Automobiles & Trucks


Amazon EU Press Releases

#artificialintelligence

Today, Amazon and the Max Planck Society announced that they intend to enter into a strategic collaboration to promote research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Amazon plans to build an Amazon Research Center adjacent to the campus of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tuebingen. As part of the Cyber Valley initiative, the new center intends to bring together international key players from science and industry to concentrate their research activities in the field of AI. Amazon plans to invest 1.25 million Euro over the coming years to fund research groups in Tuebingen's Cyber Valley tech initiative. Cyber Valley was launched in December 2016 and focuses on AI research, such as robotics, machine learning and computer vision.


Renault's self-driving car can avoid obstacles like pro drivers

Engadget

The Renault Group announced today that its autonomous vehicle control system can avoid obstacles just as well as professional test drivers. The company said that in designing the system, it was actually inspired by these drivers' abilities and used them as a sort of benchmark as to what level its technology should be performing. "Despite popular belief, the reality is that human beings are pretty amazing drivers, with less than one fatality per 100,000,000 kilometers in most developed countries," Simon Hougard, director of the Renault Open Innovation Lab, wrote in a Medium post. "Reaching and exceeding that benchmark is essential to improve safety and realize our dreams of autonomous cars, providing more productivity during our morning commutes and robo-vehicle services in city centers." The technology is a result of Renault's collaboration with Stanford University Dynamic Design Lab Director Chris Gerdes, who's also a former US Department of Transportation Chief Innovation Officer, and Renault says it will help with its goal to be one of the first companies to bring "mind off" technology to the public.


AutoNation announces Waymo fleet repair deal, shares jump

Daily Mail

US auto retailer AutoNation Inc announced a multi-year partnership on Thursday to support Alphabet Inc's Waymo self-driving car unit, including vehicle maintenance and repairs as the company adds new brands into its fleet, sending its shares up 13 percent to a high for the year. That news was accompanied by a better-than expected third-quarter profit as AutoNation performed well despite the impact of hurricanes during the quarter. There is fierce competition between large automakers to bring self-driving cars to market first. Lauderdale, Florida-based AutoNation is the latest in a series of recent partnerships the self-driving unit has formed. Google has revealed the self driving minivans it hopes could revolutionize the way we travel.


Tesla reports biggest-ever quarterly loss, Model 3 delays

Daily Mail

Tesla racked up a $619 million loss in the third quarter, its biggest-ever, driving its shares sharply lower as the electric-car maker spends to speed up production of its more affordable Model 3 sedan. The company, led by Silicon Valley star Elon Musk, also confirmed it had missed its Model 3 production goal for the third quarter, producing only 260 vehicles compared to an earlier estimate of 1,500. Its shares fell 5.4 percent in after hours trading. The company said it had $3.53 billion in cash and cash-equivalents as of Sept. 30, compared to $3.04 billion at the end of the second quarter. Tesla said last month it delivered 26,150 vehicles in the third quarter, a 4.5 percent rise on the same period of 2016, but added that "production bottlenecks" had left the company behind its planned ramp-up for the $35,000 Model 3. On Wednesday it said it now hoped to achieve a production rate of 5,000 per month by the end of the first quarter of next year, pushed back from the end of this year.


There's an Apple-like acquisition trend in the self-driving car space

Mashable

Ford's self-driving car subsidiary Argo AI has acquired Princeton Lightwave, a LiDAR producer, in a move to take ownership of its supply chain, which is becoming more common in the autonomous vehicle (AV) development space. LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection And Ranging, are sensors used by AVs to determine how far away objects are in the world around it to create a 3D map of road conditions. The system works by sending out lightwaves from lasers that bounce off objects before returning to the sensor, similar to how more commonly understood tools like radar and sonar function. Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky announced the acquisition in a Medium post, calling the sensor tech "crucial" to the development of Argo's autonomous platform. He wrote that the move to bring Princeton onboard makes Argo "uniquely positioned" to build out its hardware and software systems together, which presumably gives the company more direct control over how the platform works as one, along with cutting costs by owning the means of LiDAR production.


Boston self-driving car start-up nuTonomy inks $450M Delphi deal

Boston Herald

Boston self-driving car start-up nuTonomy, which has been testing its autonomous cars in the Seaport since the beginning of the year, has agreed to be acquired by auto parts manufacturer Delphi for as much as $450 million, the companies said. "We're now a significant step forward towards delivering on the technology," said Karl Iagnemma, chief executive of nuTonomy. "This acquisition puts the combined team in the pole position to be one of the winners in the global AV race." Delphi's acquisition will include a $400 million up-front payment, with an additional $50 million in possible additional payments. "The acquisition of nuTonomy and bringing them in really helps us expand our scale and our capabilities," said Glen De Vos, chief technology officer of Delphi.


Tesla's Model 3 'production hell' is testing Elon Musk's fix-as-you-go carmaking model

Los Angeles Times

When Elon Musk talks about the future of factory automation at Tesla, he envisions new breeds of robots and smart machines compressed in dense factories with little room for human operators, guided by self-learning software. "At the point at which the factory looks like an "alien dreadnought" -- a nod to a video game spaceship -- "you know you've won," Musk has told investors. But so far, the manufacturing of Tesla's new all-electric compact sedan, the Model 3, at its Fremont, Calif., factory is moving at a more earthbound pace. When Musk launched the car at an elaborate stage show in July, Tesla was anticipating a production rate of 20,000 Model 3s a month by the end of December. Over three months through September, though, Tesla had produced only 260 Model 3s -- about three cars a day.


If you own a Ford pickup truck, it probably just got recalled

Mashable

Ford has issued a recall of approximately 1.3 million of its vehicles. SEE ALSO: A futurist and innovations expert explains what is and isn't real about AI in movies Ford announced today that the recalled models lack a shield to protect their side doors' latches from water. This is a problem because water can severely damage a door's latch or actuation cable, the cable that facilitates the opening and closing of the door. If a cable or latch is damaged by water or freezes, it can stop the door from being able to open or close. It could also make your car door unable to fully close, putting it at risk of flying open while you're driving.


Canada is officially testing driverless cars on public streets

#artificialintelligence

Canada is celebrating a technological milestone after its first official self-driving car test on public roads last week. The street test was conducted in Ottawa's west end using technology developed by Blackberry. The city of Ottawa announced a partnership with Blackberry's QNX team, the operating system arm of the company which is developing self-driving vehicle software. "With support from BlackBerry QNX and its Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center and by working closely with all our partners, we are facilitating smart initiatives and research, and fuelling innovation and job creation in Ottawa," said the city's mayor, Jim Watson in a press release. The test was not run in real-life conditions as the roads were closed during the demonstration.


NVIDIA AI platform promises fully autonomous taxis by 2018: Is it possible?

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On Tuesday, NVIDIA unveiled the world's first artificial intelligence (AI) computer designed to drive fully autonomous vehicles by mid-2018. The new system, named Pegasus, extends the NVIDIA Drive PX AI computing platform to operate vehicles with Level 5 autonomy--without steering wheels, pedals, or mirrors. New types of cars will be invented, resembling offices, living rooms or hotel rooms on wheels. "The company hasn't claimed to have developed all the software, hardware, and data needed for automated driving; it's merely announced that it plans to market a chip that in theory could support the hardware and software envisioned for such a system," Walker Smith said.