Tag Archives: autonomous driving

Toyota pushes into blockchain tech to enable the next generation of cars

On the same day that Ford officially ousted its chief executive in a bid to remake itself as future-focused vehicle manufacturer, Toyota announced its own steps to embrace technology’s next wave.

Andwhile Ford is looking to catch up to the leaders in autonomous and electric vehicle manufacturing, Toyota (through the Toyota Research Institute) appears to be taking the next fork in the road toward enabling that autonomous and electric future.

Together with MIT’s Media Lab, Toyota has enlisted a series of partners that specialize in different aspects of blockchain technology (the distributed, encrypted ledger technology that powers the cryptocurrency bitcoin) to explore how the technology may be applied to the car industry.

Toyota unveiled a number of projects that aimed to address how software will help people become comfortable with autonomous technologies. That means monitoring and distributing information about the safety of individual vehicles, the way owners use the cars, and cut down on fraud.

“Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data may be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles,” said Chris Ballinger, director of mobility services and chief financial officer at Toyota’s research institute, in a statement. “Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers, and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal, thereby bringing forward the safety, efficiency and convenience benefits of autonomous driving technology.”

Initially the research is focusing on sharing data on every trip that an autonomous vehicle takes; on developing tools that users can have to make ride-sharing easier; and to create new insurance products that are usage-based for customers who may prefer that coverage.

“I’m excited Toyota is spearheading this initiative that uses blockchain technology to create an open platform where users can control their driving data,” said Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, in a statement. “Our hope is that other industry stakeholders will join this effort to bring safe and reliable autonomous vehicles one step closer to reality.”

TRI isn’t just working with MIT on the initiative, but also with a few choice startups and smaller companies big in the blockchain space. Berlin-based BigchainDB, a startup which raised over $3 million to develop a flexible, scalable blockchain-based ledger; is helping develop the kind of architecture Toyota will need to roll out to have growth and scale it wants. Meanwhile Oaken Innovations and Commuterz, from Dallas and Tel Aviv, respectively, are working to develop blockchain apps for car sharing, vehicle access and payments and carpooling.

Finally, Toyota is tapping the Los Angeles-based blockchain application developer, Gem to port the applications it has been developing for the healthcare insurance industry to car insurance. The company provides a ledger for distributed inputs from a number of different sources that can then be used to automate much of the insurance claim process.

With Toyota, Gem will specifically work on usage-based insurance products tied to the telematics coming off of a users’ vehicle.

TRI’s partners include: Berlin-based BigchainDB, which is building the data exchange for sharing driving and autonomous vehicle testing data; Oaken Innovations, based in Dallas and Toronto, is developing an application for P2P car sharing, vehicle access and payments with a newly created mobility token; Commuterz, a startup from Israel, is working with TRI on a P2P carpooling solution; Gem, from Los Angeles, is working with Toyota Insurance Management Solutions (TIMS) – Toyota’s joint venture telematics car insurance company – and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Services on the usage-based insurance platform.

FEATURED IMAGE: CHOMBOSAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Source: Jonathan Shieber Techcrunch

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

Ford plans to have Autonomous cars on the road by 2021

ford auton

FORD TARGETS FULLY AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE FOR RIDE SHARING IN 2021; INVESTS IN NEW TECH COMPANIES, DOUBLES SILICON VALLEY TEAM

  • Ford announces intention to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021
  • Ford investing in or collaborating with four startups on autonomous vehicle development
  • Company also doubling Silicon Valley team and more than doubling Palo Alto campus

Ford today announces its intent to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service.

To get there, the company is investing in or collaborating with four startups to enhance its autonomous vehicle development, doubling its Silicon Valley team and more than doubling its Palo Alto campus.

“The next decade will be defined by automation of the automobile, and we see autonomous vehicles as having as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to putting on the road an autonomous vehicle that can improve safety and solve social and environmental challenges for millions of people – not just those who can afford luxury vehicles.”

