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Machine learning puts a new spin on spin models

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Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have used machine learning to analyze spin models, which are used in physics to study phase transitions. Previous work showed that an image/handwriting classification model could be applied to distinguish states in the simplest models. The team showed the approach is applicable to more complex models and found that an AI trained on one model and applied to another could reveal key similarities between distinct phases in different systems. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are revolutionizing how we live, work, play, and drive. Self-driving cars, the algorithm that beat a Go grandmaster and advances in finance are just the tip of the iceberg of a wide range of applications now having a significant impact on society.


Toyota, NTT sign capital tie-up over "smart city" project

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Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Japan's auto and telecommunications giants, formed a capital tie-up Tuesday to build energy-efficient "smart cities" where autonomous vehicles transport residents. The two firms, which have been developing "connected cars" equipped with advanced telecommunication systems since 2017, deepened their partnership into mutual shareholdings, with each investing around 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) by purchasing each other's treasury stocks. Toyota said it will start the smart city project at a 175-acre site at the foot of Mt. Toyota has said only fully autonomous, zero-emission vehicles are allowed to travel on main streets in the envisioned smart city where around 2,000 residents have in-home robotics to assist their daily lives. NTT also said it will launch an internet-led smart city project at an NTT-related block in Shinagawa area in Tokyo's Minato Ward.


Nissan faces more pain before gain as business worsens, CEO says

The Japan Times

Three months into the job, Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida still isn't sure how much deeper cost cuts need to be, as the coronavirus outbreak adds another layer of uncertainty to the carmaker's already challenging business outlook. The CEO has promised to unveil a turnaround plan in May, on top of a plan to cut more than 12,500 jobs amid decade-low profits and management turmoil caused by the 2018 arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the company's former chairman. "All possibilities are on the table," Uchida, 53, said in an interview at the automaker's headquarters in Yokohama on Tuesday. He said that fixed costs, such as salaries and plants, which aren't affected by the amount of cars Nissan produces, could be on the table. "If our performance doesn't improve, then of course we are ready to take a closer look at fixed costs."


Nissan shareholders to pick new directors as business plummets

The Japan Times

As Nissan Motor Co.'s shareholders meet Tuesday to place new management on the board, the backdrop is looking grim. Sales and profitability are declining, a turnaround plan isn't due for another three months and the stock is hovering near decade lows. The scheduled vote will add Chief Executive Officer Makoto Uchida, Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta, Executive Vice President Hideyuki Sakamoto and Renault SA director Pierre Fleuriot as directors in what essentially is a swap with their executive predecessors. The proposals at the meeting, which starts at 10 a.m. in Yokohama near Nissan's headquarters, are all but assured to pass with the support of the French carmaker, which owns 43 percent of its Japanese partner. Nissan has been mired in near-constant turmoil since the November 2018 arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct.


Toyota uses big data to guard against accelerator-brake mix-up - Reuters

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp unveiled an emergency safety system on Monday that uses big data to ignore the accelerator if it determines the driver steps on the pedal unintentionally. Japan's biggest car maker will roll out what it calls an "accelerator suppression function" in new cars from this summer, beginning in Japan. The system is a response to an increasingly common cause of traffic accident in ageing Japan where the driver, often elderly, mistakes the accelerator for the brake. Some 15% of fatal accidents on Japanese roads in 2018 were caused by drivers who were 75 years or older, showed a report from the government, which actively encourages elderly drivers to give up their licenses. Toyota's announcement comes as automakers globally invest heavily in so-called active safety features as they work to develop fully autonomous cars.


High-tech cities become living laboratories to test automated vehicles

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China's Xiongan New Area project, near Beijing, is part of the central government's ambitious drive to lead in new technologies like AI and 5G communication. Woven City, near Japan's Mount Fuji, is a much smaller project -- just 175 acres -- that is being led not by the government, but by one of its leading industrial giants, Toyota Motor Corp. If the U.S. were to build a similar prototype city, it would need to invest or direct billions of dollars in advanced technologies like 5G, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, electric charging infrastructure and vehicle automation in an area with a high population density. My thought bubble: Why not San Juan, Puerto Rico? Yes, but: Puerto Rican residents have to want to be test subjects, notes Michelle Avary, head of autonomous mobility at the World Economic Forum.


CES 2020 Trends and Wrap up - Connected World -

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CES 2020 did not disappoint if you were looking for IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), and almost any connected technologies you could only dream about and perhaps a few you might have never imagined. Toyota announced Woven City, a sort of "living laboratory" at the foot of Japan's Mt. Fuji that will focus on developing and testing technologies in the realms of robotics, autonomous vehicles, smart construction and manufacturing, and smart homes. There were folding computers, like Intel's Horseshoe Bend device, a new EV (electric vehicle) in the form of Fisker's Ocean, and there was even the announcement that plant-based food company Impossible Foods would start making plant-based pork. If you missed the event, here is a more in-depth look at some overall trends and a few more of the highlights. Overall trends included smart transportation, encompassing autonomous vehicle technologies and EVs, as well as intelligent transportation and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) connectivity platforms.


Toyota Building a Prototype City in Japan

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A FUTURISTIC city designed by Danish architecture practice Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and featuring autonomous cars, smart homes, artificial intelligence and other technologies is set to be constructed at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji. Above: The city will have substantial public spaces (image courtesy of Toyota). The so-called "City of the Future" prototype will be constructed on a 175-acre site by Toyota. Toyota will use its technologies to create a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The city will house over 2,000 full-time residents and researchers.


Toyota is building a 'smart' city to test AI, robots and self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

Carmaker Toyota has unveiled plans for a 2,000-person "city of the future," where it will test autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living. The ambitious project, dubbed Woven City, is set to break ground next year in the foothills of Japan's Mount Fuji, about 60 miles from Tokyo. Announcing the project at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota's CEO Akio Toyoda described the new city as a "living laboratory" that will allow researchers, scientists and engineers to test emerging technology in a "real-life environment." A digital mock-up shows small autonomous vehicles operating alongside pedestrians. "With people buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test AI technology, in both the virtual and the physical world, maximizing its potential," he said on stage during Tuesday's unveiling.


Toyota Is Building a Prototype City Full of Autonomous Vehicles, Robots, and AI

#artificialintelligence

Despite already having a full-fledged Japanese city named after it and being in the process of building its own Nürburgring, Toyota has unveiled plans at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show to build a 175-acre prototype "city" as a sort of real-life laboratory for future tech. The utopia will be located at the base of Mt. Fuji, run on a connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and be named Woven City. Looking like something straight out of a science fiction movie--y'know, the part at the beginning when the aliens haven't landed yet--Toyota's Woven City will initially house a population of 2,000 including company employees and their families, retired people, retailers, scientific researchers, and folks from partnering companies with room to grow. The entire thing will serve as a testbed for "autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes, and AI."