Hearing plays an essential role in how you navigate the world, and, so far, most autonomous cars can't hear. It recently spent a day testing the system with emergency vehicles from the Chandler, Arizona, police and fire departments. Police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and even unmarked cop cars chased, passed, and led the Waymo vans through the day and into the night. Sensors aboard the vans recorded vast quantities of data that will help create a database of all the sounds emergency vehicles make, so in the future, Waymo's driverless cars will know how to respond.
Certain kinds of autonomous vehicles may not be safe, especially in an emergency situation, according to a new study published by the Lords Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday. An emergency under this level may be "too great to tolerate," the Lords Science and Technology Committee said. Read: Are Driverless Cars Safe? Further development of fully automated vehicles may also cause severe job loss in the transportation industry -- such as taxi and bus drivers.
': Mum on painkiller forgets about childbirth Kala Brown tells Dr. Phil the horrific story of her kidnapping Team Valor's semi-autonomous ESCHER (Electromechanical Series Compliant Humanoid for Emergency Response) robot lays on the ground after falling backwards during its first run during the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge at the Fairplex June 5, 2015 in Pomona, California Several teams used DARPA's Atlas robot as a start for their own designs. The finals will see 25 robots will traverse rubble, saw through walls, and drive a vehicle through a simulated disaster zone in the DARPA Robotics Challenge final showdown - with a'mystery' round thrown in. What the robots will do: Robots will try to complete a series of challenge tasks selected by DARPA for their relevance to disaster response.The robots will start in a vehicle, drive to a simulated disaster building, and then they'll have to open doors, walk on rubble, and use tools.Finally they'll have to climb a flight of stairs.There will be a surprise task waiting for the robots at the end. One of the competitors is a human sized robot that can walk, climb walls and even turn into a tank to move across tough terrain.
Hurricane Matthew's record rains were but the first of many obstacles faced by millions of evacuees in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas this past week. Most did make it to safety, thanks to evacuation orders, well-planned emergency procedures, and traffic managers switching up lanes to move a glut of vehicles (contraflow for the win). Given the capabilities that carmakers are rapidly approaching with autonomous-vehicle technology, this isn't mere idle speculation: The U.S. Department of Transportation has been studying how car-to-car communications, a critical piece of the anticipated self-driving future, might improve evacuation procedures. For one thing, even partially autonomous vehicles could improve traffic flow, if there were enough of them.
Many automotive and technology companies are testing self-driving vehicles, and ride-hailing company Uber even lets customers in Pittsburgh order rides in prototypes (see "My Self Driving Uber Needed Human Help"). In the case of partially automated systems, where a human and car share driving duties, it remains unclear how to ensure that drivers remain sufficiently engaged to safely take over when the car needs them. A driver died in a Tesla vehicle earlier this year when its automated highway driving system Autopilot did not detect a semi-trailer across the road ahead. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the crash.