Autonomous vehicles in 2021 are part of Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in autonomous vehicles, as well as in connectivity, mobility, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

Driving autonomous vehicle leadership
Building on more than a decade of autonomous vehicle research and development, Ford’s first fully autonomous vehicle will be a Society of Automotive Engineers-rated level 4-capable vehicle without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. It is being specifically designed for commercial mobility services, such as ride sharing and ride hailing, and will be available in high volumes.

“Ford has been developing and testing autonomous vehicles for more than 10 years,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, Global Product Development, and chief technical officer. “We have a strategic advantage because of our ability to combine the software and sensing technology with the sophisticated engineering necessary to manufacture high-quality vehicles. That is what it takes to make autonomous vehicles a reality for millions of people around the world.”

This year, Ford will triple its autonomous vehicle test fleet to be the largest test fleet of any automaker – bringing the number to about 30 self-driving Fusion Hybrid sedans on the roads in California, Arizona and Michigan, with plans to triple it again next year.

Ford was the first automaker to begin testing its vehicles at Mcity, University of Michigan’s simulated urban environment, the first automaker to publicly demonstrate autonomous vehicle operation in the snow and the first automaker to test its autonomous research vehicles at night, in complete darkness, as part of LiDAR sensor development.

To deliver an autonomous vehicle in 2021, Ford is announcing four key investments and collaborations that are expanding its strong research in advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors:

  • Velodyne: Ford has invested in Velodyne, the Silicon Valley-based leader in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. The aim is to quickly mass-produce a more affordable automotive LiDAR sensor. Ford has a longstanding relationship with Velodyne, and was among the first to use LiDAR for both high-resolution mapping and autonomous driving beginning more than 10 years ago
  • SAIPS: Ford has acquired the Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company to further strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence and enhance computer vision. SAIPS has developed algorithmic solutions in image and video processing, deep learning, signal processing and classification. This expertise will help Ford autonomous vehicles learn and adapt to the surroundings of their environment
  • Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC: Ford has an exclusive licensing agreement with Nirenberg Neuroscience, a machine vision company founded by neuroscientist Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, who cracked the neural code the eye uses to transmit visual information to the brain. This has led to a powerful machine vision platform for performing navigation, object recognition, facial recognition and other functions, with many potential applications. For example, it is already being applied by Dr. Nirenberg to develop a device for restoring sight to patients with degenerative diseases of the retina. Ford’s partnership with Nirenberg Neuroscience will help bring humanlike intelligence to the machine learning modules of its autonomous vehicle virtual driver system
  • Civil Maps: Ford has invested in Berkeley, California-based Civil Maps to further develop high-resolution 3D mapping capabilities. Civil Maps has pioneered an innovative 3D mapping technique that is scalable and more efficient than existing processes. This provides Ford another way to develop high-resolution 3D maps of autonomous vehicle environments

Silicon Valley expansion
Ford also is expanding its Silicon Valley operations, creating a dedicated campus in Palo Alto.

Adding two new buildings and 150,000 square feet of work and lab space adjacent to the current Research and Innovation Center, the expanded campus grows the company’s local footprint and supports plans to double the size of the Palo Alto team by the end of 2017.

“Our presence in Silicon Valley has been integral to accelerating our learning and deliverables driving Ford Smart Mobility,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Our goal was to become a member of the community. Today, we are actively working with more than 40 startups, and have developed a strong collaboration with many incubators, allowing us to accelerate development of technologies and services.”

Since the new Ford Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto opened in January 2015, the facility has rapidly grown to be one of the largest automotive manufacturer research centers in the region. Today, it is home to more than 130 researchers, engineers and scientists, who are increasing Ford’s collaboration with the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto’s multi-disciplinary research and innovation facility is the newest of nearly a dozen of Ford’s global research, innovation, IT and engineering centers. The expanded Palo Alto campus opens in mid-2017.

