Audi to showcase autonomous driving technology at Frankfurt motor show

Audi is to showcase its autonomous driving technology at the Frankfurt motor show, IAA 2017, staring later this week.

The auto giant says it has been making progress on many levels and is concentrating on providing level 3 automation as standard on its luxury A8 model.

Level 3 is what is called “conditional automation” on the SAE’s five levels of automation. It means the car can manage itself but can notify the human driver when they are required to intervene.  Continue reading Audi to showcase autonomous driving technology at Frankfurt motor show

Magna unveils Max4 autonomous driving platform

Magna, one of the world’s largest suppliers of car components and technology, has launched an autonomous driving platform. 

Max4 can be integrated into any vehicle without compromise to vehicle design and styling, says the company, adding that the platform can enable up to Level 4 autonomous driving in both urban and highway environments.

The company’s key focus is on scalability and volume production readiness.  Continue reading Magna unveils Max4 autonomous driving platform

Intel to build fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles

Determined not to miss out like it did on the smartphone revolution, Intel is developing 100 of its own autonomous cars. 

Intel is still the largest chipmaker in the world in many sectors but in mobile computing technology, other companies have taken the lead.

But there’s not many things as mobile as a road-going vehicle, and newer versions of them need more chips than ever.  Continue reading Intel to build fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles

Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

Mobile robotics in material handling and logistics will become a $75 billion market by 2027, according to a new report, which adds that it will be more than double by 2038. 

These staggering headline figures mask turbulent transformative change underneath: some technologies will rise and transform the fortunes of industries, fuelling growth rates far outpacing recent trends, whilst others will face with decay and obsolescence.

“We are at the beginning of the beginning of a transformative change, and the time to plan is now,” says the report by IDTechEx Research.  Continue reading Market for logistics robots predicted to exceed $75 billion in 10 years

Autonomous sea-going vessels likely to be launched before driverless cars

The vast majority of the world’s goods are shipped – quite literally – by sea. According to the International Maritime Organization, 90 per cent of the world’s trade is carried by ships and boats. 

The IMO adds that the sea “is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move en masse goods and raw materials around the world”.

So while we’re all waiting for drones and driverless vehicles to deliver our online shopping orders by road and by air, it seems the really big trends are all at sea.  Continue reading Autonomous sea-going vessels likely to be launched before driverless cars

Continental sends out autonomous minibus for a driverless drive

Continental, a company which provides a range of automotive solutions such as tyres and advanced driver assistance systems, has been showing off its new autonomous minibus. 

The company calls the vehicle Cube, short for Continental Urban Mobility Experience, and describes it as a “robo-taxi”.

This particular trial of the driverless minibus took place in Frankfurt, Germany.  Continue reading Continental sends out autonomous minibus for a driverless drive

Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

bharati agv crop
The Bharati autonomous guided vehicle for materials transport

Bharati Robotics Systems has been showing off its new autonomous industrial floor cleaning robots. 

The company says the small vehicle saves labour costs and increases productivity by up to 200 per cent, and cleans the floor better than humans, or the “highest quality of cleaning”.

The robot’s battery lasts up to four hours on one charge and it has a smartphone interface through which it can be monitored and controlled.  Continue reading Bharati Robotics shows off autonomous industrial cleaning robot

Autonomous vehicle tech developer Nauto raises $159 million in funding

nauto self-driving system

Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto, which is developing an artificial intelligence and data platform for self-driving technology, has closed a $159 million Series B financing round, led by a SoftBank subsidiary, and Greylock Partners.

Other participants include previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and the venture unit of global financial services and insurance provider Allianz Group, and Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus.

The funds will fuel Nauto’s growth and the deployment of its retrofit safety and networking system into more vehicles around the globe, as well as support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple automakers.  Continue reading Autonomous vehicle tech developer Nauto raises $159 million in funding

TheConstruct launches new training courses for Robot Operating System

construct ros industrial

TheConstruct has launched several new courses for people who want to learn to use the Robot Operating System. 

The online simulation environment provider has two courses, in particular, which may interest readers of this website.

One of them is called ROS Autonomous Vehicles 101, and the other is ROS-Industrial 101. Both are available through the website, TheConstructSim.comContinue reading TheConstruct launches new training courses for Robot Operating System

ST Engineering acquires Aethon, maker of the TUG autonomous mobile vehicles

aethon logistics robot

Singapore Technologies Engineering has acquired Aethon and its autonomous mobile robot, TUG, usually seen performing some logistical task or other. 

ST Engineering is a $5 billion engineering firm with global operations and strong expertise in mobile robotics.

The value of the deal was not made public.

Aethon will become a division of ST Engineering’s US headquarters, VT Systems and will be part of the group’s land systems sector which is led by ST Kinetics, which is focused on robot technology innovation.  Continue reading ST Engineering acquires Aethon, maker of the TUG autonomous mobile vehicles

Electric autonomous vehicle maker Navya to open first US production plant

Autonomous electric vehicle maker Navya is set to open its first US production plant. Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Ann Arbor Spark are to collaborate with Navya on site selection and talent recruitment.

In a joint statement, Navya, MEDC and Ann Arbor Spark said the Michigan plant will be located in the city of Saline, Michigan with a 20,000+ sq ft facility.

Navya plans to build approximately 25 of its Arma fully autonomous and electric shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017.  Continue reading Electric autonomous vehicle maker Navya to open first US production plant

Toyota showcases its new advanced autonomous car platform to Boston robotics community

Boston has become one of the main centres for robotics technologies in recent years, with many well-known companies emerging from the area. 

Perhaps with this in mind, the Toyota Research Institute decided to showcase its latest developments in autonomous vehicle technology, something it’s calling “Platform 2.0” – basically, its new driverless car – to attendees at the Robotics: Science and Systems conference at MIT.

“This is the first time that we are showing the car off to the Boston-area robotics community,” said a spokesman for TRI. “This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program.”  Continue reading Toyota showcases its new advanced autonomous car platform to Boston robotics community

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’

Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric
Volkswagen self-driving concept car, which it calls Sedric

The Volkswagen Group is researching ways in which robots can be used in the future when cars become more electrified and computerised as a result of increasing demand for clean and autonomous vehicles. 

The German automaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini brands among others, is working one of the world’s largest industrial robotics and automation providers, Kuka, to research and develop a number of ideas.

The current area of interest for the strategic partnership between Kuka and Volkswagen is the area of service concepts for vehicles of the future, and the two companies have agreed a contract to jointly develop robot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future.  Continue reading Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

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