Welcome to our new CrashAxe Newsletter – your weekly source for the latest information in the world of autonomous vehicles. Here we go…
As part of a ten-day pilot program that began early last week in Las Vegas, a new driverless shuttle has begun test driving the city streets. This new shuttle hopes to be bussing people around in the near future as it is fully electric and requires no driver. The developing company, Navya, has dubbed its latest success Arma. The company’s spokesman Martin Higgins called it “100 percent autonomous on a programmed route.” Later this year, the city hopes to have several autonomous shuttle vehicles looping downtown Las Vegas and transporting people to and from restaurants, shops, and casinos.
Amazon has filed a new patent that will help self-driving vehicles identify the travel lanes best suited for their needs. The idea is that cars will be able to communicate with already existing networks that give detailed information about roadway conditions that would affect travel. Armed with knowledge about speed, destination of the vehicle, time of day, traffic flow, construction, and other conditions, self-driving cars equipped with Amazon’s technology could be the most efficient automobiles yet. This new patent by Amazon hints at its ambition to make its way into the self-driving market.
One hundred years ago, mass transportation went underground. Now it seems that someone is trying to completely turn that around. CEO Tom Enders says that Airbus is in the experimentation stage of creating a new way to get from place to place by transporting people in a helicopter-type vehicle. The goal is to make an “Uber for the skies”. And to its benefit, large infrastructure isn’t required as it is with automobiles. “The aircraft we’re building doesn’t need a runway”. This Airbus designed transport is completely autonomous; it can avoid obstacles and detect other aircraft. This could be a glimpse into the travel of the future.
As technology gets more and more advanced, the ways in which we gain valuable knowledge become more and more interesting. Researchers at Princeton University are currently using mapping software like Google Street View to help self-driving AI learn about the structures of real intersections and roads all without ever having to be on the road. Even crazier, these AI’s are beginning to learn by playing the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Since video games are becoming so visually realistic, it makes sense that they would let a computer vision learn about the real world through a virtual one. The game itself has 257 different vehicles, 7 types of bicycles and 14 different weather types which makes it the perfect technology to explore huge numbers of permutations of real-world situations.
Nissan has announced that it will start testing its all-electric, self-piloted Leaf in London. Nissan has set the beginning trials on London roads in less than one month.
More information on Blackberry’s invasion into the AV world.