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Apple car rumours addressed by Tim Cook: 'we'll see'

The Independent - Tech

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has addressed rumours that his company is building a car in a new interview. While he declined to confirm any real details of what Apple is planning to release – if anything – he did give an indication of what the company might look to do if it does release a car, as rumoured. He noted that "an autonomous car is a robot" and that Apple looks to integrate hardware and software in all of its products. But the company "investigate so many things internally", many of which never actually "see the light of day", he told Kara Swisher in an interview for her New York Times podcast, Sway. In the same intervew, Mr Cook also discussed his commitment to free speech, his hope that controversial social media app Parler could return to the App Store, and Apple's ongoing fight with competitors including Facebook.

Tim Cook says he never met Elon Musk, is very coy about Apple Car


Tim Cook confirmed what we were already pretty sure we knew: He never met with Elon Musk about Apple acquiring Tesla. In a wide-ranging New York Times interview with Kara Swisher, the Apple CEO briefly spoke about his company's pursuit of a foothold in the growing self-driving car space. Cook exhibited typical corporate shyness regarding Apple's vehicle projects, but he did make it clear that he has, in fact, never communicated directly with Musk. "You know, I've never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he's built," Cook told the Times. "I think Tesla has done an unbelievable job of not only establishing the lead, but keeping the lead for such a long period of time in the EV space. So I have great appreciation for them."

Explanations in Autonomous Driving: A Survey Artificial Intelligence

The automotive industry is seen to have witnessed an increasing level of development in the past decades; from manufacturing manually operated vehicles to manufacturing vehicles with high level of automation. With the recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), automotive companies now employ high performance AI models to enable vehicles to perceive their environment and make driving decisions with little or no influence from a human. With the hope to deploy autonomous vehicles (AV) on a commercial scale, the acceptance of AV by society becomes paramount and may largely depend on their degree of transparency, trustworthiness, and compliance to regulations. The assessment of these acceptance requirements can be facilitated through the provision of explanations for AVs' behaviour. Explainability is therefore seen as an important requirement for AVs. AVs should be able to explain what they have 'seen', done and might do in environments where they operate. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey of the existing work in explainable autonomous driving. First, we open by providing a motivation for explanations and examining existing standards related to AVs. Second, we identify and categorise the different stakeholders involved in the development, use, and regulation of AVs and show their perceived need for explanation. Third, we provide a taxonomy of explanations and reviewed previous work on explanation in the different AV operations. Finally, we draw a close by pointing out pertinent challenges and future research directions. This survey serves to provide fundamental knowledge required of researchers who are interested in explanation in autonomous driving.

Teaching Home Robots


At TRI, our goal is to make breakthrough capabilities in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Despite recent advancements in AI, the large amount of data collection needed to deploy systems in unstructured environments continues to be a burden. Data collection in computer vision can be both quite costly and time-consuming, largely due to the process of annotating. Annotating data is typically done by a team of labelers, who are provided a long list of rules for how to handle different scenarios and what data to collect. For complex systems like a home robot or a self-driving car, these rules must be constantly refined, which creates an expensive feedback loop.

ByteDance Said to Invest in Chinese Self-Driving Startup QCraft


Chinese social media titan ByteDance Ltd. is investing in local autonomous driving startup QCraft Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, another sign of the blurring of boundaries between car companies and Big Tech. The owner of Tiktok is investing in QCraft's latest fundraising round of at least $25 million, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. QCraft's technology is being trialed in minibuses in parts of China. A ByteDance spokesperson had no immediate comment. A representative for QCraft declined to comment.

Honda to start offering world's first level-3 autonomous car on Friday

The Japan Times

Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will start offering from Friday the revamped Legend sedan in Japan equipped with "level-3" autonomous technology as the auto industry faces intensifying competition to develop driverless vehicles and a collision-free society. It is the world's first vehicle to hit the market that allows the driver to engage in different tasks such as reading and watching TV when the car is in certain conditions such as congested traffic on expressways, the Japanese transport ministry said. But in the case of an emergency the driver needs to take full control of the vehicle. "Autonomous technology has the potential to reduce the driver's burden while eliminating human errors that cause traffic accidents," Yoichi Sugimoto, executive chief engineer of Honda R&D Co., said in an online press conference. Honda plans to offer 100 units domestically for a suggested retail price of ¥11 million ($103,000) that will only be available on a three-year lease.

Self-Driving Cars In Space


Geely, a Chinese automotive manufacturer that also owns Volvo, announced will launch hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of satellites, in order to support V2X and V2V communication. The launches are a little ways down the road -- the current press release touts breaking ground on the facility that will manufacture the satellites. "Geely Technology Group knows how to start the Lunar New Year right -- with important news regarding its future low-orbit exploits. On February 18th 2021, its Taizhou Facility was given its license to begin the commercial manufacturing of its satellites, which will be ultimately used for realizing Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to X-(V2X) communications to realize full autonomous self-driving. The license, awarded by China's National Development and Reform Commission, essentially means that the factory, located in Geely Group's original hometown of Taizhou in Zhejiang Province, can begin production. When production begins, at present planned for October of this year, the facility will have an estimated production output of over 500 satellites per year."

Image Classification using CNN for Traffic Signs in Pakistan Artificial Intelligence

The autonomous automotive industry is one of the largest and most conventional projects worldwide, with many technology companies effectively designing and orienting their products towards automobile safety and accuracy. These products are performing very well over the roads in developed countries. But can fail in the first minute in an underdeveloped country because there is much difference between a developed country environment and an underdeveloped country environment. The following study proposed to train these Artificial intelligence models in environment space in an underdeveloped country like Pakistan. The proposed approach on image classification uses convolutional neural networks for image classification for the model. For model pre-training German traffic signs data set was selected then fine-tuned on Pakistan's dataset. The experimental setup showed the best results and accuracy from the previously conducted experiments. In this work to increase the accuracy, more dataset was collected to increase the size of images in every class in the data set. In the future, a low number of classes are required to be further increased where more images for traffic signs are required to be collected to get more accuracy on the training of the model over traffic signs of Pakistan's most used and popular roads motorway and national highway, whose traffic signs color, size, and shapes are different from common traffic signs.

The race to put cars in the cloud is … confusing


Back in 2018, Elon Musk's SpaceX put the first car in space. A flurry of press releases suggest that the (surely simpler?) race to put cars -- and carmakers -- into the cloud is far from over. Last week, Volkswagen Group jumped into Microsoft's Azure cloud to "accelerate the development of automated driving." But the company is also a fan of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and previously announced a relationship with Azure back in 2018. Earlier this month, Ford picked Google as its preferred (but not only) cloud.

Hyundai's New Chairman Charts High-Tech Future---Without Apple, for Now WSJD - Technology

When Hyundai Motor Group's new chairman Chung Eui-sun took over last fall, he outlined a bold road map for a future where flying vehicles and robots make up as much business as typical gas-guzzling cars. A few months later, he would get a big opportunity to reshape the company along his stated design: a potential deal with Apple Inc. to build driverless cars. Investors cheered a promising union between Apple, the world's most valuable company, and a new Hyundai with Mr. Chung at the helm. Groomed his entire life to run the auto empire, Mr. Chung, the 50-year-old grandson of Hyundai's founder, has shirked convention, down to often changing the color on his company car--occasionally opting for gold or navy blue--instead of keeping the standard-issue black. He earned his M.B.A. in San Francisco during the 1990s dot-com boom and has become one of the auto industry's most outspoken technologists.