Category Archives: Autonomous Vehicles

Uber plans flying cars to beat jams

 

Flying cars may finally move from science fiction to factVALERY HACHE/AFP/GETTY

The $70bn (£54.6bn) ride-hailing giant has made much of its plans for self-driving cars. The next step is more outlandish. The San Francisco company is one of more than a dozen pouring money into the development of crafts that take off like a helicopter but fly like an aeroplane — VTOL (vertical take-off and landing vehicles).

Uber claims that these flying machines could be the key to ending millions of hours that are wasted by people sitting in traffic. The company will this week hold a summit in Dallas to unveil progress towards the
large-scale introduction of airborne cars.

Source: The Sunday Times

 

Stan Boland Revved up for driverless


Stan Boland’s Streetwise will get £12.8m to test driverless vehiclesADRIAN SHERRATT

Plans to put driverless cars on Britain’s roads have been fired up by a government decision to support a consortium led by a veteran technology entrepreneur.

Stan Boland, pictured, leads the StreetWise project, which will receive £12.8m from Whitehall for its £23m project to test driverless vehicles on London’s roads in two years.

The Streetwise consortium is led by Boland’s FiveAI, a Cambridge and Bristol start-up that uses artificial intelligence for software to run driverless cars. It includes the Transport Research Laboratory, Oxford University, Transport for London and insurer Direct Line.

The grant underlines the commitment to supporting driverless cars and AI in business secretary Greg Clark’s industrial strategy green paper.

“We can look to become a technology leader and catch up with countries such as the US, Germany and Sweden that have already staked their claim in the market,” said Boland, 57, who started FiveAI, whose backers include Amadeus Capital Partners, in 2015. He has a strong track record of building technology firms. At Acorn Computers, he created a new business called Element 14, which was bought by US giant Broadcom in 2000 for $640m.

He co-founded chip designer Icera, sold to America’s Nvidia in 2011 for $367m (£286m).

The London trial will test a “personal mobility service” for commuters to cut congestion and pollution, improve safety and free up parking spaces.

Source: Andrew Lynch. The Sunday Times

Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) Elects Mahfuzur Rahman of Samsung as Its President

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The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) today announced the election of Mahfuzur Rahman, Director of Standards & Technology at Samsung Research America, as its new President. Mahfuzur will oversee the CCC, an organization driving global technologies and standards for car connectivity solutions. He will also chair and serve on the CCC Board alongside representatives from General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler, RealVNC, HTC, PSA, Honda, LG Electronics, Hyundai, Alpine, Toyota, and Panasonic. Mahfuzur has been an active CCC Participant and Board member since the beginning of 2016.

Mahfuzur brings two decades of Consumer Electronics industry experience in connected device services & strategies to this new position. Mahfuzur, in his role as Director of Standards & Technology Enabling at Samsung, is leading R&D and industry consortia activities. Prior to Samsung, Mahfuzur was a Scientist at Panasonic Research in Princeton, New Jersey. Mahfuzur has a vast experience in industry consortia governance due to his involvement on boards of directors or in executive roles in a number of industry consortia including the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), the UPnP Forum, the NFC Forum, and the IMS Global Learning Consortium. He has published over 20 articles at various international conferences, journals, and books and has filed and/or granted over 40 patents.

“The CCC, over the years, has become an organization that facilitates the stakeholders of phone-car connectivity ecosystem to develop state-of-the-art connected car features. I am thrilled and excited to lead CCC in this exciting time and be part of the endeavor to drive CCC into new areas,” said Mahfuzur.

The Car Connectivity Consortium is currently expanding its portfolio of technologies beyond MirrorLink including two very exciting projects: “Digital Key,” where smartphones are used to gain access to the car, and “Car Data,” which builds an ecosystem for features such as usage-based insurance. These projects are currently in the development phase since approval by the CCC board in June 2016. For further information about CCC projects please use the link http://carconnectivity.org/contact.

About the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC)

The CCC is dedicated to cross-industry collaboration in developing global standards and solutions for smartphone and in-vehicle connectivity. The organization’s more than 80 members represent more than 70 percent of the world’s auto market, more than 60 percent of the global smartphone market and a who’s who of aftermarket consumer electronics vendors. For further information, please visit www.carconnectivity.org.

Source: Car Connectivity Consortium

Greg Clark’s Vison for the UK to become an Innovator in Automotive Technology

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On Tuesday, less than two weeks after Business Secretary Greg Clark outlined his vision for the UK as a CAV test bed to an SMMT Connected audience, he joined Transport Minister John Hayes in announcing how £109 million will be invested to help create the next generation of cutting-edge vehicles.

