Volvo Cars to launch UK’s ‘largest and most ambitious’ autonomous driving trial

volvo cars

Volvo Cars is to begin what the company is calling “the UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving trial” next year to speed up the introduction of a technology.

Volvo says autonomous car technology “promises to massively reduce car accidents” as well as free up congested roads and save drivers valuable time.

The Swedish company, which has been known for automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seatbelt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems globally as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.  Continue reading Volvo Cars to launch UK’s ‘largest and most ambitious’ autonomous driving trial

Denso, eSol, and NEC form joint venture for connected cars

connected car

Denso is teaming up with eSol and NEC to develop superfast networks for connected cars. 

The three companies will form a joint venture to develop basic software that can support high-speed data communication, high-quality security, and high-performance microcomputers, in order to advance in-vehicle systems used for automated driving and other control actions.

The joint venture will provide easy-to-use basic software to help automakers and electronic control unit suppliers increase their quality and efficiency when developing products.  Continue reading Denso, eSol, and NEC form joint venture for connected cars

Volvo to launch China’s ‘most advanced’ driverless car experiment

volvo, driverless cars, china
Volvo carrying out what it says is China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment

Series of tests will involve 100 cars, and are likely take place in several cities across the country

Volvo says it will launch China’s “most advanced autonomous driving experiment” in which local drivers will test driverless cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions.

Volvo expects the experiment to involve up to 100 cars and will in coming months begin negotiations with interested cities in China to see which is able to provide the necessary permissions, regulations and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead.  Continue reading Volvo to launch China’s ‘most advanced’ driverless car experiment

Toyota turbo-charges AI and robotics operations in the US. Looks to hire 50 experts

Akio Toyoda Dr Gill Pratt at the launch of Toyota Research Institute
Akio Toyoda and Dr Gill Pratt at the launch of Toyota Research Institute a few months ago

Toyota has decided to boost its activities in artificial intelligence and robotics in the US.

Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute (TRI), said the company will establish its third TRI facility in the US.

The new facility will be located in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan (U-M) campus where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.  Continue reading Toyota turbo-charges AI and robotics operations in the US. Looks to hire 50 experts

Mercedes makes driverless car tech central objective

Dr Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars
Picture: Dr Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, at the exhibition of the annual meeting of shareholders

Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche says the company “will continue to be the pioneers of mobility” as he announced that autonomous driving will be a central objective for the future.

Speaking at an annual meeting of shareholders, Dr Dieter Zetsche said autonomous driving will be one of the “four pillars” of Daimler, which owns the Mercedes marque.  Continue reading Mercedes makes driverless car tech central objective

You’re not the Bosch of me now. Humans tell driverless cars to take a hike

Bosch autonomous driving levels
Bosch imagines varying levels of autonomous driving, all of which the company is already making billions from

Exclusive interview with Bosch senior vice-president Arun Srinivasan about the growing levels of autonomy in today’s vehicles and the fully autonomous cars of tomorrow

It’s a small word. Bosch. Associated with so many things, most famously “bish bash bosch”. A meaningless phrase really, but according to the Urban Dictionary, it’s “used to describe the efficiency of a process you have just explained, often used if there are three steps to the process”. 

For example, someone might say: “So there you have it. Clutch down, first gear, handbrake off and you’e away. Simple as that, bish bash bosh.” Continue reading You’re not the Bosch of me now. Humans tell driverless cars to take a hike

Infineon signs deal with TTTech to speed up development in autonomous driving

tttech

Infineon has reached an agreement with TTTech on the joint development of autonomous vehicle technologies. 

Under the guidance of Audi, TTTech developed a central platform control unit, “zFAS”, integrating various functionalities of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

The ECU also enables comprehensive fusion of sensor data. Microcontrollers from Infineon Technologies safeguard that highest requirements towards computing performance and safety are met.  Continue reading Infineon signs deal with TTTech to speed up development in autonomous driving

Germans developing car wheels that can be steered individually

car wheels axle chassisWhen first learning to drive, many people find steering a bit tricky. You realise the roads maybe aren’t as straight as you thought they were and you constantly have to turn an inch this way, and an inch that way. Not being used to the relationship between the wheel in your hands and the wheels on the road, you’re not quite sure if the unsteady minute manoeuvers you’re having to make is because you lack the skill, or if the road is wrong, or if the wheels are not all connected up properly. Many cars seem to have some slack between the steering wheel and the road wheels. 

