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) …
Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit, would start testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, it said on Twitter on Monday. 'Atlanta is a major hub for technology and innovation, and a natural fit for Waymo's testing program,' Waymo said on Twitter. With over eight years of testing under its belt, Waymo is a pioneer of self-driving technology, and is already testing vehicles in suburban Phoenix, Michigan, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit, would start testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, it said on Twitter on Monday. While self-driving car companies test their vehicles in public, they routinely have a human in the driver's seat ready to take over if the technology fails.
A self-driving test car from Ford-backed startup Argo was involved in an accident on Wednesday that sent two people to hospital. The car, a modified Ford Fusion, was struck by a box van running a red light in the East Allegheny area of Pittsburgh. The collision smashed in the doors on the passenger side and blew out the back window, according to local reports. A Pittsburgh city spokesperson said two of the four occupants of the vehicle were injured and transported to hospital in a stable condition before being released later on Wednesday. "We're aware that an Argo AI test vehicle was involved in an accident.
This year, the chief technical officer of Aptiv APTV 1.21% PLC wants to demonstrate how the technology might actually be deployed in real life. Aptiv, the automotive-technology company formerly known as Delphi Automotive, is partnering with ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc. at this week's show to give free rides in self-driven cars between the convention center and most of the big hotels. The goal is to show how its technology could be deployed in a self-driving car service. "This year is kind of pivoting away from technology demonstrations to really showing the applications," Mr. DeVos said. The convergence of Silicon Valley and the Motor City has helped propel CES, held here every January, into an automotive industry event that rivals the North American International Auto Show, taking place next week in Detroit.
In two separate partnerships announced ahead of CES 2018 in Las Vegas next week, Hyundai Motor Company and Volkswagen Group have placed their bets on self-driving technology company Aurora Innovation to further their respective autonomous vehicle visions. Aurora Innovation is the brainchild of Chris Urmson, former CTO of Google's self-driving car project; Sterling Anderson, a former program manager for Tesla's Autopilot team; and Drew Bagnell, former autonomy architect and perception lead at the Uber Advanced Technology Center. With the first announcement, Hyundai is aiming to bring self-driving vehicles to market by 2021 by incorporating Aurora's self-driving technology into Hyundai vehicles starting with models custom-developed and launched in test programs and pilot cities. Over the longer term, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialise self-driving vehicles worldwide. The duo will initially focus on the development of hardware and software for automated and autonomous driving and the back-end data services required for Level 4 automation -- autonomous vehicles that can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions.
New details regarding Apple's efforts in autonomous car technology were revealed in a patent published this week, spotted by Autoblog. The patent, called "Autonomous Navigation System," was filed by Apple in 2015, about a year after the company reportedly started working on self-driving technology. The paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details a navigation system with sensors installed in the vehicle that provides "updates to a virtual characterization" of a route drivers have traveled on. The patent also mentions a " database of characterizations," where information on traveled roads can be stored in. "Some embodiments provide an autonomous navigation system which enables autonomous navigation of a vehicle along one or more portions of a driving route based on monitoring, at the vehicle, various features of the route as the vehicle is manually navigated along the route to develop a characterization of the route."
A theme emerged when Apple's director of artificial intelligence research outlined results from several of the company's recent AI projects on the sidelines of a major conference Friday. Each involved giving software capabilities needed for self-driving cars. Ruslan Salakhutdinov addressed roughly 200 AI experts who had signed up for a free lunch and peek at how Apple uses machine learning, a technique for analyzing large stockpiles of data. He discussed projects using data from cameras and other sensors to spot cars and pedestrians on urban streets, navigate in unfamiliar spaces, and build detailed 3-D maps of cities. The talk offered new insight into Apple's secretive efforts around autonomous-vehicle technology.
In its race to embrace driverless vehicles, Washington has cleared away regulatory hurdles for auto companies and brushed aside consumer warnings about the risk of crashes and hacking. But at a recent hearing, lawmakers absorbed an economic argument that illustrated how the driverless revolution they are encouraging could backfire politically, particularly in Trump country. It was the tale of a successful, long-distance beer run. A robotic truck coasted driverless 120 miles down Interstate 25 in Colorado on its way to deliver 51,744 cans of Budweiser. Not everyone at the hearing was impressed by the milestone, particularly the secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters, whose nearly 600,000 unionized drivers played no small roll in President Trump's victory last year.
Volvo said Monday it will sell tens of thousands of vehicles to Uber Technologies Inc. starting as early as 2019 that will serve as the ride-hailing company's self-driving taxi fleet. The so-called base vehicles will be developed off of car architecture currently used on Volvo's 90 series cars and the XC60 midsize SUV. Volvo said in a statement that its engineers have worked closely with Uber to develop the technology on another SUV currently on the market. It's unclear when the vehicles would be put on the road. Jeff Miller, head of auto alliances at San Francisco-based Uber, said in a statement that the agreement puts the company on a "path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale."
Waymo, formerly known as Google's self-driving car, is launching a fully autonomous Uber-like ride-hailing service with no human driver behind the wheel, after testing the vehicles on public roads in Arizona. Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, said members of the public will begin riding in its fleet of modified Fiat Chrysler Pacifica minivans outfitted with self-driving technology in the next few months. Passengers will initially be accompanied in the back seat by a Waymo employee, but will eventually travel alone in the robotic car. The service will first be available to those who are already part of the company's public trial already under way in Phoenix. Rides will be free to start with, but Waymo expects to begin charging for journeys at some point.
The NHTSA has asked for feedback on the state of autonomous vehicles and how current US regulations can be refined to promote research and deployment. The US National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a report on potential rule changes on Friday, which states the agency is looking for comments "to identify any unnecessary regulatory barriers" to the deployment of autonomous vehicles on US roads. NHTSA said that input relating to regulatory barriers is key, as well as any thoughts relating to hurdles companies face when attempting to test their self-driving vehicles. Compliance problems are a serious problem for vendors researching and developing self-driving car technologies. In particular, the agency recognizes that vehicle designs "that are not equipped with controls for a human driver" are a stumbling block, such as a lack of a steering wheel, brakes, or accelerator pedals.