EXCELLENCE IN MARITIME MANUFACTURING – ANDURIL’S EXTRA LARGE AUTONOMOUS UNDERSEA VEHICLES

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series Excellence in maritime manufacturing looks at Anduril Industries’ Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicle which is destined for local manufacture, and how manufacturing is helping the company to disrupt the defence sector.

Getting defence capabilities from the concept to final product stage can be a very time-consuming – manufacturing can follow years if not decades after proposals first are aired.

But one California company, which is linking with the Australian Defence Force to develop an Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicle ((XL-AUV, pictured), is showing that time frames can be collapsed utilising new concepts of manufacturing.

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Korean Startup Mars Auto is all set to launch Self-driving Trucks next year

Mars Auto has partnered with Logi Square to test the efficiency of the pilot operation by expanding it to ten semi-large trucks on the Gyeongbu Expressway section from the metropolitan area to Busan. 

By Dipayan Mitra

Korean self-driving technology developing startup Mars Auto announces that it plans to launch its self-driving trucks next year. Mars Auto has successfully tested its first self-driving truck. 

The company’s vehicle was equipped with a camera and a computer, allowing it to drive securely for 5 hours and 30 minutes on the highway from Seoul to Busan. 

Additionally, the movements of the autonomous truck did not require any human interference. Mars Auto has partnered with Logi Square to test the efficiency of the pilot operation by expanding it to ten semi-large trucks on the Gyeongbu Expressway section from the metropolitan area to Busan. 

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Meet Robosweeper: the autonomous EV truck that cleans and sanitises roads

BY MAXENE LONDON

Robosweeper, WeRide’s second purpose-built self-driving vehicle / WeRide YouTube

The Robosweeper is a new, fully electric and driverless truck that cleans and sanitises public roads, creating a solution for keeping highly populated city streets clean. 

Designed in collaboration with WeRide and Yutong Group, the Robosweeper cleans the roads by sweeping, sprinkling, and spraying disinfectant from its rear and sides. 

Following the pandemic, this sort of function is highly sought after, particularly in densely populated cities like China, which recently implemented one of the world’s most restrictive policies with the goal of having zero covid-19 cases. 

The vehicle looks like a futuristic concept bus, but it’s actually production-ready. It has heavily tinted windows which hide the lack of a driver in the cabin, and sensors that stick out of the body of the vehicle and allow for Level 4 autonomy. 

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Kodiak Robotics & U.S. Xpress to Pilot Continuous Autonomous Freight Operations Between Dallas-Fort Worth & Atlanta

Kodiak Robotics Autonomous Truck

Kodiak Robotics, Inc., a self-driving trucking company, has teamed up with U.S. Xpress, one of America’s largest carrier fleets, to launch continuous Level 4 autonomous freight service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta using Kodiak’s self-driving trucks. This strategic partnership also marks the launch of the first commercial autonomous trucking lane to the East Coast.

In late March, a Kodiak truck and U.S. Xpress trailers completed a pilot, hauling freight four round-trips (eight segments), approximately 6,350 miles, delivering eight commercial loads between Dallas and Atlanta.

The truck ran 24 hours a day for 131 total hours, or nearly five-and-a-half full days.

As part of this partnership, a Kodiak autonomous tractor picked up and delivered U.S. Xpress pre-loaded trailers.

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90% of long-haul trucking may soon be self-driving. Are you ready to share the road with an autonomous 18-wheeler?

BY TRISTAN BOVE

Elon Musk has called them the most impactful technology on the horizon. But unions are lobbying against their widespread use, citing studies showing they may kill up to 500,000 jobs.

They are autonomous trucks, which supporters pitch as the remedy to a growing demand for shipping and for greater safety on the road. If the technology becomes good enough, the logistics industry will be radically changed, with trucks operating nearly around the clock as they crisscross the country. 

The number of companies racing to perfect automated trucking technology is long. Last year, Tesla revealed plans for its own autonomous truck called Semi, which relies on battery power and has a range of up to 500 miles. Meanwhile, Daimler, one of the world’s largest trucking companies, has announced a $573 million investment in self-driving trucks. And Aurora, another major player in the space, has gone so far as to create its own autonomous truck operating system.

Still, it will be years before drivers are completely absent from behind the wheel of 18-wheelers, experts tell Fortune. The technology must still be improved so it can reliably operate in extreme weather while officials must rewrite regulations that were originally created for human truck drivers.

