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In the Auto Industry, the Future Is Software--Not Machinery - Column

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But this was an autonomous Volvo, part of a small test fleet Uber operated in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Arizona. The Cal DMV had revoked the registrations for Uber's 16 test vehicles, and if the bureaucrats were motivated by the fear of a couple tons of undercooked technology circulating among the driving public, those fears seem to have been vindicated by the photos of the capsized Volvo. Note that around 17.5 million light-duty vehicles were sold last year, swelling the national fleet to more than 240 million vehicles, and only the most infinitesimal percentage of them has any autono mous ability what soever. A friend who works in so-called big data told me recently that the digital information generated by these test cars meas ures out in petabytes per day, a petabyte being 1 million gigabytes.


Car rental companies are nervous about driverless cars, so they're doing something about it

Mashable

Two high-profile moves reported this week link driverless cars with Big Car Rental: Google's Waymo entered partnership with Avis to storing and maintaining autonomous vehicles, while Apple's self-driving Lexuses have been linked to Hertz in news that, notably, hasn't been officially confirmed by either company. Avis will service Waymo's fleet as part of the new partnership. Avis will instead provide fleet management, servicing, and maintenance support for Waymo's 600-strong fleet of autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans as part of its public pilot program in Phoenix. Apple reps declined to comment about any potential agreements between the two companies, and Hertz reps had no comment when asked for clarification via email.


Drones that drive

Robohub

"The ability to both fly and drive is useful in environments with a lot of barriers, since you can fly over ground obstacles and drive under overhead obstacles," says PhD student Brandon Araki, lead author on a paper about the system out of CSAIL director Daniela Rus' group. The project builds on Araki's previous work developing a "flying monkey" robot that crawls, grasps, and flies. Rus says that systems like theirs suggest that another approach to creating safe and effective flying cars is not to simply "put wings on cars," but to build on years of research in drone development to add driving capabilities to them. "As we begin to develop planning and control algorithms for flying cars, we are encouraged by the possibility of creating robots with these capabilities at small scale," says Rus.


Drones that drive

MIT News

"The ability to both fly and drive is useful in environments with a lot of barriers, since you can fly over ground obstacles and drive under overhead obstacles," says PhD student Brandon Araki, lead author on the paper. The project builds on Araki's previous work developing a "flying monkey" robot that crawls, grasps, and flies. Rus says that systems like theirs suggest that another approach to creating safe and effective flying cars is not to simply "put wings on cars," but to build on years of research in adding driving capabilities to drones. "As we begin to develop planning and control algorithms for flying cars, we are encouraged by the possibility of creating robots with these capabilities at small scale," Rus says.


States get ready for the self-driving car revolution

USATODAY

That's because when it comes to getting the nation's infrastructure ready for autonomous traffic, the most critical upgrade amounts to making sure the lines on our 4 million miles of roads are solid, bright and preferably white so they can be picked up by computer vision gear. While some states such as California, Michigan, Arizona and Ohio are eagerly welcoming self-driving vehicle tests and beginning to make upgrades to roads to accommodate robot-driven vehicles, others are taking a more measured approach given the nascent state of the industry. Ken Washington, Ford's vice president of research and advanced engineering, says smart roadways would make self-driving cars even more capable, but "you can't count on that being there, which is why our technical approach is to build the capability completely on the vehicle." What's more, experts say that if every vehicle on the road had sophisticated autonomous vehicle technology on board, highway officials could make lanes narrower and pack more cars on the road without expensive lane expansion projects.


Modeling the way towards Artificial General Intelligence

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The potential for improvement to the system will be made realizable as a consequent of the Google researches making their work available on Tensor2Tensor library, allowing more researches to work and improve on the algorithim. Although the algorithim is not yet as powerful as DeepMind's work on networks that only have to perform individual tasks, this work could become a further step towards making artifical neural networks work like our own natural neural networks. Memory capability that allows human-like learning, linked with Google's MultiModel algorithim, will make it possible for future AI algorithims and systems to be trained on less training data. This pollination of intellectual work will allow strides to be made in more varied tasks, which will overall allow systems to be able to handle multiple tasks and multiple contexts, paving the way towards artifical general intelligence and eventually artifical superintelligence as these systems become more than just human-like.


Watch a self-driving race car nail its first full-speed lap at 124 mph

Mashable

The video gives us look at how the autonomous system works from inside the cockpit, hitting a high speed of around 124 mph with no driver needed. The prototype Devbot car completed laps at multiple speed tiers, maxing out at 200 km/h, roughly 124 mph. That's just slightly slower than a standard Formula E car's top speed of about 225 kph (140 mph), and the autonomous system handled the course at a level that was just eight percent off the mark set by a competitive human driver, but it's important to note that the Devbot was running on an empty track. This is just the latest step in Roborace's development as it attempts to create the world's first autonomous racing series.


Petrol stations to go electric

BBC News

The measure forms part of a government push to increase the number of electric vehicles on UK roads. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill also contains plans to push driverless car technology. But, he added: "Legislation enabling driverless cars doesn't mean that there will be a universal buy-in overnight. Official government research suggests that the market for automated vehicles in the UK will be worth £28bn by 2035.


Tesla crash report shows driver kept his hands off the wheel nearly the whole time

Mashable

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk unveils new safety upgrades to Tesla's Autopilot system According to the report, Brown had hands off the wheel "for the vast majority of the trip," despite receiving a visual warning to do so seven times during the course of the trip, which lasted 37 minutes. Brown had hands off the wheel "for the vast majority of the trip." The NTSB report is in agreement with an earlier report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which exonerated Tesla from blame for the accident. A month after the accident, Tesla said in a blog post that neither the driver nor the car's Autopilot system noticed the tractor trailer's white side against a bright sky.


5 picks for upgrading your car without buying a new one

Mashable

The ubiquitous, transparent glass heads-up displays used in numerous sci-fi movies have yet to catch on in the real world, but perhaps that's about to change thanks to HUDWAY Glass. Buy now: $22.95, formerly $29.95 In the event of an auto emergency, panic can make it hard to think clearly, let alone remember where you stashed your window breaker or seat belt cutter. The Ztylus Stinger Car Charger and Emergency Tool makes those life-saving items instantly accessible by merging them with an accessory that's always close by when you're behind the wheel. In addition to dual-port USB charging, it features a spring-loaded window punch and a seat belt cutter that is tested to cut through a 5,000 lb.