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Introducing The Mindboggling Flying Taxis Of The Future

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We already have drones and increasingly autonomous cars, so it's perhaps no surprise that several companies are already working on flying taxis – also known as passenger drones and electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The first piloted eVTOL services are expected as early as this year, but we could see pilot-less autonomous eVTOLs soon after that. That's right; autonomous flying taxis could be a reality in your lifetime. The number of hours we used to spend sitting in traffic before the coronavirus hit is almost too depressing to think about, particularly if you live in a densely populated, congested city like Los Angeles, New York or London. Some are suggesting eVTOL services could be the answer to our traffic prayers – transporting passengers on congested city routes through the air. Meanwhile, other companies are developing eVTOLs aimed at popular intercity journeys, such as traveling from my home town of Milton Keynes to London.


Amazon to Buy Zoox, in a Move Toward Self-Driving Cars

NYT > Technology

Amazon for several years has worked on self-driving technology to deliver goods, a natural fit with its shopping business. Last year, it invested in Aurora, a driverless-technology start-up. Mr. Wilke expressed concerns in the past that Uber, through its ride-hailing business, could build a direct delivery relationship with customers that it could use to compete with Amazon, according to a person with direct knowledge of the comments. He would speak only anonymously because he feared retaliation for discussing internal conversations. Uber has said it wants to be the Amazon of transportation, though its self-driving ambitions have been derailed by cost-cutting and legal battles.


Volvo will use Waymo technology to power its self-driving cars

Engadget

Volvo's self-driving car efforts have been most closely associated with Uber, but it's about to make you rethink that connection. The automaker has formed an alliance that will see Waymo be the exclusive partner for Level 4 self-driving (that is, full autonomy in certain conditions) for its vehicles, including affiliates like Polestar and Lynk & Co. The two will start by incorporating the Waymo Driver into an electric car platform designed for ride-hailing services -- robotaxis, in other words. The two didn't outline when they expected cars built on Waymo tech to appear. Reuters notes that Volvo still has a separate deal to provide vehicles to Uber, which adds self-driving equipment after the fact.


How Artificial Intelligence-AI & Machine Learning-ML are changing our life?

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Last month, I was discussing with one of my customers. During the discussion, I found that Cloud and SaaS applications have changed the business landscape and helping Business Owners. Post Cloud ERP solution, my Customer was saving around USD 2000 per month by not having Hardware and its maintenance, IT Persons etc. I was just wondering how Artificial Intelligence [AI] and Machine Learning [ML] could change the life of Business Owners and industry? Today we see Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in every stages of our life, but can't distinguish them separately. They are part of our life.


Uber's Ludwig is an Open Source Framework for Low-Code Machine Learning - KDnuggets

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Training and testing deep learning models is a difficult process that requires sophisticated knowledge of machine learning and data infrastructures. From feature modeling to hyperparameter optimization, the processes for training and testing deep learning models are one of the biggest bottlenecks in data science solutions in the real world. Simplifying this element could help to streamline the adoption of deep learning technologies. While the low-code training of deep learning models is a nascent space, we are already seeing relevant innovations. One of the most complete solutions to tackle that problem came from Uber AI Labs.


IIHS study finds self-driving cars may only avoid a third of crashes

Engadget

Self-driving cars are theoretically ideal for safety. Take human limitations out of the mix and no one gets hurt, right? A new IIHS study (via Autoblog) suggests that completely switching to autonomous technology would only prevent about a third of crashes if the systems "drive too much like people" -- that is, focus on speed and convenience. Only 24 percent of crashes come down to sense or perception errors, while about 10 percent comes down to incapacitation (such as driving drunk). The rest comes down to errors in decision making, predictions and performance, and a self-driving system won't automatically fix those.


As Machines Get Smarter, How Will We Relate to Them?

WIRED

Bicycling in a hilly, busy city like San Francisco provides a cognitive as well as a physical workout. I survive in traffic by flexing not only my quadriceps but my theory of mind, the capacity to imagine the thoughts and intentions of others: Will the guy riding a Bird scooter swerve to avoid that pothole? Will the UPS driver try to run that yellow light? Last year, when General Motors stepped up testing of its Cruise autonomous vehicles, I began to encounter the sporty white hatchbacks with rooftop sensors once or more each day. At first the cars were overcautious and twitchy, earning angry honks from human drivers for unnecessary braking and hesitant turns.


Uber's job cuts and office closures reflect narrowing ambitions

The Japan Times

Uber Technologies Inc. was once a poster child for Silicon Valley's unchecked ambition. As recently as this year, the company was promising to usher in a self-driving revolution and popularize flying cars. But Uber now says it is slashing 3,000 jobs, sidelining extraneous projects and shuttering dozens of offices after the spread of the coronavirus slammed its ride-hailing business. The latest round of job cuts at the company brings the total since the start of the pandemic to 6,700, including thousands of layoffs earlier this month in customer support and human resources. The staff reductions now represent about a quarter of Uber's workforce.


Uber Layoffs: Thousands More To Lose Jobs Starting Monday, Insider Reveals

International Business Times

Uber's firing of thousands more of its employees this week, starting Monday, will bring the number of people it has dismissed from responsibility over the past year to more than 10,000, according to some estimates. Uber's previous round of job cuts saw it remove 3,700 people, or 14% of its total global workforce, in the first week of this month. Sources inside Uber, cited by Business Insider, said surviving employees are bracing for the latest round of mass layoffs, which will definitely run into thousands. Ahead of the layoffs, Uber last week told employees to be fired that they'd received 10 weeks' salary plus paid healthcare until the end of 2020. Employees to be fired this week will come from freight and the self-driving car unit and Advanced Technologies Group.


The Station: Cruise cuts, Waymo snags more cash, and a VC Mobility survey – TechCrunch

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The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here -- just click The Station -- to receive it every Saturday in your inbox. If you're interested in all the future and present ways people and packages move from Point A to Point B, you're in the right place. It felt like Tesla dominated the news cycle once again this week. There was other mobility news though, including layoffs at self-driving company Cruise and new rules that Uber is rolling out Monday that will change the ride-hailing experience for the foreseeable future.