Robots in the work place can perform hazardous or even 'impossible' tasks; e.g., toxic waste clean-up, desert and space exploration, and more. AI researchers are also interested in the intelligent processing involved in moving about and manipulating objects in the real world.
"Helsinki VTS, thank you for permission to depart," the captain says over the radio. He checks with the Vessel Traffic Service to see if there's anything to be looking out for. Just one other big ship, but also lots of small boats, enjoying the calm water, which could be hazards. Not a problem for this captain--he has a giant screen on the bridge, which overlays the environment around his vessel with an augmented reality view. He can navigate the Baltic Discoverer confidently out of Finland's Helsinki Port using the computer-enhanced vision of the world, with artificial intelligence spotting and labeling every other water user, the shore, and navigation markers.
Back in the 2020s, the tech industry started talking about transportation as a service (TaaS). Instead of owning and operating your own car or even your own bicycle, you told an app where you needed to go, then used a network of shared wheeled things to get there. What started with companies like Lyft and Uber led to Ryde, the company that won the TaaS war in U.S. cities. After decades of controversies and fatalities, we're still years away from completely eliminating the need for a human behind the wheel, but leaps in autonomous driving technology led to one specific advantage that Ryde is now deploying: When the vehicle operator (VO) ends their shift and there are no occupants, vehicles can safely deliver themselves to recharging and cleaning warehouses. Before this level of autonomy, the VO had to park conveniently close to home, taking up space in already congested areas.
Toyota Motor is set to launch a pilot project testing a transportation system focusing on autonomous vehicles, in one of Japan's first such initiatives in a real-life setting over a wide area. The company will team up with the University of Tsukuba and the government of the city, just north of Tokyo, to run the project. Under the system envisioned, self-driving, single-seat electric vehicles will take passengers from their homes to the nearest bus stop, where they will be able to transfer to autonomous, fuel-cell powered buses. The experiment, set for launch in fiscal 2019 and running until fiscal 2022, will test the feasibility of the relevant technologies in situations involving regular traffic. One of the main aims of the project is to help resolve the issue of elderly citizens being isolated from their communities.
Autonomous flying cars have always seemed like a futuristic innovation that belongs more on the silver screen than in real life, but Boeing is making rapid headway on the concept and its top executive says we could see the first operational self-driving airborne vehicles take to the skies in under five years. Speaking at the GeekWire Summit, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg laid out the company's vision for flying cars, as well as the importance of safety measures for the concept. Muilenburg said the company is already building prototypes and expects them to fly within the year. "Imagine a future city that has three-dimensional highways, with flying taxis, flying cars," Muilenburg said. "That future is not that far away.
Semi-autonomous vehicles are here now, today, and they are a major innovation that will change transportation forever. Traffic is jammed up at the Tobin bridge in Boston again and it's looking like another hour ride into Cambridge. I'm going crazy trying to find something on the radio when I finally get lucky with an old 80s hair band song from Def Leppard. I start jamming like it is 1989 despite the fact that I'm surrounded by other drivers, all trapped in the same traffic snarl, and all staring blankly off into the distance oblivious to my air guitar solo. Suddenly a woman in a blue BMW next to me spots my dance moves and hilarity ensues.
Local governments are excellent laboratories for experiments for delivering public services to citizens. Few cities have taken to this role of experimenting with artificial intelligence in service delivery more so than Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and the second wealthiest after Abu Dhabi. The UAE has invested heavily in technology for improved government service delivery, and recently created the position of Minister of AI. While the government is supporting AI-based technology pilots and implementation throughout the UAE, Dubai is proving to be particularly adept at identifying opportunities to experiment and implement these artificial intelligence technologies. As part of its rapid economic development, Dubai has created an environment to attract start-up companies and investment capital across a wide range of technological development.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has lost faith in autonomous cars for the time being. Wozniak has flip-flopped in his opinions about the technology over the last few years. In May 2017 he claimed driverless technology is the'biggest, most obvious moonshot,' in current times, pointing to Tesla as the most promising company in that field. But just months later he did a 180, and said he doesn't'believe anything Elon Musk or Tesla says.' Now, Wozniak has doubled down on his doubts surrounding autonomous technology, stating at a recent event that he has'given up' on self-driving cars. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has lost faith in autonomous cars for the time being.
Of the many acronyms engineers spend their lives internalizing, few are more valuable than KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Constrain the problem, reduce the variables, and make life as easy as possible when designing novel systems--like, say, a self-driving car. The world is a messy, complicated place. The less of it you need to solve, the closer you are to having a working product. That's why Waymo tests and plans to deploy its vehicles in Chandler, Arizona, with its reliably sunny weather, calm traffic, and meticulously mapped roads.
It's easy to think that once cars start driving themselves most of our traffic woes will be eliminated. Robocars are supposed to be better drivers and better driving should mean less gridlock. Unfortunately, that drop in bumper to bumper hell won't be as big as we all hoped, according to Audi's research. At Audi's Charged event (where it will unveil the E-Tron), the automaker gave Engadget a sneak peek at its latest 25th Hour Flow research. The company (along with Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and Munich's MobilityPartners) peered into the future to see how drivers and passengers can reclaim time thanks to autonomous driving and mobility options.
Say you wake up tomorrow morning and there's a robo-truck just sitting in your driveway. Today, no one really has a self-driving truck yet--though plenty are working on it. Even the US Army is in on the act. Their advances--and testing operations in states like Nevada, California, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia--are impressive, but not there yet. Still, the tech should arrive one day, which is why that thought experiment is helpful.