fleet of Volvo self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, and nuTonomy launched the first autonomous pilot taxi program last month in Singapore. Both still require a driver, although he/she will be as hands-off as much as possible.

One taxi cab with quite a few self-driving cars in the city.
One lone taxi cab surrounded by quite a few self-driving cars in congestion.

Robin Chase wrote an article wondering if robocars will improve or ruin our cities and asked for my comment on it. It’s a long article, and I have lots of comment, since I have been considering these issues for a while. On this site, I spend most of my time on the potential positive future, though I have written various articles on downsides and there are yet more to write about.

Robin’s question has been a popular one of late, in part a reaction by urban planners who are finally starting to think more deeply on the topic and reacting to the utopian visions sometimes presented. I am guilty of such visions, though not as guilty as some. We are all seduced in part by excitement of what’s possible in a world where most or all cars are robocars — a world that is not coming for several decades, if in our lifetimes at all. It’s fair to look at the topic from both sides, as no technology is 100% good.

Brad Templeton argues that government interference with robocar safety regulations at these early stages, rather than 10-20 years after deployment, could significantly slow down the development of safety technologies for cars. Regulations and standards generally codify existing practice and conventional wisdom. Instead, he offers another solution.

by   -   April 26, 2016
Mercedes-Benz-F-015-Luxury-in-Motion-Concept-45
Photo: Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept car

Volumes have been written about the possible beneficial (and negative) effects of self-driving cars and systems. But few have studied what industries will be disrupted by the transformations as self-driving devices begin to provide for our transportation needs.

by   -   February 13, 2016

google-buggy_car_autonomous_robocar

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) took an important step towards interpreting safety standards in ways that could make self-driving cars a reality for the public: it said that computers controlling those cars can be considered drivers just like humans.

At Singularity U, we’re releasing a new video series answering questions about our future technology topics that come from Twitter. My segment is one of the first, and while regular readers of my blog will probably have seen me talk about most of these issues, here is the video …

Google's self driving car. Source: Google
Google’s self driving car. Source: Google

Google is putting 25 new self-driving cars onto the streets of Mountain View, California, but agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere reminds us that it already has tens of thousands of self-driving tractors in service around the world.

Unfortunately, the reality that automated vehicles will eventually kill people has morphed into the illusion that a paramount challenge for or to these vehicles is deciding who precisely to kill in any given crash. Although dilemma situations are relevant to the field, they have been overhyped in comparison to other issues implicated by vehicle automation.

photo: http://blog.udot.utah.gov/
photo: http://blog.udot.utah.gov/

Yesterday’s note on Here’s maps brought up the question of the wisdom of map-based driving. While I addressed this a bit earlier let me add a bit more detail.

A common first intuition is that because people are able to drive just fine on a road they have never seen before that this is how robots will do it. They are bothered that present designs instead create a super-detailed map of the road by having human driven cars scan the road with sensors in advance. After all, the geometry of the road can change due to construction; what happens then?

I see new articles on robocars in the press every day now, though most don’t say a lot new. Here, however, are some of the recent meaningful stories from the last month or two while I’ve been on the road. There are other sites, like the LinkedIn self-driving car group and others, if you want to see all the stories.

Tesla demonstrates its auto-lane change feature; Elon Musk predicts ‘real’ self-driving cars in 5-6 years; and Audi announces its self-driving race car.

The boomer generation, which took over the suburbs and exurbs, have nice houses but minimal transit options. Without the ability to drive, many seniors fear being shut in, and find themselves forced to leave their homes.



High-Performance Autonomous Vehicles
October 14, 2017


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