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China's Baidu Wants To Be An Autonomous Vehicle Powerhouse


Baidu's autonomous vehicle platform, Apollo, gets an upgrade. The Chinese IT firm, which started out ... [ ] as a Google imitator, is now going toe-to-toe with Google subsidiary Waymo, as well as Samsung and Intel. Baidu wants to one up Google on its AI powered car platform called Apollo. They might pull just pull it off. In any event, they at least have to be considered in the same league.

How do we know AI is ready to be in the wild? Maybe a critic is needed


Mischief can happen when AI is let loose in the world, just like any technology. The examples of AI gone wrong are numerous, the most vivid in recent memory being the disastrously bad performance of Amazon's facial recognition technology, Rekognition, which had a propensity to erroneously match members of some ethnic groups with criminal mugshots to a disproportionate extent. Given the risk, how can society know if a technology has been adequately refined to a level where it is safe to deploy? "This is a really good question, and one we are actively working on, "Sergey Levine, assistant professor with the University of California at Berkeley's department of electrical engineering and computer science, told ZDNet by email this week. Levine and colleagues have been working on an approach to machine learning where the decisions of a software program are subjected to a critique by another algorithm within the same program that acts adversarially.

The Newsletter


Autonomous truck company Ike recently received an order of 1000 trucks from DHL, Ryder and NFI. Logistics companies hope that the automation software and sensors that Ike has developed will save lives, improve operating margins and keep drivers close to home, said Ike. eDelivery reported that this solution is designed for long-haul highway driving, and will rely on human drivers to navigate the more complex routes. The Hyunday and Aptiv venture Motional released a dataset expansion of over 1.4 Billion annotated lidar points, reported VentureBeat. The dataset called NuScenes now includes NuImages, an aggregation of 100 000 2D images that represent challenging driving conditions designed to boost safety for AVs in complex situations. Instead of building fully autonomous planes from the ground-up, Californian startup Xwing has started to unveil its Autoflight System targeting an aircraft agnostic approach.

Lidar sensor manufacturer Ouster raises $42 million


Ouster, a San Francisco-based lidar startup that launched out of stealth in December 2017, today secured $42 million in funding, bringing its total raised to $140 million. Cofounder and CEO Angus Pacala says the fresh capital will be used to fund product development and support sales internationally. Lidar sensors are at the core of autonomous vehicle systems like those from Waymo, Uber, Aurora, and Cruise. These sensors measure the distance to objects by illuminating them with light and measuring the reflected pulses, and their use cases extend beyond the automotive sector. Lidar sensors are often tapped for obstacle detection and mapping in mining robots, atmospheric studies for space, forestry management, wind farm optimization, speed limit enforcement, and even video games.

What coronavirus means for the future of self-driving cars


Mashable's series Tech in 2025 explores how the challenges of today will dramatically change the near future. Where are the chilled out passengers on their phones, or napping, as an invisible "driver" navigates a crowded intersection? They're still mostly stuck in the backseat as a human driver shuttles them around. They're likely in a highly automated and autonomous-capable vehicle, but a human is still there monitoring the machine. The pandemic made us more comfortable with the idea of autonomous vehicles, but most industry experts still predict a slow transition to their widespread adoption in the U.S. When you're avoiding exposure to a deadly disease, perhaps a driverless robotaxi, like the Waymo One service in suburban Phoenix, looks more attractive.

The State of the Self-Driving Car Race 2020


If a driverless car is ever to become more than a novelty, it will require an abundance of experience or money. Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet Inc., has had scads of both since it emerged as a Google skunkworks project 11 years ago. Today, if you want to pay to ride in a truly driverless car, there is only one place in the country to do it: suburban Phoenix, where Waymo carries fares with no safety drivers in a handful of the Chrysler Pacifica vehicles. The general consensus in the industry is that Waymo remains ahead of the competition by a year or more, based on several milestones. In early March, the company announced that it had raised its first capital from outside investors--$2.3 billion from a smattering of institutions, including venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation, the country's largest car dealer.

Waymo Tests Autonomous Trucks in Texas


Waymo launched testing of autonomous trucks in Texas and announced plans to make Dallas the center of its heavy-duty vehicle technology efforts. Alphabet Inc.'s autonomous vehicle unit said in an Aug. 26 news release that it has begun testing Peterbilt trucks equipped with self-driving technology along Interstate 10, I-20 and I-45 in Texas. The company already has a passenger vehicle operations center in Phoenix that will be linked into its commercial vehicle testing network. It is focusing on trucking lanes that include Phoenix to Dallas, Dallas to Houston and Dallas to El Paso, Waymo told Transport Topics in a statement. Our #WaymoVia Class 8 trucks are arriving in Dallas this week. More than 1.2 billion tons of freight are moved on Texas highways, so we're excited to bring the #WaymoDriver there to continue our testing efforts across the Lone Star State.

How an Automated Data Labeling Platform Fuels Self-driving Industry?


NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / August 26, 2020 / "I'm extremely confident that self-driving cars or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think it will happen very quickly," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a virtual speech to the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in July, 2020. Musk mentioned Tesla will have basic functionality for level-five complete autonomy this year. The self-driving vehicles is not just hot in Silicon Valley. In China, the largest automobile market worldwide, companies are also getting on board to develop autonomous driving technology, including China's internet search tycoon Baidu, also referred to as the "Google of China." Baidu has been developing the autonomous driving technology through its "Apollo" project (also known as open-source Apollo platform) launched in April 2017.

Autonomous Vehicle Safety

Communications of the ACM

Jaynarayan H. Lala ( is a Senior Principal Engineering Fellow at Raytheon Technologies, San Diego, CA, USA. Carl E. Landwehr ( is a Research Scientist at George Washington University and a Visiting Professor at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. John F. Meyer ( is a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. This Viewpoint is derived from material produced as part of the Intelligent Vehicle Dependability and Security (IVDS) project of IFIP Working Group 10.4.

Full Self-Driving Cars Are Still A Long Way Off – Here's Why


A few days ago, the UK Department of Transport announced a consultation on Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS). This led to media outlets such as the BBC arguing that hands-free driving might be legal in the UK as soon as Spring 2021. But some went further, claiming this was a step towards self-driving cars by next year. Automated safety features are a significant part of cutting-edge car technology, so a major feature in most electric vehicles, although far from exclusively for EVs. Tesla TSLA in particular makes a lot of noise about its self-driving abilities, and contender Lucid is claiming it will go further with its Air.