Along with a significant financial commitment from industry, government has backed 38 connected, autonomous and low emission vehicle technology projects across Britain, through the CAV2, OLEV and Advanced Propulsion Centre funding competitions. As ever, the winners exemplify the diversity of R&D taking place within the UK. We eagerly await announcements for the CAV3 competition later this year.

The UK is already a hotbed of innovation and we want to be the destination of choice for the development and testing of connected, autonomous and low emission vehicles. Government collaboration and investment, combined with funding from industry, will help this technology flourish and the UK to reap substantial economic and social benefits.

Following last week’s news that diesel cars are proving more popular than ever, SMMT set out to put the record straight on their contribution to air quality, climate change and the functioning of the national economy and society. Delivering only one side of the argument does a disservice to consumers, who must make a decision about which vehicle is right for their driving needs. For many, especially those that cover high miles, the answer will still be a new, Euro 6 emissions standard diesel. These modern cars, which contribute greatly to reducing CO2 emissions, are the cleanest diesels ever produced and, importantly, they will not be subject to charges in the new London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

There remains much more to discuss for UK Automotive as the year goes on and Brexit negotiations begin. The SMMT International Automotive Summit, launched this week, sees a return to the stage of last year’s lively Brexit panel, including Chris Giles, Economics Editor at the FT, and Bronwen Maddox, Director of the Institute for Government. Further sessions will focus on supply chain and retail, as well as the ever-important topic of sustainability, coinciding with the 18th edition of SMMT’s annual Sustainability report. Make sure Tuesday 20 June 2017 is in your diary and then get your tickets here.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive
Follow @SMMT on Twitter

Source: Mike Hawes SMMT

 

Volkswagen’s Latest Project: The AI Car

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Volkswagen’s Latest Project: The AI Car

“The next three or four years will be decisive,” says Chief Digital Officer at Volkswagen Johann Jungwirth on the reinvention of the car.

At the CeBIT Global Conferences, he explained what VW is working on and what role artificial intelligence will play for the car of tomorrow.

Let’s start with what Jungwirth did NOT speak about at the Sakura Stage in Hall 8: alternative engines. That was it really. Instead, the Volkswagen CDO showed, in fast-forward, how the corporation is digitizing its core business. The key term here was artificial intelligence. “AI is everywhere and it will take on a central role in the car of the future,” states Jungwirth. No one expects it to replace humans, but to complement us where it can – in the dashboard, for example.

“Today you have to push seven or eight buttons before you find what you’re looking for on the in-car entertainment system. We want to reduce that number to one – if not zero.” With this, he means to say that our voices and gestures will come to control far more than just the sat nav. The car recognizes its driver’s expressions, mood, and destination. By monitoring location data and road behavior, the user experience adapts to each specific situation.

Self-Driving Cars Right to Your Door

“The engine used to represent the heart of a car, but the autonomous driving system will soon take over.” AI is of course central here as well. The self-driving car is expected to make transport safer, preventing over a million traffic-related deaths a year. It should make parking easier, too. According to Jungwirth, we waste a third of our time in cars looking for parking spots. The autonomous vehicle would solve this problem by dropping the passenger off at their front door before finding a place to park by itself. It could then be summoned back at the touch of a button.

And discussions on parking didn’t end there. Huge car parks have long been required in highly-developed cities. But Jungwirth claims that in a couple of years only a seventh of these will be necessary. This is because fewer people will be buying cars, with the preference shifting towards using them only on demand. “For 96 percent of the time, cars just sit there,” states Jungwirth. An autonomous shared vehicle would be almost permanently in motion, dropping one passenger off and immediately locating the next – like a self-driving taxi. VW is the first company to develop this kind of mobility concept – which it has given the working title “Sedric” (self-driving car).

Will it remain just a concept? Yes, most likely. But a whole host of Sedric-inspired ideas will undoubtedly become reality – perhaps even in the next three to four years.

Find out more about Sedric and the CeBIT Global Conferences .

Source: CeBIT

 

Driverless Vehicles Demoed in Formula E

 

Roborace unveiled its Robocar at MWC’s ‘Connected Vehicles’ keynote, with CEO Denis Sverdlov stating the initiative will push the industry to improve driverless and autonomous vehicles.

He also believes driverless car racing will help people accept robots on the street, and is a great way to show the public the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI).

“It was very important for us that we created an emotional connection to driverless cars and bring humans and robots closer together to define our future,” he said.

Software engineers will be the “true heroes” of the initiative, which is a “fair competition” of intelligence rather than budget, as all teams have the same Robocar to work with – in order to win they have to focus entirely on the software.