As it stands, the U.S. government has opened the door to autonomous trucking—but only to a point. The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a $100 million plan for autonomous car research, including a $60 million grant for private companies. In March, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that the government would not stand in the way of innovation, and that there would be “meaningful developments” in autonomous vehicle policy this decade.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Steve Viscelli, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania researching automation and labor markets, told Fortune. “This is a decades-long sustained investment by the U.S. government. And so I would not bet against this technology being successful.”

Continue reading… “90% of long-haul trucking may soon be self-driving. Are you ready to share the road with an autonomous 18-wheeler?”
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Google’s self-driving startup Waymo is introducing fully driverless rides to San Francisco

Waymo self-driving autonomous car.

By Urooba Jamal 

  • The company is initially limiting the rides to its employees before opening up to the public.
  • Waymo’s autonomous vehicles have been operating in San Francisco, but with safety specialists in the driver’s seat.
  • The company first began offering autonomous rides in Arizona in 2017.

Google’s self-driving startup Waymo has begun operating fully driverless rides in San Francisco, the company announced on Wednesday.

The company said that the service is just for its employees at the moment, but it hopes to open the service to the general public soon. The company’s vehicles have been operating in the city for years, but with safety specialists in the driver’s seat. 

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NAVYA’s technology is ready for the commercialization of Level 4 remotely supervised driverless fleets

VILLEURBANNE, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Regulatory News:

NAVYA (FR0013018041- Navya) (Paris: NAVYA), a leading company in autonomous mobility systems, presented a fleet of self-driving shuttles operated by remote supervision at the Autonomy mobility show, which was held in Paris on March 16th and 17th. NAVYA took the opportunity to transform its booth into a genuine control center where visitors had a ring-side view of four driverless shuttles being shepherded remotely in real-life conditions on two different sites. While the operator carried out various control and monitoring tasks, Olivier Le Cornec, NAVYA’s Technical Chief Officer gave a running commentary of each situation that was transmitted live onto a big screen.

Manage, monitor, secure and anticipate were the catchwords that demonstrated NAVYA’s holistic answer to a series of critical situations: an obstacle on the road, an absent-minded pedestrian in the lane, a passenger feeling ill, fire on the route, to name but a few. Eleven simulated scenarios from a large range of potential events were projected onto the screen, to which NAVYA reacted and responded, guaranteeing the safety of both the passengers and other road users on each occasion.

As a recognized Level 4 global player, NAVYA also took the opportunity to host a round-table discussion with a number of high-level speakers on its vision for Level 4 and related ecosystems, where the challenges facing driverless autonomous mobility were aired and the solutions debated.

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Einride Unveils World’s First Remote Pod Operator of Autonomous, Electric Vehicle Fleet

The Einride Pod makes shipping safer and cleaner with electric power, advanced autonomous technology and remote operation capability.

  • Long-time trucking veteran will be first in new job that will revolutionize autonomous shipping industry
  • Creates an entirely new type of shipping job, one that will allow for more regulated working conditions compared to conventional trucking and solve for the global shortage of trucking resources
  • By keeping humans in the loop, a team of Einride Remote Pod Operators, will ensure safe scaling of autonomous shipping solutions across current and future customer operations

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Swedish freight technology company Einride announced today at SXSW the official introduction of the world’s first Remote Pod Operator, a role that has been fulfilled with the hiring of long-time trucking veteran Tiffany Heathcott. The position will shift how humans play a role in the increasing prioritization of autonomous vehicles in the freight industry, enabling a strong safety case that is scalable from day one for shippers looking to automate their shipping fleets.

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Autonomous vehicles can lose the steering wheel under new US safety standards

General Motors’ autonomous vehicles division sought a review of the safety rules before starting production of its purpose-built driverless pod   

By Tom Bateman  

Fully autonomous vehicles in the United States will no longer have to be equipped with manual controls like pedals and a steering wheel to meet safety standards.

New passenger safety regulations published on Thursday replace older rules written with the assumption that vehicles would always have to be controlled by a human driver.

In a statement announcing the “first-of-its-kind” safety ruling, the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the old wording of vehicle safety standards no longer made sense for vehicles designed to be entirely self-driving.ADVERTISING

“The occupant protection standards are currently written for traditionally designed vehicles and use terms such as “driver’s seat” and “steering wheel,” that are not meaningful to vehicle designs that, for example, lack a steering wheel or other driver controls,” the NHTSA said. 

