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What coronavirus means for the future of self-driving cars

Mashable

Mashable's series Tech in 2025 explores how the challenges of today will dramatically change the near future. Where are the chilled out passengers on their phones, or napping, as an invisible "driver" navigates a crowded intersection? They're still mostly stuck in the backseat as a human driver shuttles them around. They're likely in a highly automated and autonomous-capable vehicle, but a human is still there monitoring the machine. The pandemic made us more comfortable with the idea of autonomous vehicles, but most industry experts still predict a slow transition to their widespread adoption in the U.S. When you're avoiding exposure to a deadly disease, perhaps a driverless robotaxi, like the Waymo One service in suburban Phoenix, looks more attractive.


The Newsletter

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Autonomous truck company Ike recently received an order of 1000 trucks from DHL, Ryder and NFI. Logistics companies hope that the automation software and sensors that Ike has developed will save lives, improve operating margins and keep drivers close to home, said Ike. eDelivery reported that this solution is designed for long-haul highway driving, and will rely on human drivers to navigate the more complex routes. The Hyunday and Aptiv venture Motional released a dataset expansion of over 1.4 Billion annotated lidar points, reported VentureBeat. The dataset called NuScenes now includes NuImages, an aggregation of 100 000 2D images that represent challenging driving conditions designed to boost safety for AVs in complex situations. Instead of building fully autonomous planes from the ground-up, Californian startup Xwing has started to unveil its Autoflight System targeting an aircraft agnostic approach.


Motional releases expanded self-driving data set with over 1.4 billion annotated lidar points

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Roughly a year ago, Scale and NuTonomy released a driverless data set called NuScenes that they claimed at the time surpassed corpora like KITTI, Baidu's ApolloScape, and the Udacity Self-Driving Car library in size, scale, and accuracy. Since then, new and more diverse corpora like the Waymo Open Dataset, the Ford Autonomous Vehicle Dataset, and Lyft's autonomous vehicle data set have emerged, but Motional -- whose CEO founded NuTonomy -- is looking to take back the crown with the release of an expanded NuScenes. Data sets like NuScenes can be used to improve the robustness of self-driving cars in environments from cities to back roads. The Rand Corporation estimates that autonomous cars will have to rack up 11 billion miles before we'll have reliable statistics on their safety, but as headwinds slow real-world testing, simulated miles have become the next best thing. This expansion of NuScenes includes NuScenes-lidarseg, which improves the semantic segmentation of 1,000 Singapore and Boston scenes, making it one of the largest publicly available lidar segmentation data sets.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead (MIT Press): Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman: 9780262035224: Amazon.com: Books

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Everyone is talking about driverless cars ... After reading this book, you will be knowledgeable enough to make your own informed opinion. Driverless vehicles are poised to usher in a massive disruption of our transportation system, our urban landscapes, our economy -- and quite possibly the very fabric of society. Anyone who wants to understand what's coming must read this fascinating book. Driverless is a great read for anybody interested in technological, societal, and ethical implications of self-driving cars. The book reaches across fields and issues thoughtfully, and presents a comprehensive view of the state of the art.


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Daily Mail

The University of Michigan opened the $6.5m, 32 acres Mcity, the world's first controlled environment specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars Ford has become the first major car maker test autonomous vehicles at Mcity – the full-scale simulated real-world urban environment at the University of Michigan. Occupying 32 acres at the University's North Campus Research Complex, M City includes approximately five lane-miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, benches, simulated buildings, street lights and obstacles Occupying 32 acres at the University's North Campus Research Complex, it includes approximately five lane-miles of roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, benches, simulated buildings, street lights, and obstacles such as construction barriers. For the most part, self-driving cars will be ready for the open road long before the open road is ready for them. That's true for the private companies designing and building self-driving cars, and for the taxpayer-funded government agencies that design and build the roads on which they'll drive.