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) …
Hoping to get self-driving vehicle companies to share a common platform rather than design from scratch, Baidu said Tuesday it would offer its technology for autonomous driving to other companies, while also partnering in the sourcing of components and hardware. Baidu will offer a vehicle platform, hardware platform, software platform and cloud data services, and will open source code and capabilities in obstacle perception, trajectory planning, vehicle control, vehicle operating systems and other functions, as well as a set of testing tools, it said in a statement. The project called Apollo, after the U.S. moon missions, could help speed up the development of self-driving cars, making the technology available sooner to smaller car makers and users at a more competitive price. Until now car makers and tech companies have been pursuing the development of self-driving cars independently or in close-knit alliances, guarding their inventions protectively as the ongoing lawsuit between Alphabet's Waymo and Uber Technologies indicates. "An open, innovative industry ecosystem initiated by Baidu will accelerate the development of autonomous driving in the U.S. and other developed automotive markets," said Qi Lu, Baidu's group president and chief operating officer in a statement.
In 2017, we are at the dawn of the third great revolution in end-user devices. First came the PC in the 1990s with Windows, and then arrived the smartphone in 2006 with the iPhone. Now, we are on the cusp of the next big shift in end-user experience: the automobile. This shift is shaping up to be more significant than the previous two because it marks a digital path to understanding the physical world. The automotive business will grow and change dramatically over the next 5 to 15 years, with 2017 setting the stage for that growth.
Driving a car is an extremely complex activity -- somehow we manage to control all that technology and keep our eyes on many things going on around us. We manage to do it well enough that there are not many accidents. But how much can we rely on software to control a car? It ought to be smarter, but does that make driving safer? A fatal accident in May 2016 involving a Tesla Motors car on autopilot made it clear that we can't fully trust it yet, even if, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk says, one fatality in 130 million miles of autopilot relates well to one fatality in 94 million miles of conventional driving.
Ford is showing more signs of a serious commitment to autonomous driving and the future of transportation. The automaker announced Tuesday that it will begin testing a fully autonomous vehicle in California in 2016. It recently received a permit from the state's DMV to test a Ford Fusion. Ford has already been testing on public roads in Michigan, as well as at MCity, the University of Michigan facility developed for testing autonomous vehicles. It conducts trials at its proving ground in Arizona, too.
GOOGLE is going to be beaten to the punch. For years consumers have eagerly awaited the public launch of the firm's self-driving cars: autonomous pods that will leave us free to read, watch TV or work on tasks other than driving. Now it seems as if traditional car manufacturers are about to take the lead. "Firms are planning to use the sensors on new car models to collectively gather mapping data" Last week, car companies from around the world lined up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to announce their latest technology and investment in autonomous driving. General Motors said that it would spend $500 million with car-hailing service Lyft to build "an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the US".
Google is going to be beaten to the punch. For years consumers have eagerly awaited the public launch of the firm's self-driving cars: autonomous pods that will leave us free to read, watch TV or work on tasks other than driving. Now it seems as if traditional car manufacturers are about to take the lead. Last week, car companies from around the world lined up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to announce their latest technology and investment in autonomous driving. General Motors said that it would spend $500 million with car-hailing service Lyft to build "an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the US".
EagleEye says its tech gives drones military-grade security and the possibility of flying autonomous missions. In 2014, three software engineers decided to create a drone company in Wavre, Belgium, just outside Brussels. All were licensed pilots and trained in NATO security techniques. But rather than build drones themselves, they decided they would upgrade existing radio-controlled civilian drones with an ultra-secure software layer to allow the devices to fly autonomously. Their company, EagleEye Systems, would manufacture the onboard computer and design the software, while existing manufacturers would provide the drone body and sensors.
After catching the world and the auto industry by surprise with its progress with self-driving cars, Google has begun the latest, most difficult phase of its project – making the vehicles smart enough to handle the chaos of city streets. But while the company describes its work with its typical tight-lipped optimism, academic experts in robotics are cautious about the prospects of fully autonomous vehicles. They estimate it will be decades until they can perform as well as human drivers in all situations – if they ever do at all. Google's cars make extensive use of detailed maps that describe not only roads and restrictions such as speed limits, but the 3-D location of stop lights and curbstones to within inches. The company is now working to make its vehicles capable of seeing and understanding the kind of unexpected obstacles that don't appear on those maps and are particularly common in urban areas, said Chris Urmson, the director of the project, last week.
Driverless cars should have a fairly easy time getting the green light to operate on U.S. roadways, as long as they look and act like the vehicles people have been driving for the past century. Take away the steering wheel and brake pedal--as Google hopes to do from its self-driving car--and that vehicle is no longer street legal and probably would not be for some time, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT). As carmakers move at full throttle on efforts to rethink the automobile, the DoT is scrambling to figure out how it can adjust decades of driver safety regulations to accommodate vehicles driven entirely by computers. DoT's Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center reviewed current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and concluded that increasing levels of automation for parking, lane changing, collision avoidance and other maneuvers is acceptable, provided that the vehicle also has a driver's seat, steering wheel, brake pedal and other features commonly found in today's automobiles. Implementing more radical changes, such as using smartphone-control, replacing the windshield with large video displays or realigning seats so there is no clear "driver," would prevent approval under current safety standards, according to the new report.
Self-driving vehicles will make the driver redundant, but long before that, smarter cars may leave the driver thinking about other things. Ford is already studying that problem, anticipating an evolution toward autonomous cars that will take a lot longer than projects by the likes of Google may suggest. For now, the motorist is still in charge--with some help. "We still have a driver-centric model. We still think the driver needs to be engaged," said Don Butler, Ford's executive vice president of connected vehicle and services.