Source: Ford

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye Team Up to Bring Fully Autonomous Driving to Streets by 2021

bmwbmw-intel-mobileye-autonomous-cars-1

Fleets of fully autonomous cars as basis for new mobility services in urban environments +++ BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are creating an open platform for the next generation of cars to create the safest autonomous platform, from door locks to the datacenter +++ The three companies share a common vision and goal, to align the industry on a standards-based platform to quickly bring autonomous vehicles to market

 BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye are joining forces to make self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts become a reality. The three leaders from the automotive, technology and computer vision and machine learning industries are collaborating to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021.

The future of automated driving promises to change lives and societies for the better. But the path to get to a fully autonomous world is complex and will require end-to-end solutions that integrate intelligence across the network, from door locks to the data center. Transportation providers of the future must harness rapidly evolving technologies, collaborate with totally new partners, and prepare for disruptive opportunities.

Together with Intel and Mobileye, the BMW Group will develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving to bring these technologies into series production by 2021. The BMW iNEXT model will be the foundation for BMW Group’s autonomous driving strategy and set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways but also in urban environments for the purpose of automated ridesharing solutions.

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called “eyes off” (level 3) and ultimately the “mind off” (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling “driver off” (level 5) without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world.

On July 1, 2016, the three partners were present at the BMW Group Headquarters in Munich to express their commitment to strive for an industry standard and define an open platform for autonomous driving. The common platform will address level 3 to level 5 automated driving and will be made available to multiple car vendors and other industries who could benefit from autonomous machines and deep machine learning.

The companies have agreed to a set of deliverables and milestones to deliver fully autonomous cars based on a common reference architecture. Near term, the companies will demonstrate an autonomous test drive with a highly automated driving (HAD) prototype. In 2017 the platform will extend to fleets with extended autonomous test drives.

“Today marks an important milestone for the automotive industry as we enter a world of new mobility. Together with BMW Group and Intel, Mobileye is laying the groundwork for the technology of future mobility that enables fully autonomous driving to become a reality within the next few years,” said Mobileye Co-Founder, Chairman and CTO Professor Amnon Shashua.

“Mobileye is proud to contribute our expertise in sensing, localization, and driver policy to enable fully autonomous driving in this cooperation. The processing of sensing, like our capabilities to understand the driving scene through a single camera already, will be deployed on Mobileye’s latest system-on-chip, the EyeQ®5, and the collaborative development of fusion algorithms will be deployed on Intel computing platforms. In addition, Mobileye Road Experience Management (REM) technology will provide real-time precise localization and model the driving scene to essentially support fully autonomous driving.”

Intel brings a comprehensive portfolio of technology to power and connect billions of smart and connected devices, including cars. To handle the complex workloads required for autonomous cars in urban environments Intel provides the compute power that scales from Intel® Atom™ to Intel® Xeon™ processors delivering up to a total of 100 teraflops of power efficient performance without having to rewrite code.

“Highly autonomous cars and everything they connect to will require powerful and reliable electronic brains to make them smart enough to navigate traffic and avoid accidents,” saidIntel CEO Brian Krzanich. “This partnership between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye will help us to quickly deliver on our vision to reinvent the driving experience. We bring a broad set of in-vehicle and cloud computing, connectivity, safety and security, and machine-learning assets to this collaboration enabling a truly end to end solution.”

With its Strategy Number ONE > NEXT, the BMW Group has developed its framework to remain the driving force behind premium individual mobility. This approach will become driving reality with the BMW iNEXT model in 2021, heralding a new era of mobility.

“At the BMW Group we always strive for technological leadership. This partnership underscores our Strategy Number ONE > NEXT to shape the individual mobility of the future,” stated Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “Following our investment in high definition live map technology at HERE, the combined expertise of Intel, Mobileye and the BMW Group will deliver the next core building block to bring fully automated driving technology to the street. We have already showcased such groundbreaking solutions in our VISION NEXT 100 vehicle concepts. With this technological leap forward, we are offering our customers a whole new level of sheer driving pleasure whilst pioneering new concepts for premium mobility.”

