Ford, U-M Accelerate Autonomous Vehicle Research with Ford Researchers In-House at New Robotics Lab on U-M Campus

Ford and the University of Michigan today announce they are teaming up to accelerate autonomous vehicle research and development with a first-ever arrangement that embeds Ford researchers and engineers into a new state-of-the-art robotics laboratory on U-M's Ann Arbor campus. 
While the new robotics laboratory opens in 2020, by the end of this year Ford will move a dozen researchers into the North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). 
The announcement is the latest in a series of actions by Ford as it moves toward having fully autonomous SAE-defined level 4-capable vehicles available for high-volume commercial use in 2021. Autonomous vehicles are part of Ford's expansion to be an auto and a mobility company.   Full Press Release:
 

Swarms of Robots Manage to Not Run Into Each Other

Evan Ackerman for IEEE Spectrum:  At Georgia Tech, Li Wang and professors Aaron D. Ames and Magnus Egerstedt have been developing ways to allow infinitely large teams of mobile robots to move around each other without colliding, and also without getting in each other’s way. This is very important for people like me, who have 37Roombas at home, but also for anyone imagining a future where roads are packed with autonomous cars.

The fundamental issue here is robot paranoia. When robots move around, they typically maintain a sensor-based “panic zone” for safety, and if anything enters that space, they panic, and stop moving. If you have only two robots moving around, they can keep clear of one another, but as the number of robots increases, the odds that two “panic zones” will intersect also increases, to the point where they overlap and you just end up with a completely paralyzing global robot freakout. Or as the Georgia Tech researchers put it (in a much fancier way), “as the number of robots and the complexity of the task increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to design one single controller that simultaneously achieves multiple objectives, e.g., forming shapes, collision avoidance, and connectivity maintenance.”  Cont'd...

5D ROBOTICS ACQUIRES UWB TECHNOLOGY LEADER TIME DOMAIN TO ACCELERATE INNOVATION IN AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE NAVIGATION

Time Domain is the leading provider of small, low-power UWB ranging radio and radar sensors which measure distance with an accuracy of 2 centimeters, send data, and detect objects, people and obstacles. 5D has partnered with Time Domain since 2012, adapting the latter's PulsON® ranging radios into precision autonomous navigation and positioning solutions for a wide variety of air and ground vehicles.

Boeing Opens Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri

Researchers will develop and validate systems that enable teamwork between autonomous vehicles

Renesas Electronics Develops Two-Port On-Chip SRAM Specialized in Improving Video Processing Performance of Vehicles for the Autonomous-Driving Era

Combines High Integration of 6.05 Mb/mm2 (1.8× Previous Level) and 313-Picosecond Fast Read Operation

Gamma 2 Robotics Launches Fully Autonomous Security Robot, Partners with Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure

RAMSEE robot launched at HxGN LIVE, demonstrated with Hexagon software

AutoSens clearly ahead as most comprehensive ADAS conference

Europe's most important ADAS conference, AutoSens, (http://auto-sens.com) has confirmed an impressive speaker line-up for this year's event, which will take place in September in Belgium, with big names from OEM, Tier 1 and Tier 2 automotive suppliers.

​Forget self-driving cars: What about self-flying drones?

Tina Amirtha for Benelux:  In 2014, three software engineers decided to create a drone company in Wavre, Belgium, just outside Brussels. All were licensed pilots and trained in NATO security techniques.

But rather than build drones themselves, they decided they would upgrade existing radio-controlled civilian drones with an ultra-secure software layer to allow the devices to fly autonomously.

Their company, EagleEye Systems, would manufacture the onboard computer and design the software, while existing manufacturers would provide the drone body and sensors.

Fast-forward to the end of March this year, when the company received a Section 333 exemption from the US Federal Aviation Administration to operate and sell its brand of autonomous drones in the US. The decision came amid expectations that the FAA will loosen its restrictions on legal drone operations and issue new rules to allow drones to fly above crowds.  Cont'd...

Billions Are Being Invested in a Robot That Americans Don't Want

Keith Naughton for Bloomberg Technology:  Brian Lesko and Dan Sherman hate the idea of driverless cars, but for very different reasons.  Lesko, 46, a business-development executive in Atlanta, doesn’t trust a robot to keep him out of harm’s way. “It scares the bejeebers out of me,” he says.

Sherman, 21, a mechanical-engineering student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, trusts the technology and sees these vehicles eventually taking over the road. But he dreads the change because his passion is working on cars to make them faster.

“It’s something I’ve loved to do my entire life and it’s kind of on its way out,” he says. “That’s the sad truth.”

The driverless revolution is racing forward, as inventors overcome technical challenges such as navigating at night and regulators craft new rules. Yet the rush to robot cars faces a big roadblock: People aren’t ready to give up the wheel. Recent surveys by J.D. Power, consulting company EY, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, Canadian Automobile Association, researcher Kelley Blue Book and auto supplier Robert Bosch LLC all show that half to three-quarters of respondents don’t want anything to do with these models.  Cont'd...

Autonomous Driving Systems

Combining on-vehicle sensor data with high resolution maps adds another safety level to the autonomous driving system. The automotive industry is looking to its partners and suppliers as they develop HD maps.

Robotics expert: Self-driving cars not ready for deployment

Joan Lowy for PHYS.org:  Self-driving cars are "absolutely not" ready for widespread deployment despite a rush to put them on the road, a robotics expert warned Tuesday.

The cars aren't yet able to handle bad weather, including standing water, drizzling rain, sudden downpours and snow, Missy Cummings, director of Duke University's robotics program, told the Senate commerce committee. And they certainly aren't equipped to follow the directions of a police officer, she said.

While enthusiastic about research into self-driving cars, "I am decidedly less optimistic about what I perceive to be a rush to field systems that are absolutely not ready for widespread deployment, and certainly not ready for humans to be completely taken out of the driver's seat," Cummings said.

It's relatively easy for hackers to take control of the GPS navigation systems of self-driving cars, Cummings said.

"It is feasible that people could commandeer self-driving vehicles ... to do their bidding, which could be malicious or simply just for the thrill of it," she said, adding that privacy of personal data is another concern.  Cont'd...

CES 2016 - Autonomous Cars Set To Dominate

BY DAVID GILBERT For International Business Times:  As cars become less about horsepower and torque and more about the technology inside, CES has become one of the most important showcases of the year for auto manufacturers. It's a sea change in how cars are built and marketed, with technology now the core, rather than an added feature. Connected, autonomous and electric vehicles will all be on display at CES 2016, with some of the world’s most talk-about companies in the field looking to make a major impact.

First up will be Faraday Future, the secretive startup based in Los Angeles and backed by a Chinese billionaire. It is set to unveil its first ever concept design on Jan. 4, and while all the company has said so far is that it will be an electric vehicle, it is widely believed to feature autonomous capabilities.

While Faraday Future is a relative unknown, one of the world’s biggest automotive companies, Ford, will also be at CES announcing news about the autonomous car it has been testing internally for several years. Among the announcements expected is apartnership with Google to build some of Google’s fleet of self-driving cars.  Cont'd...

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. Included on Inc. Magazine's Prestigious Inc. 5000 List

Autonomous Solutions, Inc. Ranks No. 1716 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 237%, No. 19 Top Engineering Company

Black Diamond Advanced Technology Receives Contract to Develop Ground Robotic Operator Control Unit

Engineering design services and material deliveries will be performed from now into calendar year 2016.

A Driving Force of the Future: Self-Driving Goes Green

With the inevitable progression and inclusion of self-driving cars, we will see an increase of road safety, oil efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

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