Robotics & Automation

Driverless shuttles will beat other autonomous vehicles to the road


Shared autonomous vehicles, self-driving buses, driverless shuttles -- whatever you call them, these vehicles are beating autonomous cars to the road. While companies like Waymo, GM's Cruise, Lyft, Uber, Baidu, Tesla, and others continue testing personal vehicles that can drive themselves, others are focusing efforts away from personal transit options and seeing how autonomous tech can move crowds at school campuses, residential communities, office parks, business districts, and event spaces. Just this week the New York Times uncovered that Apple's self-driving car program is refocusing on an employee shuttle with Volkswagen vans. That's why these shared vehicles are more appealing within the industry -- in more controlled, predictable, contained environments computer-controlled vehicles have more of a chance of staying on course and getting to the destination without any issues. That college campus in Florida only has so many busy intersections and complicated turns for a vehicle to track and navigate.

10 ways drones are changing the world


This week Dezeen released Elevation, an 18-minute documentary that explores the impact drones will have on our lives. Here, we take a look at 10 innovative ways drones will change the world. Customers of supermarket giant Walmart may soon be able to summon assistance from unmanned aerial vehicles using mobile electronic devices. The vehicles will help locate products in store and advise on prices by crosscheck information stored on the store's central databases. PriestmanGoode's fleet of urban delivery drones, called Dragonfly, are featured in Dezeen's documentary.

Uber shutters self-driving car testing program in Arizona


Uber today announced it was shutting down its self-driving car test program in Arizona, this a mere two months after the company began investigating a fatal incident involving an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian. What it means: For the 200 or so Uber employees working on the Tempe-based project it means a pink slip. According to a report from AZCentral, the local site that broke the news, the company sent notification early Wednesday morning letting workers know they'd be out of work within a few weeks. It's set to continue testing in Pittsburgh and California. We're committed to self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the near future.

Uber's Self-Driving Car Didn't Malfunction, It Was Just Bad

The Atlantic

On March 18, at 9:58 p.m., a self-driving Uber car killed Elaine Herzberg. The vehicle was driving itself down an uncomplicated road in suburban Tempe, Arizona, when it hit her. Herzberg, who was walking across the mostly empty street, was the first pedestrian killed by an autonomous vehicle. The preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report on the incident, released on Thursday, shows that Herzberg died because of a cascading series of errors, human and machine, which present a damning portrait of Uber's self-driving testing practices at the time. Perhaps the worst part of the report is that Uber's system functioned as designed.

NTSB: Uber Self-Driving Car Had Disabled Emergency Brake System Before Fatal Crash


A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. A vehicle drives by the spot where an Uber self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year in Tempe, Ariz. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report Thursday on the collision. The Uber self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a pedestrian two months ago in Tempe, Ariz., took note of the victim with its sensors, but its software did not engage the car's brakes to prevent the collision, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The AI in your non-autonomous car


Your next car probably won't be autonomous. But, it will still have artificial intelligence (AI). While most of the attention has been on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving, AI will penetrate far deeper into the car. These overlooked areas offer fertile ground for incumbents and startups alike. Where is the fertile ground for these features?

Uber self-driving car 'saw woman but didn't brake before crash'

New Scientist

An autonomous Uber car spotted a pedestrian about six seconds before fatally hitting her but did not stop because the system used to automatically apply brakes in potentially dangerous situations had been disabled, US federal investigators said. In a preliminary report on the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said emergency braking manoeuvres are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control "to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behaviour". Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene but the system is not designed to alert the driver. In the crash in March, the driver began steering less than a second before impact but did not brake until less than a second after impact, according to the preliminary report, which does not determine fault. A video of the crash showed the driver looking down just before the vehicle struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona.

11 technologies set to shape smart manufacturing


Five years ago, MHI CEO George Prest and his team set out on a trip across the country to ask materials handling stakeholders a simple question: Where do you see the industry in 2025? The answer, he found, was that the business community was on a rapid path to change. Everyone involved in the supply chain had begun to speak a different language, bringing up 3D printing, drones and autonomous vehicles as the future. "That was all really foreign to us," Prest told Supply Chain Dive, reflecting on the experience. But now, he added, you can see all that technology and its benefits on trade show floors.

Feds: Uber Self-Driving SUV Saw Pedestrian; Did Not Brake

U.S. News

The NTSB report comes a day after Uber pulled its self-driving cars out of Arizona, eliminating the jobs of about 300 people who served as backup drivers and performed other jobs connected to the vehicles. Uber had suspended testing of its self-driving vehicles in Arizona, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto while regulators investigated the cause of the March 18 crash.

The Uber Accident, Waymo Technology And The Future Of Self-Driving Cars

Forbes Technology

As the writer William Gibson once said, "The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." That is especially true when it comes to self-driving cars. While the Uber accident a few weeks ago hit the brakes on its self-driving tests in Arizona, it didn't stop other companies from testing their technologies. In fact, Waymo, Google's self-driving car company, continued its driverless car tests in Arizona. It also applied for a permit to do the same in California and will be starting a driverless taxi service this year in Phoenix.