So far, Roborace has performed demos with ‘Devbots’, which completed 12 driverless laps in Morocco. Despite a recent crash, Sverdlov is confident in the technology, adding that accidents will only help improve learning.

The car, designed by Daniel Simon, who created vehicles for Hollywood sci-fi films like Tron Legacy, uses a number of technologies to drive itself including two radars and six AI cameras, and makes up to 24 trillion AI operations per second.

The Roborace series takes place on Formula E city street circuits.

Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E, said all the big auto companies, like Audi, Renault and Mahindra, want their teams to win and this pushes them to invest resources into improving electric cars, and this will play a big role in boosting the autonomous car industry.

Source: Mobile World Live

Germany, France agree on transnational self-driving test zone

In a bid to win the race to develop self-driving cars and give a leg-up to their automakers over their rivals from Silicon Valley, the two EU nations have joined hands to test the cars on a stretch of road linking them.

Daimler Trucks LKW autonomes Fahren (Daimler AG - Global Communications Commercial Vehicles)

European neighbors Germany and France plan to test self-driving vehicles on a section of road linking the two countries, the transport ministry in Berlin said Wednesday.

The route stretches around 70 kilometers (43 miles), from Merzig in Germany’s western Saarland state to Metz in eastern France. It is aimed at testing “automated and connected driving in real cross-border traffic,” the ministry noted.

“Manufacturers will be able to test the connectivity of their systems, for example when lanes or speed limits change at the border,” German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said in a statement following a meeting with his French counterpart Alain Vidalies.

“We want to set worldwide standards for this key technology through cooperation between Europe’s two biggest car-producing countries,” he added.

The route will allow testing of 5G wireless communications between cars and infrastructure, automated maneuvers such as overtaking and braking, and emergency warning and call systems, among others.

An automated future?

Germany, home to car giants such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, already boasts a number of test zones for automated vehicles on motorways and in cities, but this is the first that will cross into another country.

The transport ministry has offered 100 million euros ($107 million) in funding for the projects.

The tests come as the nation’s traditional carmakers are racing to catch up to Silicon Valley newcomers such as Tesla, Uber and Google parent company Alphabet in the new field, seen as the future of driving.

Automated trucks in particular are expected to shake up the road transport sector in the years to come.

In a glimpse of what lies ahead, manufacturers took part in an experiment last year that saw six convoys of “smart” trucks cross several European countries using “platooning,” in which a leading truck sets the route and speed for wirelessly-connected self-driving followers.

sri/uhe (AFP, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure)

Source: Deutsche Welle

HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY INTRODUCES NEW AUTONOMOUS IONIQ CONCEPT AT AUTOMOBILITY LOS ANGELES

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Hyundai Motor Company Presents Self Driving Vehicle with Hidden LiDAR

Hyundai have announced the introduction of the Autonomous IONIQ concept during its press conference at Automobility LA (Los Angeles Auto Show). With a sleek design resembling the rest of the IONIQ lineup, the vehicle is one of the few self-driving cars in development to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof, enabling it to look like any other car on the road and not a high school science project.

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The goal of the autonomous IONIQ concept was to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This was accomplished by using the production car’s Smart Cruise Control’s forward-facing radar and Lane Keeping Assist cameras, which are integrated with LiDAR technology. Hyundai is also developing its own autonomous vehicle operating system, with the goal of using a lot less computing power. This will result in a low-cost platform, which can be installed in future Hyundai models the average consumer can afford.

The car’s hidden LiDAR system also allows the Autonomous IONIQ to detect the absolute position of surrounding vehicles and objects. In addition, the Autonomous IONIQ features:

  • Forward Facing Radar which detects the relative location and speed of objects in the vehicle’s forward path to aid in route planning
  • A three camera array which detects pedestrian proximity, lane markings and traffic signals
  • A GPS antenna to determine the precise location of each vehicle
  • High definition mapping data from Hyundai MnSoft which delivers location accuracy, road grade/curvature, lane width and indication data
  • A Blind Spot Detection radar to ensure even simple lane changes are executed safely

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These features build upon the capabilities of the product IONIQ, which offers Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist. The vehicle also incorporates all autonomous controls into existing systems to ensure that drivers can have a seamless transition between active and self-driving modes.

Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor earned a license to test its autonomous cars in urban environments. Hyundai Motor is currently testing three autonomous IONIQs and two Autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles at Hyundai Motor Research and Development Center in Namyang, South Korea.

