Items tagged with autonomous

When we think of Boston Dynamics, we think of a company that is bringing us even closer to Skynet. The company produces robots that are capable of incredible feats that make them move and function more like a human (in the case of Atlas) or like a dog (with SpotMini). The company is cranking it up another notch with the latest iterations of these two robots. With Atlas, the humanoid robot is becoming more fluid in its motions and is seen taking a casual jog outside with strides that more closely mimic that of a human. Atlas is seen running on flat land and even up a slight incline. Impressively,... Read more...
It looks as though we're now receiving some preliminary findings on what went terribly wrong when a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 failed to identify a pedestrian walking across a road at night, striking her at full speed. The impact killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. The Information is reporting that the vehicle's onboard sensors likely did "see" Herzberg, but instead of correctly determining that she was an object that clearly needed to be avoided (either by applying the brakes or steering around the obstacle) it determined her to be a "false positive". As a result, the sensor suite... Read more...
Something went terribly wrong on a Tempe, Arizona road last week, when a pedestrian crossing the street was struck and killed by an autonomous Uber Volvo XC90. The vehicle's sensors didn't detect the pedestrian, meaning that the brakes weren't automatically applied to prevent the crash (or at least lessen its severity). Perhaps more tragically, the human "babysitter" behind the wheel wasn't even paying attention at the time of the crash -- she was looking elsewhere in the cabin instead of keeping an eye on the road ahead. Now, a new report from Reuters suggests that Uber's decision to skimp on... Read more...
Now that Waymo is free of its long-running legal battle with Uber, it is focusing its attention on more important endeavors; namely spreading its self-driving technology to more platforms. In this case, Waymo is launching a pilot program that will see autonomous semi-trucks navigating through the Atlanta, Georgia area. Waymo began testing its autonomous trucks during trials in California and Arizona and is ready to expands those trials in high-profile way. While many of the basic principles of a self-driving semi-truck are similar with passenger vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and Chrysler Pacifica... Read more...
Volvo and Uber have announced a deal that will see Volvo providing 24,000 SUVs over the coming years for Uber's autonomous driving push. Volvo will provide Uber with top of the line XC90 SUVs along with some XC60 mid-size SUVs. Volvo doesn't make self-driving cars at this time and notes that Uber will be adding its own sensors and self-driving hardware to the vehicles. The partnership between the two firms is non-exclusive, meaning that Uber could add additional vehicles from other manufacturers if wanted. Uber already has a deal in place to get some vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The XC90 is an... Read more...
Things have not gone well for the first autonomous shuttle bus in Las Vegas. The vehicle was reportedly involved in an accident during its first hour of operation. In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, D'oh. The accident was minor and all the passengers on the free shuttle bus operated by AAA and Keolis were unharmed during the fender bender. While the accident wasn't caused by the autonomous bus, this handily highlights the potential downside of an autonomous vehicle. A semi-truck backed into the autonomous shuttle reportedly grazing the fender. The issue here is that while the Navya shuttle... Read more...
A couple of decades ago, the idea of autonomous killing machines being an actual problem seemed like a thing of science-fiction. 1984's The Terminator has captivated audiences since its release, with its portrayal of what things could look like if robots take over. Today, you can't avoid a Skynet reference when someone talks about artificial intelligence gone wrong. The world has changed a lot since the release of The Terminator (and even Terminator 2), and if we're not in the time where this kind of thing could actually be a reality, it's coming soon. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been... Read more...
Back in March, Intel made its pursuits in autonomous driving well known to the world by acquiring Israeli company Mobileye for a healthy $63.54 per share, representing an equity value of $15.3 billion. Intel has had some missteps these past few years, having bowed out of the wearable market, and even the DIY market, but the reach of the autonomous vehicle market is immense, and it's one area where Intel could make its mark. Even if it's getting into things a lot later than a good chunk of its competition. Mobileye, Intel, and BMW showing off an autonomous vehicle prototype The company is wasting... Read more...
Adjustable sit-stand desks are all the rage these days, after some smart person in the healthcare field put two and two together to figure out that planting your backside in an office chair all day long is really not good for you, and in more ways than one. Adjustable height desks come generally in two variants, stand-alone models like the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 you see above and desktop risers that essentially convert a standard desk to sit-stand positioning capability. Pricing for the various model types out there range from the cheesy $149 versions, to north of $500 or so for premium, motorized... Read more...
  When it comes to flagship luxury sedans, vehicles that often come to mind include the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and Lexus LS. Today, it is Audi’s time to shine, as the German automaker just pulled the wraps off its all-new A8. Audi bills the new A8 as the most advanced luxury sedan on the planet, and we have no reason to doubt those claims. Right off the bat, every single A8 will be a mild hybrid, which means each includes a 48-volt electric system enabling stop/start operation of the gasoline (or diesel) engine when stopped and turning off the engine when the vehicle... Read more...
Uber has been landing itself in a lot of hot water lately, and with a new lawsuit filed yesterday, it's looking as though that water is going to keep on boiling. In a San Francisco federal court, Google alleges that Uber outright stole intellectual property from its spin-off business Waymo, which focuses entirely on self-driving vehicle technology. Waymo claims that Anthony Levandowski, the man in charge of Uber's autonomous division, took 14,000 of Google's files before he went on to found his own autonomous company, called Otto. Last summer, Uber acquired Otto for an impressive $680 million.... Read more...
At a time when most of the world is still debating on how to best regulate drone use for both consumer and commercial purposes (not to mention the use of autonomous vehicles on American roads), Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority has gone ahead and given the approval for the use of aerial drones to transport people. The impressiveness of this move can't be understated. Over the past few years, some major companies have been trying hard to make drone-use in business viable, especially Amazon. Only recently was the etail giant able to give "Prime Air" a test run, and that was in the UK. But here... Read more...
It appears that consumers are just now getting used to the idea of self-driving cars. Many mainstream car companies are offering vehicles with lane-keep assist, automatic cruise control, and auto braking. In addition, companies like Tesla and Waymo have made serious inroads in bringing fully autonomous vehicles closer to production reality. But what about self-flying aircraft? Are we ready for that? According to Airbus, that autonomous flying future will soon be upon us to spare people from bumper-to-bumper traffic along the motorways. The company has embarked on Project Vahana, which is a Vertical... Read more...
Ford is moving forward with its autonomous vehicle aspirations, and the latest piece to the puzzle is a next generation hardware suite that makes this feat possible. Ford has introduced next generation self-driving hardware, and it’s installed on the mid-cycle refresh of the popular Ford Fusion Hybrid mid-size sedan. While Ford is giving us an early scoop right now, it will be unveiled to the public next week at CES 2017. This time around, Ford has increased processing power, allowing the vehicles to process data faster and filter information coming from the bevy of sensors and cameras scattered... Read more...
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