With a historic net neutrality vote set to take place tomorrow, people across the United States are rightly concerned about the future of the internet. Visions of price-tiered online spaces dancing in their heads, constituents all over the country are reaching out to their elected officials in a likely doomed effort to forestall what many see as the inevitable destruction of our mostly level digital playing field. But tomorrow's vote is about more than whether Comcast can charge you extra for streaming movies on Netflix. Just as the internet has seeped into many unexpected facets of our lives, abandoning net neutrality could have unexpected consequences in places you might not expect. If Elon Musk is correct, driverless cars could soon be everywhere.
Before autonomous trucks and taxis hit the road, manufacturers will need to solve problems far more complex than collision avoidance and navigation (see "10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017: Self-Driving Trucks"). These vehicles will have to anticipate and defend against a full spectrum of malicious attackers wielding both traditional cyberattacks and a new generation of attacks based on so-called adversarial machine learning (see "AI Fight Club Could Help Save Us from a Future of Super-Smart Cyberattacks"). As consensus grows that autonomous vehicles are just a few years away from being deployed in cities as robotic taxis, and on highways to ease the mind-numbing boredom of long-haul trucking, this risk of attack has been largely missing from the breathless coverage. It reminds me of numerous articles promoting e-mail in the early 1990s, before the newfound world of electronic communications was awash in unwanted spam. Back then, the promise of machine learning was seen as a solution to the world's spam problems.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will likely change the way we get around forever, but the AI that controls them might not be able to tell other cars on the road when they're driving like assholes. Case in point: The City of Las Vegas and AAA's self-driving shuttle, one of the most advanced public autonomous trials in the U.S., was hit by a semi-truck within hours of its maiden trip last month. The Navya Arma bus was stuck between a car behind it and the slowly advancing truck, which backed its way into the the shuttle. The shuttle behaved exactly as it was designed to in the situation, according to a AAA rep -- but it didn't move or, more importantly for the truck driver who might not have seen the vehicle behind it, honk a horn to make its presence known. One of the most essential tools for interpersonal communication between drivers wasn't even in the AI's protocol, which made us wonder: Can self-driving cars even beep?
See how self-driving cars prepare for the real world inside a private testing facility owned by Google's autonomous car company, Waymo. The Navya passenger shuttle is among myriad autonomous vehicles worldwide in various stages of development. And at an event Nov. 17 and 18 on the University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering campus, visitors will have the opportunity to check it out. The Taiwan-based electronic manufacturer's plans to use driverless vehicles to move thousands of workers a day at its 22 million-square-foot campus about 30 miles south of Milwaukee could pave new ground for the technology, which promises to reshape transportation in this country. More than a dozen states are scrambling to get ready for self-driving cars, and while major companies from Google to General Motors are testing such cars, few are in use yet.
A driverless car system under development at Apple has been showcased to a select group of machine learning experts. The firm's director of AI is reported to have shared secret details of its ongoing automated motoring projects at an industry event. This is believed to included the tech company's self-driving technology that uses laser sensors, called'VoxelNet', to spot cyclists and pedestrians. A driverless car system under development at Apple has been showcased to a select group of machine learning experts. The firm's director of AI is reported to have shared secret details of its ongoing automated driving projects at an industry event'VoxelNet' was first revealed in a paper, submitted on November 17 to independent online journal arXiv, by Yin Zhou and Oncel Tuze.
A theme emerged when Apple's director of artificial intelligence research outlined results from several of the company's recent AI projects on the sidelines of a major conference Friday. Each involved giving software capabilities needed for self-driving cars. Ruslan Salakhutdinov addressed roughly 200 AI experts who had signed up for a free lunch and peek at how Apple uses machine learning, a technique for analyzing large stockpiles of data. He discussed projects using data from cameras and other sensors to spot cars and pedestrians on urban streets, navigate in unfamiliar spaces, and build detailed 3-D maps of cities. The talk offered new insight into Apple's secretive efforts around autonomous-vehicle technology.
Ford is changing the focus its self-driving car platform as early as next year. The company says it now plans to focus on features beyond just enabling a computer system to drive from point A to B. SEE ALSO: Lyft's self-driving cars are now on the road in Boston The company's president of global markets Jim Farley wrote about the new developments in a Medium post, in which he emphasized Ford's devotion to the customer as the main concern for its autonomous plans. More specifically, Farley wrote that Ford is dedicated to establishing systems that will prioritize the movement of people and goods, hinting at plans for commercial fleets and ride-hailing services that align with the company's existing deals and partnerships. The automaker's plans include a brand new self-driving vehicle design that eschews the hockey puck-sized LiDAR units mounted near the side-view mirrors seen last December for a less obtrusive roof-mounted sensor unit. Ford will test the new design in an undisclosed city starting next year, according to a report from Reuters.
The ride-hailing company Lyft is now sending self-driving cars to pick up passengers in a Boston neighborhood. The cars will have backup human drivers at the wheel and will be limited to short routes within the city's Seaport District, a burgeoning tech startup hub. Lyft and its Boston-based partner nuTonomy, which builds self-driving software, announced Wednesday that the pilot project has begun. The Renault Zoe EVs will be limited to short routes within the city's Seaport District The cars will initially be a small number of Renault Zoe EVs, which Nutonomy began road-testing in Boston starting last November. Nutonomy engineers are already working on integrating Lyft software into'a couple of' vehicles, to be deployed sometime'in the coming months,' for actual customer pickups, though no more specific timeline was given.
Nvidia researchers have used a pair of generative adversarial networks (GANs) along with some unsupervised learning to create an image-to-image translation network that could allow for artificial intelligence (AI) training times to be reduced. In a blog post, the company explained how its GANs are trained on different data sets, but share a "latent space assumption" that allows for the generation of images by passing the image representation from one GAN to the next. "The use of GANs isn't novel in unsupervised learning, but the Nvidia research produced results -- with shadows peeking through thick foliage under partly cloudy skies -- far ahead of anything seen before," the company said. The benefits of this work could allow for network training to require less labelled data, it said. "For self-driving cars alone, training data could be captured once and then simulated across a variety of virtual conditions: Sunny, cloudy, snowy, rainy, nighttime, etc," Nvidia said.
Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said Monday it has signed an agreement to supply "tens of thousands" of self-driving cars to Uber, as the ride-sharing company battles a number of different controversies. Volvo--which is owned by China's Geely and has yet to build a self-driving system--said in a statement that it would supply Uber with "autonomous driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021." Uber would then add its own software system to enable the cars to drive pilot-less. When contacted by AFP, a Volvo spokesman did not specify the exact number of cars, but a source familiar with the matter said it could be around 24,000. Neither Volvo nor Uber released financial details, but based on list prices for the cars the deal could be worth more than $1 billion (around 850 million euros).