news    views    talk    learn    |    about    contribute     republish     crowdfunding     archives     events

Automotive

by   -   June 20, 2017

Judging by the frequency that self-driving cars are mentioned in scientific discussions and the media, they are not only the next big thing, but might actually take over as our main means of transportation. Traditional industries like the railways, on the other hand, seem to have lost that race already. But what if new technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Artificial Intelligence (AI), were not only used to create new transportation modes, but to transform old ones as well?

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.

by   -   June 5, 2017

The first VENTURER trials set out to investigate ‘takeover’ (time taken to reengage with vehicle controls) and ‘handover’ (time taken to regain a baseline/normal level of driving behaviour and performance) when switching frequently between automated and manual driving modes within urban and extra-urban settings. This trial is believed to be the first to directly compare handover to human driver-control from autonomous mode in both simulator and autonomous road vehicle platforms.

by   -   May 24, 2017

SoftBank, the giant telecom company, is venturing out into the world of robotics and transportation services. DealStreet Asia said that SoftBank is trying to transform itself into the ‘Berkshire Hathaway of the tech industry’ with the recent launch of a $100 billion technology fund.

UPDATED 5/24/17: SoftBank’s acquisition of 4.9% of the outstanding shares of Nvidia Corp.

by   -   May 15, 2017
One taxi cab with quite a few self-driving cars in the city.

SoftBank Group just invested $5 billion in China’s Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest ride-sharing service. Last year Uber sold their China business to Didi resolving (by giving up) all the legal and antitrust investigations it was undergoing in China. In other news, Chris Urmson, CTO of Google’s self-driving car program, left to start a new company and Waymo and Lyft just agreed on a partnership to develop projects and products toward adoption of autonomous vehicle technology. 

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.

As the last in our series of blog posts on machine learning in research, we spoke to Dr Nathan Griffiths to find out more about machine learning in transport. Nathan is a Reader in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, whose research into the application of machine learning for autonomous vehicles (or “driverless cars”) has been supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

Source: Waymo

Waymo (Google) has announced a pilot project in Phoenix offering a full ride service in their new minivans. Members of the public can sign up — the link is sure to be overwhelmed with applicants, but it has videos and more details — and some families are already participating.

by   -   April 21, 2017
Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua PhD ’93 delivered a lecture on autonomous driving at MIT on March 27. Photo: Kris Brewer/CBMM

The field of transportation is undergoing a seismic shift with the introduction of autonomous driving — or computer-driven cars. Computer vision scientist and Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua PhD ’93 described the challenges associated with this technology in a talk last month hosted by MIT’s Center for Brains, Minds and Machines (CBMM).

Luminar, a bay area startup, has revealed details on their new LIDAR. Unlike all other commercial offerings, this is a LIDAR using 1.5 micron infrared light. They hope to sell it for $1,000.

A new report from Navigant Research includes the chart shown below, ranking various teams on the race to robocar deployment. It’s causing lots of press headlines about how Ford is the top company and companies like Google and Uber are far behind. I elected not to buy the $3,800 report, but based on the summary I believe their conclusions are ill founded to say the least.

First ride: Encountering a school bus on real city streets in Austin, Texas. Credit: Waymo/Google

Recently we’ve seen a series of startups arise hoping to make robocars with just computer vision, along with radar. That includes recently unstealthed AutoX, the off-again, on again efforts of comma.ai and at the non-startup end, the dedication of Tesla to not use LIDAR because it wants to sell cars today before LIDARs can be bought at automotive quantities and prices.

by   -   March 15, 2017

If you take humans out of the driving seat, could traffic jams, accidents and high fuel bills become a thing of the past? As cars become more automated and connected, attention is turning to how to best choreograph the interaction between the tens or hundreds of automated vehicles that will one day share the same segment of Europe’s road network.

by   -   March 13, 2017

Automated cars are hurtling towards us at breakneck speed, with all-electric Teslas already running limited autopilot systems on roads worldwide and Google trialling its own autonomous pod cars. However, before we can reply to emails while being driven to work, we have to have a foolproof way to determine when drivers can safely take control and when it should be left to the car.

Imagine a future where self-driving cars, trains and buses are all seamlessly connected through an app, where traffic jams are a thing of the past and redundant car parks have been turned into green spaces. This could be the world we live in by 2030, says Cathis Elmsäter-Svärd, Chairwoman of Drive Sweden and a member of the Global Future Council on Mobility, in this interview.



IASP 2016 (Part 3 of 3)
June 9, 2017


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