You are here

Blogs

Using video and telepresence for below-average academic conference talks

A sad reality today at most academic conferences is that it's fairly common for at least one speaker to not make it due to visa problems. This is not just true because of the USA's reduced welcome to foreigners, it happens in other places as well.

A flood of deliverbots arise as California makes unmanned testing legal

California announced that come April, it will be legal to operate robocars with no safety driver inside. There will need to be a remote operator, monitoring the vehicle at all times during testing.

Moving gun regulation to the states from the federal level

(Warning: An explosive topic. Those who only want to talk robocars, you can subscribe to only that feed if you wish to!)

Topic: 

Waymo a ride service, highway deaths and other news

Waymo has applied for, and been granted, a licence to operate as a "Transportation Network Company" (fancy name for app-summoned taxi like Uber) in Arizona. This has been expected for some time, and shows they are continuing their plan to open up their pilot service in Phoenix to the public.

Designing a metric to measure robocar safety -- what does insurance teach?

The most challenging problem for robocars today is proving they are safe. Yes, making them safe is very important, but they'll only be let on the roads by the companies making them if that safety levels can be demonstrated.

Topic: 

Olympics Notebook 2018 -- streaming and Curling

Every 2 years I watch the Olympics and publish notes on the games, or in particular the coverage. Each time the technology has changed and that alters the coverage.

This year the big change is much more extensive and refined availability of streaming coverage. Since I desire to "cut the cord" and have no cable or satellite, this has become more important. Unfortunately the story is not all good.

Topic: 

Local Motors hopes to win with 3D printed robocars

There are lots of players in the robocar space now -- car companies, startups, suppliers, high-tech companies, and two I did not talk as much about -- shuttles and delivery robots.

Topic: 

Uber and Waymo settle lawsuit in a giant victory for Uber

In a shocker, it was announced that Uber and Waymo (Google/Alphabet) have settled their famous lawsuit for around $245 million of Uber stock. No cash, and Uber agrees it won't use any Google hardware or software trade secrets -- which it of course had always denied that it ever did.

Topic: 

Review of the Light L16 computational camera

If you read my article about computational photography you will know I am very interested in the Light L16 camera which uses 16 small cameras (with cell-phone level sensors and different focal length lenses) to produce an image they hope will rival high end cameras like DSLRs.

The plan is an excellent one. I purchased the L16 but must sadly report it is "not yet the camera of the future" though I feel the general idea points the way there.

Topic: 

New "Shared Mobility Principles" have too much 2018 thinking.

A new group has released a document called the "Shared Mobility Principles" for livable cities. It was started by Robin Chase (who built companies like ZipCar and others) and has had several of the mobile app taxi companies like Uber, Lyft, Didi and others sign on, though not Waymo, Cruise or the automakers.

Topic: 

Robocars enter phase two as different strategies abound

At CES 2018, autos took over the show, and self-driving took over autos. At least in the industry, it's now mainstream. So what new approaches are teams taking, and how do they hope to win?

Topic: 

GM/Cruise vs. Motorcycle triggers first robocar accident lawsuit

Back in December a GM Cruise car had an accident with a lane-splitting motorcyclist in San Francisco. I didn't report on it because the police report blamed the motorcyclist, but the accident is possibly more complex, and the motorist has filed a lawsuit against GM..

Could digital money offer a new solution to addiction and gambling?

I've been mulling a bit over the philosophy of law, and one concept I have been exploring is that a key to understanding a major class of immoral acts is to look at attempts to exploit flaws in human cognition and physiology. There's been a reasonable amount of scientific study of the "bugs" in the way humans think by economists, game theorists and psychologists, and while some of the bugs are debatable, some are fairly undisputed. This might help build moral codes.

All about sensors: Advanced radar and more for the future of perception

Earlier this week I talked about many of the LIDAR offerings of recent times. Today I want to look at two "up and coming" sensor technologies: Advanced radar and thermal cameras.

I will begin by pointing readers to a very well done summary of car sensor technologies at EE Times which covers almost all the sensor areas. For those tracking the field it is a worthwhile resource.

Advanced radar

Robocars have used radar from the earliest days. It's not that expensive, and has many superhuman capabilities -- it sees through fog and all other forms of weather, it has very long range, and it tells you how fast every target is moving.

Topic: 

The Flying car -- and Flying Ambulance -- is closer than we thought

Autonomous flying personal transportation -- "the flying car" -- is becoming real. I have written previously about some of the issues such as noise, energy efficiency and "sky pollution" but it's clear that the engineering problems are being solved.

Solving those other problems is a challenge, but I can be more confident in predicting that in the 2020s, many ambulances, police, fire and military vehicles will be based on multirotor technology. This will be particularly true in more rural areas or areas with limited roads.

Topic: 

Gallery of photos from CES 2018, and other news

I have created a gallery in Google Photos with some of the more interesting items I saw at CES, with the bulk of them being related to robocars, robotic delivery and transportation.

Topic: 

The GM/Cruise robocar interior is refreshingly spartan

GM revealed photos of what they say is the production form of their self-driving car based on the Chevy Bolt and Cruise software. They say it will be released next year, making it almost surely the first release from a major car company if they make it.

Topic: 

Tons of LIDARs at CES 2018

When it comes to robocars, new LIDAR products were the story of CES 2018. Far more companies showed off LIDAR products than can succeed, with a surprising variety of approaches. CES is now the 5th largest car show, with almost the entire north hall devoted to cars. In coming articles I will look at other sensors, software teams and non-car aspects of CES, but let's begin with the LIDARs.

Topic: 

Cloud DVR is not DVR - how to fix that

One of the most useful consumer electronic devices of the past two decades is the DVR, pioneered by TiVo. Many people imagined a hard-disk based video recorder before that, but they showed the way.

Topic: 

Top Robocar News of 2017

Here are the biggest Robocar stories of 2017

Waymo starts pilot with no safety driver behind the wheel

By far, the biggest milestone of 2017 was the announcement by Waymo of their Phoenix Pilot which will feature cars with no safety driver behind the wheel, and the hints at making this pilot open to the public.

Topic: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs