Nuro, the self-driving delivery startup, is teaming up with Domino's to launch a pilot for driverless pizza delivery in Houston, Texas, the companies announced Monday. Starting later this year, Domino's will use Nuro's driverless fleet of custom-built robot cars to deliver pizza to select Houston residents who place orders online. Nuro, which was founded by two ex-members of Google's pioneering self-driving team, has been using its fleet of R1 robot cars to deliver groceries to residents of Scottsdale, Arizona, and more recently, Houston. If the pilot with Domino's goes well, it's safe to assume Nuro will look to expand it to other markets as well. Nuro has been ramping up its activities in recent months since receiving a $1 billion investment from Japanese tech company SoftBank.
Waymo is launching its first self-driving car service in Phoenix Arizona called Waymo One. Waymo, a subsidiary of Google-parent Alphabet which is developing autonomous vehicles and related services, has officially expanded its reach and is now making some of its self-driving minivans available for customers of ride-share operator Lyft. The rides are restricted to a small area outside Phoenix, where Waymo has been testing self-driving vehicles and has started its own autonomous ride-share service, Waymo One. Waymo's limited partnership with Lyft is the latest example of the company branching out to work with more companies as it develops autonomous vehicles and services. Earlier this month, Waymo struck a deal with Nissan and Renault to build self-driving vehicles for those automakers.
NASA'S Planetary Defense Coordination Office uses the Catalina Sky Survey facility in Tucson, Arizona, to catalog space objects Even in this age of high-speed data analysis, a keen human eye normally can't be beaten when poring over images of potential asteroidal impactors. But Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) could soon change all that. The El Segundo, Calif.-based Aerospace Corporation is now testing A.I. software designed to help astronomers speed up the process of identifying and tracking threatening Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office already uses numerous telescopes to find and monitor NEOs that might have the potential to impact Earth. But the non-profit Aerospace Corporation's A.I. team is working with NASA on implementing software dubbed NEO AID (Near-Earth Object Artificial Intelligence Detection) to differentiate false positives from asteroids and comets that might be real threats.
Everyone has heard of them but few have seen one, let alone driven in one. The words bring fear to many people, fearing the unknown with a big question on safety. This morning we had a chance to have a chat with the team at Waymo and check out the driverless car for ourselves. Waymo began life as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009 and has since morphed into the most successful self-driving car project in the world. The company completed its first driverless car public road test in 2015 and in 2017 began regular driverless testing on the roads in Phoenix, Arizona.
For most people, balloons may connote birthday parties, weddings, parades, or on a less celebratory note, meteorology. But, if one new startup has its way, sweeping surveillance may soon make that list too. World View Enterprises Inc., based in Arizona, is working to build what it's calling Stratollites -- balloon mounted-surveillance systems that the company claims can be remotely controlled and adjusted using its own proprietary technology. In an test of unprecedented length, a World View balloon safely completed a 16-day mission, navigating above states in the Western U.S. The feat, says the company, is a major mile marker in the goal of keeping the devices afloat for months at a time. Balloons could be the new method of surveillance according to one Arizona startup, World View.
The future of deliveries may be robo-vans. A Chinese startup called Neolix kicked off mass production of its self-driving delivery vehicles Friday -- saying it's the first company globally to do so -- and has lined up giants such as JD.Com Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. as customers. Neolix expects to deliver a thousand of the vehicles, which resemble tiny vans, within the first year as it broadens out. The implications are potentially huge: Billionaire Jack Ma predicts there will be 1 billion deliveries a day in China within a decade and the commercialization of the technology could provide lessons for autonomous vehicles carrying passengers. Neolix isn't alone in this space as Silicon Valley's Nuro raised almost a billion dollars this year and is starting to deliver groceries in Arizona.
The future of deliveries may be "robovans." A Chinese startup called Neolix kicked off mass production of its self-driving delivery vehicles Friday -- saying it's the first company globally to do so -- and has lined up giants such as JD.com Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. as customers. Neolix expects to deliver a thousand of the vehicles, which resemble tiny vans, within the first year as it broadens out. The implications are potentially huge: Billionaire Jack Ma predicts there will be 1 billion deliveries a day in China within a decade and the commercialization of the technology could provide lessons for autonomous vehicles carrying passengers. Neolix isn't alone in this space as Silicon Valley's Nuro raised almost $1 billion this year and is starting to deliver groceries in Arizona.
It was on the motorway near Phoenix, Arizona, that I realised fully driverless cars might be quite a distant dream. And that was because our Google Waymo robo-taxi seemed incapable of leaving that motorway. We were in Arizona to record a radio documentary for the BBC World Service about the progress towards creating autonomous vehicles that would make our roads safer and replace human drivers with robots. Google leads this race at the moment and for the past six months has been offering a robo-taxi service, Waymo One, to a select few early adopters in and around the Phoenix suburb of Chandler. Our first ride with Waymo took us through the quiet suburban streets, where traffic is sparse and drivers well mannered.
Illuminated drone shows are the new laser light shows, at least judging by this video, which captures a performance by Intel drones set to the music of popular jam band Phish. Intel confirmed to Mashable that the performance features 500 Intel Shooting Star drones, purposely made for these sorts of light shows. The drones are capable of 4 billion color combinations, and fly in various formations that were in response to Phish's song "More," from their 2016 album Big Boat. I'm not saying some weed edibles would really make that heart formation during the line "I'm vibrating with love and light / Pulsating with love and light" even more beautiful, but I'm not NOT saying it, either. The big to-do happened Monday night at Intel's Capital Global Summit in Phoenix, Arizona and was just the latest iteration of an annual tradition; you can watch 2018's drone show here.
Nuro has partnered with Fry's Food Stores to utilize its autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries in Scottsdale. Supermarket giant Kroger said it soon will end a pilot program in which more than 2,000 grocery deliveries were made in self-driving vehicles from a store in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program, launched last August, featured deliveries in autonomous vehicles from robotics company Nuro from the Kroger-owned Fry's store at 7770 E. McDowell Road for customers in ZIP code 85257. The companies described it as the nation's first program featuring deliveries to the general public from fully unmanned vehicles. Wednesday will mark the final day of deliveries.