Hyundai’s Hydrogen-Powered, Self-Driving SUV Runs on Level 4 Autonomy

When it comes to the future of clean and safe transportation, all bets seem to be on electric autonomous vehicles. These combine two of today’s most advanced technologies — electric motors and self-driving software. While both have seen much improvement, there’s still a lot of room for further development.

Which is why not every carmaker is particularly keen on the regular electric motor to power their next-generation driverless vehicles. One such car manufacturer is South Korea’s Hyundai, which unveiled the Nexo at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Image credit: Hyundai
Image credit: Hyundai

A crossover SUV that runs on hydrogen fuel, the Nexo has a range of approximately 800 km (500 miles) and is capable of a full refuel in only three to five minutes. When it comes out this March in Korea, refueling would mean taking the Nexo to dedicated Hydrogen Refueling Stations.

The Nexo comes with semi-autonomous technology that Hyundai promises will be advanced to Level 4 autonomy by 2021. That might not be much of a stretch, though, considering the Nexo’s recent driving demonstration performance earlier this February.

The Autonomous Revolution: What Else is Going Driverless? [INFOGRAPHIC]
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According to reports, the Nexo SUV set a record for autonomous driving on a highway when it completed 190 km (118 miles) of highway on full “cruise” mode. The stretch was managed by three Nexo SUVs and two Genesis G80s — from Hyundai’s luxury brand — outfitted with self-driving systems that follow Level 4 autonomy standards as described by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

It’s reportedly the first time a self-driving vehicle traveled more than 100 km (62 miles) at the maximum allowable speeds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph). All the while, the vehicles successfully overtook slower vehicles, changed lanes, and used automated toll gates — all without human intervention.

“We conducted a significant number of highway test drives amounting to hundreds of thousands of kilometers traveled, which enabled them to accumulate a vast amount of data that helped enhance the performance of our self-driving vehicles,” Hyundai said, a local news outlet reports.

Image credit: Hyundai
Changing lanes and passing tool booths. Image credit: Hyundai

This kind of performance demands more than the typical electric car battery, Hyundai global’s vice chairman Chung Eui-sun told CarAdvice at CES. He explained how vehicles with Level 4 autonomy (as well as Level 5) would require energy that could power the vehicle’s onboard processing computer while it handles 200-300 terabytes of data. “[Pure] electric vehicle battery is not enough for that, so maybe fuel cell can cover that amount of data processing,” explained Eui-sun.

Best of all, the only “waste” from hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles is water vapor, which could be collected and stored for later use.

The technology isn’t exactly new, although uptake has been rather slow because of particular hurdles. Hyundai developed their first hydrogen fuel cell engine in 1998, and has since worked on perfecting the technology. Now, alongside Hyundai, other carmakers are looking at the technology again for developing cleaner vehicles.

The post Hyundai’s Hydrogen-Powered, Self-Driving SUV Runs on Level 4 Autonomy appeared first on Futurism.

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Analysis: Oracle says autonomy now, AI with everything by 2020

Oracle is automating and AI-enables its cloud platform. But is AI simply the new direct debit? Chris Middleton reports.

Oracle has announced that it is rolling out AI-based automation across its Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offerings.

The enterprise vendor says that the new machine-learning-based additions will enable its cloud platform and developer applications to self-optimise, maintain, update, and patch.

The move follows the launch of its ‘self-driving’ database last year, and extends Oracle’s autonomous capabilities across much of its cloud product line.

Cutting the drudge

Oracle’s stated aim is to reduce customer costs while enabling in-house IT teams to refocus on adding value to the business – in traditional ‘cloud hype’ style.

“We want to provide autonomous capabilities to eliminate the human labour associated with provisioning, upgrades, backup, recovery, and troubleshooting,” said Amit Zavery, executive VP of product development for Oracle Cloud.

A core challenge with PaaS is that “a lot of patching doesn’t happen automatically and a lot of systems don’t get upgraded regularly,” he added.

Also included in the product refresh are tools to enable developers to add chatbots to applications more easily, with a library of use cases that can be customised.

“Once a user defines the kinds of things he wants to integrate, we can take over connecting systems, doing the mapping, and providing endpoint connectivity,” said Zavery.

Securing the automated cloud

New security tools also use machine learning, said Oracle, and analyse user behaviour patterns to intercept data leaks.

This is in line with the new security trend of behaviour modelling. This is essential in large IoT applications, for example, where it may be impossible to secure a range of smart devices independently.

“The future of tomorrow’s successful enterprise IT organisation is in full end-to-end automation,” said Zavery.