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To showcase its autonomous vehicles in action, Hyundai Motor will debut two autonomous IONIQs at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2017 where the cars will be found driving up and down the neon-and sunlit boulevards of Las Vegas. The testing in Las Vegas will build upon the Hyundai’s current efforts to bring the most adept and safest self-driving car to market.

In addition to offering media rides, these IONIQs will be prepared to tackle:

  • High levels of pedestrian traffic
  • Stop lights, stop signs and school zones
  • Road construction and roadblocks
  • Speed bumps
  • Dogs without a leash
  • Children at play
  • Shopping centers
  • Intersections without traffic signals

Source: Hyundai

 

When will we see driverless cars on UK roads? Lords to investigate

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The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will continue its inquiry investigating driverless vehicles on Tuesday 8 November. The Committee will hear evidence from European Officials and industry experts.

This session provides an opportunity for the Committee to hear from representatives from three driverless car trials in Greenwich, Bristol and Milton Keynes. The Committee will be able to explore the progress being made by the trials and the issues they have highlighted relating to the deployment and regulation of driverless cars as well as social and behavioural issues.

The Committee will also examine the extent to which the UK will have to align itself with future international regulation for self-driving vehicles in areas such as cyber-security and data handling and will assess what progress has been made in European and global regulation of autonomous vehicles.

At 10:40am the Committee will hear from:

  • Ms Claire Depré, Head of Sustainable & Intelligent Transport Unit, DG Transport and Mobility
  • Dr Hermann Meyer, CEO, ERTICO –EUROPE
  • Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders

The Committee are likely to ask:

  • What can European organisations deliver that individual Member States or organisations cannot deliver on their own?
  • What ways is it possible to avoid a situation where European countries have their own individual approach to cybersecurity and privacy requirements for highly autonomous vehicles?
  • To what extent can the UK devise its own regulations and standards?

At 11:40am the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Nick Reed, Greenwich Automated Transport Environment
  • John McCarthy, Bristol Driverless Cars Project
  • Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation, Milton Keynes Council

The Committee are likely to ask:

  • Are you demonstrating a scientific or engineering process or testing elements of a system to be deployed?
  • Has there been modelling or simulation of deployment on a network of a mixed fleet of non-highly and fully-automated vehicles?
  • Can these new types of vehicle operate safely, efficiently and effectively on current infrastructure or will there have to be significant new infrastructure investment?

The evidence session will take place in Committee room 4A on Tuesday 8 November in the House of Lords at 10:30am.

Source: UK Parliment

UK Autodrive Completes First Collaborative Autonomous Vehicle Trials

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

 

The UK’s first collaborative trials of connected and autonomous vehicle technology were successfully completed on Friday, as UK Autodrive partners Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) jointly demonstrated a number of future vehicle technologies at HORIBA MIRA’s Proving Ground in Nuneaton.

Friday’s demonstration came at the end of a fortnight trials, in which the three vehicle manufacturers were able to successfully demonstrate the programme’s first two connected car features.

The first demonstration showcased cars that can warn their drivers when another connected car up ahead has braked severely, lowering the risk of rear-end collisions when the driver’s view is obscured, for example, by fog or other vehicles.

The second demonstration showed how connected cars can be sent information from traffic lights, allowing them to reduce the likelihood of meeting red lights – potentially improving future traffic flow and lowering emissions in urban areas.

“There has already been a lot of public focus on self-driving vehicles, but connected car technology may be just as revolutionary,” said Tim Armitage, Arup’s UK Autodrive project director.

“The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant – from increased road safety to improved traffic flow, more efficient parking and better information for drivers.”

Jaguar Land Rover also used Friday’s event to demonstrate a self-driving Range Rover Sport that was able to overtake slower moving vehicles automatically – and also reject overtake requests if it detects another vehicle in the occupant’s “blind spot”.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

A Ford test driver receives a brake light warning triggered by the Jaguar ahead of him.

The UK Autodrive demonstration was also welcomed the UK’s Roads Innovation Minister, John Hayes, who said: “This technology has the potential to revolutionise travel by making journeys safer and cutting congestion for motorists. I’m proud that the UK is a world leader when it comes to developing connected and automated vehicles, and we are further establishing ourselves as the place to test and invest in this emerging technology.”

 

Further UK Autodrive trials and demonstrations are scheduled to take place at HORIBA MIRA during the spring of next year, before moving out onto closed-off areas of Milton Keynes and Coventry in late 2017. The project will culminate in a series of open road trials and demonstrations to be held in both cities in 2018.

Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday's demonstration.

Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle completes an automated overtake during Friday’s demonstration.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.

The driver of the TMETC vehicle receives a speed advisory to help reach a green light.