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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Mobileye self-driving taxis heading to public roads next year

The Intel subsidiary’s Mobileye Drive autonomous system will undergo public testing in Germany and Israel in 2022.

By Craig Cole

Self-driving vehicles are the holy grail for automakers. And while there are no autonomous cars or trucks available today, practically every OEM and supplier, plus a constellation of other companies are hard at work making them a reality. Moving one step closer to a hands-free future, Mobileye, a subsidiary of computer chip titan Intel, unveiled a new robotaxi at the IAA show in Munich on Tuesday.

Based on the Chinese Nio ES8 all-electric, six-passenger SUV, the Mobileye AV is the first production autonomous car fitted with the firm’s self-driving system. The company calls this Mobileye Drive, and it’s a Level 4 autonomous system, meaning it does not require human interaction in the vast majority of situations. To enable this, the Mobileye AV has 13 cameras, plus three long-range lidar sensors, six short-range lidar arrays and half a dozen radar units — probably more high-tech hardware than a jet fighter. 

Tying all this advanced hardware together are eight of the company’s EyeQ 5 system-on-a-chip integrated circuits, which are part of Mobileye’s AVKit58 system. This is the first time Mobileye Drive has been fitted to vehicles used for driverless, ride-hailing services, an important milestone for the company.

The Mobileye AV will undergo real-world testing in Munich and Tel Aviv next year. During use, trained safety drivers will monitor the vehicles as they operate autonomously. German law currently allows these vehicles to drive themselves, but regulations still require that a human be present to keep watch over everything. Curiously, these fleets of robotaxis will not be geofenced, meaning they can drive just about anywhere. Mobileye’s crowdsourced mapping helps enable this impressive flexibility. 

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How Ground-Penetrating Radar Could Help Self-Driving Cars ‘See’ Better

This could be the next frontier in autonomous tech, but it has a lot of mapping to do. 

BY KRISTIN V. SHAW

First patented in the early 1900s, ground-penetrating radar has been used by geologists, archaeologists, and aeronautics engineers ever since. Notably, the Apollo 17 mission used a GPR to record depth information about the moon. GPR is not new technology, but it’s new to the application of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).

Some companies are betting on GPR to get ahead of their competitors in the field by improving the reliability and accuracy of autonomous features. Within the hot ADAS segment, everyone is looking for the panacea that will make billions of dollars and solve all of the autonomous driving challenges.

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200 MPH Autonomous Cars Will Make History in World’s First High-Speed Robo-Race

By Otilia Drăgan

Only a few years ago, this might have sounded crazy, but it’s here now – the first head-to-head, high-speed race without the actual racing drivers. Autonomous vehicles will soon be competing against each other at the Indy Autonomous Challenge, an event that will probably be remembered for years to come.

Back in 2004, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge paved the way for autonomous vehicle development. Now, some of the innovators who have competed in that challenge are taking things further as advisors for the Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC). Organized by Energy Systems Network and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IAC is addressed to university teams from all over the world, who will compete for the $1 million grand prize.

Hundreds of students from over 40 schools entered the first stage of the challenge. As of this month, the 10 final teams have been established, with more than 200 students from 19 universities. One of the most fascinating aspects of this historical competition is that all the racing cars will basically be the same, so it won’t be about the build or the technology, but about maneuvering and making essential decision in a high-speed context, such as avoiding unanticipated obstacles.

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Lyft travels to the future with new self-driving cars coming to Austin

Experimentation and innovation are driving this technology. 

By John Egan

The Lyft ride-hailing service is traveling into a new era in Austin.

Starting next year, Lyft customers in certain parts of Austin will be able to hire a self-driving car as part of a new partnership with automaker Ford and Argo AI, a provider of technology for self-driving vehicles.

“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,“ Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green says in a July 21 news release. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge, and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”

The initiative will roll out later this year in Miami, with self-driving Lyft cars coming to Austin sometime next year. Washington, D.C., is also on the road map. A so-called “safety driver” will ride in each of the cars along with the Lyft passengers.

The three companies behind the effort hope to add at least 1,000 self-driving cars to the Lyft network over the next five years in various U.S. markets, including Austin.

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Ford and partner Argo AI will launch Lyft self-driving cars this year

The first autonomous cars ready for ride hailing will hit the road in Miami by the end of this year.

By Sean Szymkowski

Look out Miami, there are some new machines in town.Ford

Ford last year said it needed to delay its robotaxi service until 2022 because of the pandemic, but now a big first step will happen this year. On Wednesday, Ford announced that by the end of 2021 it will deploy the first self-driving cars with its partner Argo AI on ride-hailing service Lyft’s network. The first cars will land in Miami, the automaker said.

This first step is one of many to commercialize (that’s corporate speak for “make money”) autonomous ride-hailing services. Many companies and automakers have promised these services for years now, but Google’s sister company Waymo is the only one to actually pick riders up and charge them a fare. And that’s only outside of Phoenix — far from nationwide.

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Hyundai Motor to pilot autonomous demand-responsive ‘RoboShuttle’ service

Hyundai Motor to introduce an autonomous, demand-responsive shuttle service in South Korea, starting August 9

Hyundai Motor Company announced that it will begin a test operation of its RoboShuttle (named after ‘Robot’ and ‘Shuttle’) service on August 9. The demand-responsive, high-occupancy vehicle service, powered by autonomous driving and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, will operate along a 6.1-km route in Sejong Smart City, South Korea.

The pilot operation will be conducted using Hyundai H350, a light commercial, four-door van (known as Solati in Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam), equipped with autonomous driving technology, which applies a range of Level 4-comparable core technologies and is developed in-house by the Autonomous Driving Center at Hyundai Motor. The vehicle has also obtained a temporary operation permit of ‘autonomous driving Level 3’ from the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Based on its self-driving capabilities, the vehicle is designed to perceive its surroundings, make decisions, and control itself while driving on the road, requiring minimal intervention from a safety driver. The vehicle will operate on the 6.1-km route from Sejong Government Complex to Sejong National Arboretum, with 20 stops for passengers along the way.

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