High-end vehicle simulation: Ansible Motion chooses Heason Technology as motion control partner

Ansible Motion, a designer and manufacturer of advanced driver-in-the-loop simulators, has chosen Heason Technology as its motion control supplier.

Ansible’s heritage is closely associated with the motorsports industry, but nowadays also serving major road car and speciality vehicle manufacturers.

The company’s DIL solutions are available in a variety of form factors from test bench models with steering force feedback to highly dynamic 6 degrees of freedom simulators combining software, mechatronics, video and audio for a truly immersive multi-sensory experience.  Continue reading High-end vehicle simulation: Ansible Motion chooses Heason Technology as motion control partner

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

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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

Continental demonstrates ‘Cruising Chauffeur’, its vision of autonomous driving

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Continental’s Cruising Chauffeur autonomous vehicle

Continental has showcased its “Cruising Chauffeur”, an self-driving car platform which provides an insight into the company’s vision of the future of what it calls “highly automated driving” on highways.

Highly automated driving on highways is no longer just a dream, says the company, but now a reality.

Continental started testing systems for automated driving on public roads back in 2012 in Nevada, and was the first automotive supplier to receive the state’s license to test automated vehicles.  Continue reading Continental demonstrates ‘Cruising Chauffeur’, its vision of autonomous driving

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’

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

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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

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

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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

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

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

Honda aiming for Level 4 automated driving capability by 2025

Honda says it is targeting the year 2025 for the introduction of vehicles with highly-automated driving capability – or autonomy – in most driving situations (SAE Level 4).

Full list of SAE levels of automation, or autonomousness, available here.

This new goal builds upon earlier-announced plans for Honda and Acura vehicles to have highly-automated freeway driving capability (SAE Level 3) by 2020.

Honda says these are “critical steps” in its commitment to contribute to a “collision-free society”.  Continue reading Honda aiming for Level 4 automated driving capability by 2025

SAE’s full list of levels for autonomous vehicles

This is the full list of SAE’s autonomy levels:

Level 0 – No Automation: The full-time performance by the human driver of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even when enhanced by warning or intervention systems.

Level 1 – Driver Assistance: The driving mode-specific execution by a driver assistance system of either steering or acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 2 – Partial Automation: The driving mode-specific execution by one or more driver assistance systems of both steering and acceleration/deceleration using information about the driving environment and with the expectation that the human driver performs all remaining aspects of the dynamic driving task.

Level 3 – Conditional Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 4 – High Automation: The driving mode-specific performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene.

Level 5 – Full Automation: The full-time performance by an Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task under all roadway and environmental conditions that can be managed by a human driver.

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

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

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