Robotics & Automation

You can now get an online degree designing 'flying cars'


Self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun has shifted his gaze to the skies, as his Silicon Valley online school Udacity launches what it calls the first "nanodegree" in flying car engineering. With companies from Airbus and Amazon to Uber throttling up development of their own autonomous aerial vehicles, Thrun believes "in a few years time, this will be the hottest topic on the planet." As usual, Thrun intends to be on the cutting edge of this emerging technology. The 50-year-old PhD computer scientist and former Stanford University professor, co-founded Udacity in 2012 and says the online school's self-driving car program has attracted 50,000 applicants since 2016. He expects the new flying car curriculum, which opens in late February and begins taking applications on Tuesday, to draw at least 10,000.

Popular Applications of Artificial Intelligence


AI is relevant to any intellectual task.[204] Modern artificial intelligence techniques are pervasive and are too numerous to list here. Frequently, when a technique reaches mainstream use, it is no longer considered artificial intelligence; this phenomenon is described as the AI effect.[205] High-profile examples of AI include autonomous vehicles (such as drones and self-driving cars), medical diagnosis, creating art (such as poetry), proving mathematical theorems, playing games (such as Chess or Go), search engines (such as Google search), online assistants (such as Siri), image recognition in photographs, spam filtering, prediction of judicial decisions[206] and targeting online advertisements.[204][207][208] With social media sites overtaking TV as a source for news for young people and news organisations increasingly reliant on social media platforms for generating distribution,[209] major publishers now use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to post stories more effectively and generate higher volumes of traffic.[210]

The mystery of the cars abandoned in a robot car park

BBC News

The mystery of why a handful of cars were abandoned in a derelict car park in Edinburgh may have been solved. The £5m Autosafe SkyPark used robots to stack cars and was dubbed the "car park of the future" - but went into receivership in 2003. After lying empty for more than a decade, the building in Morrison Street is now being demolished. And the work has uncovered eight cars which were left behind when the doors were closed. Images of the abandoned vehicles has sparked a number of theories about why they were never removed.

Waymo to start testing self-driving cars in Atlanta

Daily Mail

Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit, would start testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, it said on Twitter on Monday. 'Atlanta is a major hub for technology and innovation, and a natural fit for Waymo's testing program,' Waymo said on Twitter. With over eight years of testing under its belt, Waymo is a pioneer of self-driving technology, and is already testing vehicles in suburban Phoenix, Michigan, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Waymo, Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit, would start testing its self-driving vehicles in Atlanta, it said on Twitter on Monday. While self-driving car companies test their vehicles in public, they routinely have a human in the driver's seat ready to take over if the technology fails.

Glasses could prevent motion sickness in self-driving cars

Daily Mail

Self-driving cars promise to be the transportation of the future, but one old-world problem could throw a wrench in the whole experience: motion sickness. It's likely that riders in self-driving vehicles will pass the time reading a book, checking their phone or watching a movie while they sit in an autonomous car - but, these activities all increase the likelihood of getting motion sick. University of Michigan researchers have developed a pair of prototype glasses that could prevent motion sickness in self-driving vehicles. The glasses sit on the bridge of the wearer's nose and have a built-in'light array system' to prevent motion sickness. The lights help to prevent nausea by mimicking the car's movement About half of adults struggle with motion sickness when they read a book in a moving vehicle.

'Mind-engaged vehicles will be a disruptive force' and other CES 2018 member comments


Each year in January, tech companies from all over the world gather in Las Vegas to show off their latest and greatest technology from self-driving cars, to robot assistants to the tiniest of TVs. Now that CES 2018 is over, let's take a look at what you thought about the hot (and not so hot) products and trends that will shape the year ahead. Charlie Osborne (Read more) Can autonomous systems which read your thoughts make driving safer as well as more enjoyable? ZDNet member onroda: So, this is not "driverless" technology, at all. Which means that, when the other fully autonomous vehicles hit the road, the mind-engaged vehicles will be a disruptive force, meaning that, it presents a danger to all the others using driveless vehicles.

And the award for most nauseating self-driving car goes to …


In many ways this year's CES looked a lot more like an autonomous-car show than a consumer electronics show. There were announcements aplenty from the likes of Ford, Baidu, Toyota, and others about self-driving vehicles, upcoming driving tests, and new partners. In a parking lot across from the Las Vegas Convention Center, several companies offered rides; you could even schedule a ride in a self-driving Lyft through the company's app and get dropped off at one of many casinos on the Strip. A couple of miles away in downtown Las Vegas, an eight-passenger autonomous shuttle bus ran in a loop around Fremont Street. It was part of an ongoing test between commuter transit company Keolis, autonomous-car maker Navya, and the city.

The lesser evil (the true paradox)


An autonomous car approaches a certain speed towards a group of people, so it activates the braking system in order to stop before hitting them, however this system fails and the car continues at the same speed in the direction of the group. What choice should Artificial Intelligence take that controls the car? Dilemmas like the one above have been running through our minds for a while. Isaac Asimov, in several of his stories, published numerous paradoxes of this kind. However, can they really show up?

The Amazing Ways Tesla Is Using Artificial Intelligence And Big Data


Tesla has become a household name as a leader and pioneer in the electric vehicle market, but it also manufactures and sells advanced battery and solar panel technology. As a tech pioneer with a significant interest in the race to build and market autonomous vehicles, it makes sense that today they would be deeply interested in artificial intelligence. However, it was only this month that the business's billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk publicly announced it is working on its own AI hardware. This is definitely interesting if not exactly surprising. Musk, after all, has been outspoken in his views about AI.

Uber Nearing Autonomous Cars Without Human Backup Driver

U.S. News

San Francisco-based Uber started carrying passengers with autonomous vehicles in 2016, first with two Uber employees on board, Meyhofer said. The person in the passenger seat documented the vehicle's behavior while the one on the driver's side would intervene if the car needed help. The vehicles have improved to the point where Uber has removed one of the humans and now the backup driver enters data on a screen in rare cases, Meyhofer said.