In a recent tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote that cars with full self-driving capabilities will arrive in the next three to six months.Tesla has been making improvements to both its Autopilot software and hardware, so this timeline seems doable for the cutting-edge company.
ack in September, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative – the philanthropic company set up by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan – set a goal to invest $3 billion to cure, prevent, and manage disease by the end of the century.
While tech titans such as Google, Uber, and Apple along with almost every auto maker on the planet have poured resources into the development of autonomous vehicle technology, online retail giant Amazon has been relatively quiet on that front. But a recently approved patent shows the Seattle-based company could be ready to make a big move in the autonomous vehicle space.
We live in a time where Level 5 autonomous cars are close to becoming a reality, and more than one company is working towards bringing humans to Mars. Consider all this, it’s almost surprising that flying cars haven’t taken to the skies yet. But it turns out we may not have to wait too long: Airbus is planning to test a prototype, not only for a flying car but an autonomous flying car.
While Uber and Tesla grab headlines in self-driving car tech, Korean engineers are building an autonomous vehicle that is planned for roadworthiness by the middle of this year.A team at the Seoul National University have been building their self-driving car — cleverly named SNUber — for the past couple of years. While it’s been available for use on campus via an app, the team is ready to test the outside terrain, thanks to Korea recently opening downtown roads to self-driving cars.SEE ALSO: This 13-foot-tall mechanical suit looks like something straight out of a sci-fi filmIn a ride I had with two engineers, the car safely maneuvered through traffic on the Seoul campus, stopping for pedestrians, slowing traffic and oncoming buses that poked into its lane. It was also able to overtake obstacles like double-parked cars and made safe left and right turns — perhaps more passively than the average driver in safety-first, “grandma-style” fashion, as the driver put it.Seo Seung-woo, lead professor on the project, said he and his team of around 20 engineers ultimately aims for Level 4 driverless technology — regarded as full autonomy, which involves ferrying a passenger from door-to-door on regular roads. They expect the tech will be ready for primetime by 2025.
Beginning on February 13, the one-week training course includes direct, individualised guidance from experienced tutors.The course can be undertaken online, through the web, or in Barcelona – if you’re lucky enough to live in Barcelona.The Construct also said it has now opened enrolment to its ROS in a Single Week course, aimed at starters.The company says the course is “entirely practical ROS training”, which integrates theory and practice. Participants learn by programming different simulated robots and full integrated development environment.That course, too, can be done online or in person, if you fly over to Barcelona, Spain.
Apple is wading in to the debate over regulation of self-driving cars, declaring it is excited about the potential for automated transportation and calling on US regulators not to restrict testing of such vehicles.A five-page letter from Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the company’s most comprehensive statement yet about its interest in self-driving vehicle technology.The November 22 letter followed more than a year of industry speculation about the computer and iPhone maker’s plans for expanding into transportation. Kenner wrote: “The company is investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation, and is excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation.“Executed properly under NHTSA’s guidance, automated vehicles have the potential to greatly enhance the human experience – to prevent millions of car crashes and thousands of fatalities each year and to give mobility to those without.”
US President Barack Obama has appointed General Motors chief executive Mary Barra to a newly created advisory committee on self-driving cars, and critics are already saying she should be the first person to whom the incoming president, Donald Trump, should say: “You’re fired.” Consumer advocates called on President-elect Donald Trump to make Barra his first firing and remove her as co-chairman of the newly created Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation.
The I.D. Buzz is the namesake of Volkswagen’s artificial intelligence (AI) system, I.D. The AI is said to have the ability to discern between drivers to automatically customize things like seat position and other environmental factors — it can even choose the appropriate music to play. The windshield features a heads-up display, and the center console is a detachable tablet that can be used outside of the vehicle.VolkswagenThe I.D. Buzz boasts a spacious interior thanks to a combination of Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Driving Kit (MEB) and rearrangeable seating, which is placed on a rail system that even allows for a foldout table.
The styling of Nissan’s latest concept car, the Vmotion 2.0, is designed to draw attention to its self-driving features.Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, the car’s front grille has a backlit Nissan emblem that glows when the ProPilot self-driving system is active. The rear diffuser also glows when the car operates in autonomous mode. We’re pretty sure that the lights are designed to show off how cool the car is, but they could also be useful as a warning for other motorists skeptical of self-driving technology to give you a wide berth.
One of the cutest things we’ve seen at CES 2017 is Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle – a modified NC750S that uses technology derived from Honda’s self-balancing unicycles to keep itself upright. Plus, it can follow you around like a puppy at walking pace, which is adorable.
During this keynote, he announced several steps his company will take in the future to advance its idea of mobility. Here are the important bits:A new Nissan LeafCarlos Ghosn finally gave out some details regarding the next-generation Nissan Leaf. It will come with the semi-autonomous ProPilot system, which is currently in the Japanese-market Nissan Sirena.Ghosn also stressed Nissan’s dedication to using the Leaf for energy distribution. He talked about electric vehicles that can supply power to homes, buildings or even the grid itself. When Nissan’s new European HQ opens, it will be partly powered by vehicle-to-building and vehicle-to-grid tech.11Nissan IDS concept is a polite, self-driving electric car (pictures)AI and self-driving carsNissan plans to launch a system it calls Seamless Autonomous Mobility. It’s a workaround solution for what to do when the first generation of true autonomous cars encounter situations they may not be able to handle.Its autonomous cars would be linked to a command center. If the car encounters a problem — say, a roadblock where police are using hand signals to reroute cars over double yellow lines — the car pulls over and signals to the command center that it needs help.36All the cool new car stuff at CES 2017An actual human (called a mobility manager) in that center will look at vehicle images and sensor data to determine how to handle it, and the car will be under the manager’s control until the manager leaves it to its own devices, pun intended.
What’s even more sci-fi than the facial recognition is how the user actually manipulates the system. A combination of a haptic touch display and a gesture control system, the latter of which is actually capable of providing tangible feedback, although the company didn’t immediately explain how. I’ll be testing the car later this week, so I’ll get some more in-depth answers then.Enlarge ImageThe future is egg-shaped. We’re nearly there already, in fact.Photo by BoschThe haptic-feedback gesture control system looks oddly similar to BMW’s HoloActive Touch system, which promises a similar system. Bosch’s lacks the references to holograms, but given Bosch’s position as a popular supplier for German automakers, there may be some Bosch labels tucked away under BMW’s dash.
Which led me to a third, somewhat hidden, yet critically important car trend: Making all this technology seem less scary and more human.The humanization of AI and autonomy can seem like a slightly desperate attempt to win over an unwilling public since people believe, irrationally, that self-driving cars are less safe than human drivers and that artificial intelligence will someday result in the singularity that kills us all.