Apple research paper details LiDAR-based 3D object recognition for autonomous vehicle navigation

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Apple researchers are pushing forward with efforts to bring autonomous vehicle systems to public roads, and last week published an academic paper outlining a method of detecting objects in 3D point clouds using trainable neural networks. While still in its early stages, the technology could mature to improve accuracy in LiDAR navigation solutions.
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Watch as Tesla Unveils the Vehicle That Could Change Trucking Forever

After months of delays, Tesla’s electric semi unveiling is finally happening. CEO Elon Musk promises to “blow your mind clear out of your skull and into an alternate dimension” during the live unveiling of the hotly anticipated vehicle, which you can stream below.


According to a report from Reuters, Tesla’s electric semi is expected to have a working range of between 321 and 482 kilometers (200 and 300 miles) on a single charge. Not much else is known about the mysterious vehicle, which was first shown in images shrouded in shadow.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Musk explained what Tesla is trying to accomplish with the new vehicle: “We just thought, ‘What do people want? They want reliability. They want the lowest cost. And they want driver comfort.’ So we reimagined the truck.”

On Twitter, however, Musk took a different, more fantastically tongue-in-cheek approach when describing the truck’s capabilities.

The advent of the electric semi has the potential to significantly disrupt the commercial trucking industry.

Not only could the truck cut costs for long-haul operators, it could also greatly benefit the environment since heavy duty trucks generate an estimated 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions even though they only account for about 5 percent of vehicles on the road.

Now that day of Tesla’s electric semi unveiling is finally here, the world no longer has speculate as to just how disruptive Musk’s newest vehicle could be. We can see for ourselves.

The post Watch as Tesla Unveils the Vehicle That Could Change Trucking Forever appeared first on Futurism.


By 2040, You Won’t Be Able to Buy a Non-Electric Vehicle in These Nations

The Time Is Now

Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming cheaper and more efficient, and their benefit to the environment can’t be overstated. To speed up the adoption of these vehicles, several nations have announced plans to ban the sale of non-electric vehicles, effectively putting an end to the creation of new gas- and diesel-powered cars.

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The Netherlands has a particularly ambitious timeline in place, with plans to sell only EVs from 2025 onward. This is part of a much broader commitment to developing the future of transportation.

Thanks to its longstanding efforts to incentivize electric vehicles, Norway has emerged as a leader in terms of public adoption. As such, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the country to achieve its goal of all new cars being zero- or low-emission by 2025.

In India, only electric and hybrid cars will be legally available for purchase after 2030. This optimistic deadline may prove challenging for the nation, given the relatively small number of charging stations that are currently in place compared to drivers on the road.

Germany plans to implement its total ban on internal combustion engines by 2030, as well. Given the significant amount of auto production based in the country, this legislation could positively impact the industry more broadly.

Sweeping changes proposed by Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot will see France discontinue the sale of gas- and diesel-powered vehicles in 2040. However, the nation’s capital is set to enforce similar measures a decade sooner.

Shortly after France announced its plans, the United Kingdom followed suit with a similar announcement. Cars and vans powered by gas and diesel will no longer be sold in the UK after 2040.

The Road Ahead

While all these plans are encouraging, the vast majority of countries have yet to commit to a transition away from traditional automobiles. Meanwhile, some, such as China, have confirmed their intentions to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars but haven’t yet set specific deadlines, meaning they could delay the ban for decades to come.

The overall impact of these bans could also be less than ideal given the size of the nations’ driving populations. Of those with official plans in place, only France and Norway make the list of top 20 countries in terms of vehicles per capita.

Also worth noting is the fact that these measures only ban the sale of non-electric vehicles. These nations aren’t banning the use of gas- or diesel-powered vehicles outright by the date specified — they simply plan to start phasing them out.

Still, any action that puts humanity on the path to a fossil fuel-free future is a step in the right direction, and hopefully, more nations will follow suit with their own pledges to ban the sale of non-electric vehicles.

The post By 2040, You Won’t Be Able to Buy a Non-Electric Vehicle in These Nations appeared first on Futurism.


Mitsubishi’s New Vehicle Warning Signals Are Projected Onto the Road

Japanese car company Mitsubishi has announced its new Safe and Secure Lighting system, which utilizes a mixture of symbols projected on road surfaces and electronic car displays to signal vehicle warning signals, movement and actions.

For example: if a driver is backing up, the system projects a series of large illuminated arrows, signaling the backward movement to pedestrians and other vehicles. The system also can inform pedestrians and bicyclists when a vehicle occupant is opening a door, a welcome feature for the rising cycling community. The system is activated automatically, based on occupant actions, so drivers don’t have to worry about learning an entirely new way to signal.

Image credit: Mitsubishi
Image credit: Mitsubishi

The company’s press release states, “According to research, 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities on roads occur at night, so illuminated projections that are clearly visible to pedestrians in the dark are expected to help reduce such fatalities.”

This system could also be a precursor to a new set of signals for autonomous vehicles to help them integrate into modern roads, which will have a mixture of traditional and autonomous vehicles. Signaling what moves the cars intend to make could help reduce future accidents between self-driving cars and conventional drivers.

The post Mitsubishi’s New Vehicle Warning Signals Are Projected Onto the Road appeared first on Futurism.


Chevy is building a hydrogen fuel-cell transport vehicle for the Army

Chevy's venture into working with the Army on alternative-fuel vehicles isn't stopping with the Colorado ZH2. No, the pair are pushing forward with the Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) that takes the ZH2's hydrogen fuel cell powe…
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