Traffic signals serve to regulate the worst bottlenecks in highly populated areas but are not always very effective. Researchers at Penn State are hoping to use deep reinforcement learning to improve traffic signal efficiency in urban areas, thanks to a one-year, $22,443 Penn State Institute for CyberScience Seed Grant. Urban traffic congestion currently costs the U.S. economy $160 billion in lost productivity and causes 3.1 billion gallons of wasted fuel and 56 billion pounds of harmful CO2 emissions, according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard. Vikash Gayah, associate professor of civil engineering, and Zhenhui "Jessie" Li, associate professor of information sciences and technology, aim to tackle this issue by first identifying machine learning algorithms that will provide results consistent with traditional (theoretical) solutions for simple scenerios, and then building upon those algorithms by introducing complexities that cannot be readily addressed through traditional means. "Typically, we would go out and do traffic counts for an hour at certain peak times of day and that would determine signal timings for the next year, but not every day looks like that hour, and so we get inefficiency," Gayah said.
Toronto Pearson is one of North America's busiest airports. It handled 465,400 flights last year and processes over 45 percent of Canada's air cargo. In 2018, nearly 50 million passengers passed through its terminals. The demands of that vast amount of footfall, 24 hours a day, requires stringent organization. With airports serving as thriving commercial hubs, ensuring operations are smooth and customers remain satisfied is always one of the airport's core goals.
We hear a lot about how connected devices can support smarter cities. What are you working on? "I look at how to co-ordinate connected devices using artificial intelligence, in order to make complex systems work more efficiently. In particular, I use machine learning on linked systems such as traffic lights to help keep transport and pedestrians moving in cities, and on household appliances to use electricity more sustainably." How do you apply artificial intelligence to traffic lights?
Drone delivery service Wing is launching its own air-traffic control app to keep its craft safe in the skies. The company, owned by Google-parent Alphabet, recently started making deliveries in parts of Australia and Finland. Wing's new iOS and Android app aims to'help users comply with rules and plan flights more safely and effectively,' providing a rundown of airspace restrictions and hazards as well as events nearby that could interfere. The new app, Open Sky, is being released to drone flyers in Australia this month according to Wing. 'The design of our software has required a detailed understanding of flight rules -- along with buildings, roads, trees, and other terrain -- that allow aircraft to navigate safely at low altitudes, and we've used it to complete tens of thousands of flights on three continents,' Wing said in a blog post.
Yamato Transport and Rakuten are among a group of companies set to partner with the Japanese government to test unmanned delivery robots on public roads. The government will set up a council of officials from the public and private sectors next week to identify potential issues, including liability in the event of accidents and how to maintain safety. The group will also examine operating rules that could eventually be added to the Road Traffic Act. It is hoped that the robots will alleviate the labor shortage in Japan's logistics sector, as well as create new business opportunities. The robots are equipped with cameras and GPS to deliver goods without human intervention.
An estimated 7 million drones will be flying in the skies by 2020; Claudia Cowan reports on the new technology being developed to keep airports safe. But some people either don't care or use drones to intentionally disrupt airport operations. Last December, drone sightings at London's Gatwick Airport forced a three-day shutdown, and canceled flights left thousands of stranded passengers scrambling. No one has been arrested in the case, and this past April, investigators said it could have been an inside job. In recent months, suspected or confirmed drone activity has grounded flights in Dubai, New Zealand, Israel, and at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
The economy ministry plans to start testing unmanned ground vehicles on public roads by the end of March next year through cooperation with private-sector companies, hoping to put them into practical use soon. The ministry agreed Monday to establish a public-private council on UGVs. Members include e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc., Yamato Transport Co., Japan Post Co. and transport company Seino Holdings Co., as well as the National Police Agency, the transport ministry and local governments. The council is to identify challenges, including ways to secure the safety of UGVs on public roads and who would bear responsibility for accidents, officials said. The ministry is considering possible revisions to the road traffic law in fiscal 2020, which starts in April next year.
Digital Transformation is changing the way both Defence and commercial organisations are operating in the maritime, land and air environments. Artificial Intelligence, Machine speed decision making and Virtual, Augmented and Mixed reality visualisation tools will all be part of our digital offers in the future. Thales is looking to rapidly assess these new technologies and build collaborative relationships with best of breed partners from wider markets by conducting a Maritime Pioneers day on the 24th June 2019 at the Digital Catapult in London. Thales reviewed 21 applications from some of the UK's brightest and best start-ups and scale-ups in digital technologies, down selecting the six that responded most closely to the criteria, and whose products and expertise impressed the selection panel the most. Thales is exploring novel approaches to strategic decision-making, assessing tools and techniques that are applicable and scalable across all domains.
Several international airlines were diverting planes from flying over the Strait of Hormuz and parts of Iran on Friday, a day after the Iranian military shot down an American surveillance drone and the United States went to the brink of launching a retaliatory strike. The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order early Friday that prohibited all American flights in Tehran-controlled airspace above the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman because of "heightened military activities and increased political tensions." The agency said that flight operations in the area were prohibited "until further notice." United Airlines said in a statement that after a security assessment, it had suspended flights between Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and Mumbai, India, that typically fly through Iranian airspace. The German airline Lufthansa said in an emailed statement that its planes would not fly over the Strait of Hormuz and that the diversion area was likely to expand.
Before going to the world of integration, machine learning, etc., I would like to discuss with all of you about a scenario many of you might experience when you live in a mega city. I lived in the London suburbs for almost 2 years (and it's a city quite close to my heart too), so let me use London as this story's background. When I moved to London, one question which came to my mind was whether I should buy a car or not. The public transport system in London is quite dense and amazing (Oh!!! I just love the amazing London Underground and I miss it in Toronto).