Source: BMW Group

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

volvo autonomous Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, is to begin the UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving trial next year to speed up the introduction of a technology that promises to massively reduce car accidents as well as free up congested roads and save drivers valuable time.

 The Swedish company, whose name is synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three point seat belt 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.

 “Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”

Mr Samuelsson will make his comments at a seminar sponsored by Volvo and Thatcham, the insurance industry’s research organisation, in London on May 3 entitled ‘A Future with Autonomous Driving Cars – Implications for the Insurance Industry’ at the America Conference Centre in London.

 Volvo’s UK-based test will be called ‘Drive Me London’ and will differentiate itself from other AD programmes by using real families driving AD cars on public roads.

Volvo will source its data from these everyday users and use this data to develop AD cars that are suitable for real world driving conditions, rather than the more unrealistic conditions found on test tracks. Thatcham Research will be providing the technical data analysis and any professional test drivers needed as part of the trial.

 Drive Me London will begin in early 2017 with a limited number of semi-autonomous driving cars and expand in 2018 to include up to 100 AD cars, making it the largest and most extensive AD testing programme on Britain’s streets.

 The introduction of AD cars promises to revolutionise Britain’s roads in four main areas – safety, congestion, pollution and time saving.

 Independent research has revealed that AD has the potential to reduce the number of car accidents very significantly, in some cases by up to 30 per cent. Up to 90 per cent of all accidents are presently caused by driver error or distraction, something that should largely disappear with AD cars.

 “Vehicle manufacturers are predicting that highly autonomous vehicles, capable of allowing the driver to drop ‘out of the loop’ for certain sections of their journey, will be available from around 2021. Without doubt, crash frequency will also dramatically reduce. We’ve already seen this with the adoption of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) on many new cars. Research in the US by NHTSA predicts that by 2035, as a result of autonomous and connected cars, crashes will be reduced by 80%. Additionally, if a crash unfortunately can’t be avoided, then the impact speed will also drop as a result of the system’s performance – reducing the severity of the crash,” said Peter Shaw, chief executive at Thatcham Research.

 “Driverless cars will see our journeys become faster, cleaner and safer. The UK is leading the way in developing the technology needed to make this a reality thanks to our world-class research base and these types of trials will become increasingly common,” Sajid Javid, UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said. “Such advances in technology prove the fourth industrial revolution is just around the corner and our determination to be at the forefront is why we are attracting top names from across the globe for real-world testing.”

 In terms of congestion, AD cars allow traffic to move more smoothly, reducing traffic jams and by extension cutting dangerous emissions and associated pollution. Lastly, reduced congestion saves drivers valuable time.

 “There are multiple benefits to AD cars,” said Mr Samuelsson. “That is why governments globally need to put in place the legislation and infrastructure to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible. The car industry cannot do it all by itself. We need governmental help.”

Source: Volvo

Toyota Opens Third Autonomous Driving Research Facility

TOYOTA MOVES FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD TO Toyota-LogoAUTONOMOUS DRIVING WITH ANNOUNCEMENT OF THIRD RESEARCH FACILITY

Toyota Research Institute to fund studies at the University of Michigan

Toyota is to open a third Toyota Research Institute facility in the USA, which will fund studies into artificial intelligence, materials science and robotics. It will be located in Ann Arbor, close to the University of Michigan campus.

The new centre, known as TRI-ANN, is due to open in June this year and is set to build a 50-strong team. It will join the TRI facility which opened in Palo Alto in January (TRI-PAL) to work with Stanford University, and TRI-CAM in Cambridge, which works with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr Gill Pratt, TRI Chief Executive, speaking at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose yesterday (7 April) explained the decision to locate at Ann Arbor reflected the links Toyota has with the community and the benefits to be gained from close proximity to the university and facilities such as the Toyota-sponsored Mobility Transformation Center.

