Results


Self-driving ships could be ready in three years

Los Angeles Times

Spurred in part by the auto industry's race to build driverless vehicles, marine innovators are building automated ferry boats for Amsterdam canals, cargo ships that can steer themselves through Norwegian fjords and remote-controlled ships to carry containers across the Atlantic and Pacific. "We're in full autonomy now," said Jeff Gawrys, a marine technician for Boston startup Sea Machines Robotics, sitting at the helm as the boat floated through a harbor channel. The startup has signed a deal with an undisclosed company to install the "world's first autonomy system on a commercial container ship," Johnson said this week. In Norway, fertilizer company Yara International is working with engineering firm Kongsberg Maritime on a project to replace big-rig trucks with an electric-powered ship connecting three nearby ports.


California bans drones from delivering marijuana

Daily Mail

It says transportation must be via commercial vehicles and trailers and bans aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, and unmanned vehicles. They'll also have to retain distribution records and enter transport and shipment information into a California'track-and-trace' database. 'Transportation may not be done by aircraft, watercraft, rail, drones, human powered vehicles, or unmanned vehicles.' The strict regulations put a major dent in the plans of startups like Trees Delivery, Eaze, and MDelivers, which planned or envisioned using drones to make marijuana deliveries in the future.


Self-driving Lyft cars will pick up passengers in the Bay Area with new partnership

Mashable

SEE ALSO: Ford and Domino's team up for self-driving pizza deliveries Lyft hopes to collect data to improve the passenger experience in self-driving cars, while Drive.ai The deal is similar to Lyft's partnership with nuTonomy to bring self-driving cabs to Boston, which was announced earlier this year. This will be the first public partnership for Drive.ai, The startup is known for its emphasis on familiarizing the public with self-driving tech, which will continue to be a focus during the Lyft trial, Drive.ai She said the company has been testing its tech on public roads in California since last year, but this will be the first time the public will have a chance to ride in its cars. Notably, Lyft's pilot program with nuTonomy in Boston hasn't launched, even though it was announced back in June. These two programs and the regions in which they'll operate are very different, however, so there might be a chance that the Bay Area's driverless Lyfts could hit the roads before Boston's.


Startups Are Laser-Focused on Helping Self-Driving Cars See

TIME

"It's easy to make an autonomous vehicle that works 99% of the time," Russell says later. His company plans to start shipping an "auto-grade" sensor that costs less than $1,000 in 2018, he says, assuming it checks the boxes in a battery of tests. Oryx Vision, an Israeli startup that is building a test unit for cars, hopes to eventually sell lidar sensors to vehicle manufacturers for about $100. Tesla's Elon Musk has argued that advanced radar could do the same job as lidar, and other startups are working on super-powered cameras to help cars see more clearly.


Elon Musk Wants Tesla to Build a Self-Driving, Electric Semi Truck

WIRED

Assuming Tesla can figure out how to make battery tech work for long-haul trucking (no easy feat), adding autonomy to the equation makes perfect sense. Tesla joins a long list of enterprises working on autonomous long-haul trucking, including Uber, Google spinoff Waymo, Volvo, Daimler, the US Army, and a small horde of startups. The great news is that the technological challenge of making a truck drive itself on the highway is relatively simple. Of Course Google's Waymo Is Building Self-Driving Trucks You Don't Have to Wait for Tesla to Get Your Electric Pickup Truck In the tugboat model, a human drives the truck from the terminal or depot to a staging area on the highway, then turn things over to the computer.


Tesla seeking to test driver-free electric trucks on public roads

The Guardian

Tesla is working on electric, self-driving trucks that can travel in "platoons" or road trains capable of following a lead vehicle, according to leaked correspondence with regulators. The electric truck, which is due to be unveiled in September by Elon Musk's electric vehicle company, is close to prototype on-road testing, with both Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and California officials in talks to permit trials on public roads, according to documents seen by Reuters. Several Silicon Valley companies developing autonomous driving technology are working on long-haul trucks. Some companies also are working on technology for road trains, a driving formation where trucks follow one another closely.


R&D Special Focus: Robotics/A.I.

#artificialintelligence

We expanded on that idea in Creating Robots That Are More Like Humans, which features a research group at Northeastern University focused on creating software that makes robots more autonomous, so eventually they are able to perform tasks on their own with little human supervision or intervention. Our article, Creator of'Suicidal Robot' Explains How Robot Security Could Prevent'The Next Sandy Hook', focused on the robotic security company Knightscope, which made headline recently for a humorous mishap involving one of its robots falling into a fountain. We wrapped up our robotics coverage with, Robotic Teachers Can Adjust Style Based on Student Success, which focuses on the development of socially assistive robotics-- a new field of robotics that focuses on assisting users through social rather than physical interaction. In our article Algorithm Improves Energy Efficiency of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, we focused on researchers from Oregon State University, who developed a new algorithm to direct autonomous underwater vehicles to ride the ocean currents when traveling from point to point.


Cheap lidar sensors are going to keep self-driving cars in the slow lane

#artificialintelligence

The race to build mass-market autonomous cars is creating big demand for laser sensors that help vehicles map their surroundings. Most driverless cars make use of lidar sensors, which bounce laser beams off nearby objects to create 3-D maps of their surroundings. Each beam is separated by an angle of 0.4 (smaller angles between beams equal higher resolution), with a range of 120 meters. Austin Russell, the CEO of lidar startup Luminar, says his company actively chose not to use solid-state hardware in its sensors, because it believes that while mechanically steering a beam is more expensive, it currently provides more finely detailed images that are critical for safe driving.


Low-Quality Lidar Will Keep Self-Driving Cars in the Slow Lane

MIT Technology Review

The race to build mass-market autonomous cars is creating big demand for laser sensors that help vehicles map their surroundings. Most driverless cars make use of lidar sensors, which bounce laser beams off nearby objects to create 3-D maps of their surroundings. Each beam is separated by an angle of 0.4 (smaller angles between beams equal higher resolution), with a range of 120 meters. Austin Russell, the CEO of lidar startup Luminar, says his company actively chose not to use solid-state hardware in its sensors, because it believes that while mechanically steering a beam is more expensive, it currently provides more finely detailed images that are critical for safe driving.