If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Elizabeth Keatinge tells us about Tesla's Autonomy Investor Day where robotaxis were discussed. PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A self-driving shuttle got pulled over by police on its first day carrying passengers on a new Rhode Island route. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said an officer pulled over the odd-looking autonomous vehicle because he had never seen one before. "It looked like an oversize golf cart," Clements said. The vehicle, operated by Michigan-based May Mobility, was dropping off passengers Wednesday morning at Providence's Olneyville Square when a police cruiser arrived with blinking lights and a siren.
Select commuters in New York City and Fairfield, California will have a chance to pioneer a fleet of autonomous vehicles slated to begin serving the cities later this year. Boston-based, Optimus Ride, announced that in the second quarter of 2019 it will deploy a fleet of autonomous cars at New York City's Brooklyn Navy Yard, an up-and-coming modern industrial and business park, as well as Paradise Valley Estates, a senior community in Fairfield, California. For New York, the introduction of Optimus' fully autonomous vehicles will mark the first-ever commercial self-driving car to tread in New York State where it will have a chance to offer rides to thousands of commuters. According to the company, the New York self-driving cars will help serve passengers on the Navy Yards private roads as well as'providing a loop shuttle service to connect NYC Ferry passengers to Flushing Avenue outside the Yard's perimeter.' In Paradise Valley, the cars will serve to provide potential residents of the community their own tours of the neighborhood and in the later phases of its deployment, be able to serve current residents looking to travel to destinations within the gated community.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is getting an autonomous boost. On private roads, a loop shuttle service for ferry passengers will bring riders to the industrial center where 400 businesses operate. Workers can ride in MIT-based company Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttle cars starting later this year. The driverless trips will be part of the first commercial self-driving program in the state. New York and New York City in particular have been hesitant in embracing autonomous technology.
Visitors to Columbus, Ohio, have a new way to see the city's downtown attractions. The pilot project, which began in mid-December, belongs to a larger statewide effort to improve road safety and mobility in this car-dependent capital. "What we're looking at is, how do we apply technology to improve people's lives in a transportation context?" says Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus, which spearheads the fleet project. "We want to keep stretching the technology of self-driving vehicles to solve real use cases in our communities." Smart Columbus, launched in 2016 after the city bested 77 mid-sized U.S. cities for a pool of "smart transportation" funding.
Ohio wants to be a haven for self-driving cars, and it's already acting on those plans... if slowly. Smart Columbus and DriveOhio have announced that the state's first autonomous shuttle service, Smart Circuit, will launch in Columbus on December 10th. Three May Mobility vehicles will cover a 1.5-mile loop around the Scioto Mile between 6AM and 10PM, with departures from each of the four stops every 10 minutes. So long as you're not in a hurry (the shuttles drive at a modest 25MPH) and can take one of the four available seats, it won't hurt to hop aboard. This isn't meant as a full-fledged bus replacement as it is.
Ariel Moore exhaled sharply and lifted her arms to the sky. "I have arrived alive!" she said to no one in particular. This should not be notable. Moore just took a half-mile ride in a six-seat shuttle, one of several that run in a loop between her office in downtown Detroit and the garage where she parks her car. But on that sunny June day, she and her colleagues at real estate company Bedrock also did something quietly remarkable.
In the latest example, in Catalonia, Spain, an autonomous bus called Èrica is being tested around the region to help citizens become familiar with what driverless technology entails. These bus experiments are also designed to allow local-government officials to adapt to this new means of transportation, which they expect to be fully functioning by 2020. Equipped with eight sensors, the red and yellow self-driving shuttle unveiled by the Association of Municipalities for Mobility and Urban Transport, AMTU, is 100 percent electrically powered with 14 hours of autonomous driving. Looking like a rectangular minivan, Èrica can transport up to 11 passengers and an attendant, who is there to help and advise travelers and deal with emergencies. Some 4,600 citizens from Sant Cugat, Terrassa, and Sabadell, all cities close to Barcelona, already took the new bus in September.
In the crowded streets of San Francisco, companies such as Uber and Cruise Automation have been testing self-driving vehicles for years now. In suburban Phoenix, hundreds of autonomous Waymo vehicles are driving as many as 25,000 miles per day. There are, in fact, dozens of cities around the world hosting pilot programs for self-driving vehicles. The latest addition to that list is Columbus, Ohio, where a series of self-driving shuttles are being deployed on city streets this week. The electric, low-speed vehicles -- operated by the Michigan-based start-up May Mobility -- will begin testing and mapping local streets before accepting passengers in December, the company said.
Jaguar Land Rover wants pedestrians to feel safer about its self-driving vehicles, and it's hoping a pair of "virtual eyes" will do the trick. The thing is, it's kinda creepy. Think about it: A shuttle pulls up to a stoplight at an intersection that you're waiting to cross and suddenly its cartoonish, drooping eyes are looking directly at you. The idea is that you would, and it's the latest attempt to replicate the human interaction that can occur between a driver and a person crossing the road. Ford, for instance, is working on a self-driving "language" that uses various patterns on a windshield-mounted light bar to communicate what the car is doing.
Las Vegas is well-known for spontaneous weddings, Elvis impersonators, and bright lights, but now, autonomous vehicles are also entering the wedding market. The American Automobile Association (AAA) Nevada is exploring whether or not autonomous vehicles and self-driving shuttles could become Las Vegas' new answer to drive-thru weddings, with the launch of a competition for would-be bride and grooms. This week, the AAA launched a competition for a couple to become the first to be married on the AAA Free Self-Driving Shuttle in Las Vegas. The shuttle is a free service for Las Vegas visitors to board at the Downtown Container Park, with stops at the Fremont Street Experience and The Donut Bar. In total, passengers can pass eight city intersections, six traffic lights, and two stop signs -- all without a driver.