A great way to understand the future priorities for a company is to see where they invest resources. When you look at where Toyota, the Japanese industry giant, has recently invested, it's clear the company is preparing to remain relevant and competitive in the 4th industrial revolution as a result of its investments and innovation in artificial intelligence, big data and robots. With initial funding of $100 million, Toyota AI Ventures invests in tech start-ups and entrepreneurs around the world that are committed to autonomous mobility, data and robotics. Toyota's investments help accelerate getting critical new technologies to market. One of the organization's investments is in May Mobility, a company that is developing self-driving shuttles for college campuses and other areas such as central business districts where low-speed applications are warranted.
DJI makes some of the most popular quadcopters on the market, but its products have repeatedly drawn scrutiny from the United States government over privacy and security concerns. Most recently, the Department of Defense in May banned the purchase of consumer drones made by a handful of vendors, including DJI. Now DJI has patched a problematic vulnerability in its cloud infrastructure that could have allowed an attacker to take over users' accounts and access private data like photos and videos taken during drone flights, a user's personal account information, and flight logs that include location data. A hacker could have even potentially accessed real-time drone location and a live camera feed during a flight. The security firm Check Point discovered the issue and reported it in March through DJI's bug bounty program.
Q: How Do Self-Driving Cars See? You head into a left turn, and before you change lanes, you crane your head around for a quick look back. That's when you see it. Chugging along behind you, in that left lane you're aiming to call your own. Your pressing question--Does it see me?--is answered when the vehicle slows down, giving you plenty of space.
FUKUSHIMA – Japan Post Co. on Wednesday began transporting documents by drone in Fukushima Prefecture, the first operation of its kind in Japan, following easing of regulations to cope with labor shortages in the transport industry. The company said it will initially use drones to carry its own documents and advertisements between two post offices in the northeastern prefecture to examine whether the unmanned aircraft can be used to carry mail. In the future, it hopes to use drones for deliveries to mountainous regions and remote islands. It launched the operation after the government eased related regulations in September. Prior to easing restrictions, an operator was required to keep the drone in view.
Look at just about any rendering or essayistic sketch of the world's transportation future, and you'll notice two things about the cars, trucks, vans, and whatever elses tootling around the roads: They drive themselves and they run on electricity. The funny thing about that pairing is that there's no inherent relationship between a vehicle's ability to drive itself and what it uses to move its wheels. Relying on a battery can actually be problematic for vehicles running piles of computers and sensors, but electric rides are a popular choice for autonomy developers anyway, because they feel more like the future. For Swedish trucking startup Einride, though, the connection between electric and autonomous technology is fundamental. Getting rid of the human, founder and CEO Robert Falck says, makes the formidable challenge of running a truck on batteries far easier.
It was sneakily a big week for driverless cars. Waymo, the Googley guys and gals who are supposed to be winning the self-driving race, officially received the very first California DMV permit to test their vehicles in the state--without a human behind the wheel. The company suggests it will welcome members of the Golden State public into its driverless ... at some point. Meanwhile, Tesla is embroiled in another lawsuit over whether its Autopilot feature is being marketed the right way--that is, as not a driverless feature. Meanwhile, it launched Navigate on Autopilot, a new capability that relies on using Tesla drivers as beta testers.
Self-driving cars are being developed by several major technology companies and carmakers. When a driver slams on the brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian crossing the road illegally, she is making a moral decision that shifts risk from the pedestrian to the people in the car. Self-driving cars might soon have to make such ethical judgments on their own -- but settling on a universal moral code for the vehicles could be a thorny task, suggests a survey of 2.3 million people from around the world. The largest ever survey of machine ethics1, published today in Nature, finds that many of the moral principles that guide a driver's decisions vary by country. For example, in a scenario in which some combination of pedestrians and passengers will die in a collision, people from relatively prosperous countries with strong institutions were less likely to spare a pedestrian who stepped into traffic illegally.
A new report says Uber plans to roll out a fleet of food-delivery drones by 2021. A drone flies over a city. Uber's flight ambitions expand beyond just shuttling people. It also includes delivering food. According to a job posting spotted by The Wall Street Journal, Uber is looking to hire an executive to help launch its drone food delivery program known internally as UberExpress.