Here's why you'll see more Argo AI self-driving cars north and south of Pittsburgh


If you're near Station Square on the South Side or the National Aviary on the North Side, keep an eye out for Argo AI's self-driving cars. The Incline readers and staff have spotted the autonomous Ford Fusions -- often full of people -- more and more in the areas just south and north of Downtown. N...

Israel is becoming an artificial intelligence powerhouse


Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to capture the imagination and interest of entrepreneurs, investors, big business, and consumers alike. Across sectors and industries, innovators are developing and implementing AI – enabled technologies that streamline processes, improve operational efficiency...

With AI digital assistant, drivers talk to their cars


Joshua Montgomery, CEO of Mycroft AI, has a bone to pick with Amazon Alexa, the voice-controlled digital helper that companies such as Toyota, Ford and BMW have integrated into vehicles. "Even though [the car] may run a voice assistant from a tech company, you can't use it to check what the tire pr...

Robotics industry fundings, acquisitions & IPOs: January 2018


Twenty-five different startups were funded in January cumulatively raising $784 million; a great start for the new year. Four acquisitions were reported during the month while the IPO front lay waiting for something to happen. According to Silicon Valley Bank's annual survey of 1,000 executives, startup founders are confident 2018 will be a good year for funding and for business conditions – except hiring and retaining foreign talent. More than half of startups surveyed (51%) reported that at least one of their founders is an immigrant. One-third of startups said laws and regulations prompted them to locate facilities (or move non-sales operations) offshore.

Self-Driving Cars: The Complete Guide


In the past five years, autonomous driving has gone from "maybe possible" to "definitely possible" to "inevitable" to "how did anyone ever think this wasn't inevitable?" Every significant automaker is pursuing the tech, eager to rebrand and rebuild itself as a "mobility provider" before the idea of car ownership goes kaput. Ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber are hustling to dismiss the profit-gobbling human drivers who now shuttle their users about. Tech giants like Intel, IBM, and Apple are looking to carve off their slice of the pie as well. Countless hungry startups have materialized to fill niches in a burgeoning ecosystem, focusing on laser sensors, compressing mapping data, and setting up service centers to maintain the vehicles.

Self-Driving Cars Have a Secret Weapon: Remote Control


"Usually we don't do this during rush hour," says Ben Shukman. He's driving a Lincoln MKZ sedan, trying to exit a gas station driveway and cross four lanes of traffic so he can make a left at the light 20 yards ahead. It's 5 pm in Palo Alto, and Silicon Valley commuters are crawling home, leaving few gaps between the cars. Finally, the car in the closest lane stops, leaving a space for him. The car in the next lane over does too.

Two ex-Google engineers built an entirely different kind of self-driving car


A new startup that proposes a different spin on autonomous transportation came out of stealth today. The company, called Nuro, was founded by two former lead Google engineers who worked on the famed self-driving car project. Unlike the plethora of self-driving startups out there, Nuro isn't focused on reconfiguring robot taxis or autonomous trucks, but on designing a new type of vehicle altogether. Nuro is focused on deliveries, specifically the kind that are low-speed, local, and last-mile: groceries, laundry, or your take-out order from Seamless. The startup thinks that automating these services could help shoulder the sharp increase in last-mile deliveries, while also reducing traffic accidents and boosting local businesses who are looking for ways to thrive and compete in the age of Amazon.

Nuro's self-driving vehicle carries packages, not passengers


As Toyota proved by winning Engadget's Best of CES 2018 award for its e-Palette, robotic cars that can deliver things other than humans are coming at us fast. A new startup called Nuro is capitalizing on that idea, but taking a different angle with its self-driving electric van. Rather than carrying things over long distances, the narrow, lightweight vehicles are designed to carry packages, and only packages, on "the last mile" to buyers. The Nuro vehicles are around the same size as a normal crossover vehicle, but only 3.5 feet wide and just 1,500 pounds, with a 250 pound maximum payload. There's a "windshield" so as not to alarm other drivers, but only space for food, boxes and other things -- not drivers.

Nuro's Self-Driving R-1 Doesn't Drive You. It Drives Stuff.


Perhaps the clearest sign that self-driving vehicles are coming to a road near you is that the startup boom has settled down. Nearly all the outfits that formed to crack robo-driving problem have paired up with the big automakers that can provide the manufacturing muscle they need to go big: Argo AI with Ford, Cruise with General Motors, Waymo with Fiat Chrysler, Aurora with Volkswagen and Hyundai. The startups that are entering the space at this late date are focused on various niches the new industry has created: improving lidar and radar sensors, compressing mapping data, and so forth. sits somewhere in between: It isn't trying to dominate this industry, and it's not settling for a role as a component supplier. The Silicon Valley startup did develop its own self-driving system, from scratch, but where its competitors talk about ridesharing, trucking, deliveries, and any other use case they can think of, Nuro is focused.

Robotics innovations at CES 2018


The 2018 Nissan Leaf receives CES2018 Tech For a Better World Innovation Award. CES2018, the Consumer Technology Association's massive annual expo, was full of self driving electric and augmented cars. Every hardware startup should visit CES before they build anything. It has to be the most humbling experience any small robotics startup could have. CES2018 is what big marketing budgets look like.