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) …
Tesla finally unveiled its heavy-duty, all-electric Semi truck, and we're impressed. The big rig is the sum of all of the automaker's work in one massive package, featuring design cues from its other vehicles and even borrowing their parts, like the Model 3 motors that power each of its "super single" wheels. Musk claims the Semi will also offer truckers BAMF acceleration and performance specs, up to 500 miles of range per charge, and a cheaper cost to operate than standard diesel trucks. The Semi certainly looks the part of the next big thing for the trucking industry -- but there's still so much about it that we don't know. Elon Musk only showed off certain aspects of the truck during his presentation, leaving some very important features to be shared at a later date, when Tesla is ready to start churning out the rigs for clients.
Comedian Lil Duval aka Roland Powell's latest Instagram video immediately became a sensation as it shows him smoking a hollowed out cigar with the autopilot feature of his Tesla vehicle allowing him to take his hands completely off the steering wheel. The stand-up comedian, MTV2 host and music video star is seen blowing out plumes of smoke while the Maze and Frankie Beverly song, "Silky Soul," can be heard playing over the car's speakers. Lil Duval is casually reclined back smoking as the Tesla autopilot, self-driving computer system has taken full control of the vehicle. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested in the past that by 2019 drivers will be able to sleep in their fully autonomous vehicles. "What y'all fake caring about today," the comedian asks on his lilduval Instagram post from Saturday.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is super keen on futuristic electric cars, but doesn't yet trust Tesla's autonomous driving technology. "The Woz," who drives a Tesla Model S, is concerned some people are mistaking Tesla's current Autopilot system as a completely capable self-driving program. In reality, Tesla's Autopilot feature is classified by the federal government as a "level two" autonomous driving system, which means the car is only partially automated, meaning it will steer itself, accelerate, and decelerate -- but the driver must always be prepared to take control of the vehicle. "Tesla has in people's mind that they have cars that will just drive themselves totally, and it is so far from the truth, so they have deceived us," Wozniak told CNBC at this week's 20/20 Money conference in Las Vegas. To Wozniak, the word "autopilot" is deceiving and potentially dangerous.
Cadillac is in the middle of a massive marketing campaign to introduce its new Super Cruise. The semi-autonomous driving system, available only on the CT6 luxury sedan, is being billed as offering the "first true hands-free driving on the freeway." The car company has sent CT6 sedans literally across the country, holding events in multiple U.S. cities, offering auto journalists short Super Cruise seminars followed by a turn behind the wheel. The system is highly sophisticated. Using a combination of Lidar, high-resolution GPS and a Driver Attention System that monitors the driver, Super Cruise will allow the car -- on certain roads, under certain conditions -- to travel great distances without any steering wheel input by its operator.
"Consumers every day are seeing this conflation of automated vehicles, self-driving vehicles, and autonomous vehicles," says Greg Rogers, a policy analyst with the transportation think tank the Eno Center. "If there's inconsistency with how things are named across different semiautonomous features that have different capabilities, that can lead to confusion for consumers both when they're purchasing systems and when they're using systems," says Hillary Abraham, who worked on the research and studies how humans interact with driver assistance systems at MIT. Engineers have specialized language for automation, a five-level system that explains what drivers are responsible for, and when. "This study should be a call to action--the industry needs to solve these issues," says Bryan Reimer, an MIT researcher who studies human driving behavior and worked on the research on brand names.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government's vehicle safety watchdog, concluded in January that because Brown was supposed to be monitoring the car's driving, human error--not Tesla tech--caused the crash. Tuesday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal body that investigates plane, train, and vehicle crashes, concluded its investigation into the incident. Systems like Tesla's Autopilot, General Motors' Super Cruise, and Audi's Traffic Jam Pilot already make driving safer, according to preliminary research. NHTSA's investigation of the Brown crash found that Tesla cars with self-driving capabilities crashed 40 percent less frequently than those without.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that "operational limitations" of Tesla's Autopilot system played a "major role" in a fatal crash last May, but that the driver was also at fault for not paying adequate attention to the road. At the time, Autopilot was capable of steering the car within its lane and autonomously braking for vehicles in the road ahead. His last action was setting the cruise control at 74 mph on the 65 mph road, two minutes before the collision. The NTSB report was issued on the same day that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao revealed the federal government's latest voluntary guidelines for autonomous technology, which includes a section on driver monitoring and the transfer of control from vehicle to operator when a system determines that human interaction is required.
"The Tesla's automation did not detect, nor was it required [to], nor was it designed to detect the crossing vehicle," Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at the start of a hearing reviewing the Florida crash. Tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that Tesla and other vehicles with semiautonomous driving technology had great difficulty sensing cross traffic. The NTSB staff also said that Tesla's reliance on sensing a driver's hands on the wheel was not an effective way of monitoring whether the driver was paying attention. The NTSB staff recommended the use of a more effective technology to determine whether a driver is paying attention, such as a camera tracking the driver's eyes.
The National Transportation Safety Board says the car company is not at fault. National Transportation Safety Board chair Robert Sumwalt said the Tesla vehicle's "operational limitations played a major role in this collision." His statement came at the beginning of a hearing where the NTSB is expected to rule on whether the Autopilot system on Ohio resident Joshua Brown's Tesla Model S should be blamed for the Florida crash that killed him. Joshua Brown didn't keep his hands on the wheel, despite repeated vehicle warnings, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
The former engineer at the centre of Uber's self-driving car legal troubles has urged ex-Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick to criticise Tesla's Elon Musk and several of his claims about autonomous vehicles. "We've got to start calling Elon on his shit," Levandowski wrote in the texts, which were turned over by lawyers for Kalanick. Weeks before the text messages, Tesla unveiled an update to its Autopilot driver-assistance system that uses radar and a GPS database to guide its vehicles. In another text sent days earlier, Levandowski sent Kalanick a link to a video on Sina.com showing a fatal accident that the Chinese news outlet said involved Autopilot.