Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Who Will Protect the Robots?

BBC has a good article -- without someone to watch passengers, how will robot taxis ensure their fares don't become unruly?


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Can You Tell I Can't Wait to Not Drive!

Another company -- emerging from stealth mode -- announced a retrofit kit to make fleet vehicles, from delivery trucks to car services, self-driving. The kit includes a sensor array, computer and an LED sign to communicate with pedestrians and other drivers.

The company,, is past the dev phase, as it holds a license to test self-driving cars in California, and has already been deploying its systems on open roads.

Read more at CNet

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

If You Live in Pittsburg, an Uber Robot might Drive You


If you live in Pittsburgh and use Uber, get ready to meet some robotic drivers later this month.

That’s according to a detailed new report in Bloomberg Businessweek. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick revealed that the company plans to soon add driverless cars—complete with “dozens of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers”—to its fleet in Pittsburgh. The goal in the long-run is to replace its millions of human drivers with autonomous vehicles.

The car army won’t be completely devoid of humans, however. For now, the cars will also come with people in the driver’s seat—they’ll just be there to make sure nothing goes terribly, horribly wrong, and to take over in scenarios where Uber’s self-driving tech isn’t yet reliable, such as hen the car is crossing a bridge. Sitting shotgun, and observer will take notes on a laptop. Cameras inside the vehicle will record all of the goings on.

Riders will hail an Uber the usual way, but they’ll be assigned a driverless car at random. (One immediate benefit: The trips will be free, instead of the local rate of $1.30 a mile.) When you get into a car, a tablet in the backseat will inform you that the car is being driven autonomously.

The announcement of the driverless fleet launch comes in tandem with news that Uber will team up with Volvo to develop autonomous cars. The $300 million partnership between the automotive and Silicon Valley giants is already producing results—Uber’s driverless Pittsburgh contingent will be stocked with custom Volvo XC90 SUVs.

Read the whole article...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Autonomous Vehicles -- from Ford

According to the Guardian,

Ford ... announces plans to make self-driving vehicles for companies such as Uber and Lyft by 2021, saying automation of cars will define the next decade

This comes on the heels of a lobbying effort by Ford and others
Read more here...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Interact with Each Other, not Your Phone

Using a Faraday Cage, a pub owner has figured out how to bring back the art of conversation.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Commercial Space Travel to the Moon Approved

With a recently granted approval, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has given the go-ahead for the Moon Express mission to ferry a small lander to Luna in 2017. This sets a framework for other commercial expeditions to the moon, asteroids and Mars. According to the company, the spacecraft will carry a number of science experiments and commercial cargo on its one-way trip to the lunar surface, including cremated human remains, and will beam back pictures and video to Terra. This suggests the MX-1 mission will comply with the Outer Space Treaty.

Read more here...