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Zoox robotaxis are already mingling with the public on semi-private test courses – TechCrunch

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Zoox has built dozens of custom-built electric robotaxis and is testing them in one or more "semi-private courses" in California, according to the company's co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson. "We have dozens of them -- not hundreds yet, but it's very far into the double digits, said Levinson, referring to the total number of robotaxis built and in testing. The disclosure, which came up in a wide-ranging interview with media, suggests that the Amazon subsidiary is ramping up in preparation to begin testing its electric robotaxis on public roads. Zoox currently tests Toyota Highlander vehicles equipped with its self-driving system in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Foster City, California, near its headquarters, and recently expanded testing to Seattle as well. Those vehicles all have human safety drivers behind the wheel. Zoox plans to launch commercially with its purpose-built autonomous vehicle, which is loaded with sensors, can drive bidrectionally, has four-wheel steering and is capable of transporting four people at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. The company unveiled the cube-like vehicle in December 2020, before largely disappearing from public view. It turns out this vehicle is being tested on open roads in campus-like settings. Levinson wouldn't disclose exactly where the robotaxis are, but said it was not a closed campus with only Zoox employees. "You can imagine, you know, campuses or research facilities," he said. "What I mean by open roads is that the people that we're interacting with, whether they're bicyclists, pedestrians, (other) vehicles, they're not other Zoox agents.


Vietnamese electric carmaker VinFast to launch autonomous vehicles

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Vietnamese electric carmaker VinFast plans to launch autonomous vehicles this year and next, the company told UPI News Korea. VinFest displayed five models last week during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including the VF8, which would start at $41,000, and the VF9 at $56,000. Those models are expected to roll out this year. The startup's team includes Chief Technology Officer Bae Hong-sang, a former executive at Samsung Electronics. Bae said in an interview that VinFast is planning to launch Level 3 autonomous vehicles next year.


Here's all the revolutionary, innovative, and wacky tech from CES 2022

Mashable

Another year, another CES draws to a close. But this year, everything was a tad… eerier. The famously crowded Consumer Electronics Show returned to Las Vegas for 2022, hoping to reunite tech enthusiasts in shoulder-to-shoulder showrooms for in-person demos and keynotes. Alas, amidst the ongoing pandemic and the latest Omicron surge, many publications and companies chose to stay home and tune in virtually. The resulting hybrid event featured many empty showroom floors. The tech companies still had plenty to show off to audiences, both virtually and in person.


The weirdest stuff we saw at CES 2022: John Deere's self-driving tractor, robot masseuses

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

LAS VEGAS – CES 2022 lacked its usual crowds and some of its headline acts, but the gadget show that returned to this city after the pandemic forced it to go online-only last year retained a certain exuberant weirdness. You can count on the technology industry to supply more possibilities than the market will necessarily demand. And you can expect many of those to surface at the Arlington, Virginia-based Consumer Technology Association's annual gathering, even if they never make it to any store. The big-name vendors that scrapped plans to exhibit in person over fear of the aggressively-spreading omicron variant still had paid-up show-floor space. That led to such minimalist workarounds as LG's "Life's Good Lounge," an expanse of plywood adorned with QR codes for attendees to scan to get more information about products they could not see or touch.


Invisible headphones to chameleon cars: standout tech from CES 2022

The Guardian

From colour-shifting cars to digital art TVs and stress-predicting watches, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which opened on Wednesday, offered its usual mix of wacky, visionary and desirable goods. Here are some of the highlights. The non fungible token, which confers ownership of a unique digital item such as a work of art, became a multi-billion dollar market in 2021 and Samsung announced a new TV feature that allows enthusiasts to browse, display and buy NFT-based art. Given how much some NFTs cost, you may not have much left over to pay for the screen. Nowatch has produced a smartwatch that monitors your cortisol levels to predict stress.


Tesla's Cameras-only Autonomous System Stirs Controversy

International Business Times

As it pursues the goal of fully autonomous driving, Tesla has bet entirely on cameras and artificial intelligence, shunning other commonly used tools such as laser detection. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has touted a system built around eight "surround" cameras that feed data into the auto's "deep neural network," according to Tesla's website. But as with so many other things involving Tesla, there is controversy. At the giant Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Luminar Technologies has set up a demonstration of two autos moving at about 30 miles per-hour towards the silhouette of a child. A car utilizing Luminar's lidar, a laser-based system, stops in advance of trouble, while its rival, a Tesla, careens into the mannequin.


Tesla Is No Longer Alone With 'Full Self Driving' Promises

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Driverless cars--the kind consumers can actually buy--are inching closer to becoming a reality. The caveat, particularly for Tesla investors, is that this isn't a race any particular vehicle brand is likely to win. Electric vehicles have predictably taken center stage at this week's semi-virtual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but there has been an eye-catching secondary role for autonomous vehicles. In her keynote speech Wednesday, General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra said her teams are aiming to deliver a consumer-oriented driverless car "as soon as the middle of this decade."


CES 2022: AI is driving innovation in 'smart' tech

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Despite all the stories about big companies bailing out of CES 2022 amidst the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas is still the place to be for robots, autonomous vehicles, smart gadgets, and their inventors -- an opportunity to take stock of what's required to build practical machine intelligence into a consumer product. OrCam and Sonatus are among the companies no longer planning to travel to Las Vegas or announce products at CES, and it's possible some of the other vendors VentureBeat interviewed in advance of the event will also be no-shows. Big names like Microsoft, Google, Intel, Amazon, and T-Mobile backed out in recent weeks. Augmented reality, virtual reality, and the metaverse will be topics of discussion that will have to proceed without Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook). Automotive tech will be a big theme of the event, but General Motors, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz decided not to make the drive (GM's all-digital presence is still supposed to include a video keynote from CEO Mary Barra on Wednesday).


Sony Looks to Sell Its Own Electric Vehicles

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Sony first displayed an EV sedan at CES two years ago, but it said at the time it didn't necessarily plan to sell a Sony car. The initial prototype served to show off Sony's image sensors, which can be a key part of autonomous driving systems. The new Las Vegas announcement suggested Sony does plan to sell vehicles under its own brand rather than merely supplying its technology to other car makers. The company said it would establish a company called Sony Mobility Inc. in the spring. The EV market is getting increasingly crowded with Tesla Inc. leading the pack of EV-only companies competing against traditional car makers, almost all of which have announced ambitious plans to expand their EV offerings.


These Will Be The Hot Topics At CES 2022

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CES 2022 will put the spotlight on electric vehicles, digital health, the metaverse and other hot technologies when the trade show officially opens on Wednesday. But the resurgent Covid-19 pandemic threatens to overshadow the innovations on display. CES 2022 officially runs Jan. 5-7, but preshow media events begin on Monday. The upcoming show will be a hybrid event with an in-person conference in Las Vegas along with an online component for those who can't attend the physical show. On Friday, organizers shortened the physical show by one day.