Autonomous Vehicles


Watch amazing spiderman drone

FOX News

Just like how Spidey slings a web to capture bad guys, this little drone shoots a net to stop dangerous flying drones. DroneCatcher's special track and trace tech ensures the drone is precisely hit and caught by the shooting net. It is important for law enforcement to be equipped with the solutions to stop armed drones. With tech like DroneCatcher, law enforcement could more easily protect targets attractive to terrorists.


US hits Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia in new drone strikes

FOX News

The U.S. military carried out another round of drone strikes in Somalia Wednesday. A trio of drone strikes hit the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabaab terror group killed six militants, U.S. Africa Command announced. They came after two separate drones strikes last week. In March, President Trump gave the military the go-ahead to conduct offensive drone strikes in Somalia.


What caused fatal Tesla crash?

FOX News

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.


First real self driving car?

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General Motors-owned Cruise Automation has revealed what it claims is the first mass-producible car capable of driving itself. In a blog post, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the Chevrolet Bolt-based vehicle is equipped with all of the sensors and redundant equipment to safely put it on the road without a driver when the software to operate it is fully-developed. No timeline for final validation of the software was revealed, and public sales are not yet planned. Tesla also claims its new Model 3 is equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability, but has not said when its software will be ready to activate the function.


Domino's robot car delivers

FOX News

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?


This saves many lives

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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.


Cool drone lands on walls

FOX News

A new drone prototype has the ability to not only take off and land vertically, but it can also land against a wall, similar to a bird. The Multimodal Autonomous Drone (S-MAD) was created by researchers at Canada's University of Sherbrooke, utilizing microspineso to allow it to attach itself to these kinds of surfaces. "Microspines are used to cling to rough walls, while strictly onboard sensing is used for control," a paper on the drone reads. "The effect of thrust on the suspension's landing envelope is analyzed and a simple vertical velocity controller is proposed to create smooth and robust descents towards a wall."


Google car is cushy

FOX News

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."


Drone used to smuggle 13 pounds of meth from Mexico

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SAN DIEGO – A 25-year-old U.S. citizen has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico, an unusually large seizure for what is still a novel technique for bringing illegal drugs into the United States, authorities said Friday. Border Patrol agents in San Diego allegedly saw the drone in flight on Aug. 8 and tracked it to Rivera about 2,000 yards from the Mexico border. This undated photo provided by the U.S. Border Patrol shows 12 packages of methamphetamine that were confiscated from a U.S. citizen after a border patrol agent spotted a remote-controlled drone swooping over the border fence (U.S. Border Patrol via AP) The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a recent annual report that drones are not often used to smuggle drugs from Mexico because they can only carry small loads, though it said they may become more common. In 2015, two people pleaded guilty to dropping 28 pounds of heroin from a drone in the border town of Calexico, Calif. That same year Border Patrol agents in San Luis, Ariz., spotted a drone dropping bundles with 30 pounds of marijuana.


amazon-patents-bizarre-accordion-like-chute-to-deliver-packages-from-its-drones.html

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Looking to ever expand ways to deliver goods to its customers, Amazon has patented a way to allow its drones to deliver packages without ever having to land. The patent would not only provide a safe distance between the UAVs and the people receiving the packages, but also cut down on noise pollution, BizJournals noted. Bezos, now the world's third-richest man with an estimated fortune of $83.3 billion according to Forbes, first showed off Amazon's drone delivery unit in a Dec. 2013 interview on "60 Minutes." It recently filed patents for a beehive-like structure that would allow drones to pick up and drop off packages.