Toyota also has two well-established technical centres nearby, which have been researching the concept of autonomous vehicles for more than a decade. A group of about 15 team members will transfer to the new TRI-ANN facility when it opens, together with University of Michigan professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson, who will be area leads respectively for mapping/localisation and perception.

Professor Olson commented: “Sensor hardware and algorithms are improving at a tremendous pace. TRI researchers will push the frontier even further, resulting in safer vehicles and more helpful robots in the home.”

Professor Eustice added: “Ann Arbor is a fantastic location for TRI to expand its autonomous driving efforts. We will benefit from Toyota’s existing team and the University of Michigan’s research talent and facilities where we can perform extreme-limit testing in a wide variety of environments.”

Each TRI facility will have a different core discipline: TRI-ANN will focus primarily on fully autonomous (chauffeured) driving; TRI-PAL will work on so-called “guardian angel” driving, where the driver is always engaged, with the vehicle assisting when needed; and TRI-CAM dedicating a large part of its work to simulation and deep learning.

The Toyota Research Institute is an enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development.  With initial funding of $1 billion, it has four initial mandates.

The first is to strive to enhance automobile safety with the ultimate goal of creating a car that is incapable of causing a crash, regardless of the skill or condition of the driver.

The second is to work to increase access to vehicles for those who otherwise could not drive, including older people and those with special needs.

The third is to help translate Toyota’s expertise in creating products for outdoor mobility into products for indoor mobility.

Finally, TRI will accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine leaning, particularly in the sphere of materials science. This will also help reduce costs and improve the performance of future mobility systems.

Beyond these, TRI is engaging in multiple projects with the three universities and is also pursuing collaboration with other car makers, IT companies, suppliers, research labs and academic institutions for the joint development of autonomous technologies.

Dr Pratt said: “Although the industry, including Toyota, has made great strides in the last five years, much of what we have collectively accomplished has been easy, because most driving is easy. Where we need autonomy to help most is when the driving is difficult.  It’s this hard part that TRI intends to address.

“Toyota’s goal is safe mobility for all, at any time, in any place, and the tremendous improvements in quality of life that such universal mobility can bring.”

Source: Toyota

Japan’s Government team up with Car Makers to develop Intelligent Mapping

Japan Government, Toyota, Nissan to Work Together on Intelligent MapsJapan Government, Toyota, Nissan to Work Together on Intelligent MapsCar-GPS-Navigator
Japan’s government will reportedly team up with the country’s carmakers, including Toyota and Nissan, to develop intelligent maps in the country by 2018, a technology key for autonomous driving.

 

  • Driven by competition to improve the technology for autonomous driving
  • Plans to incorporate driving data gathered by the automakers
  • Such systems supply information to control self-driving cars

 

According to the Nikkei Daily, Japan is working towards generating standardised intelligent maps, incorporated with driver data, and will see the country’s automakers, map making companies and the government collaborate on the project.

Intelligent mapping systems provide the essential information required to control self-driving cars, and also provide technology to share location data with other map users.

HERE
The news in Japan follows a report at the end of last week linking German auto supplier Bosch with taking a potential stake in mapping business HERE, as interest in the business formerly developed by Nokia continues to hot up.

Reuters reports the company is in talks with BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen, the consortium that bought HERE last year from the Finnish vendor for €2.8 billion, about taking a stake, while the talks are also designed to ensure that Bosch can continue to offer services to HERE customers.

Amazon, Microsoft, car maker Renault and auto supplier Continental have also reportedly been in talks about taking a stake in HERE.

