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Autonomous Vehicles


Autonomous Vehicle Safety Standards Evolving in US and Worldwide - AI Trends

#artificialintelligence

The state of autonomous vehicle safety standard regulation in the US today is between two presidential administrations, with the Trump Administration-era regulations issued Jan. 14 likely to be soon superseded by policies of the Biden Administration. The Trump Administration rules would allow self-driving vehicle manufacturers to skip certain federal crash safety requirements in vehicles not designed to carry people, marking the first major update to federal safety standards to accommodate innovations of driverless technology, according to an account in The Detroit News.This would apply for example to the delivery vehicle from startup Nuro, which has no driver or passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated the rule would save automakers and consumers $5.8 billion in 2050. "With more than 90% of serious crashes caused by driver error, it's vital that we remove unnecessary barriers to technology that could help save lives," stated then NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. On Jan. 25, Steve Cliff, deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, was named deputy administrator of the NHTSA. Ariel Wolf, counsel to the Self-Driving Coalition, said of the Jan. 14 announcement that the NHTSA rule was a "highly significant" development in safety rules for self-driving vehicles.


Toyota's new Mirai and Lexus LS models come with Advanced Drive assistance tech

Engadget

Toyota has launched Advanced Drive, a new driver assistance technology, with the latest Toyota Mirai and Lexus LS vehicles. Advanced Drive is capable of Level 2 autonomy and can free the driver from operating the accelerator, brakes and even the steering wheel -- under certain traffic conditions and with the driver's supervision, that is. It was designed for highway driving only, and like other available assistance technologies today, it doesn't have full self-driving capabilities yet. Advanced Drive uses data from the vehicle's telescopic camera and LiDAR, as well as information from high-precision maps to detect other vehicles in the same lane. So long as a driver sets the destination in the navigation system, the technology will be able to assess situations and make decisions when it comes to changing lanes, maintaining distance from other vehicles, navigating lane splits and overtaking other vehicles.


What will self-driving trucks mean for truck drivers?

BBC News

In the US alone, the American Trucking Association estimates there are more than 3.5 million truck drivers on the roads, with nearly 8 million people employed across the wider industry. Census Bureau statistics show that trucking is the most common job in 29 US states, ahead of farming, teaching and secretarial positions.


Toyota launches Lexus, hydrogen-powered Mirai with assistant tech

The Japan Times

Toyota Motor Corp. announced Thursday its launch of new models for its luxury sedan Lexus LS and hydrogen-powered Mirai equipped with assistant technologies that allow drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel in designated lanes. The new LS went on sale Thursday at a price starting from ¥16.32 million ($148,800). The Mirai will be sold from Monday, priced from ¥8.45 million, the company said. The autonomous driving technology equipped with the new models is a level-2 assistant system that could help with driving on an expressway or other motor-vehicle-only roadway. The technology can help with keeping the vehicle in its lane, maintaining the distance from other cars and navigating a lane splitting.


NASA is about to fly a helicopter on another planet for the first time

New Scientist

NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter photographed by the Perseverance rover on 5 April The first drone on another world is ready to fly. The Ingenuity helicopter is primed to lift off from the surface of Mars on 12 April, which will be the first powered flight on another planet. NASA's Perseverance rover, which launched in July 2020 and arrived on Mars on 18 February, carried the Ingenuity helicopter folded up in its belly. After the rover landed, it dropped Ingenuity onto the ground and drove off so the drone could ready itself for its first flight. "It has survived launch, it has survived the journey through space, the vacuum and radiation, it has survived the entry and descent and landing onto the surface on the bottom of the Perseverance rover," said Bob Balaram at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Ingenuity's chief engineer, during a 23 March press conference.


Why flying a helicopter on Mars is so damn hard

Mashable

On Earth, humans put more than a century of work into the art of flying. On Mars, we're just getting started. NASA's four-pound helicopter, Ingenuity, touched down on the the surface of Mars on April 3 and will begin test flights in early April. It will be the first time humans have flown anything on another planet. In a nod to the Wright brothers' first flight, it's carrying a tiny piece of the plane that flew at Kitty Hawk.


Answer Man: AI program for Answer Man reporting? Fear of long words? Drone deliveries?

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Question: A friend of mine who has a connection to the Asheville Citizen Times told me that because of the staff shortage in the newsroom, the paper has purchased a software program using artificial intelligence that researches and then generates the answers to about half of the Answer Man columns. From what I've heard, this is being done to provide the Answer Man more time to work on other writing assignments. Apparently, the only part of the AI questions that are actually addressed by the real Answer Man are the smart aleck answers, because the AI program is not that developed. Could you please provide some additional information on how this is going? My answer: You've got to admit it would be nice to have some intelligence in this column.


QUT calls for industry-government alliances to make autonomous cars a reality

ZDNet

Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have touted the use of artificial intelligence to determine the feasibility of autonomous cars on Australian roads. The QUT Centre for Robotics has conducted research projects into mapping for autonomous cars using AI. The centre's acting director Professor Michael Milford said map updating is a major challenge for autonomous vehicle adoption. Milford said given mapping isn't a globally mature field, there are opportunities for Australia to catch up quickly. "Current out-of-the-box European mapping solutions don't recognise unique Australian signs or infrastructure and require customisation," he said.


Machine Learning - Regression and Classification (math Inc.)

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Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) focused on building applications that learn from data and improve their accuracy over time without being programmed to do so. In data science, an algorithm is a sequence of statistical processing steps. In machine learning, algorithms are'trained' to find patterns and features in massive amounts of data in order to make decisions and predictions based on new data. The better the algorithm, the more accurate the decisions and predictions will become as it processes more data. Machine learning has led to some amazing results, like being able to analyze medical images and predict diseases on-par with human experts.


Measuring the effects of Shared and Electric Autonomous Vehicles (SAEV) on urban mobility.

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Autonomous driving, connectivity, car sharing, electric vehicles, and the rise of renewable energy will all have powerful mutually reinforcing effects. For example, the introduction of self-driving cars in the 2020s will increase the use of EVs in high-use services such as ride-hailing because lower operating costs will offset the higher initial costs of these vehicles. The movement of people and goods is central to our society and economic activities. According to a BNEF-McKinsey & Company study, the change in how people move around cities will put the automotive and energy industries, as well as governments, under pressure. Light-duty vehicle fuel consumption could drop by up to 75% in some cities by 2030, prompting governments to look for new ways to recoup lost fuel taxes.