“For vehicles designed to be solely operated by an ADS (Automated Driving System), manually operated driving controls are logically unnecessary,” the agency added.

The rule change comes after US carmaker General Motors and its self-driving technology unit Cruise petitioned the NHTSA last month for permission to build and deploy a self-driving vehicle without human controls.

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How Self-Driving Vehicles Fit In Perfectly With the Future of Retail

BY BRADLEY BERMAN

The days of needing to drive to the store to pick up a whole cartful of groceries are gone. If you live near a major metropolitan area in the United States or a populous suburb, nearly everything you can imagine is available for delivery to your doorstep through mobile apps and e-commerce sites—sometimes in a matter of hours. Even the small, local mom-and-pop shops just down the street are quickly changing. 

Among the many hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic was that it forced brick and mortar retailers to radically rethink their approach, accelerating the long-term trends of consumers moving away from in-person shopping. After previously relying heavily on foot traffic and in-store customers, they suddenly needed to figure out how to reach their customers online, safely at home, or socially distanced. 

Now, as parts of the world emerge from the pandemic (or at least adjust to a less dire “new normal”), autonomous vehicles are poised to help these retailers rebuild even more sustainable, efficient, and long-lasting businesses with new ways to connect to their customers. “Retailers are shifting capital to change their stores,” says Troy Beeler, cofounder of the Future Commerce Initiative, a consulting firm. “All the effort is going into distribution, getting the inventory close to the consumer in a way that the consumer can either pick it up or you can deliver it to them in the most cost-effective way.” 

We’re seeing these changes happen today. Fast food restaurants are experimenting with drive-through-only locations. Weather permitting, entire store facades now slide open to allow circulation. Kiosks are wheeling outside. Customers and delivery contractors pick up orders at the curb or via newly installed takeout windows. Consumers seeking the ability to touch and feel products can still do so, but outside, in more limited quantities, and they are encouraged to look up more inventory on the store’s website. “The idea of super-dense interior spaces is no longer palatable,” says Zachary Colbert, an architecture professor at Carleton University. Now it’s all about open-air courtyards, verandas, pop-up tents, parklets, and pickup zones. 

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Outrider releases ‘fully autonomous’ truck parking system

BY DAVID EDWARDS 

Outrider, a developer of autonomous technology for yard operations at logistics hubs, has released “fully autonomous” trailer backing capabilities to its fleet.

This proprietary technology enables autonomous yard trucks to back trailers into tight spaces with precision and without modifications to trailers.

These capabilities are now available as part of the Outrider System, which automates distribution yards for large, logistics-dependent enterprises. 

Andrew Smith, founder and CEO of Outrider, says: “Automation is key to relieving the inflationary pressure on the supply chain.

“Distribution yards are critical links in the supply chain and prime targets for automating the flow of goods between over-the-road transportation and fulfillment centers, warehouses and manufacturing plants.

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DARPA’s RACER Program Sends High-Speed Autonomous Vehicles Off-Road

For the next three years, robotic vehicles will be pushing the limits of all-terrain racing

By EVAN ACKERMAN

DARPA    DARPA has announced the first phase of a shiny new program called RACER, which stands for Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency.

I’m not sure why they couldn’t have just left it at RACE, but that’s government backronyms for you. Anyway, the RACER program is all about high-speed driving in unstructured environments, which is a problem that has not been addressed by the commercial-vehicle-autonomy industry, because we have, you know, roads.

But where DARPA is going there are no roads, and the agency wants autonomous vehicles to be able to explore on their own as well as keep up with vehicles driven by humans. DARPA has announced three teams that will each get funding and vehicles: Carnegie Mellon University, NASA JPL, and the University of Washington.

And if everything goes well, we’ll be seeing some absolutely bonkers off-road autonomous racing over the next three years.The goal of the Robotic Autonomy in Complex Environments with Resiliency (RACER) program is to develop and demonstrate new autonomy technologies that enable ground combat vehicles to maneuver in unstructured, off-road terrain at speeds that are no longer limited by the autonomy software or processing time, but only by considerations of sensor limitations, vehicle mechanical limits, and safety.

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