Baidu to launch Level 2 autonomous car in 2023

Baidu has also shown a L5 robocar concept

Chinese internet giant is full steam ahead on automotive and AV tech ambitions.

China’s technology giant Baidu is stepping up its efforts to expand in the autonomous vehicle segment with the commercial launch of a car model with Level-2 self-driving technology next year.

Last week the company’s CEO Robin Li confirmed that Jidu Auto, Baidu’s joint venture with local automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, plans to begin mass production of its first electric vehicle (EV) with Level-2 autonomous driving technologies in 2023. The vehicle’s self-driving system is powered by Nvidia chips and is scheduled to be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April of this year.

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Intel’s Mobileye unveils a chip that could bring self-driving cars to the masses

The EyeQ Ultra should be powerful while keeping costs low.

By J. Fingas

Self-driving car technology is currently limited to test programs and specialized vehicles, but Mobileye thinks it can play a key role in making driverless vehicles you can actually buy. The Intel-owned company has unveiled an EyeQ Ultra system-on-chip designed with consumer self-driving cars in mind. The SoC can juggle all the computing needs of Level 4 autonomy (full self-driving in most conditions), but it’s reportedly the world’s “leanest” such chip — car brands won’t need to use more complex, power-hungry parts that could hike costs or hurt battery life.

The EyeQ Ultra is built on a more efficient 5-nanometer process, but the architecture is the key. Mobileye’s design revolves around four task-specific accelerators tied to extra CPU cores, graphics cores and image processors. The result can process input from cameras, LiDAR, radar and the car’s central computing system while handling ‘just’ 176 trillion operations per second. For context, NVIDIA’s Drive Atlan is expected to manage 1,000 trillion operations.

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Japan to create legal framework for level 4 self-driving cars

Authorities eye rural areas, plan to submit bill to Diet session next spring.

by Nikkei Asia 

Japan’s National Police Agency is set to create a permitting system for the use of level 4 self-driving cars for transportation services in rural areas, Nikkei has learned.

Level 4 self-driving vehicles operate completely autonomously in certain conditions. A bill amending the road traffic law will be submitted to the ordinary Diet session next spring. If approved, the road to practical use of level 4 self-driving cars will be open for the first time in Japan.

Authorities are considering applying the permitting system for buses operating on designated routes in depopulated areas. Under the plan, prefectural public safety commissions will examine operators’ plans and grant permission for them to offer automated transportation services.

The government aims to put level 4 automated driving systems to practical use in areas, aimed mainly at elderly passengers, by the end of the fiscal year ending in March 2023, expanding them to more than 40 locations nationwide by around 2025.

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MOBILEYE LAUNCHES PILOT FOR AUTONOMOUS, ON-DEMAND CAR SERVICE IN PARIS

Mobileye launches a pilot for the testing of its autonomous vehicles in Paris. Courtesy.

By Simona Shemer

Israel’s Mobileye, a developer of driver assistance technologies acquired by Intel Corporation for $15.3 billion in 2017, announced on Thursday it is launching a pilot for on-demand, autonomous car rides in Paris with French public transport company, RATP Group, the world’s third-largest public transportation operator.

The Jerusalem-based firm will add Paris to the list of cities where it is conducting ongoing pilots for its self-driving technology. Those cities include New York City, Detroit, Tokyo, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, and Munich, where Mobileye will launch autonomous “robotaxis” next year.

Mobileye has received an AV testing permit to allow the company to drive its autonomous robotaxis on the streets of Paris.

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Mercedes beats Tesla to hands-free driving on highways

Decision paves the way for the automaker to offer the Level 3 system globally

DAIMLER

Drive Pilot will be an option for the S-Class and EQS models from around the middle of next year.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz won regulatory approval to deploy a hands-free driving system in Germany ahead of Tesla, gaining an edge in the race to offer higher levels of automation in one of the world’s most competitive car markets.

The automaker got the go-ahead to sell its Drive Pilot package for use on stretches of the country’s Autobahn network at a speed of up to 60 kph (37 mph).

The system was approved for Level 3 autonomous driving, a notch higher than Tesla’s Level 2 Autopilot system, and will allow a drivers to take their hands off the wheel in slow-moving traffic.

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Baidu, Pony AI granted China’s first licences to charge passengers for self-driving taxis in Beijing

By Daniel Ren

Two operators including Chinese internet search giant Baidu have been given the green light to start charging passengers to use their autonomous taxis in Beijing.

Baidu and Pony AI became the first companies to be granted licences by mainland Chinese authorities to launch their driverless cab services commercially following successful trial periods.

