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South Australia begins trials of Flinders Express autonomous shuttle bus

ZDNet

A driverless public electric shuttle will this week start operating around the Tonsley Innovation District in South Australia as part of a five-year trial, marking the first use of autonomous vehicle technology on public roads in the state. The Navya Arma Flinders Express (FLEX) electric shuttle will transport passengers -- who can book a free ride from Wednesday -- at speeds of up to 30km, and will be managed by an on-board chaperone who will advise passengers and ensure safety, according to Flinders University, which partnered with industry supporters for the trial. Driven to distraction: Why IBM's Watson is getting onboard with self-driving vehicles and impatient passengers IBM has teamed up with Local Motors for a new autonomous vehicle. Here's how it will handle difficult passengers - and why you won't be able to buy one. FLEX will operate on weekdays between 10am to 2pm, and will initially provide services between Clovelly Park Train Station and Tonsley's Main Assembly Building, and connections to bus stops on the main South Road and businesses in the Tonsley precinct.


NSW to spend AU$10m on driverless car trials

ZDNet

The New South Wales government has announced the establishment of a AU$10 million fund to progress trials of driverless vehicles. The initiative, part of the state's 2018-19 Budget to be handed down on Tuesday, is expected to allow governments, universities, the private sector, and startups to work together to develop and test driverless technologies throughout the state. "The future belongs to those who hear it coming, and this investment looks to harness the power of technology to improve lives across the state," Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a statement on Monday. Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the technology will "change the playing field" and provide new opportunities for personalised transport services. "The technology is here and we are going to make sure we are ready to embrace it," he said.


Three Impacts Of Artificial Intelligence On Society

#artificialintelligence

Over the next five years, we are about to witness the world we live in entirely disrupted by improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Children today are growing up with AI assistants in their homes (Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa) -- to the point that you might consider their mere presence an extension of co-parenting. As voice and facial recognition continue to evolve, machine learning algorithms are getting smarter. More and more industries are being influenced by AI, and our society as we know it is transforming. The transportation industry looks like it will be the first to be completely disrupted by artificial intelligence.


Government backs 3D mapping in race to develop technology deemed crucial for driverless cars

The Japan Times

Technology companies are racing to develop ultra-precise digital maps that can guide self-driving cars to within inches of where they should be -- a hurdle the industry needs to clear if it hopes to deliver on its promise of widespread use of driverless vehicles. The government is backing a three-dimensional mapping system developed by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. that includes a wealth of details, such as trees and pedestrians. It promises to be off by no more than 25 cm. That would be a big improvement over satellite-based GPS, which is used by ships, aircraft and increasingly by drivers or those on mobile phones but can be off by up to 20 meters, especially inside buildings or underground. The developers say the improved mapping technology will likely be used first in vehicles in isolated areas such as warehouses, or it might be used to help drivers of vehicles that aren't entirely autonomous.


Three Impacts Of Artificial Intelligence On Society

Forbes Technology

Over the next five years, we are about to witness the world we live in entirely disrupted by improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Children today are growing up with AI assistants in their homes (Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa) -- to the point that you might consider their mere presence an extension of co-parenting. As voice and facial recognition continue to evolve, machine learning algorithms are getting smarter. More and more industries are being influenced by AI, and our society as we know it is transforming. The transportation industry looks like it will be the first to be completely disrupted by artificial intelligence.


Self-Driving Cars Likely Won't Steal Your Job (Until 2040)

WIRED

The self-driving robots are coming to transform your job. The group advocates for a countrywide pivot away from oil dependency, one it hopes will be aided by the speedy adoption of electric, self-driving vehicles. So it commissioned a wide-ranging study by a phalanx of labor economists to discover how that could happen, and whether America might transform into a Mad Max-like desert hell along the way. The news, mostly, is good. For one, self-driving vehicles probably won't wreck the labor market to the point where gig economy workers are hired out as mobile blood bags.


Will self-driving cars be on UK roads by 2021? Government launches £30 million of funding

Daily Mail

The government has unveiled a new £30 million fund to help get driverless cars on the road. Chancellor Philip Hammond vowed to bring fully-autonomous vehicles to the UK by 2021 in his autumn budget last year. The latest multi-million round of funding is designed to speed-up the roll-out of autonomous vehicles by supporting technology and automotive companies developing driverless systems. Companies will have to bid for the funding, Business Minister Richard Harrington announced today. Of the £30 million total, the government has set aside £5 million to be awarded specifically to projects building cars that can park themselves.


Japan aims to launch self-driving vehicle services by 2020

The Japan Times

Japan is aiming to launch self-driving vehicle services on public roads by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics, according to a draft growth strategy presented Monday. The government set a goal of increasing the number of locations where such services are available to over 100 across the country by 2030, reflecting its ambition to spread the use of autonomous driving technology. The draft strategy, presented to a government panel on future investment, pointed to the need for Japan to make better use of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence and big data. A slow response will leave the country lagging behind in the intensifying global technology race, the strategy document said, adding that advances can be utilized to solve Japan's dual challenges of its aging society and falling birthrate. Automakers and other companies are competing to develop self-driving technology that the government hopes to show off in autonomous vehicles when the Olympics and Paralympics are held in Tokyo.


Why This Country (Not The USA) Will Be First To Adopt Driverless Cars

#artificialintelligence

A Pand-auto's electric car controlled by Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving system is on display at Chongqing Internet Industrial Park on May 24, 2018 in Chongqing, China. Baidu and its partner Pand-auto car sharing service started a one-month trial operation of autonomous car-sharing service in Chongqing Internet Industrial Park today. Two Silicon Valley executives have a friendly bet on when a commercially available autonomous car will transport them within Las Vegas, with no intervention from a human driver. The more bullish one has placed his bet on May 27, 2024. A driverless future will happen sooner than 2024, and it won't happen first in the U.S., Europe or Japan.


Why This Country (Not The USA) Will Be First To Adopt Driverless Cars

Forbes Technology

CHONGQING, CHINA - MAY 24: A Pand-auto's electric car controlled by Baidu's Apollo autonomous driving system is on display at Chongqing Internet Industrial Park on May 24, 2018 in Chongqing, China. Baidu and its partner Pand-auto car sharing service started a one-month trial operation of autonomous car-sharing service in Chongqing Internet Industrial Park today. Two Silicon Valley executives have a friendly bet on when a commercially available autonomous car will transport them within Las Vegas, with no intervention from a human driver. The more bullish one has placed his bet on May 27, 2024. A driverless future will happen sooner than 2024, and it won't happen first in the US, Europe or Japan.