Antwerp (Belgium) – May 16, 2017 – Today, at the imec technology forum (ITF2017), imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies, demonstrated the world's first self-learning neuromorphic chip. The brain-inspired chip, based on OxRAM technology, has the capability of self-learning and has been demonstrated to have the ability to compose music. The human brain is a dream for computer scientists: it has a huge computing power while consuming only a few tens of Watts. Imec researchers are combining state-of-the-art hardware and software to design chips that feature these desirable characteristics of a self-learning system. Imec's ultimate goal is to design the process technology and building blocks to make artificial intelligence to be energy efficient so that that it can be integrated into sensors.
Everyone's excited for self-driving cars that can ferry us from home to work and back again, but the most recent success in autonomous vehicles is a bit more business-based. A squad of a dozen or so self-driving cargo trucks just completed a demonstration in Europe that covered over a thousand miles and crossed several borders, all with minimal human help. The trucks were all part of the European Truck Platooning Challenge, an event sponsored by the Dutch government, and which is aimed at making fleets of smart, self-driving cargo trucks a practical business reality. "Platooning" is essentially just close, connected, fleet-based driving where follower trucks connect to the vehicle ahead of them with Wi-Fi and maintain a very tight driving formation that wouldn't be safe for more fallible human drivers. A number of different companies participated, each using trucks and technology of its own.
About a dozen trucks from major manufacturers like Volvo and Daimler just completed a week of largely autonomous driving across Europe, the first such major exercise on the continent. The trucks set off from their bases in three European countries and completed their journeys in Rotterdam in the Netherlands today (Apr. One set of trucks, made by the Volkswagen subsidiary Scania, traveled more than 2,000 km and crossed four borders to get there. The trucks were taking part in the European Truck Platooning Challenge, organized by the Dutch government as one of the big events for its 2016 presidency of the European Union. While self-driving cars from Google or Ford get most of the credit for capturing the public imagination, commercial uses for autonomous or nearly autonomous vehicles, like tractors from John Deere, have been quietly putting the concept to work in a business setting.