On Thursday, the Beijing High-level Automated Driving Demonstration Area gave permission for Baidu and Pony AI to charge fees for their so-called robotaxis in a designated area of the capital covering 60 square kilometres.

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The plan, according to an announcement from Baidu, is to expand the service rapidly.

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Researchers create ‘transparent’ holographic camera to make self-driving cars safer

Researchers have managed to create a powerful holographic camera that is capable of seeing through objects such as corners, fog and even humans reveals a new study.

Developed by researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, it uses a technique called synthetic wavelength holography.. It works by reconstructing the path taken by a beam of light as it propagates through various objects, bouncing off surfaces until the beam returns to the source, where it is recorded by a detector.

An AI algorithm tracks the path of scattered light, allowing the viewer to see the world from the perspective of a remote surface, even if they are behind the camera’s line of sight.

This field of research, called non-line-of-sight (NLoS) imaging, is quite nascent, yet the Northwestern researchers’ implementation is well advanced as it rapidly captures high-resolution full-field images with submillimeter precision. 

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New technology gives smart cars ‘X-ray’ vision, detecting hidden pedestrians, cyclists

CP-enabled vehicle detects cyclist behind bus.

Australian researchers have developed disruptive technology allowing autonomous vehicles to track running pedestrians hidden behind buildings, and cyclists obscured by larger cars, trucks, and buses.

The autonomous vehicle uses game changing technology that allows it to “see” the world around it, including using X-ray style vision that penetrates through to pedestrians in blind spots and to detect cyclists obscured by fast-moving vehicles.

The iMOVE Cooperative Research Centre-funded project collaborating with the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics and Australian connected vehicle solutions company Cohda Wireless has just released its new findings in a final report following three years of research and development.

The technology’s applications, which are being commercialized by Cohda, involve an emerging and promising technology for intelligent transportation systems (ITS) called cooperative or collective perception (CP).

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Hyundai Mobis develops a foldable steering wheel system for self-driving car

The ‘foldable steering system’ is movable to forward and back by up to 25cm.

The SBW is a high-tech control system that transmits steering power generated from the steering wheel to wheels through electronic signals.

Seoul: A foldable steering wheel system for self-driving cars has been developed by Hyundai Mobis.

Hyundai Mobis announced on Monday that it has developed the ‘foldable steering system’ that can store the steering wheel of the driver’s seat invisible by folding it.

It is a new technology that has not been globally commercialized before, and Hyundai Mobis successfully developed in around 2 years and is currently filling patents in Korea and overseas.

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Autonomous Vehicle Companies Cruise & Waymo Can Now Offer People Driverless Rides In California

By Ashley Palya

Autonomous vehicle companies Cruise by General Motors and Waymo by Alphabet have been permitted to operate in a limited number of cities in California by The California Department of Motor Vehicles.

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles today issued autonomous vehicle deployment permits to Cruise LLC and Waymo LLC, allowing the companies to charge a fee and receive compensation for autonomous services offered to the public,” The California DMV said on Thursday.

The new permit will officially allow people to catch rides with vehicles that are being operated without drivers and only by an operating system.

Cruise vehicles will be fully driverless and are authorized to operate within parts of San Francisco on public roads at a maximum speed limit of 30 mph between 10 p.m and 6 a.m. The company has been testing autonomous vehicles since October 2020.

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Russian tech firm Yandex to test self-driving taxis in Moscow this year – ET Auto

Robotaxis will available through the company’s Yandex.Go application in one Moscow district for certain customers.

MOSCOW: Adventurous Muscovites may soon be able to travel around parts of Moscow in driverless taxis as Russian tech giant Yandex plans to start testing the autonomous vehicles in the city this year, the company said on Wednesday.

Yandex, which operates a raft of services from online search to food delivery, has been testing self-driving technology for more than three years in Russia, Israel and the United States.

Robotaxis will available through the company’s Yandex.Go application in one Moscow district for certain customers, Yandex said in a statement.

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Honda to start testing self-driving car service in Japan

Honda has just announced that it will be starting a trial programme for autonomous vehicles in Japan, which will take place in Utsunomiya City and Haga Town in the Tochigi Prefecture. The move is a step towards realising an autonomous vehicle mobility service (Maas) business in the country, which Honda is planning to launch together with Cruise (a developer for self-driving cars) and General Motors.

During the first phase, Honda will deploy a high-definition mapping vehicle (pictured above) to create a highly detailed digital version of the trial city. This will allow the Cruise AV autonomous vehicle to be driven on public roads and self-adapt to traffic environments, as well as relevant Japanese laws and regulations.

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