Beijing-based Internet search company, Baidu, Inc. BIDU , plans to start testing self-driving cars in the U.S., according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company already has plans to release driverless cars on public roads in China by the end of 2018.According to Baidu’s chief scientist Andrew Ng, the latest development takes the company a step ahead in the race to build autonomous cars.In recent years, Baidu has been trying to strengthen its foothold in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. The autonomous car uses Baidu AutoBrain technology that facilitates mapping, detecting, positioning and decision making.However, Baidu is not the only one testing the waters with autonomous cars. Alphabet Inc. GOOGLhas been working on an autonomous car project since 2009 and has already completed 2 million miles of self-driving car testing. General Motors Co. GM and Ford Motor Co. F are also trying to enter this segment.Last year, Baidu hired Google’s former AI chief Ng as the head of its AI center in Silicon Valley. Currently, 160 employees are working on the project in its Sunnyvale Office under the leadership of Ng.
Volvo has made quite a few ambitious safety pledges in the past year. In addition to accepting full liability in the case of accidents that involve autonomous vehicles, Volvo has also set a goal to have no deaths in the company’s vehicles by 2020. As Volvo’s CEO of North America Lex Kerssemakers would have it, autonomous technology will be a major factor in achieving that goal.
Domino’s Pizza has unveiled what is being called the “world’s first commercial autonomous delivery vehicle,” which is delivering pizza to people in Australia.According to Lifehacker, the DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit) has been developed in collaboration with Marathon Robotics, who normally make targets for live-fire army training. The Domino’s Robotic UnitInstead of taking gunfire, the DRU can reach speeds of 20 kilometers an hour, it can overcome obstacles in its path, and even navigate fences and driveways – although you’ll have to collect your delivery from the curb for now. The DRU will also chat to you while you pick up your pizza.It weighs 190kg, stands at 1185mm tall, and has cameras to catch any potential pizza snatchers in the act. In addition, Domino’s CEO Don Meji says the DRU is completely safe. “One of our inspirations for DRU is safety — it seems pretty crazy to us that we use one-and-a-half tonne vehicles to deliver a few hundred grams of pizza,” he said.
The head of Google’s self-driving car program, Chris Urmson, sent a letter to the Department of Transportation on Friday outlining a proposal that would fast-track self-driving car technology and expedite the process of taking the technology mainstream. Current US law prohibits vehicles which cannot be driven by a human — as is the case with the steering wheel-less Google Car — from operating on public roads. And, rather than wait for these existing laws to eventually catch up to the technology, Google wants the government create a special permitting system wherein any auto manufacturer, having shown that their vehicle meets federal safety standards, could petition regulators for permission to sell them. For their part, regulators would be empowered to dictate usage limitations for the applicant vehicles based on prevailing safety concerns.
A team from Stanford, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg has produced a video demonstrating how its software, called Face2Face, in combination with a common webcam, can make any person on video appear to say anything a source actor wants them to say.
Chinese tech giant Baidu is planning to make self-driving cars a commercially viable option by 2018. To take another step in that direction, the company will test its autonomous vehicles on roads in the US. The plan to bring those cars stateside was announced by Baidu’s chief scientist Andrew Ng this week, inviting better cooperation with the United States government and the ability leverage resources from its Silicon Valley tech center. That office, which is lead by Ng, is staffed with a number of employees tasked with the development of self-driving tech.Baidu first revealed its self-driving plans in 2014. Late last year, the company completed its first driverless test, putting a modified BMW 3 through its paces in mixed road conditions on a 19-mile trek. The goal is to begin using autonomous shuttles or buses that follow a loop in China by 2018. As the Wall Street Journal points out, running the shuttles in a standard route would limit the potential for unexpected circumstances to pop up.