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.

Highway to The Future: Artificial Intelligence for Smart Vehicles


John Ludwig is an electrical engineer and the president of Xevo's Artificial Intelligence (AI) Group. Xevo is a tier-one OEM software company, located in Seattle, that manages automotive software for driver assistance, engagement, and in-vehicle entertainment. Its main product is the Xevo Market, a merchant-to-driver commerce platform that uses a vehicle's infotainment screen to make purchases and transations from inside the car. Xevo Market launched at the end of 2017 and is already available in millions of vehicles. Prior to working with Xevo, Ludwig was a software manager with Microsoft, overseeing operating systems and online service projects.

3D Civil Maps AWare of Renovo Software


Civil Maps, creator of the world's first edge-based HD mapping and localization platform for self-driving cars, today announced it has teamed up with Renovo, the software technology company behind AWare, to provide highly automated vehicle makers and technology providers with seamless access to Civil Maps' vehicular cognition stack. Through this technical collaboration, self-driving systems and other automotive modules that integrate with Renovo's AWare, the first OS built specifically for automated mobility, will be immediately compatible with several key aspects of Civil Maps' platform, a lightweight, highly scalable solution to HD map creation, usage, and continental-scale crowdsourcing. Moving forward, the two companies will work together to standardize abstraction layers that sit between Civil Maps' mapping and localization systems and OEM sensor configurations, decision engines, human machine interfaces (HMIs), and control systems. This collaboration will result in a universal interface, architected by Renovo, that will provide plug-and-play compatibility with Civil Maps' vehicular cognition stack for all other modules in the fast-growing AWare ecosystem, thereby providing significant time and cost savings for developers. "Interoperability is the right direction for the industry and we are excited to take this step forward with Renovo," said Sravan Puttagunta, CEO and Co-founder of Civil Maps.

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.

Tesla on autopilot sped up seconds before Utah crash

Daily Mail

A semi-autonomous Tesla car involved in a headline-making crash in Utah this month increased in speed by almost 10 kph just seconds before it smashed into a firetruck stopped at a red light. A police report of the incident says the electric Tesla Model S was on semi-autonomous Autopilot mode when it sped up from 55 mph (89 kph) to 60 mph (97 kph) in just 3.5 seconds before it hit the truck. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who issued a scathing attack on media credibility yesterday, has been vocal against those who criticize Tesla cars, despite growing concern about their safety. Both drivers of the Tesla and firetruck were left injured in the accident that has raised more concerns over the safety of Elon Musk's vehicles Police understand the Tesla was initially travelling at 55 mph (89 kph) to match the speed of another vehicle that may have changed lane, according to a report seen by Associated Press. It is thought the car then automatically sped up to its preset of 60 mph (97 kph) without noticing the stopped cars ahead of it.

Army builds robot attack tanks and ground war drones

FOX News

File photo - Troopers with the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division fire the main gun round at a target during unit gunnery practice with newly acquired M1A1-SA Abrams tanks at Fort Stewart, Georgia, U.S. March 29, 2018. Picture taken March 29, 2018. The Army is engineering high-tech autonomy kits designed to give "robot" tanks and other armored combat vehicles an ability to operate with little or no human intervention, bringing new tactical and operational dimensions to the future of ground combat. Unmanned systems, utilized in a fast-evolving, high-threat ground combat operation, could enable robot vehicles to carry supplies, test enemy defenses and even fire weapons – all while manned vehicles operate at a safer distance. "A kit of hardware and software can be installed into different ground platforms to increase the level of autonomy," Osie David, Chief Engineer for Mission Command, Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, told Warrior Maven in an interview.

Apple, Spurned by Others, Signs Deal With Volkswagen for Driverless Cars


Apple's deal with Volkswagen, which has not been previously reported, and the failure of its talks with other automakers reflect the continuing travails and diminished scope of the company's four-year-old car program. The project has suffered from repeated changes in direction that have hurt morale and led to hundreds of departures from its peak of more than 1,000 members two years ago, five former Apple employees said. They added that the project lacked a clear plan beyond the vans, including any near-term commercial goals. The fits and starts have most likely put Apple even further behind in the race toward the self-driving future. Waymo, the self-driving business spun out of Google, as well as start-ups and some carmakers have been testing various autonomous vehicles on public roads for years.

Uber self-driving car saw pedestrian but did not brake before crash

Daily Mail

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 maneuvers are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control'to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior'. Instead, Uber relies on a human backup driver to intervene but the system is not designed to alert the driver. Investigators examine a driverless Uber SUV that fatally struck a woman in Arizona. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while Uber's cars are under computer control In the crash in March, the driver Rafaela Vasquez 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.

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.