With autonomous cars of course you no longer have to worry about your steering skills. In fact, if Google has its way, you may not even see a steering wheel. For not only did the self-styled archiver of all human knowledge stupefy everyone by presenting us with the crazy idea of driverless cars and actually persuade everyone it’s actually quite a good idea when you think about it, the modern equivalent of Big Brother is now telling us it wants to do away with the steering wheel, the acceleration pedal, the clutch and brake. The weird thing is that their mad ideas make sense to us, even though we have a sneaky suspicion that they really shouldn’t. But paranoia aside, why would you need a steering wheel or anything like that in a car that you don’t have to operate, that moves around by itself? On this evidence, Google will continue to drive people out of their minds, and we will accept it, probably.

Now, of course, everyone and their grannies are developing autonomous car technologies in anticipation of some brave new world where all cars have the same rights as humans. And who better to help us innovate our way into inconsequence than the Germans? Their long tradition of automotive engineering excellence would demand that they come up with at least one screwball idea that people may think is actually quite practical. So in keeping with Google’s continual challenges to conventional thinking, the Germans have been pushing the idea of car wheels all turning and moving independently of each other, theoretically in any direction the autonomous, cloud-connected robot chooses for each one.  Continue reading Germans developing car wheels that can be steered individually

Nvidia opens new office in former Bell Labs building to expand autonomous driving business

nvidia, office, new jersey, bell labs building, autonomous driving
Nvidia’s new facilities at the old Bell Labs building

Chipmaker Nvidia is opening a new office in New Jersey as its autonomous driving business continues to rev up. “We’re making room for a larger crew,” says the company.

Nvidia staff at the new office will focus on developing software for self-driving cars on its artificial intelligence Drive PX platform.

AI and deep learning are playing a critical role in advances in driver assistance and ultimately autonomous vehicles.

Nvidia’s new office space is in the former Bell Labs building, in Holmdel, New Jersey, where deep learning pioneer Yann LeCun invented convolutional networks back in the late 1980s. These networks are instrumental to deep learning in general, and to the work of our team in particular. Continue reading Nvidia opens new office in former Bell Labs building to expand autonomous driving business

Porsche CEO rejects autonomous cars, but his tech director’s comments suggest interest

porsche mission e
The Porsche Mission E, the company’s first all-electric model, scheduled for launch at the end of the decade
Luxury sports car maker Porsche could be going past a big road sign that says “This way to driverless car technology” without even slowing down because the man in the driving seat is steadfastly keeping his machine on a path which has a long tradition, stretching back to the very earliest days of motoring.

Oliver Blume is not alone among high-end car company bosses in feeling something of a mixture of indifference and incredulity at the current wave of interest in and development of driverless car technology.

The Porsche CEO is adamant the company has no plans to build an autonomous car, saying: “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself. An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not on the road.” Continue reading Porsche CEO rejects autonomous cars, but his tech director’s comments suggest interest

Autonomous car expert says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as ‘misguided’

Prof Nick Reed, TRL Academy Director
Prof Nick Reed, TRL Academy Director

One of the UK’s leading experts in the field of autonomous cars says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as premature and misguided by some people.

In an exclusive interview with Robotics and Automation News, Professor Nick Reed, academy director at Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), says he has long believed automation was the way to go.

“Technology moves on at a rapid pace and there were certainly some commentators in the early days who felt that my enthusiasm for vehicle automation as an important topic of research was perhaps a little premature, or even misguided,” says Prof Reed. Continue reading Autonomous car expert says his enthusiasm for the technology was seen as ‘misguided’

Consortium of automotive companies wins £5.5m fund to trial driverless cars on UK roads

intelligent transport systems uk

The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) is part of a consortium of companies called MOVE_UK that says it will “help position the UK as a world leader in automated and self-driving cars”.

Led by Bosch, the MOVE_UK project benefits from a £5.5 million grant awarded by InnovateUK – the government initiative which has allocated £100 million to help jump-start the driverless car industry – and will see driverless technology trialled in real world conditions on roads in Greenwich, London.

Alongside TRL, UK project partners include Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Direct Line Group, The Floow and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Together, the partners will see MOVE_UK accelerate the entry of automated, driverless car technologies to the UK market. The project will increase the rate of development and testing of these technologies at a lower cost to vehicle manufacturers.
Continue reading Consortium of automotive companies wins £5.5m fund to trial driverless cars on UK roads