Items tagged with autonomous vehicles

Perhaps someday in the future autonomous vehicles will be the norm, not the exception. There are plenty of hurdles standing in way of that ultimate goal, with safety being the obvious main concern. Doing its part, Waymo has decided to share its rich collection of self-driving car data with researchers at no cost. If you ask Waymo, the company will tell you it is one of the largest and most diverse self-driving datasets every released for research. It contains data from 1,000 driving segments, with each segment capturing 20 seconds of continuous driving corresponding to 200,000 frames at 10Hz per sensor. This type of continuous footage can be a potential goldmine for researchers attempting to... Read more...
Following an investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla Model 3 and a semi-truck, the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the autopilot feature in the Model 3 was in fact engaged at the time of the accident. Interestingly, the Model 3 was traveling 68 miles per hour in a 55 MPH zone on US 441 in Delray Beach, Florida. The southbound highway where the accident happened consists of two lanes, with two more lanes going northbound, separated by a grass median. There is also a turn lane that heads into a private driveway where the accident occurred. "As the Tesla approached the private driveway, the combination vehicle pulled from the driveway and traveled east... Read more...
When I was younger—a lot younger—it seemed we were headed towards a future where flying cars would be the norm, a thought no doubt influenced by television (The Jetsons comes immediately to mind). That probably won't come to pass in my lifetime, though the widespread use of autonomous vehicles might. Several companies are invested in self-driving cars, including Apple, which not surprisingly is hoping to build the necessary technology in-house if a supplier doesn't step to the plate with an attractive offer. We've seen this play out with Apple in the mobile phone space, with the company designing its own custom Bionic processors for its iPhone family. Granted, those chips are based... Read more...
We have some sad news to report in the world of autonomous vehicles. It was reported that earlier this morning, an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Tempe is one of several cities where Uber's autonomous vehicle trials are taking place, with the others being Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. While there was a human driver behind the vehicle when 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck, the vehicle was operating in fully autonomous mode at the time. This is the first accident [that we know of] involving an autonomous vehicle that has resulted in the death of a pedestrian. Self-driving vehicles have been sharing the roadways with everyday drivers (and... Read more...
To the uninitiated, riding shotgun in a self-driving car might seem like a scary proposition. Part of the reason is because we are simply not used to seeing a vehicle navigate itself without a human driver behind the wheel, so the image of a potentially deadly hunk of metal motoring down a busy street is inherently concerning. Waymo seems to recognize this, so it has gone and launched a 360-degree virtual reality experience that puts users in the rear seat of a self-driving car. Much of the 3-minute video is spent explaining how Waymo's various sensors survey the landscape to identify all the moving parts, be they other cars, guys and gals on bicycles, or pedestrians hanging out in a parking... Read more...
Just two months ago, Waymo announced plans to test a self-driving car service in Phoenix, Arizona, in which commuters could summon a free ride from one of around 600 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans. Now the company is putting the pedal to the metal with "thousands more" of the same hybrid vehicle, each one motoring around without a flesh and blood (read: human) driver behind the wheel. Fiat Chrysler in Canada is producing the self-driving vehicles for Waymo, which is planning to deploy the hybrids in cities where it is currently testing autonomous driving technology. When asked by Wired exactly how many thousands it is talking about, the company would not say, leaving it up to everyone's imaginations.... Read more...
Apple has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that provides some insight into how the company plans to tackle navigation. The patent explains how Apple intends to make autonomous driving more efficient by reducing the need to constantly remake detailed maps. It also serves of further confirmation of Apple's plan to compete in the autonomous vehicle category—this is Apple's first patent in the self-driving car field. In the patent, Apple explains that today's autonomous vehicles use a combination of static information, such as detail maps of various routes, and real-time data captured by sensors as a self-driving car proceeds on a route.... Read more...
When it comes to business, playing it safe is not always the way to go. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich knows this as well as anyone, so in a memo sent to to employees, he said the "new normal for Intel" as the company approaches its 50th anniversary will be to "take more risks" as it continues to expand into new growth markets, ones in which the Santa Clara chipmaker is "definitely an underdog." "We're just inches away from being a 50/50 company, meaning that half our revenue comes from the PC and half from new growth markets. In many of these new markets we are definitely the underdog. That's an exciting challenge—it requires that we develop and use new, different muscles," Krzanich said. Image... Read more...
Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, continues to accelerate its self-driving car efforts by racking up millions of miles on public roads. The official tally now stands at 4 million miles, of which 1 million of those were accumulated in the past six months alone. In the early going, it took a full 18 months for Waymo to log its first million miles. All of this experience adds up and is crucial to making autonomous vehicles safe for everyday use. Image Source: Waymo "With these 4 million miles of experience, we’ve been able to focus on varied and complex driving scenarios. For every situation we encounter on the road, we’re able to amplify and multiply the experience... Read more...
Tesla founder Elon Musk has been hyping up self-driving capabilities of his company's upcoming Model 3 automobile, but if you ask General Motors, the automaker will tell you he is "full of crap." Yes, those were the words GM's director of autonomous vehicle integration Scott Miller threw at Australian journalists in Detroit, which leaves little doubt to how and (and presumably his employer) really feels about Tesla."I think he is full of crap," Miller said. "To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous car with cameras and radar, I don't know how you do that."Image Source: TeslaMiller is referring to the rating system introduced by the US Department of Transportation's... Read more...
It is a tossup whether Samsung is best known for its smartphones, televisions, or semiconductor business, at least for now anyway. Give it some time and Samsung might end up being associated with self-driving cars. The South Korean electronics maker certainly has an interest in autonomous vehicles—what tech company doesn't these days?—which was reinforced by receiving permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test cars that drive themselves on state roads. Samsung joins a growing list of companies that have obtained permits from the DMV to test autonomous vehicles. Some of the other notable names include automakers GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Tesla, to name a view,... Read more...
Despite cautionary push back from regulators and lawmakers, it is becoming increasingly clear that self-driving cars are the future. Development in the area has been proceeding at a breakneck pace. Even so, one has to wonder when exactly autonomous vehicles will become a reality, versus just a prototype. It could be sooner than you think thanks to a new partnership between Volvo, Autoliv, and NVIDIA. The two automakers have teamed up with NVIDIA to accelerate the advancement of self-driving car technology. As part of that alliance, they have set an ambitious goal of having production vehicles built on NVIDIA's Drive PX car computing platform on roadways by 2021. That gives them just four years... Read more...
Up until now, one of the worst kept secrets in the tech industry was Apple's involvement in an autonomous vehicle program. Job listings and occasional leaks made it unofficially clear that Apple was cooking something up in the self-driving car space, and now Apple boss Tim Cook has come out and confirmed what we knew all along—Apple is invested in self-driving technology"We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook told Bloomberg in an interview earlier this month. "It's a core technology that we view as important. Cook added that autonomous vehicle technology is "sort of the mother of all AI projects" and "probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on."That is true from a... Read more...
The lead lawyer for Uber has threatened to fire Anthony Levandowski, one of the company's top self-driving car engineers, if he refuses to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into accusations that he stole trade secrets from Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company Alphabet. Levandowski previously worked for Waymo before joining Uber. His path to Uber came by way of an acquisition. After departing Waymo, Levandowski co-founded Otto in January 2016. Just seven months later, his company was acquired by Uber for around $680 million. Since then, Alphabet has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging the theft of nearly around 14,000 files amounting to nearly 10 gigabytes... Read more...
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