Volkswagen is working with Nvidia to expand its usage of its artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies beyond autonomous vehicles and into other areas of business, the two companies revealed today. VW set up its Munich-based data lab in 2014. Last year it pushed on with the hiring of Prof. Patrick van der Smagt to lead a dedicated AI team that is tasked with taking the technology into areas such as'robotic enterprise,' or use of the technology in enterprise settings. VW wants to use AI and deep learning to power new opportunities within its corporate business functions and, more widely, "in the field of mobility services." As an example, the German car-maker said it is working on procedures to help optimize traffic flow in cities and urban areas, while it sees the potential for intelligent human-robot collaboration, too.
The concept of a self-parking car certainly isn't new, but Daimler is about to take the next logical step on that front. It's partnering with Bosch to launch an Automated Valet Parking service at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. When it launches at the start of 2018, anyone (not just museum guests) can rent cars that will not only drive themselves out, but park themselves upon return. You just need a smartphone app to both make the reservation and the virtual handover when you're done. The key is the combination of Mercedes' self-driving tech with Bosch's smart car park grid.
Germany is taking on the U.S. (and China) when it comes to autonomous vehicles. On Wednesday, Volkswagen and Hamburg announced a self-driving pilot program on the city's streets. While many cities and states in the U.S. have been testing robo-cars for years, Germany only recently approved testing. Munich has been an autonomous hot spot thanks to BMW's research center, but now a nearly 2-mile stretch of Hamburg will allow a fleet of five e-Golf vehicles to drive the streets. SEE ALSO: Microsoft partners with BMW to build car systems in'smart factories' There will be safety drivers behind the wheel testing out Level 4 automation, which is almost fully autonomous, but still requires a human in some rare instances, such as unplanned street closures or severe weather.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A company working to make open-source self-driving software reliable enough to be used in commercially available vehicles said it had hired a former German car boss as it seeks to expand its reach. Palo Alto, California-based Apex.AI has added Karl-Thomas Neumann, an industry veteran who in the past served as the chief executive of Continental AG and led Volkswagen AG's China business, to its board. "Karl-Thomas is a great fit for us as we're trying to learn off what worked in the past and reach out to more industry players," Apex.AI co-founder Jan Becker told Reuters in an interview this week. The U.S. firm is expanding to Europe, opening an office in Munich, Germany in July. Founded by Becker and Dejan Pangercic, two longtime self-driving car engineers formerly at automotive technology supplier Bosch Corp, Apex.AI plans to make a safer and more reliable version of the so-called Robot Operating System, or ROS.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, BMW CEO Harald Krueger, and Mobileye CTO and cofounder Amnon Shashua pose after a press conference in Munich on July 1, 2016. Intel started making lots of noise about the autonomous car market last year. But it's a long slog getting into a market like automotive, where it can take years to get designed into a vehicle. On Monday, the chip giant announced it would just buy its way into the market with a $15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye, a leading provider of advanced driver assistant systems based in Israel. A massive consolidation spree is sweeping the semiconductor industry.