It was reported that Venture Capital investments into AI related startups made a significant increase in 2018, jumping by 72% compared to 2017, with 466 startups funded from 533 in 2017. PWC moneytree report stated that that seed-stage deal activity in the US among AI-related companies rose to 28% in the fourth-quarter of 2018, compared to 24% in the three months prior, while expansion-stage deal activity jumped to 32%, from 23%. There will be an increasing international rivalry over the global leadership of AI. President Putin of Russia was quoted as saying that "the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world". Billionaire Mark Cuban was reported in CNBC as stating that "the world's first trillionaire would be an AI entrepreneur".
Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) recently hosted its annual Baidu World Conference in Beijing to showcase its latest technologies. The theme of this year's conference was the "Intelligence of Everything," with a heavy emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in cars, wearables, and other connected devices. Let's examine four of these new AI technologies, how they'll expand Baidu's ecosystem, and whether or not they can strengthen its core business -- which still faces stiff competition from growing rivals like Tencent (OTC:TCEH.Y), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), and ByteDance. Baidu announced that its autonomous vehicles have undergone six million kilometers of open road tests, carried 100,000 passengers across 27 cities, and experienced zero accidents. Baidu also showcased a fully autonomous robotaxi, which can carry passengers without a backup driver, and a new autonomous valet parking feature, and revealed a 5G "remote driving" feature which will allow human drivers to remotely control vehicles in case of emergencies.
Baidu's autonomous vehicle platform, Apollo, gets an upgrade. The Chinese IT firm, which started out ... [ ] as a Google imitator, is now going toe-to-toe with Google subsidiary Waymo, as well as Samsung and Intel. Baidu wants to one up Google on its AI powered car platform called Apollo. They might pull just pull it off. In any event, they at least have to be considered in the same league.
Baidu launched its Apollo Go robotaxi service in the Chinese cities of Changsha and Cangzhou back in August, shortly after announcing that its autonomous driving computer is ready for use on the streets. Now, Apollo Go has also made its way to Beijing, making it the first autonomous car service operating in the nation's capital. Apollo Go's service area in Beijing encompasses 435 miles of road with 100 pick-up and drop-off stations across several residential and business areas. Baidu says it has the longest road network for a manned autonomous driving test in China. The tech giant will start operations with 40 autonomous vehicles in the capital.
Autonomous truck company Ike recently received an order of 1000 trucks from DHL, Ryder and NFI. Logistics companies hope that the automation software and sensors that Ike has developed will save lives, improve operating margins and keep drivers close to home, said Ike. eDelivery reported that this solution is designed for long-haul highway driving, and will rely on human drivers to navigate the more complex routes. The Hyunday and Aptiv venture Motional released a dataset expansion of over 1.4 Billion annotated lidar points, reported VentureBeat. The dataset called NuScenes now includes NuImages, an aggregation of 100 000 2D images that represent challenging driving conditions designed to boost safety for AVs in complex situations. Instead of building fully autonomous planes from the ground-up, Californian startup Xwing has started to unveil its Autoflight System targeting an aircraft agnostic approach.
In autonomous and self-driving vehicle news are Velodyne, StradVision, Vayyar, Apollo and ibeoNEXT. Velodyne Lidar, Inc. today announced it has joined the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) to promote the benefits of autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation infrastructure. Velodyne is the first lidar technology company to become part of this influential group. ITS America members are at the forefront of driving progress in autonomous vehicles and smart city solutions to help save lives, improve mobility and promote sustainability. Velodyne's lidar sensors can be used in a variety of Intelligent Transportation Systems to measure and monitor conditions in areas such as pedestrian safety, vehicle traffic and parking space management, and more.
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / August 26, 2020 / "I'm extremely confident that self-driving cars or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think it will happen very quickly," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a virtual speech to the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in July, 2020. Musk mentioned Tesla will have basic functionality for level-five complete autonomy this year. The self-driving vehicles is not just hot in Silicon Valley. In China, the largest automobile market worldwide, companies are also getting on board to develop autonomous driving technology, including China's internet search tycoon Baidu, also referred to as the "Google of China." Baidu has been developing the autonomous driving technology through its "Apollo" project (also known as open-source Apollo platform) launched in April 2017.
Germany's Ibeo Automotive Systems, which specializes in lidar systems for autonomous driving, has signed a contract to provide China's Great Wall Motor Company (GWM) with its latest solid-state design. Ibeo said that it has commissioned key partner ZF Friedrichschafen – which in 2016 acquired a major stake in Ibeo – to produce the sensors and control unit for the "Level 3" system, which will provide partial autonomy. GWM has contracted one of its own subsidiaries to develop the system, which will be based around vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) produced by Austria's AMS. Ibeo points out that, after signing a letter of intent in 2019, it has already been in pre-development with GWM for a year. Officially, the project started with the signing of an additional contract by the two parties last month.
China's self-driving truck company TuSimple forges strategic partnership with US truck manufacturer Navistar to jointly develop L4 driverless trucks, striving for mass production by 2024. TuSimple also announced that it will receive Navistar's investment in the future, with exact amount remains undisclosed. The two companies had previous technical cooperation for more than two years. Navistar has 113 years of experience in the production and sales of commercial vehicles. It is expected that customers will be able to purchase driverless trucks directly from Navistar dealers in the United States, Canada and Mexico in the near future.
The computer system housed in the trunk quickly processes information gathered by a fast-spinning sensor atop the vehicle, calculating how many pedestrians are nearby and predicting which lane the car in front will shift into. This unmanned car is among the first self-driving taxis -- or robotaxis -- permitted to carry passengers on the open roads of Shanghai, part of a pilot program from China's dominant ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing. Since Saturday, users of Didi's app aged 18 to 70 have been able to sign up for a free test drive. Wang Mingze, a Didi spokesperson, told Sixth Tone that so far, over 10,000 people have requested test drives. "The line is pretty long," he said. "People will have to wait a few days before their turn comes up."