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Robotics & Automation

A Fatal Crash Renews Concerns Over Tesla's 'Autopilot' Claim


Tesla offers a $10,000 feature called Full Self-Driving Capability. It includes futuristic goodies like the ability to summon the car via app in a parking lot, and it can detect and react to traffic lights and stop signs. FSD, as Tesla enthusiasts call it, includes Autopilot, a feature that "automatically" drives on highways, changing lanes, keeping a car within its lane and at a consistent distance from other vehicles. But even people who shell out for Full Self-Driving don't own a self-driving car, and vehicles with Autopilot can't automatically pilot themselves. Lengthy blocks of text in Tesla owners' manuals describe when, where, and how the features should be used: by a fully attentive driver who is holding the steering wheel and is "mindful of road conditions and surrounding traffic."

Self-driving car conundrum: Tesla's latest crash raises concerns about Autopilot safety claims

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The perception that self-driving cars can really operate themselves without driver involvement is worrying automotive watchdogs, who say that some Americans have grown dangerously confident in the capabilities of semi-autonomous vehicles. Their comments come as electric vehicle maker Tesla's so-called Autopilot system is under scrutiny once again following a crash that killed two passengers in the Houston area late Saturday. "I would start by saying there are no self-driving cars despite what you may read about or what you've seen advertised," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "And there's certainly nothing anywhere close to self-driving that is in production right now." Tesla has been the most common target of critics for marketing that its vehicles are capable of "full self-driving" with an upgrade. They are not capable of full self-driving – and, in fact, Tesla says on its website that drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, ready to take over when the system is not able to steer, accelerate or brake on its own.

Is AI there yet?


It's a cold winter day in Detroit, but the sun is shining bright. Robert Williams decided to spend some quality time rolling on his house's front loan with his two daughters. Suddenly, police officers appeared from nowhere and brought to an abrupt halt a perfect family day. Robert was ripped from the arms of his crying daughters without an explanation, and cold handcuffs now gripped his hands. The police took him away in no time! His family were left shaken in disbelief at the scene which had unfolded in front of their eyes. What followed for Robert were 30 long hours in police custody.

What Waymo's new leadership means for its self-driving cars


Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car subsidiary, is reshuffling its top executive lineup. On April 2, John Krafcik, Waymo's CEO since 2015, declared that he will be stepping down from his role. He will be replaced by Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov, the company's former COO and CTO. Krafcik will remain as an advisor to the company. "[With] the fully autonomous Waymo One ride-hailing service open to all in our launch area of Metro Phoenix, and with the fifth generation of the Waymo Driver being prepared for deployment in ride-hailing and goods delivery, it's a wonderful opportunity for me to pass the baton to Tekedra and Dmitri as Waymo's co-CEOs," Krafcik wrote on LinkedIn as he declared his departure.

Kerb-to-kitchen robots and the next big step for online retail


Ocado is investing £10 million in Oxford-based start-up Oxbotica, which develops autonomy software for vehicles. Online retailer Ocado is exploring the possibility of having robots packing, transporting and delivering groceries all the way to customers' kitchens, with a new partnership designed to bring new levels of automation to the warehouse. The British e-tailer is investing £10 million ($14 million) in Oxford-based start-up Oxbotica, which develops autonomy software for vehicles, with the objective of testing different ways of integrating the technology with Ocado's hardware. Among the projects envisioned by the two firms feature autonomous vehicles travelling inside Ocado's warehouses to move orders around the buildings and surrounding yard areas, but also driverless delivery vans and even "kerb-to-kitchen" robots to facilitate what is known as last-mile logistics – the final steps between a customer's doorstep and the vehicle carrying their order. Automating these processes could cut costs significantly.

Deformable Convolutions Demystified


The reader of the post must have a basic understanding of Convolutional Neural Networks. If you are unfamiliar with the topic you can refer to this link and if you want to know more about the convolutional operation which is actually derived from basic image processing, you can read this blogpost as well. Convolutional Neural Networks or CNN's, in short, is one of the main causes of the revival of artificial intelligence research after a very long AI winter. The applications based on them were the first ones which showcased the power of artificial intelligence or deep learning to be precise and revived the faith in the field which was lost after Marvin Minsky pointed out that Perceptron just worked on linearly separable data and failed to work on the simplest non-linear functions such as XOR. Convolutional Neural Networks are very popular in the domain of Computer Vision and almost all state of the art applications such as google images, self-driving cars etc are based on them.

Self-driving cars may 'struggle to recognise dark-skinned faces'

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Self-driving vehicles may be inherently racist because they're unable to detect dark-skinned faces in the dark, experts have warned. The Law Commission says racial bias'has crept into the design of vehicles and automated systems', which could have disastrous consequences. Autonomous vehicles are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that's trained to detect pedestrians in order to know when to stop and avoid a collision. But this inherent bias effectively means anyone with a'non-white' skin tone might be at greater risk of being involved in an accident in poor light conditions. Self-driving vehicles may also be prejudiced against women and the mobility-impaired, because their operating systems have largely been created by able-bodied men, according to the Law Commission.

Volvo partners with China's DiDi Chuxing to build fleet of self-driving cars


Volvo is partnering with DiDi Chuxing's Autonomous Driving division to build a fleet of self-driving vehicles, the companies announced Monday. DiDi, a Chinese Uber competitor with more than 550 million users and tens of millions of drivers, is providing its self-driving hardware platform called Gemini, which will be deployed into Volvo's XC90 SUVs. The companies expect for these vehicles to eventually be driverless robotaxis. "In expanding partnerships with global automotive industry leaders, we believe shared, electric and autonomous vehicle networks will be crucial for future urban transport systems to achieve the highest safety and sustainability standards," Bob Zhang, CEO of DiDi Autonomous Driving and CTO of DiDi Chuxing, said in a statement. SEE ALSO: Volvo announces C40 Recharge crossover and says it's going all electric by 2030 Volvo already provided its smaller, XC60 SUVs for DiDi's robotaxi pilot program in Shanghai in 2020.

Random Number Generator Tutorial with Python


This tutorial's code is available on Github and its full implementation as well on Google Colab. Towards AI is a community that discusses artificial intelligence, data science, data visualization, deep learning, machine learning, NLP, computer vision, related news, robotics, self-driving cars, programming, technology, and more! Random numbers are everywhere in our lives, whether roulette in the Casino, cryptography, statistical sampling, or as simple as throwing a die gives us a random number between 1 to 6. In this tutorial, we will dive into what pseudorandomness is, its importance in machine learning and data science, and how to create a random number generator to generate pseudorandom numbers in Python using popular libraries. Check out our neural networks from scratch tutorial.

DRIVE Developer Days -- The #1 Conference on Autonomous Vehicles


Autonomous vehicles are one of the most complex challenges for Artificial Intelligence today, and bringing AVs to market requires the sharing of tremendous knowledge and expertise in end-to-end solutions. For those who do not know, NVIDIA is primarily recognized for providing graphics cards (GPUs) for computers and games, but in recent years thanks to the improvement of high processing hardware, the company has become an essential partner of the automobile industry in the development of artificial intelligence, a fundamental part in the development of autonomous vehicles. After all, this new generation of autonomous vehicles requires enormous computational power and it means that as important as talking about the engine or the vehicles's transmission, with Autonomous Vehicles it will be fundamental to talk about its hardware and software. That's why is at the data center, where autonomous vehicles are born and raised. It is where the car's Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) learn how to detect objects and perceive their surroundings and where self-driving software can be tested and validated over millions of virtual miles.