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MIT and Toyota release innovative dataset to accelerate autonomous driving research

#artificialintelligence

The following was issued as a joint release from the MIT AgeLab and Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center. How can we train self-driving vehicles to have a deeper awareness of the world around them? Can computers learn from past experiences to recognize future patterns that can help them safely navigate new and unpredictable situations? These are some of the questions researchers from the AgeLab at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) are trying to answer by sharing an innovative new open dataset called DriveSeg. Through the release of DriveSeg, MIT and Toyota are working to advance research in autonomous driving systems that, much like human perception, perceive the driving environment as a continuous flow of visual information. "In sharing this dataset, we hope to encourage researchers, the industry, and other innovators to develop new insight and direction into temporal AI modeling that enables the next generation of assisted driving and automotive safety technologies," says Bryan Reimer, principal researcher.


BMW explores in-car subscriptions for smart, connected services

ZDNet

When we purchase a new car in today's market, it is often the case that you can choose to add a personal touch for an additional fee: seat warmers, a particular color, wheel rims, and more. However, once the car leaves the showroom and is in a customer's hands, beyond repairs or, perhaps, a rare upgrade, there is little room for manufacturers to generate extra revenue from a sale. With the arrival of mobile solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), and in-car connectivity, however, the game changed -- and the vehicle industry is now able to capitalize on the same subscription-based models that others, such as streaming content providers, are already shifting to. BMW appears to be keen to cash in on this change in consumer trends. This week, the automaker announced a set of new services in tandem with its upgraded vehicle operating system, OS version 7, including what could become subscription-based bolt-ons for owners.


Tencent-backed Momenta begins robotaxi trials this fall

#artificialintelligence

Chinese startup Momenta will begin test runs by October of self-driving taxis that require no human input, the company said Tuesday, aiming to make its fleet fully driverless by 2024. The "level 4" autonomous vehicles -- which can drive themselves in limited areas -- initially will have a person in the driver's seat for safety reasons. Testing starts in the city of Suzhou, near Shanghai. Momenta, whose investors include German automaker Daimler and internet services giant Tencent Holdings, looks to turn a profit in 2024 and start large-scale operation around China by 2028. The announcement comes amid a rush into China's robotaxi market by companies such as Baidu and startups Pony.ai and AutoX.


Nvidia Is Not a 'Videogame Company.' Its Founder Explains What It Really Is.

#artificialintelligence

Jensen Huang: This is the autonomous vehicle computer and all of the software and the infrastructure that goes along with it. We announced a partnership that relates to every single Mercedes-Benz car starting in 2024. We're going to build one architecture that spans the entire fleet. We are going to develop applications and then offer them to their customers and share the economics. Whereas a chip could go for a couple of hundred dollars, autonomous driving applications could go for several thousand dollars.


Nvidia's Founder On Creating the Big Bang of Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

Jensen Huang: This is the autonomous vehicle computer and all of the software and the infrastructure that goes along with it. We announced a partnership that relates to every single Mercedes-Benz car starting in 2024. We're going to build one architecture that spans the entire fleet. We are going to develop applications and then offer them to their customers and share the economics. Whereas a chip could go for a couple of hundred dollars, autonomous driving applications could go for several thousand dollars.


Nissan execs face off with angry shareholders over red ink and Carlos Ghosn scandal

The Japan Times

Nissan Chief Executive Makoto Uchida told shareholders Monday he is giving up half his pay after the automaker sank into the red amid plunging sales and plant closures in Spain and Indonesia. Uchida apologized for the poor results and promised a recovery by 2023, driven by cost cuts and new models showcasing electric cars and automated-driving technology. "We will tackle these challenges without compromise," he said at a live-streamed meeting. "I promise to bring Nissan back on a growth track." All the world's automakers have been hurt by nose-diving sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Waymo and Volvo team to work on self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

Waymo and Volvo Car Group announced an expanded partnership that is intended to create a collaboration enabling easy integration of vehicles with the Waymo Driver. The integration will make the vehicles well-suited to ride-hailing, local delivery, tracking, and personal car ownership. Waymo is now the exclusive global L4 partner for the Volvo Car Group. The deal includes partnerships with Volvo Car Group's strategic affiliates Polestar and Lynk & Co International. The first step in the strategic partnership will be to work together to integrate the Waymo Driver into an all-new mobility-focused electric vehicle platform for ride-hailing services.


Boston Dynamics will now sell any business its own Spot robot for $74,500

#artificialintelligence

Robotmaker Boston Dynamics has finally put its four-legged robot Spot on general sale. After years of development, the company began leasing the machine to businesses last year, and, as of today, is now letting any US firm buy their very own Spot for $74,500. It's a hefty price tag, equal to the base price for a luxury Tesla Model S. But Boston Dynamics says, for that money, you're getting the most advanced mobile robot in the world, able to go pretty much anywhere a human can (as long as there are no ladders involved). Although Spot is certainly nimble, its workload is mostly limited right now to surveying and data collection. Trial deployments have seen Spot create 3D maps of construction sites and hunt for machine faults in offshore oil rigs.


Amazon to pay over $1 billion to secure self-driving startup Zoox: report

ZDNet

Amazon is reportedly on the verge of announcing a deal to acquire self-driving startup Zoox for over $1 billion. According to The Information, unnamed sources close to the matter say the deal could be announced as soon as Friday. If confirmed, the acquisition of the startup would give the e-commerce giant access to a pool of over 1,000 staff and additional talent in the self-driving space. California-based Zoox, which also has offices across the San Francisco Bay Area, was founded in 2014 by Tim Kentley-Klay and Dr. Jesse Levinson. The startup describes itself as a company focused on building "autonomous mobility from the ground up," which includes self-driving software for vehicles to safely navigate city streets. To date, the startup has raised $955 million over four funding rounds.


Volvo will use Waymo technology to power its self-driving cars

Engadget

Volvo's self-driving car efforts have been most closely associated with Uber, but it's about to make you rethink that connection. The automaker has formed an alliance that will see Waymo be the exclusive partner for Level 4 self-driving (that is, full autonomy in certain conditions) for its vehicles, including affiliates like Polestar and Lynk & Co. The two will start by incorporating the Waymo Driver into an electric car platform designed for ride-hailing services -- robotaxis, in other words. The two didn't outline when they expected cars built on Waymo tech to appear. Reuters notes that Volvo still has a separate deal to provide vehicles to Uber, which adds self-driving equipment after the fact.