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Microsoft Bets on Driverless-Car Space With Investment inGM's Cruise

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Microsoft Corp. is investing in General Motors Co. 's driverless-car startup Cruise as part of a strategic tie-up, another sign of renewed interest in the autonomous-technology space after a relatively quiet period. Microsoft is among a group of companies that will invest more than $2 billion in San Francisco-based Cruise, which has been majority-owned by GM since early 2016. The financing brings Cruise's valuation to $30 billion, Cruise said Tuesday, up from an estimated $19 billion in spring 2019. GM is adding to its Cruise investment as part of the funding round and will retain a majority stake, a Cruise spokesman said. The investment also includes current stakeholder Honda Motor Co. and other institutional investors that Cruise declined to name.


Cadillac of the sky: GM reveals flying autonomous car that hits 56mph - and a self-driving shuttle

Daily Mail - Science & tech

General Motors (GM) is taking its business to new heights by unveiling a flying self-driving taxi under its Cadillac brand at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The American carmaker shared a concept video showcasing a single-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that tops speeds of 56mph. Not only is GM's future taking to the skies, but the video also showed it is heading down the road with a new luxury autonomous shuttle that seats two passengers. The concept vehicles were revealed during the firm's morning remarks at the tech conference that is being held virtually for the first time due to the lingering coronavirus pandemic. General Motors (GM) shared a concept video of two futuristic vehicles under the Cadillac brand.


The Autonomous-Car Chaos of the 2004 Darpa Grand Challenge

WIRED

When the inquisition required him to drop his study of what the Roman Catholic Church insisted was not a heliocentric solar system, Galileo Galilei turned his energy to the less controversial question of how to stick a telescope onto a helmet. The king of Spain had offered a hefty reward to anyone who could solve the stubborn mystery of how to determine a ship's longitude while at sea: 6,000 ducats up front and another 2,000 per year for life. Galileo thought his headgear, with the telescope fixed over one eye and making its wearer look like a misaligned unicorn, would net him the reward. Determining latitude is easy for any sailor who can pick out the North Star, but finding longitude escaped the citizens of the 17th century, because it required a precise knowledge of time. That's based on a simple principle: Say you set your clock before sailing west from Greenwich.


Nuro gets green light to become first autonomous-vehicle delivery service in California

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A driverless-vehicle startup has become the first company approved to make deliveries in in California using an autonomous vehicle. Mountain View, California-based Nuro says it plans to begin commercial service as early as next year. Nuro started testing its fleet on California roads in 2017 and, during the pandemic, has shuttled medical goods to a Sacramento field hospital. The permit, however, will allow the company to charge for its service. Founded by two former Google engineers, Nuro will first launch a fleet of autonomous Toyota Priuses, then introduce its own low-speed R2 vehicle.


Zoox unveils a self-driving car that could become Amazon's first robotaxi

#artificialintelligence

Zoox, a self-driving car company that Amazon bought in June, has finally revealed its robotaxi after six years of gnarly prototypes and secrecy. And while it broadly resembles other first-generation autonomous vehicles from automakers and Silicon Valley startups, Zoox's robotaxi has a few standout features, as well as an overall polish to it that makes obvious why Amazon thinks it might be the cornerstone of a fledgling autonomous ride-hailing service. The autonomous "carriage-style" vehicle is an all-electric four-wheeler that seats up to four people, and is similar in appearance to fully self-driving vehicles created by other companies in the space. At just 3.63 meters long, it falls somewhere in between the big, boxy Origin robotaxi from Cruise (which is owned by General Motors) and the delivery-focused robot made by Nuro. To further differentiate, Zoox has spent the last few years working on outfitting its autonomous vehicle with the ability to drive both forward and backward, and side to side, or "bi-directionally." Combined with four-wheel steering functionality, Zoox says its vehicle will be able to handle precise maneuvers like "tight curbside pickups" and "tricky U-turns."


Amazon's self-driving car company reveals its autonomous 'carriage-style' robotaxi

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Amazon's autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, unveiled its self-driving car that brings it one step closer to unleashing a fleet of robotaxis. The electric, fully driverless vehicle is designed as a'carriage-style car that sits four passengers facing each other and is the first in the industry that is capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour. It is equipped with two battery packs that provide the vehicle with up to 16 continuous hours on a single charge. Zoox plans to soon launch an app for its future ride-hailing service in major cities across the US including San Francisco and Las Vegas. Amazon's autonomous vehicle company, Zoox, unveiled its self-driving car that brings it one step closer to unleashing a fleet of robotaxis Aicha Evans, Zoox Chief Executive Office, said: 'Revealing our functioning and driving vehicle is an exciting milestone in our company's history and marks an important step on our journey towards deploying an autonomous ride-hailing service.' 'We are transforming the rider experience to provide superior mobility-as-a-service for cities.' 'And as we see the alarming statistics around carbon emissions and traffic accidents, it's more important than ever that we build a sustainable, safe solution that allows riders to get from point A to point B.' The four-wheeled vehicle is just 11 feet long, features four seats inside the carriage-style design and has one of the smallest footprints in the industry, claims Zoox.


