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Apple car: design, self-driving technology and what we know so far

#artificialintelligence

Apple has arguably changed our lives more than any other company in the world during the past two decades or so. But aside from its digital devices such as iPhones, laptops, watches and operating systems, is there another direction it could go? The somewhat tentative answer to that has been transport, in the form of electric self-driving vehicles. Is Apple gearing up to challenge electric vehicle market leader Tesla, and what progress has been made so far? An Apple-branded car has been mooted for some years now, with sporadic reports of progress being made.


An Artificial Intelligence Remedy to Ease Traffic Jam Madness This Summer

#artificialintelligence

With road trips and domestic travel set to boom this summer, everyone is anticipating to see record levels of people on the road in 2022. While traffic jams seem inevitable in response to pent-up travel demand, a new machine-learning and artificial intelligence-based technology, comprised of a network of video and radar sensors, is proposing a solution to traffic congestion. When traffic management company NoTraffic realized that the traffic light technology used today is severely outdated, it wanted to see if there was a better way of doing things -- starting by combining the current hardware with a smarter software platform. NoTraffic's new technology system is currently being sold to local governments and their departments of transportation, as they work with traffic engineers in the area to address specific needs of intersections and provide oversight to adjust visual meteorological condition algorithms as needed. The company is privately held and does not disclose financials.


The Morning After: Our favorite small kitchen gadgets

Engadget

As we wrap up our Cooking Week on Engadget, my purchase of a milk frother is just one part of the Engadget team's surprisingly broad selection of essential small kitchen gadgets -- big spenders can scroll down to Breville's bonkers induction cooker. But back to me: Nespresso's Barista Recipe Maker heats and froths your milk (or milk alternative) simply to upgrade your espressos or moka coffees into flat whites, cappuccinos and more. I've owned mine for a couple of years, and I love how easy it is to clean. The spin mechanism is magnet-based, too, so it's less likely to break and should last plenty of summers filled with iced macchiatos. For all the other kitchen-centric stories this week, you can find them here.


Apple Car could be windowless, patent suggests

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Apple's long-awaited Apple Car could have virtual displays on the inside instead of clear windows, according to a new patent. The tech giant has filed a patent for a virtual reality (VR) vehicle system that matches up'virtual views' with the physical motion of a car as it's travelling. For example, if the car was careering down a hill, the system could project a virtual image of a rollercoaster ride. Chairs in the car would move about to match the visuals, the patent suggests, much like an immersive '4DX' cinema experience. But it would mean passing views of the real world – such as a beautiful medieval cathedral or stunning coastal hills – would be entirely replaced with virtual graphics.


Nvidia leaves a 'paper' trail

#artificialintelligence

Groundbreaking research has always been an important aspect of SIGGRAPH, as scientists and researchers present the latest industry advancements to conference-goers. So, the fact that Nvidia, in collaboration with top academic researchers at 14 universities, will be presenting a record number (16) of research papers at this year's conference is astounding. When a reinforcement learning model is used to develop a physics-based animated character, the AI typically learns just one skill at a time: walking, running, or perhaps cartwheeling. But researchers from UC Berkeley, the University of Toronto, and Nvidia have created a framework that enables AI to learn a whole repertoire of skills--demonstrated with a warrior character who can wield a sword, use a shield, and get back up after a fall. Achieving these smooth, lifelike motions for animated characters is usually tedious and labor-intensive, with developers starting from scratch to train the AI for each new task.


Tesla Autopilot under investigation following crash that killed three people

Engadget

A recent Model S crash that killed three people has sparked another Federal probe into Tesla's Autopilot system, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting the investigation and said it's currently looking into more than 30 incidents involving Tesla's Autopilot. The accident occurred on May 12th in Newport Beach's Mariners Mile strip, according to the Orange County Register. The EV reportedly struck a curb and ran into construction equipment, killing all three occupants. Three construction workers were also sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.


Feds probe Tesla Autopilot in Newport Beach crash that killed 3

Los Angeles Times

Federal authorities are investigating whether a Tesla involved in a crash that left three people dead and three others injured last week in Newport Beach had its Autopilot system activated at the time of the wreck. A special crash investigation team was sent for the May 12 incident on Pacific Coast Highway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday. In that crash, Newport Beach police were called around 12:45 a.m. to the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, where they found a 2022 Tesla Model S sedan had crashed into a curb and hit construction equipment. Three people were found dead in the Tesla; they were identified last week as Crystal McCallum, 34, of Texas; Andrew James Chaves, 32, of Arizona; and Wayne Walter Swanson Jr., 40, of Newport Beach, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Three construction workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said, adding that the department's Major Accident Investigation Team had been brought in.


What can we learn from a new documentary on Elon Musk?

The Guardian

You could be forgiven for believing that we've already achieved the era of autonomous vehicles. Tesla, the electric car manufacturer run by Elon Musk, refers to a version of its Autopilot software as "Full Self Driving". The company released a (misleadingly edited) video of an autonomous vehicle navigating city streets, its drivers' hands on their lap – a style replicated by enthusiasts. Musk has repeatedly assured in speeches and interviews that autonomous vehicles were one to two years away – or, as he put it in 2015, a "solved problem" because "we know what to do and we'll be there in a few years." But the existing Autopilot technology has not yet realized those promises and, as a new New York Times documentary illustrates, the gap in expectation and reality has led to several deadly crashes.


Hyundai's luxury Genesis brand opens US orders for its first EV

Engadget

Hyundai's Genesis brand is now taking orders for its first electric vehicle, the GV60. The EV, which follows the G80 hybrid, starts at $58,890 and comes with three years of 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations at no extra cost. US sales will be limited at the outset, however. To begin with, the GV60 will only be available for purchase at select retailers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The EV will be available in two dual-motor trims, Advanced AWD and Performance AWD.


Ford's Argo AI begins driverless vehicle operations in Austin and Miami

Engadget

Ford's self-driving Argo AI unit has hit a major milestone. On Tuesday, it began driverless operations in Austin and Miami. The company's cars aren't carrying paying customers just yet, but they're now allowed to ferry Argo AI employees without a safety driver at the wheel. Argo called the announcement an "important step" in its plan to commercialize autonomous driving technology by providing a suite of APIs designed to allow ridesharing, delivery and logistics companies to incorporate its vehicles into their own services. Argo is one of a handful of companies competing in the already crowded space, and a clear winner has yet to emerge.