Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

dirk hoheisel
Dirk Hoheisel, Bosch board member responsible for mobility solutions, making his presentation

The demand for advanced driver assistance systems is surging, according to Bosch, which says it pocketed almost $4 billion last year from supplying the technology. 

The company is developing a range of hardware and software solutions for what it calls automated driving, and one of them is an onboard artificial intelligence-driven computer, which will go into production within the next few years.

ADAS is often seen as autonomous – or driverless – car technology, except it’s integrated into cars already being purchased in large numbers today.  Continue reading Growing market for advanced driver assistance systems brings big bucks for Bosch

Volkswagen buys D-Wave quantum computers which sell for $15 million each

D-Wave’s quantum computing system

Volkswagen has become a customer of D-Wave Systems, which builds quantum computers that cost $15 million each. 

Martin Hofmann, VW’s chief information officer, told New York Times that the investment in quantum computing technology is a sign of things to come. “For us, it’s a new era of technology,” he said.

VW is claimed to have used a D-Wave computer to steer the movements of 10,000 taxis in Beijing simultaneously, optimising their routes and reducing congestion, according to the report in NYT.  Continue reading Volkswagen buys D-Wave quantum computers which sell for $15 million each

World’s largest automotive companies and an intro to their autonomous and electric vehicle tech moves

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A picture of a car production line, this one in an Audi factory

In the first of a series of articles about large industrial companies, we list 20 of the leading automakers in the world in order of their last reported annual revenue amount, and highlight some of their more interesting developments in autonomous technologies. 

Automakers are have long been the largest market for industrial robotics and automation systems, but also, more recently, the vehicles they produce have become more robotic.

The design and development of road vehicles are becoming increasingly an exercise in developing computing technology – both hardware and software. Add to that the growing importance of artificial intelligence to run the advanced driver assistance systems that many new cars already have. Continue reading World’s largest automotive companies and an intro to their autonomous and electric vehicle tech moves

ADAS: Features of advanced driver assistance systems

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Picture courtesy of RepairDrivenNews.com

This is a long list of features of advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS as it’s called in the automotive industry. 

ADAS is an umbrella term. Its individual technologies are basically small autonomous systems.

Taken together, ADAS is essentially a self-driving system, but it’s not promoted as such because of regulatory reasons.  Continue reading ADAS: Features of advanced driver assistance systems

International Transport Workers’ Federation calls for virtual counter-revolution against robot bosses

itf uber car
Picture credit: Alper Cugun via Flickr and ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation is calling on all its members and affiliates worldwide to “work together” and launch a virtual revolution to counter the growing oppressive power of robots. 

Autonomous driving technology threatens to displace millions of truck drivers and cab drivers and other transport workers worldwide, and the ITF says the bosses and the elite are introducing these inhuman technologies without bothering to properly consider the “social costs” to the proletariat.

The ITF has 16 million members worldwide and almost 700 individual unions affiliated to the organisation.

In response to the robot takeover, the ITF is promoting a hashtag for people to tweet to – #futureofwork – as well as its own hashtag, #WeAreITF.

The ITF also organised a gathering in Stockholm, Sweden for the first meeting of the federation’s new automation working group.  Continue reading International Transport Workers’ Federation calls for virtual counter-revolution against robot bosses

Teamsters union tackles self-driving trucks issue, calls for comprehensive federal rules on autonomous vehicles

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The Teamsters Union is calling for any federal legislation regarding self-driving technology to take into account public safety and the millions of working Americans employed in transportation and related industries.

At a public hearing on Capitol Hill this week, House lawmakers discussed 14 pieces of draft legislation on self-driving vehicles. The bills could be combined into a final package for introduction in the 115th Congress.

The Teamsters Union has been closely monitoring all aspects of the technology, urging lawmakers to prioritize safety and transparency in rules concerning the testing phase of self-driving vehicles.  Continue reading Teamsters union tackles self-driving trucks issue, calls for comprehensive federal rules on autonomous vehicles

Uber’s autonomous truck journey off to a bumpy start

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An autonomous trucking start-up Otto vehicle is shown during an announcing event in Concord, California, US on August 4, 2016. Reuters / Alexandria Sage

By Heather Somerville and Julia Love, Reuters

Uber Technologies’ drive to become a major player in the trucking business is off to a bumpy start, with analysts and industry executives questioning what exactly the company can bring to the sprawling $700-billion industry.

The San Francisco ride-services giant had planned to disrupt freight hauling by offering a complete package of trucking technology including self-driving trucks and smartphone-based logistics services.

But what has emerged so far, industry watchers say, is a modest effort to build a brokerage service connecting truckers looking for loads to shippers with cargo to haul.  Continue reading Uber’s autonomous truck journey off to a bumpy start

Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

dsp concepts auto-measure

One of the main reasons why highly-sophisticated sensors have come down in price to affordable levels in the past few years is smartphones. 

