Dekra takes over Lausitzring race track to turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing circuit

lausitzring track
The Lausitzring race track has been the venue for many races

A company called Dekra will take over the Lausitzring race track on November 1, 2017, and turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing ground.

Together with the Dekra Technology Center, in immediate proximity to the race track in Klettwitz, Brandenburg, since 2003, the site will be made into the innovation center for the testing of the mobility of the future.

It will become a central component of the international testing network for connected and automated driving, which Dekra is establishing in Europe and Asia, and will bring “new, high-quality jobs to the region”, says the company.  Continue reading Dekra takes over Lausitzring race track to turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing circuit

Baidu opens up its software to accelerate development of self-driving technology with 50 other companies in ‘autonomous driving ecosystem’

Baidu self-driving car
Baidu self-driving car being showcased at a recent company conference

Baidu, which is China’s equivalent of Google, has accelerated the development of its self-driving technology by opening up its software to outside companies. 

The Chinese internet search giant has been building its autonomous vehicle operating system for quite some time, testing it on a variety of vehicles in China.

Now it will give away that software for free, probably in an effort to steal a march on global competitors such as Google, Apple and a growing number of other tech companies which are developing artificial intelligence systems which can drive cars all by themselves.  Continue reading Baidu opens up its software to accelerate development of self-driving technology with 50 other companies in ‘autonomous driving ecosystem’

Nvidia partners with Hella and ZF to improve safety of self-driving vehicles

nvidia hella zf self-driving truck

Nvidia has formed a strategic partnership with ZF and Hella to deliver AI technology with the New Car Assessment Program safety certification for the mass deployment of self-driving vehicles. 

ZF, one of the industry’s largest automotive suppliers, and Hella, a leading tier 1 supplier of camera perception software and sensor technologies, will provide customers with a complete self-driving system that integrates front camera units, as well as supporting software functions and radar systems.

Using the Nvidia Drive PX AI platform, the partnership aims to produce the highest NCAP safety ratings for passenger cars, while also addressing commercial vehicle and off-highway applications.  Continue reading Nvidia partners with Hella and ZF to improve safety of self-driving vehicles

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

audi
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

adas
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

uber otto autonomous truck
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

Nvidia developing self-driving technology with truckmaker Paccar

Nvidia is working with Paccar, a truck manufacturer, on developing solutions for autonomous vehicles. 

The collaboration was shared by Nvidia founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang during his keynote at the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin.

Separately, he provided details of Nvidia’s partnership with Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier, on self-driving car technology.

“This is probably the largest single mass of a product that we’ve helped make,” said Huang, addressing a crowd of more than 2,000 executives, developers and others attending the event.  Continue reading Nvidia developing self-driving technology with truckmaker Paccar

Controller area network: No need for a computer

audi r8

In this exclusive guest article, Kent Lennartsson, research manager at Kvaser, highlights a crucial technology – reliable, hassle-free controller communication 

A “controller area network” – or CAN, also known as a CAN bus or vehicle bus – is most well known for its use in automotive design.

In this system, a vehicle bus allows microcontrollers and other devices to communicate with one another without the need for a central computer.

This concept is akin to our use of the Internet of Things in everyday life.

This means when you’re driving down the highway in your Audi R8, your cruise control system can quickly communicate with your anti-lock brakes, disengaging the gas pedal and activating emergency brake assist, helping to make a fast stop if debris drops from a truck into your lane.  Continue reading Controller area network: No need for a computer

Trump administration will be a catalytic converter for autonomous cars, says Chao

sae autonomous car illustration

Newly appointed US Transport Secretary Elaine Chao says the Trump administration will have a catalysing effect on the autonomous car industry. 

Chao made her first public remarks on the subject while speaking at the National Governors Association, as reported by Reuters.

Chao said: “This administration is evaluating this guidance and will consult with you and other stakeholders as we update it and amend it, to ensure that it strikes the right balance.”

She added that the Trump administration wanted to ensure it “is a catalyst for safe, efficient technologies, not an impediment. In particular, I want to challenge Silicon Valley, Detroit, and all other auto industry hubs to step up and help educate a skeptical public about the benefits of automated technology”.  Continue reading Trump administration will be a catalytic converter for autonomous cars, says Chao

Audi demonstrates autonomous driving tech with AI

audi autonomous driving with ai
Piloted driving with artificial intelligence: Audi says it is partnering with top companies in the electronics industry

Audi has been showcasing its latest innovations in autonomous driving in collaboration with Nvidia. 

The auto giant and chip maker call the system “piloted driving with artificial intelligence.

Audi says AI is a “key technology” for piloted driving, which is why the company has form what it says are strong partnerships in the electronics industry and is jointly developing “game-changing know-how” in the field of machine learning.  Continue reading Audi demonstrates autonomous driving tech with AI