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Self-driving car conundrum: Tesla's latest crash raises concerns about Autopilot safety claims

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The perception that self-driving cars can really operate themselves without driver involvement is worrying automotive watchdogs, who say that some Americans have grown dangerously confident in the capabilities of semi-autonomous vehicles. Their comments come as electric vehicle maker Tesla's so-called Autopilot system is under scrutiny once again following a crash that killed two passengers in the Houston area late Saturday. "I would start by saying there are no self-driving cars despite what you may read about or what you've seen advertised," said Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "And there's certainly nothing anywhere close to self-driving that is in production right now." Tesla has been the most common target of critics for marketing that its vehicles are capable of "full self-driving" with an upgrade. They are not capable of full self-driving – and, in fact, Tesla says on its website that drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel at all times, ready to take over when the system is not able to steer, accelerate or brake on its own.


What Waymo's new leadership means for its self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car subsidiary, is reshuffling its top executive lineup. On April 2, John Krafcik, Waymo's CEO since 2015, declared that he will be stepping down from his role. He will be replaced by Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov, the company's former COO and CTO. Krafcik will remain as an advisor to the company. "[With] the fully autonomous Waymo One ride-hailing service open to all in our launch area of Metro Phoenix, and with the fifth generation of the Waymo Driver being prepared for deployment in ride-hailing and goods delivery, it's a wonderful opportunity for me to pass the baton to Tekedra and Dmitri as Waymo's co-CEOs," Krafcik wrote on LinkedIn as he declared his departure.


Walmart invests in GM-owned autonomous car startup Cruise

Engadget

Walmart is signaling its commitment to autonomous deliveries with a new investment in self-driving company Cruise. The two already have a cozy relationship, having recently worked together on a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. Walmart was so impressed with Cruise's "differentiated business, unique tech and unmatched driverless testing" that it decided to take part in the GM subsidiary's $2.75 billion funding round. The investment will see Cruise become an important part of the retailer's "last mile delivery ecosystem" -- industry parlance for the final journey from warehouse to customer. Walmart has struck additional partnerships on driverless deliveries with companies including Google's Waymo, Ford and Udelv.


Autonowashing And Waymo's Approach To Fully Autonomous Vehicles

#artificialintelligence

Waymo is a self-driving car company, but they don't particularly like using that terminology. Instead they prefer fully autonomous as a more accurate way to describe driverless or autonomous driving technology. What consumers may not fully understand is the difference between self-driving and fully autonomous. A self-driving car is a type of vehicle that can provide some level of automation like ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) or automatic cruise control. It still requires driver attention for proper operation or it can lead to accidents.


The CPSC Digs In On Artificial Intelligence - Consumer Protection - United States

#artificialintelligence

American households are increasingly connected internally through the use of artificially intelligent appliances.1 But who regulates the safety of those dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, and vacuums powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? On March 2, 2021, at a virtual forum attended by stakeholders across the entire industry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminded us all that it has the last say on regulating AI and machine learning consumer product safety. The CPSC is an independent agency comprised of five commissioners who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve staggered seven-year terms. With the Biden administration's shift away from the deregulation agenda of the prior administration and three potential opportunities to staff the commission, consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers should expect increased scrutiny and enforcement.2


The CPSC Digs In on Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

American households are increasingly connected internally through the use of artificially intelligent appliances.1 But who regulates the safety of those dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators, and vacuums powered by artificial intelligence (AI)? On March 2, 2021, at a virtual forum attended by stakeholders across the entire industry, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminded us all that it has the last say on regulating AI and machine learning consumer product safety. The CPSC is an independent agency comprised of five commissioners who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to serve staggered seven-year terms. With the Biden administration's shift away from the deregulation agenda of the prior administration and three potential opportunities to staff the commission, consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers should expect increased scrutiny and enforcement.2


Will Self-Driving Cars Disrupt The Insurance Industry?

#artificialintelligence

Automated vehicles are rapidly advancing in capability, altering the risks and liabilities ... [ ] traditionally associated with driving. Self-driving vehicles should ideally accomplish a few things: convenience for operators/owners of vehicles, cost reduction for commercial vehicles (no driver), and safer roads (fewer and less severe crashes). This last item, if true, will significantly lower the risks traditionally associated with driving. In fact, the removal of the driver fundamentally alters the liabilities that insurance companies have spent almost a century covering. As liabilities and risks shift, how vehicles are insured and the costs of that insurance will change, disrupting a $300B industry and creating opportunities for innovation. The US Department of Transportation rates a vehicle's ability to self-drive from Level 0 (none) to Level 5 (fully autonomous).


TuSimple's IPO filing reveals roadblocks for self-driving startups with Chinese ties – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

While the governments of the United States and China are pushing policies for technological decoupling, private tech firms continue to tap resources from both sides. In the field of autonomous vehicles, it's common to see Chinese startups -- or startups with a strong Chinese link -- keep operations and seek investments in both countries. But as these companies mature and expand globally, their ties to China also come under increasing scrutiny. When TuSimple, a self-driving truck company headquartered in San Diego, filed for an initial public offering on Nasdaq this week, its prospectus flagged a regulatory risk due to its Chinese funding source. On March 1, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) requested a written notice from TuSimple regarding an investment by Sun Dream, an affiliate of Sina Corporation, which runs China's biggest microblogging platform Sina Weibo.


TuSimple IPO Filing Shows Self-Driving Trucks Still a Money-Loser

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Self-driving company TuSimple Inc. unveiled paperwork for its initial public offering Tuesday showing it has lost more than $300 million over the past three years in the race to be the first to launch fully autonomous long-haul trucks. TuSimple had already filed confidentially for an IPO, The Wall Street Journal reported, and the Tuesday filing offered the public the first detailed look at a startup that has attracted more funding than many of its Silicon Valley counterparts and maintained split operations in California and China. Its China connections have caught the attention of U.S. regulators. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, has identified TuSimple as a company meriting review because of its ties to China and because autonomous driving technology is considered a critical technology for the Department of Defense. Cfius alerted TuSimple this month that it was probing a Chinese investment in the company from 2017, according to the IPO filing.


White Paper Machine Learning in Certified Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Machine Learning (ML) seems to be one of the most promising solution to automate partially or completely some of the complex tasks currently realized by humans, such as driving vehicles, recognizing voice, etc. It is also an opportunity to implement and embed new capabilities out of the reach of classical implementation techniques. However, ML techniques introduce new potential risks. Therefore, they have only been applied in systems where their benefits are considered worth the increase of risk. In practice, ML techniques raise multiple challenges that could prevent their use in systems submitted to certification constraints. But what are the actual challenges? Can they be overcome by selecting appropriate ML techniques, or by adopting new engineering or certification practices? These are some of the questions addressed by the ML Certification 3 Workgroup (WG) set-up by the Institut de Recherche Technologique Saint Exup\'ery de Toulouse (IRT), as part of the DEEL Project.