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Researchers use artificial intelligence to predict road user behavior - Actu IA

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For an autonomous car to drive safely, being able to predict the behavior of other road users is essential. A research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's CSAIL, along with researchers at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS) at Tsinghua University in Beijing, have developed a new ML system that could one day help driverless cars predict in real time the upcoming movements of nearby drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. They titled their study, " M2I: From Factored Marginal Path Prediction to Interactive Prediction." Qiao Sun, Junru Gu, Hang Zhao are the IIIS members who participated in this study while Xin Huang and Brian Williams represented MIT. Humans are unpredictable, which makes predicting road user behavior in urban environments de facto very difficult.


Robot can fly, swim or hitch a ride by sticking to other objects

New Scientist

A robotic drone that can travel through air and water, and also attach itself to larger objects with a suction cup, could be useful for tagging wild animals, say its creators. The suction cup is inspired by the remora fish, which attaches itself to larger marine creatures in a symbiotic relationship where the remora eats parasites that would irritate its host and also gets a ride in return. "My original thought was'let's find a point where we can beat nature'," says Li Wen at Beihang University in Beijing. "Let's do a robot that can not only swim and stick underwater, but also can fly into the air and stick in the air. I don't think there are any animals that can do this."


Beijing's first autonomous minibusses make maiden test voyage -Ecns.cn

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Beijing's first group of autonomous minibusses, Apollo Robobus, underwent a first test in Beijing's Intelligent Connected Vehicle Policy Pilot Zone after receiving licenses on April 28. The pilot zone, which covers 225 square kilometers in southern Beijing, was recently approved and involves road testing, demonstrations, commercial operation services and roadside infrastructure. The Robobus, developed by Chinese tech giant Baidu, is a Level-4 mass-produced intelligent connected bus. It achieves autonomous driving by relying on Baidu artificial intelligence, deep learning achievements and autonomous driving technologies, according to insiders from Baidu Apollo. Level-4 autonomy means that the vehicle can drive autonomously in most conditions without a human driver.


China's New AI-Powered Satellite Can Send Real Time Targeting Info On US Carrier: Report

International Business Times

China has developed a remote sensing satellite powered by the latest artificial intelligence technology that helps the People's Liberation Army (PLA) trace the movements of U.S. aircraft carriers. A new study by Chinese space scientists said the technology was put into use last year in June to detect the movements of the USS Harry S. Truman. The satellite, which has not been named in the study, is said to have alerted Beijing with the precise coordinates of the carrier as it headed to a strait transit drill off the coast of Long Island in New York, reported South China Morning Post. According to the study published by the domestic peer-reviewed journal Spacecraft Engineering last month, the drill held on June 17 involved a joint action of seven warships and planes beside the USS Harry S Truman. Before this satellite, the PLA had to go through a large amount of raw satellite data on the ground to get a clue about such drills happening in the U.S. home waters, and the results usually came after the event was over, the report added. But, with the AI-powered satellites, China could now "live stream" military activities or assets of interest on the other side of the planet, the report quoted the study by space scientist Yang Fang and her colleagues with DFH Satellite.


Chinese web users get creative to dodge COVID censorship

The Japan Times

Beijing – From quoting the national anthem to referencing Hollywood blockbusters and George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984," Chinese web users are using creative methods to dodge censorship and voice discontent over COVID-19 measures. China maintains a tight grip over the internet, with legions of censors scrubbing out posts that cast the Communist Party's policies in a negative light. The censorship machine is now in overdrive to defend Beijing's stringent "COVID zero" policy as the business hub of Shanghai endures weeks of lockdown to tackle an outbreak. Stuck at home, many of the city's 25 million residents have taken to social media to vent fury over food shortages and spartan quarantine conditions. Charlie Smith, co-founder of censorship monitoring website GreatFire.org, said the Shanghai lockdown had become "too big of an issue to be able to completely censor."


Beijing approves driverless taxi permits for Baidu and Pony.ai

Engadget

Beijing is paving the way for driverless robotaxis. China's capital city granted permits to auto startup Pony.ai and Chinese internet giant Baidu to offer self-driving car services to the general public, both companies announced today. Both operations will start out small -- Baidu's fleet will consist of 10 cars and Pony.ai will run four cars, reported CNBC. Eventually both companies plan to expand operations in the city. The Beijing government is requiring a staff member to be onboard each driverless vehicle to make sure things go smoothly.


Baidu and Pony.ai each score permits to operate driverless taxi service in Beijing

ZDNet

Since completing a degree in journalism, Aimee has had her fair share of covering various topics, including business, retail, manufacturing, and travel. She continues to expand her repertoire as a tech journalist with ZDNet. Baidu and Pony.ai have announced separately that they have each been granted permits to provide their respective driverless taxi service to the general public in Beijing. According to Baidu, it will begin operating its fully driverless autonomous taxi service with a fleet of 10 vehicles in a designated 60-square-kilomoetre area in Beijing. Users will be able to hail these robotaxis using the Apollo Go mobile app from 10am to 4pm.


Baidu, Pony.AI win first driverless robotaxi permits in China – TechCrunch

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Chinese internet giant Baidu and autonomous vehicle company Pony.ai To date, numerous cities in China have allowed autonomous vehicle companies to test self-driving vehicles without a human safety operator in the driver's seat, but this is the first time companies are allowed to run a fully driverless service. That said, the permit does require the companies to have a safety operator present in the front passenger seat, so the regulation is not quite as mature as, say, California's driverless permits which require no human in the vehicle aside from the passenger. Neither Pony nor Baidu will be charging a fee for driverless rides yet, although both companies are currently running commercial services with drivered robotaxis in Yizhuang, Beijing, otherwise referred to as Beijing High-level Automated Driving Demonstration Area (BJHAD), according to a Baidu spokesperson. This 60-square-kilometer stretch of Beijing, home to about 300,000 residents, is also where both Baidu's and Pony's driverless service will run.


DJI halts Russia and Ukraine sales to prevent use of its drones in combat

The Japan Times

SHENZHEN, China – Drone giant DJI Technology Co. said it will temporarily suspend business in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its products are not used in combat, making it the first major Chinese firm to cite the conflict in halting sales in Russia. Ukrainian officials and citizens have accused DJI of leaking data on the Ukrainian military to Russia -- allegations the world's largest maker of consumer and industrial drones has called "utterly false." In contrast to the many Western firms that have pulled out of Russia to protest its invasion of Ukraine, Chinese companies have stayed there, in line with Beijing's stance of refraining from criticism of Moscow over the conflict. A DJI spokesperson said on Wednesday its suspension of business in Russia and Ukraine was "not to make a statement about any country, but to make a statement about our principles. "DJI abhors any use of our drones to cause harm, and we are temporarily suspending sales in these countries in order to help ensure no-one uses our drones in combat."


Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspends Russia, Ukraine Business

International Business Times

The world's largest drone maker DJI has said it will suspend all business operations in Russia and Ukraine, in a rare public move by a Chinese firm since Moscow's invasion of its neighbour. Russia has been hit with an avalanche of sanctions over the war and many Western multinationals have pulled out of the country. Beijing has refused to condemn the invasion, however, and Chinese companies have largely remained silent about how they will handle the impact of sanctions. "DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions," the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine." The firm did not mention sanctions on Russia.