Source: Mobile World Live/Co-Star

BMW i Invests in RideCell

RideCell-Logo

RideCell, the leading provider of software to power mobility-as-a-service (MaaS),
including car-sharing, ride sharing, fixed-route, and dynamic transit services has raised $11.7 million in a Series A round led by BMW i Ventures with the participation of Khosla Ventures and angel investors including Mark Platshon and Michael Granoff of Maniv Investments, Gokul Rajaram, Mehul Nariyawala and Navneet Dalal. The investment will help the company solidify its leadership in the MaaS space and will be used to grow RideCell’s distinguished client roster, which already includes leading companies like 3M, top transit agencies like the Santa Clara VTA in Silicon Valley, and multi-city mobility providers like BMW. The funding will also help RideCell grow its core engineering, data science, product, marketing, and sales teams.

“The convergence of transportation trends in cities is of key importance to BMW. RideCell’s
technology platform provides agile tools to power services that span the entire mobility spectrum,
including but not limited to car sharing; making them an ideal partner for BMW” said Ulrich Quay, Head of BMW i Ventures.

RideCell’s unique differentiator is “autonomous fleet operationsTM”: technology that automates end-to-end business operations from consumer apps to the day to day fleet management, demand and supply analytics, marketing, CRM, and payments. Its mobility software platform automates some of the hardest operational tasks in running a transportation system enabling cities, campuses and multi-city mobility providers to launch on-demand, car sharing and fixed-route services in weeks and optimize and scale them without human intervention. For cities, RideCell’s dynamic mobility analytics engine allows them to make data driven policy, infrastructure, and technology decisions by providing a realtime, holistic view of the public and private transportation services that constitute the multi-modal transportation fabric of their city. RideCell can combine data from mobility apps, infrastructure operators, transit operators, and sensors into a unified view.

“We are very excited to have BMW as a strategic partner to collaborate on building the future of
mobility” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of RideCell. “Our vision is to build tools that allow our customers to run the world better. This is a unique moment in time when every player in the mobility and transportation space faces two back to back strategic inflection points. The first is the rise of ondemand services, which has significantly improved convenience and accessibility and has led to a proportional increase in customer demand. Ridesharing services in San Francisco for example, earn 4 times more revenue today than the entire taxi market in San Francisco in 2012. Under the hood, this is driven by significant innovations in the models and technology that power transportation services and have so far been well understood only by the top consumer mobility services. RideCell’s founding team were pioneers in consumer mobility and RideCell is now democratizing access to these technical innovations by making them accessible to cities, campuses and mobility providers through its platform.”

“Until now transportation software has required manual operation of dispatch, routing, scheduling, and
other operational functions leading to an absurd world where a fleet of autonomous vehicles would have to be manually managed. By designing a platform that enables autonomous operation of transportation services, RideCell is building parity with this 2nd strategic inflection point – autonomous driving” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of RideCell.

As global population living in urban cities continues to expand faster than the available transportation infrastructure, technology is going to be key in solving the conundrum. RideCell’s technology not only automates all operational tasks involved in running a transportation system but its multi-modal offering across fixed route, on-demand and car sharing services in tens of cities provides insightful data giving them a unique perspective on designing cities.

About RideCell
RideCell is the leading provider of software to power mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), including carsharing, ride sharing, fixed-route, and dynamic transit services. The “Global Call for Transit Innovators” award winner is helping customers reimagine and re-architect transportation in cities, communities and campuses around the world.
RideCell’s unique differentiator is “autonomous fleet operationsTM”: technology that automates end-toend business operations from consumer apps to the day to day fleet management, demand and supply analytics, marketing, CRM, and payments. Its mobility software platform automates some of the hardest operational tasks in running a transportation system enabling cities, campuses and multi-city mobility providers to launch on-demand, car sharing and fixed-route services in weeks and optimize and scale them without human intervention. In addition to mobility providers such as BMW, RideCell’s clients include transit agencies such as Santa Clara VTA in Silicon Valley, companies such as 3M, universities such as UC Berkeley, hospitals such as UCSF.

