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Robot Truck Upstart Embark Hauls In $30 Million To Take On Waymo, Uber

Forbes Technology

Embark co-founders Alex Rodrigues, left, and Brandon Moak with their fleet of autonomous semi-trucks at the startup's operations center in Ontario, California. Ask Embark Trucks CEO Alex Rodrigues how his small autonomous tech startup can compete with giants in the space like Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo or Uber and the confident 22-year-old is ready with an answer. "We're able to move really fast," he told Forbes aboard the cab of one of Embark's sensor-laden Peterbilt semi-trucks as it barreled down the I-10 on a sunny morning, hauling a commercial load from Ontario, California, to Phoenix. As required by law a safety driver's hands are on the wheel, but the big rig is driving itself down the busy highway. "Waymo may have the conglomerate advantage' of build once, use many times," he said, because its new robot truck program has the same tech that goes into its self-driving minivans.


T-log autonomous vehicle can ferry felled forests without human help

Daily Mail

Driverless trucks could soon help ferry felled logs from remote locations. Swedish tech start-up Einride has revealed the T-log, an autonomous, all-electric logging truck designed to replace the polluting diesel trucks currently used. Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it has no driver's cab but can be remote-controlled by a human operator, from hundreds of miles away. Fleet of T-logs will be coordinated by an intelligent routing system, optimizing delivery time, battery life and energy consumption, making the transport as efficient as possible, the firm behind it says. Robert Falck, the CEO of Einride, the firm behind the truck, said: 'The driver's cab is what makes trucks expensive to produce, and having a driver in the cabin is what makes them expensive to operate.


Einride debuts a funky-looking autonomous logging truck

Engadget

Einride, the Swedish transport company known for the T-pod self-driving truck that looks like a giant freezer on wheels, is back with another funky/futuristic-looking vehicle. Its new Level 4 autonomous vehicle is called the T-log, and if it looks a bit trippy or off for a logging truck, that's because it doesn't have a driver cab at all. It looks like Einride's T-pod if you cut off the giant freezer and leave its flat nose behind. T-log is powered by Nvidia's Drive AI platform, giving it access to real-time traffic data, which it can use to plan routes on the fly and avoid traffic jams. It can also optimize energy use to allow the vehicle to run solely on batteries with a range of 120 miles.


Einride's T-log Is a Self-Driving Truck Made for the Forest

WIRED

If a tree falls in a forest and there's nobody around, does the truck that comes in to pick it up make a noise? Not much of one, if it's the latest offering from Swedish startup Einride, an all-electric autonomous semi looking to carve out a niche in an increasingly crowded (but not yet entirely real) market. The new truck, unveiled today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, is the T-log. Like on the T-pod, the truck Einride unveiled last year, there's no cab or engine, just a skinny, sculpted, white slab up front. At the back are upright supports to hold the logs in place.


Suning signs with SAP for smart retail, finance, sport R&D

ZDNet

China's Suning Holdings group and German software company SAP have partnered to conduct research in artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), big data, cloud computing, and blockchain technologies in China's retail, financial, and sports sectors. The agreement, signed by Suning Holdings Group chairman Zhang Jindong and Digital Business Services Organisation leader at SAP Michael Kleinemier, will see the companies conduct R&D of "small retail innovations" and explore the application of "digitised economy technology". This will include establishing a platform for China's retail industry through supply chain solutions such as store management, product sourcing, logistics, and payment services for retail SMEs. They will also focus on "intelligent warehousing and delivery", and in the sports sector, the companies said they will create a digitised platform for Chinese football clubs and youth training systems to help development of the sport. Also announced this week, Suning Logistics has signed a self-driving vehicle partnership with Baidu Apollo for logistics development in China.


Artificial Intelligence – Changing The Way Mines, And Mining People, Operate

#artificialintelligence

The most obvious use currently of AI in mining operations is providing a'better experience' for automated pit vehicles. Autonomous mining vehicles, from the haul trucks to the graders, loaders and excavators as well as drilling rigs, are hooked into the IoT. These machines produce copious amounts of data about their routines and routes.AI applied to this data allows operators based in operation centres hundreds of kilometres away to improve these routes and routines. They can do things like tweak the way the dump trucks take corners, or excavators load trucks, to make the entire process more efficient.This has potential cost and time saving implications. The vehicles can also safely work around the clock and don't need to stop for shift changes.


Phoenix will no longer be Phoenix if Waymo's driverless-car experiment succeeds

MIT Technology Review

Sitting in the BMW dealership waiting for a flat to be replaced, I realize I've driven over 100 miles and spent five hours behind the wheel this week. In Phoenix, I am living the life this city has designed for me. A sprawling grid fueled by swooping highways and generous arterial roads, the Phoenix metropolitan area is a gargantuan expression of the car culture that defines the urban experience for most Americans. To use this space, you need a vehicle. Anything else effects your passive or active exclusion from a host of activities and, more broadly, from the culture itself.


Phoenix will no longer be Phoenix if Waymo's driverless-car experiment succeeds

MIT Technology Review

Sitting in the BMW dealership waiting for a flat to be replaced, I realize I've driven over 100 miles and spent five hours behind the wheel this week. In Phoenix, I am living the life this city has designed for me. A sprawling grid fueled by swooping highways and generous arterial roads, the Phoenix metropolitan area is a gargantuan expression of the car culture that defines the urban experience for most Americans. To use this space, you need a vehicle. Anything else effects your passive or active exclusion from a host of activities and, more broadly, from the culture itself.


Steps to autonomy

#artificialintelligence

This seems pretty straightforward, until you start thinking about how you might actually deploy this - and about the fact that some places are easier to drive in than others. As we can already see with the early tests being done with prototype autonomous cars (with their need for a human'safety driver', today these are are effectively L2 or at best L3), autonomy of any kind in one city is different to another - Phoenix is easier than San Francisco, which is easier than Naples or Moscow. This variability applies not just across different cities and countries but also in different parts of each urban landscape: freeways are easier than city centers, which might be easier or harder than suburbs. It naturally follows that we will have vehicles that will reliably reach a given level of autonomous capability in some ('easy') places before they can do it everywhere. These will have huge safety and economic benefits, so we'll deploy them - we won't wait and do nothing at all until we have a perfect L5 car that can drive itself around anywhere from Kathmandu to South Boston.


The Future of AI in Heavy Industry - Agriculture, Construction, Mining, and Beyond -

#artificialintelligence

Episode summary: Unlike the field of self-driving cars, the fields of construction, mining, agriculture, and other classes of "heavy industry" involve a huge variety of equipment and use-cases that go beyond traveling from A to B. The heavy industry leaders of today are no farther behind automakers in their understanding that AI and automation will be essential for the future of their companies. In this episode, guest Dr. Sam Kherat discusses the applications of AI in heavy industry, including: What type of capabilities and functions are automate-able, and at what level? Dr. Kherat also shines a light on how AI might affect the future of the industry within the next 2-3 years, and in what ways we can expect large equipment to become more autonomous. We'd like to thank RE-WORK for introducing us to Dr. Kherat at their autonomous vehicles conference in San Francisco. Dr. Kherat has expertise in the fields of robotics, autonomous excavation, and mining systems.