Trailblazing information systems professor, Siobahn Day Grady, Ph.D., is a Black tech unicorn you should know about. Not only is she the first woman to receive a doctorate degree in the field of computer science -- according to North Carolina Central University -- from North Carolina A&T State University in 2018, but she also recently received a $190,000 grant to conduct research to improve self-driving cars. Grady received the grant from the National Science Foundation's Historically Black Colleges and Excellence in Research program and plans to use the funds to research and identify issues with self-driving cars. "This research is very timely and relevant; it's the future," Grady said, according to North Carolina Central University. "I'm excited to contribute to the field as well as provide research opportunities to students."
Cars have not been good for the environment, to put it lightly. Someday, self-driving cars will appear widely in the US. Wouldn't it be nice if they also helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Trouble is, making an electric car self-driving requires tradeoffs. Electric vehicles have limited range, and the first self-driving cars are expected to be deployed as roving bands of robotaxis, traveling hundreds of miles each day.
Tesla Inc.'s Elon Musk said the carmaker is on the verge of developing technology to render its vehicles fully capable of driving themselves, repeating a claim he's made for years but been unable to achieve. The chief executive officer has long offered exuberant takes on the capabilities of Tesla cars, even going so far as to start charging customers thousands of dollars for a "Full Self Driving" feature in 2016. Years later, Tesla still requires users of its Autopilot system to be fully attentive and ready to take over the task of driving at any time. Tesla's mixed messages have drawn controversy and regulatory scrutiny. In 2018, the company blamed a driver who died after crashing a Model X while using Autopilot for not paying attention to the road.
Aicha Evans who is the CEO of the self-driving technology development company Zoox, talks about ... [ ] autonomous cars during a keynote session at the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6, 2019. On June 26th, Amazon announced via their blog they are acquiring autonomous ride-hailing vehicle startup Zoox. Financial terms of the acquisition were disclosed. However, the Financial Times says Amazon paid $1.2B for Zoox. Launched in 2014, Zoox began with the vision of producing zero-emissions vehicles for autonomous ride-hailing services.
Running a robotics startup is no easy task. Yet, we are always amazed by the number of robotics startups working on innovative technologies. Here, in alphabetical order, are 10 robotics startups The Robot Report will be watching in 2020. The companies are working on a variety of products, including autonomous vehicles, mobile robots for construction, toy robots, and software to give robots common sense and make them easier to use. It's hard to narrow this list down to just 10 robotics startups, so please share in the comments some robotics startups you will be watching in 2020. Make sure to also check out our must-watch robotics startups from 2019.
By 2020, people thought the autonomous car would whisk you to the office while you read the paper and tackle your emails, then taking you home from the bar on a Friday evening. That remains lodged somewhere in the pipeline for now. But another slice of science fiction is on the way – robots that deliver your food -- and it's already knocking at the door. Robotic food delivery (or, increasingly, the delivery of anything that fits into a robot) is being tackled by a wide range of companies, from garage startups to retail giants. Many use six-wheeled robots designed to drive themselves along the sidewalk and the pathways of business parks and college campuses.
We are encouraging questions from readers about electric vehicles, and charging, and whatever else you want to learn. So please send them through and we will get our experts to respond, and invite other people to contribute through the comments section. Hi Bryce –To future proof an EV purchase, which models available in Australia have an autonomous mode that can be switched on when the law of the land allows it to happen? Hi John – you ask an interesting question, although I think I'll reframe it slightly to ask'what is autonomous driving, and is it safe?' At the end of that explanation, I am hoping you will be able to answer your own question without my help!
For about a decade, we have heard rumors that a new generation of automated technologies has learned to do our jobs. If these tech prophecies were true, robots and algorithms should have been ready to step in during the lockdowns and finally prove that they can work more safely, cheaply, and efficiently than we can. But when COVID-19 raised the curtain on automation, people stepped into the spotlight. As the lockdowns begin to end, we must remember that today's crisis is not about automation. It's about how we value and protect the people whose labor sustains the world.