“We are weaving autonomous capabilities into the fabric of our cloud to help customers safeguard their systems, drive innovation, and deliver the ultimate competitive advantage.”

Oracle also announced that it is opening 12 new data centres worldwide.

Another big bet on AI

Oracle is making a big bet on machine learning and autonomy in the same way that IBM has refocused its business on cognitive services and Microsoft is putting AI centre stage.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd emphasised the point on Monday when he predicted that more than half of all enterprise data will be managed autonomously by 2020. “AI will become integrated into everything. It’s not a question of if, but when,” he added. “This has everything to do with macroeconomics, business model strategy, and technology,” he said.

In other words, business innovation and agility will be essential if and when traditional sources of growth dry up.

Which brings us to Oracle itself…

Internet of Business says

While its on-premise revenues remain five times higher than those of its cloud portfolio, Oracle’s traditional growth in on-premise tech has hit a plateau. However, its quarterly cloud revenues are up 44 per cent year on year.

So Oracle itself is being forced to get smart. After 10 years of Oracle supremo Larry Ellison slamming the cloud as vapourware, the all-too-public u-turn is complete. In traditional Oracle style, it has simply branded its logo on the cloud and pretended the previous decade was a dream.

But buyer beware. When it comes to the new mantra of ‘AI with everything’, all enterprise buyers of platform, infrastructure, and software services should consider this. As automation grows, transparency and trust will become critical issues, regardless of who the vendor might be.

When any services can simply upgrade themselves or add new features autonomously, who is approving any extra costs and any new vendor revenue streams? In these circumstances, AI could simply become the new direct debit, with all the associated problems that may ensue.

There’s no suggestion that any vendor would use AI to print money for themselves; merely that customers should manage their deals carefully and keep an eye on Ts & Cs.

Read more: Police need AI to help with surge in evidential data

Read more: An AI for an eye: DeepMind focuses on eye disease diagnosis


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The post Analysis: Oracle says autonomy now, AI with everything by 2020 appeared first on Internet of Business.

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How much autonomy is too much for AI?


AI has the power to make decisions on our behalf and the world is getting excited. But there’s always that nagging question: Who will be the servant and who will be the master? Should we approach AI from a completely different angle? Should we actually hand over control at all and let the AI make its own decisions? Well, to an extent, in some circumstances, we’re going to have to let go of the reins. AI with no decision-making power really is not AI at all. Machine learning, at times, must be input-free There’s no way to reap the massive benefits…

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Boeing Invests in Near Earth Autonomy to Accelerate Development of Autonomous Aircraft

Boeing Embraces Autonomous Technology

Earlier this month, Boeing acquired Aurora Flight Sciences, demonstrating the company’s commitment to incorporating autonomous technology into aircraft designs. Now, the aviation company’s HorizonX Ventures division has announced its investment in Near Earth Autonomy — a company that focuses on technologies that enable reliable autonomous flight — further solidifying its support for these burgeoning technologies.

The move marks the first investment HorizonX Ventures has made since its creation last year, but the relationship between Boeing and Near Earth doesn’t end there. In addition to this investment, the companies are partnering to work on future applications for autonomous tech in sectors like urban mobility with vehicles like flying taxis.

“This partnership will accelerate technology solutions that we feel will be key to unlocking emerging markets of autonomous flight,” said Boeing HorizonX Vice President Steve Nordlund in a statement. “We are excited to begin this partnership with a company with such a depth of experience in autonomy so we can leverage the scale of Boeing to innovate for our customers.”

Near Earth Autonomy’s Pedigree

Near Earth Autonomy is led by Sanjiv Singh, the company’s acting CEO. He co-founded the company alongside Marcel Bergerman, Lyle Chamberlain and Sebastian Scherer. Combined, they have over 30 years of experience with autonomous systems designed for land and air vehicles. Two of their most notable achievements include partnering with the U.S. Army in 2010 to develop full-scale autonomous helicopter flights and working with the Office of Naval Research to design an autonomous aerial cargo delivery platform for the U.S. Marines.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Near Earth,” said Singh. “The Boeing HorizonX investment will accelerate the development of robust products and enable access to a broader portfolio of applications for aerial autonomy.”

Flying taxis are becoming increasingly popular in the aerospace industry and many expect that they will change how people get around cities and traffic. At the forefront, we have Dubai, which tested its autonomous flying taxi earlier this year and plans to launch a taxi service before year’s end. Meanwhile, Airbus is aiming to test its electric taxi next year, with German company Lilium hoping to have a series of commercial aircraft released by 2025.

