They are, it seems safe to say, just about everywhere--roaming the streets of San Francisco, New York City, Phoenix, Boston, Singapore, Paris, London, Munich, and Beijing. And as Waymo (Google's self-driving car project) launches the world's first fleet of truly driverless cars in Arizona, nearly every automaker, all serious tech companies, and a flock of startups are rushing to colonize an industry that has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives--and generate trillions of dollars. What retains its shock value is how quickly we've gotten here. Ten years ago, there was no reason to think the idea of being whisked about town by a collection of zeroes and ones while you napped or texted or watched TV was anything but the province of science fiction. Namely, the folks watching a group of robots roam an abandoned Air Force base outside Los Angeles, moving through intersections, merging into traffic, finding their own parking spaces, and more.
The first 11 teams for a race in which robot cars will jostle with real ones along mocked-up city streets have been announced. The teams must construct autonomous vehicles to navigate an unfamiliar urban environment in the shortest time possible. The robot racers will face a "simulated" urban course 96 kilometres (60 miles) in length in November 2007. The course will feature urban obstacles, such as trees and buildings, traffic signs and other moving vehicles. Its location is yet to be disclosed.
Singularity University believes that leveraging exponential technologies will advance us along the path to solving our Global Grand Challenges and will shift humanity from an era of scarcity to one of abundance. Each of these objectives is achievable through technology and innovative thinking, and each has the potential to ensure basic needs are met for all people, while sustaining and improving quality of life, and mitigating future risks.
The UK Government's Industrial Strategy sets out 4 Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people's lives and the country's productivity. The first 4 Grand Challenges are focused on the global trends which will transform our future, including - Artificial Intelligence and data. Where the first mission is to use data, artificial intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030.
On March 13, 2004, a gaggle of engineers and a few thousand spectators congregated outside a California dive bar to watch 15 self-driving cars speed across the Mojave Desert in the first-ever Darpa Grand Challenge. Before the start of the race, which marked the first big push toward a fully autonomous vehicle, the grounds surrounding the bar teemed with sweaty, stressed, sleep-deprived geeks, desperately tinkering with their motley assortment of driver less Frankencars: SUVs, dune buggies, monster trucks, even a motorcycle. After the race, they left behind a vehicular graveyard littered with smashed fence posts, messes of barbed wire, and at least one empty fire extinguisher. What happened in between--the rush out of the starter gate, the switchbacks across the rocky terrain, the many, many crashes--didn't just hint at the possibilities and potential limitations of autonomous vehicles that auto and tech companies are facing and that consumers will experience in the coming years as driverless vehicles swarm the roads. It created the self- driving community as we know it today, the men and women in too-big polo shirts who would go on to dominate an automotive revolution. In 2001, eager to keep soldiers away from harm in combat zones, the US Congress demanded that a third of the military's ground combat vehicles be uncrewed by 2015. But defense industry stalwarts weren't innovating quickly enough on the sensor and computing technologies that would enable autonomous driving.