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  • Coronavirus surge in demand
  • What does Waymo do now?
  • More tricks for your lidar
  • Future driving schools
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The Engineer
As our streets become ever more clogged with delivery vehicles, the race is on to transform the world of last mile delivery. Andrew Wade reports.

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Freight Waves
If the path to autonomous trucking were a highway, it would be strewn with confusing laws, conflicting definitions, ignored recommendations, unproven technology and the rush for profits. Above this mythical highway would hang a pulsing yellow caution light.

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Euractiv
While today photonics technologies are used in high-tech applications such as quantum computing applications, Internet of Things devices, wearable devices, self-driving cars, and healthcare technologies, the origin of Europe’s relationship with light technologies stretches back millennia.

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MIT
Professor Aleksander Madry strives to build machine-learning models that are more reliable, understandable, and robust.

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Sifted
Goggo Network has raised millions to try and design the regulatory rulebook for self-driving cars in Europe.

Editor’s Note: There is the technology of self-driving cars, but there is also a business in the regulation. Here Sifted reports on the Madrid-based startup getting into the industry through policy.

The Globe and Mail ($)
Imagine a scenario in which malicious hackers take control of entire fleets of cars and cause them to crash. It’s not science fiction anymore.

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Calcalis
Maxine Fassberg is retiring from Intel. You might have heard that once before, but this time it is final—she bought a private vehicle. The company car she has received from Intel, where she spent close to four decades as one of the strongest players in the company, is parked outside her home, waiting to be collected.

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University of Arizona
Researchers at UC Berkeley and the University of Arizona, among other institutions, plan to move automated vehicles out of the lab and onto roadways for fuel savings.

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Daily Gazette (Schenectady)
CAPITAL REGION — The Capital Region needs to prepare for revolutionary changes in transportation technology while also concentrating on the costly business of rehabilitating or replacing aging highways and other infrastructure, according to a newly drafted 30-year regional transportation spending plan.

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Bloomberg
Beijing-based firm’s vans delivering medical supplies in China.

Editor’s Note: Like most topics this week, driverless cars have a coronavirus angle. Here Bloomberg reports from China.

Business Insider ($)
With investor focus elsewhere, the expectation for self-driving trucks could be pushed even further down the road.

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Bloomberg
Do automakers investing billions in the self-driving cars of tomorrow risk repeating the same mistake they made with electric cars a decade ago?

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Automotive News ($)
Last month, a U.S. House panel heard praise and concern from trade groups representing industry sectors that are top stakeholders in present and future developments of autonomous vehicle legislation.

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Forbes
Singapore is a dense city-state with a large growing population (approx 6M). In 2015, the Singapore government launched the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint (SSB) which had five strategic thrusts to build a sustainable city, and one of the key elements was “a car-lite” Singapore. Given the limited space, it is no longer possible to increase road infrastructure or cars without significantly adding to congestion. Thus, SSB focuses on shifting mobility to walking, biking, and public transportation.

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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued a set of research-based safety recommendations on the design of partially automated driving systems. The guidelines emphasize how to keep drivers focused on the road even as the vehicle does more of the work.

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Tech Crunch
A little more than two and half years ago, Waymo engineers began working on a hardware sensor suite that would improve upon previous generations and have the capability to work on a variety of vehicles, from self-driving passenger cars to autonomous semi-trucks.

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CX Tech
The Chinese government divides autonomous driving technology into six levels from 0 to 5, which are similar to the standards set by the American Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). “Conditional” driving automation refers to Level 3 technology, which allows a vehicle to drive itself only in certain environmental conditions as long as a human driver can take manual control in the event of an emergency.

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Australian Financial Review ($)
By the time it takes other automakers to incorporate an off-the-shelf solution like something from Nvidia into their production cars we think that’ll be another three years. We think that’s something on par with what Tesla has in their cars today. They have the best cars on the road. They have the best batteries on a range per dollar basis.

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Financial Times ($)
When outside investors lined up this week to pour $2.25bn into Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving technology division, it brought strong validation for a decade of work.

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The Conversation
Today, most autonomous vehicles rely on multiple sensors to perceive the world. Most systems use a combination of cameras, radar sensors and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors. On board, computers fuse this data to create a comprehensive view of what’s happening around the car. Without this data, autonomous vehicles would have no hope of safely navigating the world. Cars that use multiple sensor systems both work better and are safer – each system can serve as a check on the others – but no system is immune from attack.

Editor’s Note: Readers of Free Wheeling will know that fooling lidar systems is becoming a trend. Here two researchers from car country, Michigan, explain their work.

GovTech
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A new all-electric ride-hailing service in California’s capital city is designed to close first- and last-mile gaps for commuters, while laying the ground work for self-driving technology.

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Design News
There’s more holding back fully-autonomous vehicles than automotive technology.

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Clean Technica
In a recent blog post, Waymo says it has cut the cost of the sensors for its suite of autonomous driving hardware by half and doubled how far it can see ahead, behind, and to the sides of a vehicle. Before it was Waymo, the company was an offshoot of Google. With engineer Lawrence Burns as its leader, the team began by building a car to compete in the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2004. From there, it created the cute little 2-seat Google car. The entire story is a fascinating one well told by Burns in his recent book, Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car… and How It Will Reshape Our World.

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Gulf News
In the future, technology is expected to make cars so smart that they’ll be able to drive on their own, while you relax in the back seat and watch your favourite TV shows. At the heart of these self-driving vehicles will be artificial intelligence (AI) capable of processing and reacting to data from on-board cameras and sensors faster and better than any human driver can. In fact, fully autonomous cars won’t have steering wheels, depending solely on their AI chops.

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Nikkei
BEIJING — At a time when preventing the new coronavirus from spreading is of the utmost importance, unmanned vehicles are playing an important role in China. At the same time, people are becoming aware of the limits of what humans can do to combat infectious disease and how automation might help.

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