The economies of scale achieved through having to produce literally billions of sensors for smartphones has established a strong manufacturing base for sensing technology.

And from that base, sensors are now driving many different markets, perhaps most interesting of which is the automotive market.  Continue reading Energised by smartphones, sensors are driving the automotive industry

Renesas working on new products for self-driving cars

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Renesas, one of the leading suppliers of electronics to the automotive sector, says it is developing a new range of products which it plans to launch towards the end of this year, according to a report in Automotive News

The company plans to market the new range of products under the label of “Renesas Autonomy”, and it will include such things as an image-recognition system which works with automotive cameras, around-view monitors and lidar systems.

The market for automotive electronics has been accelerating at a fast rate and is seeing consolidation in the chipmaking business, with Qualcomm having bought NXP, which previously bought Freescale.  Continue reading Renesas working on new products for self-driving cars

ZMP partners with Tokyo taxi operator to launch self-driving cabs for 2020 Olympics

ZMP’s RoboCar MiniVan, a self-driving Toyota Estima Hybrid car
A TV camerawoman films a laser scanner on ZMP’s RoboCar MiniVan, a self-driving Toyota Estima Hybrid car, after a joint news conference between ZMP and Hinomaru Kotsu in Tokyo, Japan June 15, 2017. Reuters / Toru Hanai

Japanese robotics maker ZMP has partnered with a taxi operator in Tokyo, as part of its plans to launch a self-driving taxi in the city in time for the 2020 Olympics, said CEO Hisashi Taniguchi.

Japan’s taxi industry, faced with a labour crunch due to an ageing population, has been looking at new technologies to drive growth. The sector may also have to deal with more competition in the future if the government allows ride-sharing services such as Uber to operate across the country.

“Autonomous taxis and the taxi industry can grow and prosper together,” Taniguchi told reporters, after announcing ZMP’s partnership with Hinomaru KotsuContinue reading ZMP partners with Tokyo taxi operator to launch self-driving cabs for 2020 Olympics

Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Audi has demonstrated its autonomous car – which it calls “Jack” – in a road test featuring a humanoid robot called Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics.

Audi’s head of concept development, automated driving, Klaus Verweyen, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the car, while Sophia was in the passenger seat.

Verweyen chatted away to Sophia as though it was the most normal thing in the world. Meanwhile, Jack drove itself from Audi’s facility onto a main highway and back again.  Continue reading Audi autonomous car tech boss chats with humanoid robot as though it were entirely natural

Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

robot cars

Robot cars pose unprecedented risks to the American public, Consumer Watchdog warned in a report, Self-Driving Vehicles: The Threat to Consumers.

In a representation to the Senate, Consumer Watchdog says robot cars – also known as driverless, self-driving, autonomous or highly-automated cars – require mandatory safety, security, privacy and ethical standards.

The organisation also warned that getting Madd is not enough.

The Consumer Watchdog report is being issued in conjunction with a day-long program, Driverless Cars: The Legal Landscape, sponsored by George Washington University Law School and a hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee, Paving the Way for Self-Driving Vehicles.  Continue reading Robot cars pose ‘unprecedented risks and costs’, warns Consumer Watchdog

General Motors produces new fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles

Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at GM
Chevrolet Bolt EV autonomous test vehicles are assembled at General Motors Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Michigan. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for General Motors)

Company claims to be the first company to use mass-production methods for autonomous and electric vehicles

General Motors says it has completed production of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles equipped with its next generation of self-driving technology at its Orion Assembly Plant located in Orion Township, Michigan.

The vehicles will join the more than 50 current-generation self-driving Bolt EVs already deployed in testing fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

GM CEO Mary Barra says: “This production milestone brings us one step closer to making our vision of personal mobility a reality.

“Expansion of our real-world test fleet will help ensure that our self-driving vehicles meet the same strict standards for safety and quality that we build into all of our vehicles.”  Continue reading General Motors produces new fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles

US government set to change driverless vehicle regulations under pressure from automakers

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US President Donald Trump is set to announce “within the next few months” new regulations that will eliminate the barriers to autonomous cars on the roads, according to a report on Reuters

The current transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, acknowledged that automakers have been calling for rule changes which will give them more freedom to test and develop autonomous cars.

Chao says: “The pressure is mounting for the federal government to do something. We don’t want rules that impede future technological advances.”  Continue reading US government set to change driverless vehicle regulations under pressure from automakers

Apple confirms it’s developing autonomous car technology

apple car, bmw
One artist’s concept of what an Apple car might look like

By Abdul Montaqim

Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed that the tech giant is working on software for self-driving cars, according to Bloomberg

Cook calls the development effort “the mother of all AI projects”.

Apple has been rumoured to be working on building a driverless car for some time, but the company has never directly confirmed anything.  Continue reading Apple confirms it’s developing autonomous car technology