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) …
With massive breakthroughs in smart technologies being reported every month, it won't be long until our transport industries are dominated by AI. Here are just some of the ways artificial intelligence is changing the face of transport, and what we can expect in the near future. Autonomous cars have quickly moved from the realm of sci-fi into reality. Though still in the early stages, these AI-driven vehicles could drastically change how we get from A to B in the near future. From plowing snow to collecting garbage, self-driving trucks could soon be taking over a lot of our dirty work.
Dr. Dirk Wisselmann, senior expert for autonomous driving at BMW, tells me that the automaker's first level 3 car will have the technical capabilities for level 4 or 5 highway driving. "We can create a software update (for the car) and inform our drivers, 'We are are very confident on this road. We are very sure nothing can happen. You can sleep if you want to.'" He makes sure to note that this is a best-case scenario.
Aquabotix, which makes unmanned underwater vehicles, is commercializing swarm robots. The company's latest offering is a small vessel that operates on the surface or underwater. Paired with additional units, the robots can be controlled in a swarm by a single operator as if they were an individual entity. Swarm robotics has long been a promising field of research in robotics labs. That's because swarms offer a number of potential advantages over individual robots.
Leveraging advanced, physics-based simulation and innovative sensor data processing technologies, the new Siemens solution is designed to help automakers and their suppliers address this industry challenge with the potential to shave years off the development, verification and validation of self-driving cars. TASS' PreScan simulation environment produces highly realistic, physics-based simulated raw sensor data for an unlimited number of potential driving scenarios, traffic situations and other parameters. The data from PreScan's simulated LiDAR, radar and camera sensors is then fed into Mentor's DRS360 platform, where it is fused in real time to create a high-resolution model of the vehicle's environment and driving conditions. Customers can then leverage the DRS360 platform's superior perception resolution and high-performance processing to test and refine proprietary algorithms for critical tasks such as object recognition, driving policy and more. "Automakers are quickly realizing that physical prototypes and road testing alone cannot reproduce the multitude of complex driving scenarios self-driving cars will encounter.
Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society. Last week, writing about Arizona's early and perhaps reckless embrace of driverless car companies, I wondered about the consequences of the awkward courtship between cities and companies who need to test their technologies in real-world environments. It seemed like the first-mover advantage was bound to accrue to the company, not the place. A fraught trial period would yield a developed, highly mobile technology that could be quickly exported to any other American city. One obvious obstacle to this hypothesis is weather.
The evolving of technology is opening more and more doorways to a new way of life. Although the Internet began life in a primitive state, it has become one of the main features of our daily life. Regardless of whether we're looking to stay in touch with friends, or create a brand online, the Internet has proven to be an innovation we couldn't do without. While driverless car may seem like dystopia to some, it's simply showcases of how far we've come when it comes to new ways of travelling. The introduction of electric vehicles has showcased how a simple tweak to a conventional mode of transport introduces a slew of benefits, such as a healthier environment, and less reliance of fossil fuel.
The world of self-driving and autonomous vehicle research is in an uproar. Driver-assistance technology has the potential to keep us safer on the road. Google's self-driving fleet, currently in the test stage, have driven millions of miles with few accidents -- and while they still exist, are few in comparison to human counterparts. However, in the same breath, Uber's tests in Arizona have proven fatal to a pedestrian, which has led to a halt in the ride-hailing service's research and a settlement out of court. As regulators worldwide now reconsider whether self-driving vehicles are ready for tests in today's cities, elements of the technology are being applied in other areas -- such as the racetrack.
Everyone working in the autonomous vehicle space said it was inevitable. In America--and in the rest of the world--cars kill people, around 40,000 in the US and 1.25 million in the globe each year. Self-driving cars would be better. But no one promised perfection. Still, the death of Elaine Herzberg, struck by a self-driving Uber in Tempe, Arizona, two weeks ago, felt like a shock.
In the 11 days since a woman walking her bike across a major thoroughfare in Tempe, Arizona, was struck and killed by a self-driving Uber, the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company has generated a relentless flow of news. The crash occurred at 10 p.m. on March 18 on a four-lane road in the city just outside of Phoenix where Uber's self-driving program has been testing on public roads. A few days after the crash, Tempe police released a video showing the operator and roadway seconds before the Volvo XC90 SUV fatally hit the woman. Uber suspended its self-driving tests at its four locations in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and Phoenix following the crash. The investigation is ongoing with little information revealed about what happened and how the self-driving tech reacted (or didn't react), making it even more unclear who is legally responsible.
In the wake of a tragic self-driving car accident that took the life of a pedestrian last week in Tempe, Arizona, waves of troubling questions about autonomous vehicle road-testing have broken over this corner of the automotive industry. Have self-driving cars been allowed onto public roadways prematurely? Are stricter government oversight and regulations urgently needed to guarantee safer rollout of driverless cars? And should this closer scrutiny include a demand for autonomous car makers to accumulate the billions of test miles required to validate their vehicles? The fatal accident involving an Uber autonomous car shocked the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry.