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) …
An automated driverless shuttle bus debuts in Las Vegas and on the same day a semi-truck backs up into it. An automated driverless shuttle was involved in an accident hours after it debuted in the streets of downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday. Those involved in the conception of the project have said the shuttle was not at fault. "The exciting thing is that the vehicle did exactly what it was programmed to do. This is a really good real-world case of how the technology actually works, said John Moreno, a spokesperson for The American Automobile Association (AAA,) who is a sponsor on the project.
Nissan is launching its new semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist system in the Rogue crossover, its best-selling vehicle, before it arrives in the all-new electric Leaf next year. The system uses a camera and radar to allow a vehicle to steer itself in the middle of a lane on the highway, while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it. Nissan expects around 30 percent of Rogues sold next year to be equipped with the feature. ProPilot Assist monitors the lane markers and vehicles ahead. Unlike some competing systems, ProPilot Assist isn't meant for anything resembling hands-off driving.
While top brass walked the floors of AUSA exploring innovation for future combat in Washington D.C., in Georgia at Fort Benning, robot selection to join the troops is in an intense final week. The jungle drums at AUSA have it that the selected robots may be integrating and working alongside soldiers in brigade combat teams (BCTs) as soon as early next year. In fact, U.S. special operations forces and the wider military regularly rely on the advanced capabilities MRZR 2 and MRZR 4 for their work downrange. The company teamed up with robot experts Applied Research Associates and Neya Systems to turn their wildly popular MRZR into the MRZR X – a smart MRZR that integrates advanced robotics so it can drive without a human at the wheel.
These are just a few of the latest military and security innovations from around the world on offer at the Defence and Security Equipment International Show (DSEI) in the U.K. this week. There is a mind-boggling array of offerings, from the latest in body armor and ways to covertly armor up civilian vehicles through to Special Forces equipment and ATVS, rations and explosion containment. For countries thinking about possible intervention with North Korea and Syria that could pose Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN)-type threats, delegations are looking at potential solutions like suits to protect forces against radiological and nuclear weapons, as well as decontamination technology. This is window shopping at the level of a country's top officials, a country's top military level – not individual level.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that "operational limitations" of Tesla's Autopilot system played a "major role" in a fatal crash last May, but that the driver was also at fault for not paying adequate attention to the road. At the time, Autopilot was capable of steering the car within its lane and autonomously braking for vehicles in the road ahead. His last action was setting the cruise control at 74 mph on the 65 mph road, two minutes before the collision. The NTSB report was issued on the same day that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao revealed the federal government's latest voluntary guidelines for autonomous technology, which includes a section on driver monitoring and the transfer of control from vehicle to operator when a system determines that human interaction is required.
With the looming advent of the age of autonomous cars comes many questions. Foremost among them: Can they deliver pizza? That's what Domino's and Ford will try to find out in the coming weeks when they deploy a jointly-developed self-driving car into the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich., that's equipped with a heated compartment hidden behind the passenger side rear window that rolls down and dishes out orders when a customer enters an access code into a tablet installed on the side of the vehicle. Whether its people or pizza, the question remains: What do you give a robot for a tip?
Electronic blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping systems do help to prevent crashes, according to new studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A second institute study of blind-spot detection systems -- usually warning lights in side mirrors -- found the systems lower the rate of all lane-change crashes by 14 percent and the rate of such crashes with injuries by 23 percent. A separate study by the insurance industry-funded institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab found that drivers using automated systems that scan for parking spots and then park the car spend a lot more time looking at dashboard displays than at the parking spot, the road in front or the road behind. Automakers, taking note of the problem, appear to be switching to systems that vibrate the steering wheel or driver's seat, Cicchino said.
As it continues to improve its sensor technology to help its vehicle understand its surroundings and respond quickly and safely to unfolding events, it's also been considering how to deal with unavoidable collisions, whether it's with a "soft" human that could easily sustain an injury, or a harder object like another vehicle. A patent recently awarded to Waymo offers some insight into how the company is approaching the issue. In Waymo's own words: "The vehicle may contain tension members that are arranged so that a change in tension across one or more of the tension members will alter the rigidity of the vehicle's surface. The vehicle may identify and respond to a potential collision by altering the tension that is applied to one or more tension members, thereby altering the rigidity of the vehicle's surface."
Ocado, which launched 17 years ago and makes deliveries from a string of warehouses across the country, has just started testing its first self-driving "CargoPod" truck built by U.K. tech firm Oxbotica. It's designed primarily for short journeys or last-mile deliveries in urban or residential areas, taking relatively small orders to customers rather than weekly or monthly supplies. While Oxbotica is focusing on last-mile deliveries, the likes of Waymo and Uber are developing self-driving trucks big ones to transport large amounts of goods over much greater distances. Uber, meanwhile, last year drove a semi full of Budweiser along more than 100 miles of freeway using driverless technology developed by Otto, a tech company that it purchased for $680 million in 2016.
Cyber criminals would target software defects in radios, ECUs and on-board WiFi to immobilise cars and hold motorists to ransom at the roadside. The advent of driverless cars, vehicles connected to city infrastructure and cloud-based infotainment systems all offer criminals more ways than ever to take over motors. The car industry is taking a proactive approach to hacking threats with security experts Thatcham Research working with Government and other specialists to draw up a basic framework and safety standard for manufacturers to adhere to. "This will give drivers assurance that connected autonomous vehicles have been designed and tested to meet exacting cyber security standards."