Developing Future Human-Centered Smart Cities: Critical Analysis of Smart City Security, Interpretability, and Ethical Challenges

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

As we make tremendous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence technosciences, there is a renewed understanding in the AI community that we must ensure that humans being are at the center of our deliberations so that we don't end in technology-induced dystopias. As strongly argued by Green in his book Smart Enough City, the incorporation of technology in city environs does not automatically translate into prosperity, wellbeing, urban livability, or social justice. There is a great need to deliberate on the future of the cities worth living and designing. There are philosophical and ethical questions involved along with various challenges that relate to the security, safety, and interpretability of AI algorithms that will form the technological bedrock of future cities. Several research institutes on human centered AI have been established at top international universities. Globally there are calls for technology to be made more humane and human-compatible. For example, Stuart Russell has a book called Human Compatible AI. The Center for Humane Technology advocates for regulators and technology companies to avoid business models and product features that contribute to social problems such as extremism, polarization, misinformation, and Internet addiction. In this paper, we analyze and explore key challenges including security, robustness, interpretability, and ethical challenges to a successful deployment of AI or ML in human-centric applications, with a particular emphasis on the convergence of these challenges. We provide a detailed review of existing literature on these key challenges and analyze how one of these challenges may lead to others or help in solving other challenges. The paper also advises on the current limitations, pitfalls, and future directions of research in these domains, and how it can fill the current gaps and lead to better solutions.


Uber in talks to sell ATG self-driving unit to Aurora – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

Eighteen months ago, Uber's self-driving car unit, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, was valued at $7.25 billion following a $1 billion investment from Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank's Vision Fund. Now, it's up for sale and a competing autonomous vehicle technology startup is in talks with Uber to buy it, according to three sources familiar with the deal. Aurora Innovation, the startup founded by three veterans of the autonomous vehicle industry who led programs at Google, Tesla and Uber, is in negotiations to buy Uber ATG. Terms of the deal are still unknown, but sources say the two companies have been in talks since October and it is far along in the process. An Uber spokesperson declined to comment, citing that the company's general policy is not to comment on these sorts of inquiries.


Essential Enterprise AI Companies Landscape

#artificialintelligence

Enterprise AI companies are increasingly growing in value and relevance. Global IT spending is expected to soon reach, and surpass $3.8 trillion. Enterprise AI companies are at the heart of this growth. This article will explain not only what enterprise AI companies are but also what they produce. We'll also look at how enterprise AI companies are impacting in various fields such as finance, logistics, and healthcare. Enterprise AI companies produce enterprise software. This is also known as enterprise application software or EAS for short. Generally, EAS is a large-scale software developed with the aim of supporting or solving organization-wide problems. Software developed by enterprise AI companies can perform a number of different roles. Its function varies depending on the task and sector it is designed for. In other words, EAS is software that "takes care of a majority of tasks and problems inherent to the enterprise, then it can be defined as enterprise software". Lots of enterprise AI companies use a combination of machine learning, deep learning, and data science solutions. This combination enables complex tasks such as data preparation or predictive analytics to be carried out quickly and reliably. Some enterprise AI companies are established names, backed by decades of experience. Other enterprises AI companies are relative newcomers, adopting a fresh approach to AI and problem-solving. This article and infographic will seek to highlight a combination of both. And focus on the real competitors for mergers and acquisitions as well as product development. To help you identify the best AI enterprise software for your business, we've segmented the landscape of enterprise AI solutions into categories. A lot of these enterprise companies can be classified in multiple categories, however, we have focused on their primary differentiation features. You're welcome to re-use the infographic below as long as the content remains unmodified and in full. The automotive industry is at the cutting edge of using artificial intelligence to support, imitate, and augment human action. Self-driving car companies and semi-autonomous vehicles of the future will rely heavily on AI systems from leveraging advanced reaction times, mapping, and machine-based systems.


Waymo And Other Self-Driving Car Companies Readying Real-World Driverless Transportation

#artificialintelligence

The driverless taxi era has finally arrived, in parts of Arizona, at least. Two weeks after Alphabet-owned Waymo started its driverless taxi service to the public in Phoenix, other autonomous vehicle developers are following suit with test vehicles on public roads as well. Until spring this year, Waymo's self-driving vehicles were in their testing phase and were used in up to 10% of the firm's rides. The pandemic forced the company to shutter its doors and temporarily suspend on-road testing, but it is now back online and is expanding its operations. However, as is still required by law, the Waymo One taxi currently requires a human driver to be present to manage the car's autonomous operation and take control when necessary.