self-driving car

Baidu to begin small-scale production of fully automative vehicles next year


The Chinese search engine giant Baidu is planning to commence small-scale production and trial operations of its fully autonomous minibuses in July, 2018, according to a NetEase report. Speaking at the 2017 Baidu World Conference in Beijing last week, its chairman and CEO Robin Li said the Chinese company is planning to launch its driverless cars before 2020 -- which is when markets generally believe mass production of unmanned cars will eventually be realised -- because Baidu is an innovator and wishes to move ahead of schedule. After the small-scale production and trial operations of its unmanned minibuses next year, Baidu will also launch fully automative cars with Chinese automobile brands JAC Motors and BAIC Motor in 2019, and Chery Automobile in 2020, said the report. In September, Baidu stepped up investment in its self-driving project that launched in 2013 with a fresh $1.5 billion "Apollo Fund", named after its open-source autonomous driving platform. Li said last week that Baidu's Apollo platform has already attracted more than 6,000 developers, adding that over 1,700 partners have joined the Apollo project and more than 100 partners have applied for open data on Apollo.

UK budget will clear the way for self-driving cars


The UK doesn't want to sit by the wayside while the US, Japan and other countries streamline the adoption of self-driving cars. The country's finance ministry has revealed that its upcoming budget (due on November 22nd) will include measures intended to spurt the adoption of self-driving and electric cars. There will be rule changes that let automakers test vehicles on public roads without an operator on standby, and a £400 million (about $529 million) fund to help companies establish charging station networks. Officials will also offer £100 million ($132 million) in incentives to lower the cost of buying an EV. There are a few other tech-related budget measures, such as £160 million ($211 million) for 5G networks, £100 million for computer science teachers, £76 million ($100 million) for skill development and £75 million ($99 million) for the UK's budding AI industry.

A White-Box Testing Model For Deep Learning Systems


How do you find errors in a system that exists in a black box whose contents are a mystery even to experts? That is one of the challenges of perfecting self-driving cars and other deep learning systems that are based on artificial neural networks--known as deep neural networks--modeled after the human brain. Inside these systems, a web of neurons enables a machine to process data with a nonlinear approach and, essentially, to teach itself to analyze information through what is known as training data. When an input is presented to a "trained" system--like an image of a typical two-lane highway shown to a self-driving car platform--the system recognizes it by running an analysis through its complex logic system. This process largely occurs inside a black box and is not fully understood by anyone, including a system's creators.

Philip Hammond to say UK will have self-driving cars by 2021 in budget 'fit for the future'

The Guardian

Driverless cars will be on Britain's roads by 2021 as a result of sweeping regulatory reforms that will put the UK in the forefront of a post-Brexit technological revolution, chancellor Philip Hammond will say this week. In his budget on Wednesday Hammond will allow driverless cars to be tested without any human operator inside or outside the car, and without the legal constraints and rules that apply in many other EU nations, and much of the US. The move – welcomed by the UK motor industry – is part of an attempt by Hammond and the Treasury to project a more upbeat message about the prospects for the UK economy after Brexit, and focus on opportunities as well as the risks. Carmakers have warned that they may have to move at least some production abroad if there is no deal to keep Britain inside the EU single market and customs union, at least for a two-year transition period. But Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said it was good news that the government was taking a lead by making the UK attractive to those seeking to develop, test and build an entirely new generation of cars.

Self-Driving Car Tech Can Help Another Form of Transport: Wheelchairs


Autonomous vehicle technology often prompts discussions about profit, safety, efficiency, jobs, and more. But this innovation can change millions of lives today without introducing a single car to the road. Elizabeth Jameson (@jamesonfineart) is a health policy analyst and an artist who uses neurotechnology, science and art to shift the narrative of chronic illness. Catherine Monahon is an art educator and project manager who works with individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits to tell their stories through various media. I have a progressive disease, multiple sclerosis, which has now rendered me quadriplegic; I no longer have use of my hands or legs.

The future according to Google: AI hardware software ?


What is the future according to Google? It's a pretty exciting place. All of the world's information is available right at our finger tips, and, of course, Google is the company to provide it. Google may seem to have diversified in recent years, exploring everything from self-driving cars to smartphones. The truth is that machine learning is actually at the heart of everything it does.

Religion that worships artificial intelligence prepares for a world run by machines


A newly established religion called Way of the Future will worship artificial intelligence, focusing on "the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence" that followers believe will eventually surpass human control over Earth. The first AI-based church was founded by Anthony Levandowski, the Silicon Valley multimillionaire who championed the robotics team for Uber's self-driving program and Waymo, the self-driving car company owned by Google. Way of the Future "is about creating a peaceful and respectful transition of who is in charge of the planet from people to people'machines,'" the religion's official website reads. "Given that technology will'relatively soon' be able to surpass human abilities, we want to help educate people about this exciting future and prepare a smooth transition." Levandowski filed documents to establish the religion back in May, making himself the "Dean" of the church and the CEO of a related nonprofit that would run it.

'Connected' cars are hitting UK roads for the first time


Slowly, the UK government is realising its dream of making the nation a self-driving research hub. UK Autodrive, a publicly funded consortium that includes Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and TATA Motors, has announced a new set of trials in Coventry today. They will focus on self-driving cars and vehicles that can instantly share information with other motorists and city infrastructure. Researchers will be testing a signal, for instance, that can be sent out by the emergency services -- ambulances, fire trucks and police cars -- to nearby drivers, advising them when and where to move aside. Other test features include a warning signal for intersections deemed too unsafe to cross, in-car information about accidents and traffic jams (negating the need for signs on bridges) and an alert system when a driver in front suddenly hits the brakes (the idea being that this can be hard to spot in rain and fog).

How will the cloud be able to handle the emergence of IoT


Cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) have spent the last several years in a sort of maximum-acceleration race where they've lapped the other players several times over and have only one another to measure against. Neither is slowing down, particularly the IoT. According to analysis firm Gartner, the number of IoT devices will hit 20.8 billion by 2020. The world population is expected to reach 8 billion in 2020, meaning there will be 2.5 IoT devices per person on the entire planet. In 2016, the IoT was growing at the rate of 5.5 million new things getting connected every day.

California may limit liability of self-driving carmakers

Daily Mail

California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help makers of self-driving cars avoid paying for accidents and other trouble, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners. If adopted, the regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. That could open a loophole for automakers to skirt responsibility for accidents, injuries and deaths caused by defective autonomous vehicles, said Armand Feliciano, vice president for the Association of California Insurance Companies. The regulations drafted by the California DMV would protect carmakers from lawsuits in cases where their self driving vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications. The regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven't been maintained according to manufacturer specifications.