It’s an exciting time for the future of transportation, and it’s possible that soon, the concept of manually driving a car will be a thing of the past.

The post Boeing Invests in Near Earth Autonomy to Accelerate Development of Autonomous Aircraft appeared first on Futurism.

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GM Expert Calls Elon Musk “Full of Crap” for Saying Teslas Can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy

Truly Autonomous?

General Motors (GM) recently made headlines by unveiling plans to beef up their electric vehicle (EV) lineup. Now, the veteran carmaker is again in the spotlight, this time for taking a swing at Tesla and Elon Musk.

The Technologies That Power Self-Driving Cars [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

While speaking to Australian news outlets in Detroit last week, GM’s director of autonomous vehicle integration Scott Miller criticized Tesla’s CEO for claiming that his company’s vehicles are capable of Level 5 autonomy.

“The level of technology and knowing what it takes to do the mission, to say you can be a full Level 5 with just cameras and radars is not physically possible,” said Miller. He went on to add that Musk is “full of crap.”

Tesla-GM Clash

In 2014, the U.S.-based Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) released their J3016 document detailing the levels of automated driving technology. Level 5 represents completely driverless vehicle technology, but at present, most — if not all — self-driving cars fall under Level 3 (conditional autonomy). Miller doesn’t believe Tesla’s current Autopilot system has the hardware and software necessary to guarantee Level 5 autonomy.

“To be what an SAE Level 5 full autonomous system is, I don’t think he has the content to do that,” Miller told the Australian press. “I think you need the right sensors and right computing package to do it. Think about it. We have LIDAR, radar, and cameras on this… [To] be Level 5, you should have redundancy.”

As for his own company, GM was the first automaker to mass produce autonomous cars, and just yesterday, they acquired a LIDAR developer to push their self-driving car technology forward. According to Miller, GM expects to be able to produce Level 4 autonomous cars “within quarters” and plans to first introduce these vehicles in ride-sharing systems.

The debate between Tesla and GM on what a self-driving system must include in order to achieve Level 5 autonomy can only help the industry by pushing research and innovation. The more automakers we have competing to create next-level autonomous systems, the sooner the public gets to reap the benefits of safer roads and a little extra downtime during the morning commute.

The post GM Expert Calls Elon Musk “Full of Crap” for Saying Teslas Can Achieve Level 5 Autonomy appeared first on Futurism.

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Intel Can Provide Waymo’s Vehicles with the Power to Reach Full Autonomy

When Intel Met Waymo

Intel and Alphabet’s self-driving division Waymo announced on September 18 a new partnership that would see both companies working together on self-driving car technology in the future. As noted by Reuters, the move marks a first for Waymo, which has done most of its development internally.

The Technologies That Power Self-Driving Cars [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

“With so much life-saving potential, it’s a rapid transformation that Intel is excited to be at the forefront of along with other industry leaders like Waymo,” said Intel’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich in a statement.

As a result of the collaboration, Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans are now equipped with Intel’s own technology used for sensor processing, general computing, and connectivity. With Intel, Waymo’s autonomous cars have covered more ground than any other fleet of autonomous cars currently in operation, acquiring over 3 million miles of cumulative road travel — Waymo’s actual mileage is higher than this, however, as the company reached 3 million miles on its own by May, and that’s after all the progress it made in 2016.

Onward to Full Autonomy

“As Waymo’s self-driving technology becomes smarter and more capable, its high-performance hardware and software will require even more powerful and efficient compute [sic],” added Krzanich.

Krzanich went on to explain that by working together, Intel can provide Waymo’s vehicles with the necessary processing power to reach level 4 and 5 autonomy — the highest levels of self-driving, in which the vehicle’s systems are in control of nearly every aspect of the driving experience and neither need, nor expect, human input.

Waymo began testing it’s self-driving vehicles in Phoenix, Arizona in April as part of its Early Riders Program. Those accepted were able to incorporate the cars into their daily lives, before sharing their opinions with the company. People can still sign up for the program, though Waymo notes it’s only taking a few groups at a time.

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Indian creator of $3,500 self-driving car: “Reaching Level 5 autonomy will take a decade in India”


Since the 80s, the global automotive industry has been actively exploring the potential and possibilities of autonomous vehicle technology, with developments advancing rapidly in the past decade. Notably, India wasn’t hopping on the bandwagon – until Dr. Roshy John came along, that is. It was Dr. John’s initial research that spurred his employer, the $ 12 billion IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services, to enter this fast-growing field. Having earned a Ph.D in robotics from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India, he’s been in robotics for a decade and a half. and spent more than five years working on self-driving cars…

This story continues at The Next Web
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