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

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

Roborace shows off its driverless electric racing car in the US

roborace new york 2 small

Roborace has been showing off its driverless electric racing car in New York, in the US, after organising similar exhibitions in other countries. 

Roborace organises what is believed to be the world’s first driverless electric car racing series, using vehicles based on Nvidia’s Drive PX2 artificial intelligence platform.

The car incorporates technologies such as lidar, radar, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, optical speed sensors, GNSS positioning, and others, according to Engineering.comContinue reading Roborace shows off its driverless electric racing car in the US

Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

Bense, von Fritsch, Schaefer, Manturov, Ruess and Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant's cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow
Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Rus CEO Axel Bense, Germany’s Ambassador to Russia Ruediger von Fritsch, member of the divisional board of Mercedes-Benz Cars Markus Schaefer, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, head of production planning of Mercedes-Benz Cars Rainer Ruess and Moscow Regional Governor Andrei Vorobyov attend a new Mercedes-Benz plant’s cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Esipovo outside Moscow, Russia earlier this week. Reuters / Tatyana Makeyeva

By Jack Stubbs, Reuters

Daimler began construction of a new Mercedes-Benz plant near Moscow this week, following through on the first new investment by a major foreign automaker in Russia since Western sanctions were imposed three years ago.

Daimler said in February that it will invest more than $280 million in the factory, contrasting with widespread wariness among international investors after a prolonged downturn brought on by sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices.

But Russia’s economy has recently shown signs of recovery, while its car market is returning to growth after four years of decline.  Continue reading Daimler lays foundation stone for $280 million Mercedes-Benz plant in Russia

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

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

Daimler orders millions of dollars worth of industrial robotics tech from Kuka

KR FORTEC 360

The robotics division of Kuka has received what the company describes as “a major new order in the double-digit million euro range” from a German premium car manufacturer.

The framework agreement with the Daimler encompasses the supply of multiple industrial robots of the KR Quantec generation and the integrated KR C4 controller, as well as robots from the KR Fortec heavy-duty series.

The robots will be used primarily for joining and handling applications in body-in-white production.  Continue reading Daimler orders millions of dollars worth of industrial robotics tech from Kuka

World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

auto manufacturing Geely_assembly_line

Arthur D. Little, which claims to be the world’s first consultancy company, predicts how future mobility solutions will affect automotive manufacturing.

In a new report, The Future of Automotive Mobility, the company says – somewhat surprisingly – that the future vehicle technology will depend less on consumer preferences than government regulations.

The company draws its conclusions on a global survey of 6,500 participants, including customers, industry players and regulators. Its research examines how the megatrends of electric mobility, car sharing and autonomous driving are likely to impact on the global automotive ecosystem and future original equipment manufacturing sales.  Continue reading World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

Nvidia and Bosch launch artificially intelligent self-driving car computer

Nvidia CEO Huang on stage at Bosch event
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang on stage at Bosch event

One of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, Bosch, provided a massive stage today for Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to showcase its new artificial intelligence platform for self-driving cars.

Speaking in the heart of Berlin to several thousand attendees at Bosch Connected World — an annual conference dedicated to the Internet of Things — Huang detailed how deep learning is fueling an AI revolution in the auto industry.

The small AI car supercomputer was unveiled last week in the opening keynote address by Bosch CEO Dr Volkmar Denner, who focused on how his company, which had €73 billion in revenue last year, is pushing deeper into the areas of sensors, software and services.  Continue reading Nvidia and Bosch launch artificially intelligent self-driving car computer

Volkswagen launches its first autonomous and electric concept car

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric
Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric

Volkswagen has unveiled what it says is its first autonomous concept car, describing it as a “comfortable lounge on wheels”. 

The company claims to be the first automobile manufacturer to present an integrated mobility concept for mobility of the future in road traffic, including a concept car developed from scratch for autonomous driving.

Volkswagen says “Sedric”, the name of the new self-driving car, provides an insight into the future of individual mobility that can be used by everyone, but which can be geared to personal needs.

Volkswagen says Sedric highlights the major importance of fully automated driving in the future strategy of the company.  Continue reading Volkswagen launches its first autonomous and electric concept car

Transport secretary Elaine Chao needs to update DoT policy, says automation expert

elaine chao

Newly appointed US transport secretary Elaine Chao is being asked to go out and “do better” than the previous administration and “explain in plain language” her recipe for success.  

In particular, Chao is being asked to give the testing and regulation of autonomous cars a national framework rather than allow the technology to be introduced in a haphazard way, with each state making its own rules as it goes along.

This is the suggestion of many experts from the world of business and academia, including one particularly outspoken expert Timothy Carone, an associate teaching professor in the Department of IT, Analytics, and Operations in the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.  Continue reading Transport secretary Elaine Chao needs to update DoT policy, says automation expert

Connected and autonomous cars: Driving in the cloud

Driving in the cloud

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of obsolete components supplier, EU Automation explains how cloud computing can help both manufacturers and owners make the most of their vehicle

Today, we consider wireless connectivity and parking assist to be standard features in new models of car.

However, roll back 50 years and it was a different story; there was much less technology of any kind in most vehicles.

The three-point seatbelt didn’t become standard until 1970 and airbags weren’t mandatory until 1998. With cloud computing on the rise, we’re seeing more high-tech features being added to vehicles than ever.

Cloud computing plays a pivotal role in helping original equipment manufacturers manage and control the data and connectivity needed to run a system of remote downloads and upgrades across all the cars they sell.  Continue reading Connected and autonomous cars: Driving in the cloud

Vehicle safety becoming ‘increasingly complex’, says ZF boss

Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF and John Plant, CEO of TRW
Picture shows Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF (right), and John Plant, CEO of TRW Automotive. ZF bought TRW last year. 

Majority of vehicles will be driven autonomously in 20 years, he says

The boss of one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers says today’s road vehicles are becoming more sophisticated and ensuring their safe operation more complex. 

Speaking at an industry event, Dr Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, also said the further development of safety systems would facilitate autonomous driving, and be an “enabler” for automotive “megatrends”.

Sommer said: “Demands to vehicle safety are becoming increasingly complex due to new vehicle architectures and flexible use of internal space. Meeting these demands is necessary for autonomous vehicles and e-mobility to gain general acceptance.”  Continue reading Vehicle safety becoming ‘increasingly complex’, says ZF boss

Hannover Messe: Smart materials paving the way to 3D printing and to the ‘microfactory’

3d printed supercar

Get your complimentary ticket to Hannover Messe 2017

There may or may not be slight differences between what’s called “3D printing” and “additive manufacturing”, but essentially both are advanced techniques that could spell the end of assembly lines as we know them. 

It’s a widely known historic fact that giant car companies pioneered what we now known as the assembly line, where a product – such as a car or any other complex item – would move along production line, where different workers and teams of workers would do their jobs and eventually a finished product would be the result.

This process, however, is now being reconsidered in an age where customers are asking for increaing amounts of customisation and new technologies such as 3D printing and additive manufacturing are making this customisation possible.  Continue reading Hannover Messe: Smart materials paving the way to 3D printing and to the ‘microfactory’

Panasonic to test self-driving car tech in Colorado

panasonic gebhardt ces
Panasonic’s Gebhardt making the presentation at CES

lockElectronics and industrial components giant Panasonic is planning to test its autonomous car technology in the state of Colorado, in the US. 

The company has been making some significant moves in the automotive space, and this week revealed some of its ideas at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Tom Gebhardt, president of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America, made a presentation at CES in which he said the company’s “smart mobility” plan starts with energy.  Continue reading Panasonic to test self-driving car tech in Colorado