RideCell is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Key investors include BMW i Ventures, Khosla
Ventures and YCombinator. RideCell’s vision is to help their customers “Run the world, betterTM”.

Source: RideCell

Hyundai to develop fully autonomous cars by 2030

 

hyundai
The South Korean manufacturer will begin by developing highly autonomous vehicle technology by 2020, having earlier this year announced R&D investments of $9.75 billion over the next five years for future driverless car technology.

South Korea’s largest auto company will make fully autonomous cars available to the public by 2030, a senior executive has said.

Hyundai Group will develop highly autonomous vehicle technology by 2020 and fully autonomous vehicle technology by 2030, Kwon Moon-sik, vice chairman for R&D at Hyundai and Kia, said during the second annual Heart Dream consumer event in Seoul on Tuesday.

With Hyundai Motor Group to elaborate in detail on its R&D budget for the technology, it earlier this year announced R&D investments of $9.75 billion over the next five years for future driverless car technology. Included in that amount is $2 billion on R&D to Kia Motors — the country’s second largest car maker and affiliate of Hyundai Motor’s sister company — over the next three years to develop the first of its new Advanced Driver Assistance system (ADAS) technologies and to recruit more engineers.

Hyundai Motor Group organised the Heart Dream event at its Namyang R&D centre in South Korea to improve consumer relations and show off new cutting-edge technologies.

“Fully-autonomous vehicles are still some way off, and a great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be carried out to make the ‘self-driving car’ a reality,” said Lim Tae-won, vice president of Hyundai Motor’s Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute. “Kia is still in the early stages of developing its own technologies, and we are confident that the latest innovations — both partially and fully autonomous — will ultimately make driving safer for everyone.”

Hyundai Motor Group said that it is focusing Kia’s R&D resources on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications. The new technologies will join the suite of technologies already offered by Kia on its latest production vehicles in many of its global markets, including the Sorento and the soon-to-be-launched all-new Optima and Sportage.

The Hyundai Genesis EQ900, which will be launched next month, will come equipped with some of the new autonomous driving technology, such as an advanced highway driving assist (HDA) system, which has been described in the local press as “partial autonomous” technology focused on the freeway.

The HDA system includes three technologies integral to autonomous driving: Advanced smart cruise control (ASCC), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and lane keep assist (LKA).

The systems collectively cull data from an array of active sensors, and feed them to the vehicle’s onboard computer, making it possible for the vehicle to autonomously maintain its distance from objects and other cars, and its position in the lane. The systems also permit hands-free overtaking or passing of other cars when necessary.

Source: ZDNet

Tesla Model S Self Driving Autopilot Software

 Tesla’s commitment to developing and refining the technologies to enable self-driving capability is a core part of our mission. In October of last year we started equipping Model S with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, and a high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system. Tesla’s Version 7.0 software release allows those tools to deliver a range of new active safety and convenience features, designed to work in conjunction with the automated driving capabilities already offered in Model S. This combined suite of features represents the only fully integrated autopilot system involving four different feedback modules: camera, radar, ultrasonics, and GPS. These mutually reinforcing systems offer realtime data feedback from the Tesla fleet, ensuring that the system is continually learning and improving upon itself. Autopilot allows Model S to steer within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control. Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. Your car can also scan for a parking space, alert you when one is available, and parallel park on command.

Tesla Autopilot relieves drivers of the most tedious and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel. We’re building Autopilot to give you more confidence behind the wheel, increase your safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable. While truly driverless cars are still a few years away, Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car. What’s more, you always have intuitive access to the information your car is using to inform its actions.

This release also features the most significant visual refresh yet of the digital displays for every single Model S around the world. The Instrument Panel is focused on the driver and includes more functional apps to help monitor your ride.

The release of Tesla Version 7.0 software is the next step for Tesla Autopilot. We will continue to develop new capabilities and deliver them through over-the-air software updates, keeping our customers at the forefront of driving technology in the years ahead.

Source: Tesla