Items tagged with autonomous

Artificial intelligence is a big part of NVIDIA’s presence at GTC 2019 this year, and with that comes a number of robots that leverage the company’s hardware for autonomous operation. While on the floor at GTC, we encountered a number of interesting devices, two of which you’ll see in the video below. One of the robots on display was a quadruped unit that showcases NVIDIA Robot Simulation technology. The simulation software allows developers to test their latest creations in a virtual environment to work out the kinks before deploying them in a production/real-world setting.  In the live demo above, you can see the quadruped balancing on a platform that is resting... Read more...
NVIDIA launched its first Jetson family products back in 2015 when its Jetson TX1 system aimed to be the brains behind autonomous devices, from drones to robotics and autonomous vehicles. The Silicon Valley GPU giant then added to the Jetson line in 2017 with the Jetson TX2 for commercial drones and smart robots. Today, NVIDIA has now announced the latest addition to the Jetson family called the Jetson AGX Xavier Module, and the company says this new processing engine is targeted at bringing up to 32 TOPS of performance to next-generation autonomous machines. Despite its big processing power, the AGX Xavier Module is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (or robotic arm), and... Read more...
We're now getting some official details on a fatal crash that occurred back in March between an Uber self-driving Volvo XC90 and a woman walking a bicycle across the street. Preliminary findings that were leaked earlier this month claimed that the Volvo did see Elaine Herzberg as she was crossing the street at night. The report did not, however, explain why the vehicle still proceeded along its intended path, crashing into Herzberg. The official National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report is shedding additional light on the situation, and confirms that the Volvo did indeed see the pedestrian. According to the report, the vehicle operator left the... Read more...
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, it is also shown jumping over a log and landing solidly with both feet. Remember, this is... 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 acting as if she wasn't there and continued on its intended path (which tragically lead to the impact).... 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 the number of safety sensors that continuously scan ahead, to the side, and rear of the vehicle to gauge... 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 vehicles that Waymo typically uses, considerations have to be made for "braking, turning, and blind... 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 expensive SUV with an MSRP starting at around $46,000. "The automotive industry is being disrupted by... 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 bus was able to come to a complete stop using its autonomous tech, it was unable to simply back up... 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 at the forefront of warning the world of this risk, and over the past couple of years, those warnings... 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 very little time putting Mobileye to work now that its acquisition has been finalized, announcing... 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 adjustable models. However, the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 is a bit of an enigma. The cleanly-styled... 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 is coasting (and then back on again when the accelerator pedal is pushed). However, the feature that... 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. Even more impressive is that the acquisition came just seven months after Levandowski left Google. While... Read more...
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