I buckle my seatbelt, and then double check it, after I climb into the back of a white, black, and orange Toyota Prius V wagon. I'm tense, but the two engineers, one in back with me, the other riding shotgun, seem reassuringly relaxed. We roll forward, turning right out of the parking lot at the Hard Rock Hotel, and head into the streets of Las Vegas--with nobody in the driver's seat. Soon, the car is merging into traffic at 40 mph, the steering wheel spinning and the turn signals flicking on and off on their own. I've witnessed plenty of self-driving demonstrations, some of them here in Vegas, but never one without a human holding their hands over the controls, poised to brake, or swerve, if the computer struggles.
Apple is working on a car. Or, maybe it's simply working on a complex set of technologies related to automobiles and driving… In any case, the endeavor (codenamed Project Titan) has been a facet of the Apple news sphere for years. Despite the fact that Project Titan is a poorly kept secret, it still remains murky. With that being said, there have been quite a few patents, hires, reports and other rumors revealing certain aspects of the initiative. Continue reading to learn eight things you need to know about the Apple Car.
"Too often when we talk about mobility, we have a tendency to go straight to self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles. But what we really should be talking about is how this technology and innovation that is happening right now can impact and improve the quality of life for people," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said while announcing at the North American International Auto Show, her first time attending as governor. She was joined by top state transportation and economic development officials.
Investors including Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Saudi Arabia's main wealth fund have poured money into this much-hyped maker of augmented-reality glasses. The bugeye-like glasses with tinted lenses--released only to software developers thus far--overlay virtual reality-like images onto the real world, designed for use by gamers and neurosurgeons alike. Early reviews have been lukewarm. Priced at $999, Focals by North represents a less flashy but potentially more practical version of futuristic glasses. The glasses, released last fall, can display directions, texts and other simple displays by beaming hologram-like images into eyes.
A number of companies have pared down the Level 5 challenge to make it more tractable. Some are limiting their locations to easier to navigate areas, like Voyage's effort based in retirement communities. Others are looking at applications that don't involve moving humans, like grocery delivery robot company Nuro, which has teamed up with Kroger to pilot autonomous delivery. Finally, other companies like Aptiv (with Lyft) and Cruise (part of GM) are tackling the broader challenge of Level 4, but with some operational constraints. They've limited their vehicles to areas that are accurately mapped and monitored, and where they can get needed infrastructure updates.
In recent times, a large part of the airline industry's success has been due to an ability that many industries have struggled with – Optimizing revenue using Artificial Intelligence. Airline ticket prices are decided by algorithms that change fares depending upon several factors such as past bookings, remaining capacity, average demand per routes and the probability of selling more seats later etc.; all of which can be included in a strategy called "Airline Revenue Management". Sabre the largest Global Distribution Systems provider for air bookings in North America describes this as a system that is "used to determine the optimal price of selling a seat at any given point in time". Airline revenue optimization, though, is becoming increasingly difficult citing several factors, not the least of which is the upward trend in candidates to the cheap carrier segment and the ever-increasing list of competitive in-flight services. Plus, with increasing competition in the industry and market volatility, the airline industry is looking for solutions that will offer ways to maximize profits and deliver better customer experience and customer service.
Revolutionary new virtual reality technology could let anyone ride along with you as a virtual passenger. Called Voyage XR, it's expected to have a range of applications, from training truck drivers to letting parents keep an eye on teen drivers while they're on the road. And it could even enable far-flung, elderly relatives to ride along with family members from any corner of the globe. Valeo debuted Voyage XR at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, which it claims'brings teleportation to life.' The Paris-based automotive supplier set up shop at CES with demos of Voyage XR, along with an eye-catching self-driving car test track across from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The biggest and easiest criticism or considered weakness of the simulation as a testing method is that it is not the same as having a real self-driving car that is driving on real roads. A lot of people would be hesitant to have full faith and belief that a simulated run is sufficient all on its own. How do you know that the simulation accurately even modeled the AI self-driving car? The odds are that the simulation does not necessarily have the AI running on the same actual hardware as found in the self-driving car. It is more likely that it is running as part of the simulation.
Along with robot butlers, billboard-sized TVs, and inadequately sanitized wearables being tried on by untold hordes, self-driving demonstrations have become a staple of CES. As the show takes over Las Vegas, the Strip, hotel parking lots, and side streets play host to robo-vehicles with spinning sensors on the roof, pods with splashy logos, and even autonomous Lyfts. Usually, these demos go the same way: You sit in the back and try to glean whatever you can from a carefully staged ride. So it was odd to find myself this week in the driver's seat of a Lincoln MKZ that looked like a full self-driver, sensors and bold logos included. And I was being told not just that I'd have to drive, but that I would be monitored--and graded--on my concentration, trust, and emotional state.
In October 2018 the Californian startup Aeva unveiled a new lidar system – a laser-based technology used to measure distance to a target – that can not only "see" the location of objects, but determine the speed and direction of their movement. This innovation could mark a significant advance in the development of self-driving cars, potentially making them safer. We hear about breakthroughs of this kind on a regular basis. But we rarely hear about advances in the moral and political ideas that ought to accompany such breakthroughs. With autonomous vehicles, for instance, some of the most basic moral questions remain unanswered.