If you are looking for an answer to the question What is Artificial Intelligence? and you only have a minute, then here's the definition the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence offers on its home page: "the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines."
However, if you are fortunate enough to have more than a minute, then please get ready to embark upon an exciting journey exploring AI (but beware, it could last a lifetime) …
Two of Local Motors' competitors -- EasyMile and Navya -- import their vehicles from France and are able to get exemptions for R&D purposes. Local Motors is petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, complaining that "smaller, innovative American vehicle manufacturers" like themselves are at a disadvantage, hindering competitiveness and endangering American leadership in autonomy and new technology development. "American companies creating American jobs building American cars have a higher bar to get vehicles on the road for purposes of research and testing than foreign companies importing vehicles," David Woessner, head of regulatory affairs for Local Motors, tells Axios. "The technology is moving faster than the regulatory environment can keep up with," adds Randell Iwasaki, executive director of Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which is trying to deploy both U.S. and foreign-made shuttles on public roads. Two of Local Motors' competitors -- EasyMile and Navya -- import their vehicles from France and are able to get exemptions for R&D purposes.
Texas A&M University is modifying its self-driving pilot program in the city of Bryan, Texas, to have humans remotely monitor and operate the shuttles starting in September, making it one of the first commercial deployments of teleoperation technology in the country. The teleoperation technology is being provided by a Portland, Oregon-based startup called Designated Driver. It will allow humans at Texas A&M to remotely control the shuttles in situations where the self-driving system may not be up to snuff, and they'll also be able to interact with passengers on board. The new functionality could help solve a problem that similarly nascent autonomous shuttle programs have run into: crashes. The low-speed autonomous shuttles currently whispering their way around a handful of downtown areas and campuses across the country are among the first real-world tests of self-driving technology.
Self-driving vehicle company, Optimus Ride, has launched a fleet of autonomous shuttles in New York City's Brooklyn Navy Yard for what will be the city's biggest test of self-driving tech to date. According to the company, the six self-driving cars will serve passengers only on the Navy Yards' private roads as well through a loop shuttle service connecting NYC Ferry passengers from dock 72 to a gate next to Flushing Avenue. Vehicles will operated from 7 pm until 10 pm and be chaperoned by two safety attendants -- one in the drivers seat to intervene if necessary and another in the passenger seat logging the vehicles' performance. For now, the rides will be free according to The Verge, as Optimus has received $18 million in its first round of funding and is in contract with the Navy Yard for an undisclosed sum. Optimus says its expecting to service 500 passengers per day and cater to the roughly 10,000 workers that are based there.
Elizabeth Keatinge tells us about Tesla's Autonomy Investor Day where robotaxis were discussed. PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A self-driving shuttle got pulled over by police on its first day carrying passengers on a new Rhode Island route. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said an officer pulled over the odd-looking autonomous vehicle because he had never seen one before. "It looked like an oversize golf cart," Clements said. The vehicle, operated by Michigan-based May Mobility, was dropping off passengers Wednesday morning at Providence's Olneyville Square when a police cruiser arrived with blinking lights and a siren.
Select commuters in New York City and Fairfield, California will have a chance to pioneer a fleet of autonomous vehicles slated to begin serving the cities later this year. Boston-based, Optimus Ride, announced that in the second quarter of 2019 it will deploy a fleet of autonomous cars at New York City's Brooklyn Navy Yard, an up-and-coming modern industrial and business park, as well as Paradise Valley Estates, a senior community in Fairfield, California. For New York, the introduction of Optimus' fully autonomous vehicles will mark the first-ever commercial self-driving car to tread in New York State where it will have a chance to offer rides to thousands of commuters. According to the company, the New York self-driving cars will help serve passengers on the Navy Yards private roads as well as'providing a loop shuttle service to connect NYC Ferry passengers to Flushing Avenue outside the Yard's perimeter.' In Paradise Valley, the cars will serve to provide potential residents of the community their own tours of the neighborhood and in the later phases of its deployment, be able to serve current residents looking to travel to destinations within the gated community.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is getting an autonomous boost. On private roads, a loop shuttle service for ferry passengers will bring riders to the industrial center where 400 businesses operate. Workers can ride in MIT-based company Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttle cars starting later this year. The driverless trips will be part of the first commercial self-driving program in the state. New York and New York City in particular have been hesitant in embracing autonomous technology.
Visitors to Columbus, Ohio, have a new way to see the city's downtown attractions. The pilot project, which began in mid-December, belongs to a larger statewide effort to improve road safety and mobility in this car-dependent capital. "What we're looking at is, how do we apply technology to improve people's lives in a transportation context?" says Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus, which spearheads the fleet project. "We want to keep stretching the technology of self-driving vehicles to solve real use cases in our communities." Smart Columbus, launched in 2016 after the city bested 77 mid-sized U.S. cities for a pool of "smart transportation" funding.
Ohio wants to be a haven for self-driving cars, and it's already acting on those plans... if slowly. Smart Columbus and DriveOhio have announced that the state's first autonomous shuttle service, Smart Circuit, will launch in Columbus on December 10th. Three May Mobility vehicles will cover a 1.5-mile loop around the Scioto Mile between 6AM and 10PM, with departures from each of the four stops every 10 minutes. So long as you're not in a hurry (the shuttles drive at a modest 25MPH) and can take one of the four available seats, it won't hurt to hop aboard. This isn't meant as a full-fledged bus replacement as it is.
Ariel Moore exhaled sharply and lifted her arms to the sky. "I have arrived alive!" she said to no one in particular. This should not be notable. Moore just took a half-mile ride in a six-seat shuttle, one of several that run in a loop between her office in downtown Detroit and the garage where she parks her car. But on that sunny June day, she and her colleagues at real estate company Bedrock also did something quietly remarkable.
In the latest example, in Catalonia, Spain, an autonomous bus called Èrica is being tested around the region to help citizens become familiar with what driverless technology entails. These bus experiments are also designed to allow local-government officials to adapt to this new means of transportation, which they expect to be fully functioning by 2020. Equipped with eight sensors, the red and yellow self-driving shuttle unveiled by the Association of Municipalities for Mobility and Urban Transport, AMTU, is 100 percent electrically powered with 14 hours of autonomous driving. Looking like a rectangular minivan, Èrica can transport up to 11 passengers and an attendant, who is there to help and advise travelers and deal with emergencies. Some 4,600 citizens from Sant Cugat, Terrassa, and Sabadell, all cities close to Barcelona, already took the new bus in September.