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Autonomous Vehicles


Trucks Move Past Cars on the Road to Autonomy

WIRED

In 2016, three veterans of the still young autonomous vehicle industry formed Aurora, a startup focused on developing self-driving cars. Partnerships followed with major automakers, including Hyundai and Volkswagen. CEO Chris Urmson said at the time that the link-ups would help the company bring "mobility as a service" to urban areas--Uber-like rides without a human behind the wheel. But by late 2019, Aurora's emphasis had shifted. It said self-driving trucks, not cars, would be quicker to hit public roads en masse. Its executives, who had steadfastly refused to provide a timeline for their self-driving-car software, now say trucks equipped with its "Aurora Driver" will hit the roads in 2023 or 2024, with ride-hail vehicles following a year or two later.


Best practices to build data literacy into your Gen Z workforce - Data Dreamer

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This is a guest post by Kirk Borne, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at DataPrime.ai, Kirk is also a consultant, astrophysicist, data scientist, blogger, data literacy advocate and renowned speaker, and is one of the most recognized names in the industry. A survey of 1,100 data practitioners and business leaders reported that 84% of organizations consider data literacy to be a core business skill, agreeing with the statement that the inability of the workforce to use and analyze data effectively can hamper their business success. In addition, 36% said data literacy is crucial to future-proofing their business. Another survey found that 75% of employees are not comfortable using data.


China Roundup: Kai-Fu Lee's first Europe bet, WeRide buys a truck startup – TechCrunch

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch's China Roundup, a digest of recent events shaping the Chinese tech landscape and what they mean to people in the rest of the world. Despite the geopolitical headwinds for foreign tech firms to enter China, many companies, especially those that find a dependable partner, are still forging ahead. For this week's roundup, I'm including a conversation I had with Prophesee, a French vision technology startup, which recently got funding from Kai-Fu Lee and Xiaomi, along with the usual news digest. Like many companies working on futuristic, cutting-edge tech in Europe, Prophesee was a spinout from university research labs. Previously, I covered two such companies from Sweden: Imint, which improves smartphone video production through deep learning, and Dirac, an expert in sound optimization.


Alphabet's Intrinsic aims to unlock industrial robotics' economic potential

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All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Google parent Alphabet has spun out a new industrial robotics company called Intrinsic. Led by Wendy Tan-White, a veteran entrepreneur and investor who has served as VP of "moonshots" at Alphabet's R&D business X since 2019, Intrinsic is setting out to "unlock the creative and economic potential" of the $42 billion industrial robotics market. The company said it's creating "software tools" to make industrial robots more affordable and easier to use, extending their utility beyond big businesses and to more people -- 70% of the world's manufacturing currently takes place in just 10 countries. Industrial robots have surged in demand over the past year in the wake of the pandemic -- in Q1 this year, the Association for Advancing Automation reported a 19.6% increase in orders across North America alone.


When Smart Cars make Bad Choices

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Its 2030 and a SUV driven by an Autonomous Driving System (ADS) is heading west on a highway. The SUV contains two parents in the front seats and two small children in the back seat. The SUV is going the speed limit of 100 km/hour. The SUV drives through a tight corner and as the SUV makes the final turn a large bull moose weighing over six hundred kilograms shambles onto the road. The autonomous driving system driving the SUV was trained to select the best alternative out of as set of possible outcomes and so the SUV abruptly swerves into the left lane currently occupied by a small sedan going the same speed as the SUV. The SUV ADS had determined that saving the lives of two adults and two children was the greater good even though there was a significant risk that the small sedan would be forced into oncoming traffic travelling East putting the two adult occupants at mortal risk.


Is Artificial Intelligence The New Logistics Technology For Organ Transportation?

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Commercial Aviation has great importance in the ... [ ] transport of organs for transplants in receiving patients. Studies show that commercial air carriers carry more than 9,000 organs a year on board airplanes with passengers. In the United States, an estimated 114,000 people were waiting for organ transplants, and only 30% of those got their organs on time in 2019. According to Kaiser Health News and Reveal from the Center of Investigative Reporting, nearly 170 organs could not be transplanted. Almost 370 endured near misses with delays of two hours or more because of transportation problems.


Algorithm Helps Artificial Intelligence Systems Dodge Adversarial Inputs - ELE Times

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In a perfect world, what you see is what you get. If this were the case, the job of Artificial Intelligence systems would be refreshingly straightforward. Take collision avoidance systems in self-driving cars. If visual input to on-board cameras could be trusted entirely, an AI system could directly map that input to an appropriate action--steer right, steer left, or continue straight--to avoid hitting a pedestrian that its cameras see in the road. But what if there's a glitch in the cameras that slightly shifts an image by a few pixels? If the car blindly trusted so-called'adversarial inputs,' it might take unnecessary and potentially dangerous action.


When self-driving cars are coming, for real

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Self-driving features have been creeping into automobiles for years, and Tesla (TSLA) even calls its autonomous system "full self-driving." That's hype, not reality: There's still no car on the market that can drive itself under all conditions with no human input. But researchers are getting close, and automotive supplier Mobileye just announced it's deploying a fleet of self-driving prototypes in New York City, to test its technology against hostile drivers, unrepentant jaywalkers, double parkers, omnipresent construction and horse-drawn carriages. The company, a division of Intel (INTC), describes NYC as "one of the world's most challenging driving environments" and says the data from the trial will push full self-driving capability closer to prime time. In an interview, Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua said fully autonomous cars could be in showrooms by the end of President Biden's first term.


An AI-Controlled Drone Racer Has Beaten Human Pilots For The First Time

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Drone racing is an increasingly popular sport with big money prizes for skilled professionals. New control algorithms developed at the University of Zurich (UZH) have beaten experienced human pilots for the first time – but they still have significant limitations. In the past, attempts to develop automated algorithms to beat humans have run into problems with accurately simulating the limitations of the quadcopter and the flight path it takes. Traditional flight paths around a complex drone racing course are calculated using polynomial methods which produce a series of smooth curves, and these are not necessarily as fast as the sharper and more jagged paths flown by human pilots. A team from the Robotics and Perception Group at UZH has developed a trajectory planning algorithm to calculates the optimal route at every point in the flight, rather than doing it section by section.


Why Are Self-Driving Cars the Future and How are They Created?

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Due to the recent adaptive quarantine measures imposed in virtually all parts of the world, air travel, public transportation, and many other sectors took a really big hit in 2020. However, the automotive world and autonomous vehicles, in particular, have shown increased resilience during this difficult time. In fact, companies like Ford have increased their investments in the development of electric and self-driving cars by allocating $29 billion dollars in the fourth quarter of last year. Specifically, $7 billion of that money will go towards the development of self-driving cars. So Ford is joining General Motors, Tesla, Baidu, and other automakers in heavily investing in autonomous vehicles.