Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving car drove me from California to New York, claims ex-Uber engineer

The Guardian

Anthony Levandowski, the controversial engineer at the heart of a lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, claims to have built an automated car that drove from San Francisco to New York without any human intervention. The 3,099-mile journey started on 26 October on the Golden Gate Bridge, and finished nearly four days later on the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan. The car, a modified Toyota Prius, used only video cameras, computers and basic digital maps to make the cross-country trip. Levandowski told the Guardian that, although he was sitting in the driver's seat the entire time, he did not touch the steering wheels or pedals, aside from planned stops to rest and refuel. "If there was nobody in the car, it would have worked," he said.

Kroger starts use of unmanned vehicles for delivery in...

Daily Mail

U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co said on Tuesday it has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro. The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro's R1, a custom unmanned vehicle. The R1 uses public roads and has no driver and is used to only transport goods. Kroger's driverless grocery delivery vehicles are finally hitting the road. The firm said it will start testing the self-driving cars on Thursday at a Fry's Food Store in Scottsdale, Arizona Kroger's deal with Nuro underscores the stiff competition in the U.S. grocery delivery market with supermarket chains angling for a bigger share of consumer spending.

Engineer at the center of Uber row claims to have completed self-driving trip across America

Daily Mail

The controversial engineer at the center of Uber's multi-year row with Waymo claims he has completed the longest coast-to-coast trip in a self-driving car across the U.S. Anthony Levandowski, a former Uber engineer, told the Guardian that he didn't touch the autonomous vehicle's steering wheel or pedals during the four-day, 3,099-mile trip from San Francisco to New York City, aside from the occasional rest stop. While the Guardian didn't confirm the details of his trip, if it occurred as Levandowski described, it marks the longest recorded trip by a self-driving car without a human taking over. Levandowski rode in a modified Toyota Prius for the 3,099-mile trip from San Francisco to New York City. The car operates using a semi-autonomous driver-assistance system, named Co-Pilot. Co-Pilot is a level two autonomous system.

Kroger launches Nuro unmanned vehicles to delivery groceries to customers in Arizona


By 2025 Kroger will get rid of plastic bags. Kroger is using driverless vehicles to delivery groceries. After nearly half a year of anticipation, Kroger has delivered on its promise to deliver groceries to your door without a delivery person. Through a partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro, Kroger will deliver groceries to customers in Scottsdale, Arizona, through driverless vehicles, the U.S. supermarket chain announced Tuesday. The unmanned vehicle, which is called the R1, travels on public roads and only transports goods.

Why Nike thinks the future of its stores is an app

The Independent

For something that ends with something so pleasant, shoe shopping can sometimes seem like the worst kind of work: concern that a shop won't have your size, asking to find out if they do and try it on, only to discover that size doesn't fit and being forced to trudge back ashamed and ask for a different size, before being forced to wait all over again as you try and check out. Nike, it turns out, wants to put a stop to that kind of shopping just as much as you do. And with its latest additions to its app, it appears to have succeeded. The company is just one of a range of firms betting that the future of retail looks a little like its past, and that traditional shops aren't being killed by technology but enhanced by it. The company's new update – known as Nike App At Retail, and newly launched at its London Store right on Oxford Circus – allows you to shop right from the app, choosing your size and style and having it checked out seamlessly.

Inside Shenzhen's race to outdo Silicon Valley

MIT Technology Review

Every day at around 4 p.m., the creeeek criikkk of stretched packing tape echoes through Huaqiangbei, Shenzhen's sprawling neighborhood of hardware stores. Shopkeepers package up the day's sales--selfie sticks, fidget spinners, electric scooters, drones--and by 5, crowds of people are on the move at the rapid pace locals call Shenzhen sudu, or "Shenzhen speed," carting boxes out on motorcycles, trucks, and--if it's a light order--zippy balance boards. From Huaqiangbei the boxes are brought to the depots of global logistics companies and loaded onto airplanes and cargo ships. In the latter case they join 24 million metric tons of container cargo going out every month from Shekou harbor--literally "snake's mouth," the world's third-busiest shipping port after Shanghai and Singapore. A few days or weeks later, the boxes arrive in destinations as nearby as Manila and Phnom Penh and as far afield as Dubai, Buenos Aires, Lagos, and Berlin.

Anthony Levandowski Returns With a Self-Driving Truck Scheme


Anthony Levandowski, the engineer whose alleged theft of trade secrets landed him in the middle of a blockbuster self-driving car legal fight, has stepped back into the spotlight with a new company. Pronto AI, he announced on Tuesday, is developing a $5,000 aftermarket driver assistance system for semitrucks, which will handle the steering, throttle, and brakes on the highway. To prove it works, Levandowski used the software to send his Toyota Prius across the country. In October, Levandowski says, the car drove 3,099 miles from San Francisco to New York City. At no point did he take control away from the computer, except to handle the non-freeway bits, chiefly to refuel and rest up.

2018 was the year self-driving cars hit a roadblock


It's been a long day. As you ride home from the office, you start to nod off. You close your eyes as the self-driving car merges onto the highway. When you're zonked out 15 minutes later, the car changes your route because of traffic, and eventually you wake up at your destination. That's the dream of autonomous cars -- and some very smart people, including Google's Sergey Brin, thought they'd already be driving people around public streets by now.

Uber fired Anthony Levandowski. Now he's back with a self-driving truck startup.


A name that came up often during the Uber v. Waymo trade secrets trial is back in the headlines: Anthony Levandowski. Its "intelligent driving" system for commercial trucks, Copilot, was released Tuesday. It's similar to Tesla's Autopilot, featuring Level 2 autonomous features that require a fully attentive and alert driver, but it's for truckers. Levandowski worked for Google's Waymo before he left to start his self-driving truck company, Otto, which was almost immediately purchased by Uber. He was then fired from Uber after Waymo said he stole proprietary information about self-driving tech like LiDAR, which uses light and lasers to help vehicles "see."

Ex-Uber engineer claims to travel 3,099 miles in a self-driving car


Remember how controversial former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski had formed a secretive autonomous trucking startup? He's finally showing off his work... and he might have set a record in the process. Levandowski has launched his self-driving truck startup Pronto.AI by posting a video (below) that appears to show him traveling 3,099 miles from San Francisco to New York City in an AI-augmented Prius "without any human intervention" or pre-mapping, and only a small amount of training. The entrepreneur only had to take over when it was time to refill the car and rest up, according to his interview with The Guardian. It's focusing on Copilot, a driver assistance system for trucks that offers the lane keeping, adaptive cruise control and collision prevention that you see in some newer cars.