BMW Introduces Color-Changing Car @CES2023

BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse introduced their new “BMW i Vision Dee” EV sports sedan, a car that transitions colors between 32 colors including white, green, blue, pink, yellow, and purple. The car uses an E-ink which is used in the e-readers of Kindle; the body of the car is divided into microcapsules that contain the color pigments. The color settings are changed based on applying an electric field; each color is simulated by an electric field. “Dee” stands for ‘digital emotional experience’ and underscores the growing bond between humans and machines. BMW designers believe that there will be a fusion between virtual experience and driving. This video shows how the car changes colors.

Zoox’s Autonomous Taxi @CES 2023

Bay Area startup Zoox, unveiled its design for a driverless taxi at CES 2023. Zoox is one of the few EV companies headed by a woman (Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO); it is an independent subsidiary under Amazon.com that is designing autonomous robots to deliver packages in the future. The futuristic Zoox taxi can operate for about 16 hours on a single charge. It uses AI, LIDAR, an envelop airbag for carriage seating which provides safety for all four seats. Zoox was founded in 2014 by Jesse Levinson who got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University.

Peugeot’s 15 ft Inception EV @CES 2023

Peugeot says its “feline-like” 5-meter (15-ft) Inception model looks like a cat ready to pounce and represents the new design concept for the brand. Inception features a 100kWh battery which can cover a range of 497 miles per charge. It comes with many cool gadgets; for example, it replaced the steering wheel with a video game controller that has a center tablet and four squares that can be operated by thumbs and fingers. It has a very small hood because its windshield extends all the way down to the nose of the car. The design was revealed today at CES 2023 in Las Vegas.

DeLorean’s Futuristic Omega @CES 2023

Delorean motors showcased its rugged electric Omega with massive tires and huge, futuristic glass panels. These glass panels also serve as the car’s headlights and taillights. The car was designed to showcase a polished high-tech exterior with rugged wheels and a lifted stance. In the back, it has a solar panel designed as bionic flaps.

Nissan’s Nuro Car Boasts Reading Brain Waves to Guide It

We were driving in Mountain View, CA (in Silicon Valley) and noticed a car named Nuro and a couple of printed warnings about its behavior. When we reached home, we found it at this link. We, and most of the populace, have doubts about self-driving vehicles. Several self-driving cars and trucks are being developed, but the Nuro (this name means Black in the Japanese language) appears to be the only one using brain waves for guidance. We hope drivers’ brain waves are on the mark, as the Nuro boasts 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.

Incorporating Ethics in Autonomous Design Systems (ADS)

Stanford Professors Tom Byers led a lively discussion of how to design ethical principles for autonomous vehicles with Stanford’s Chris Gerdes and Ford Motor’s Tony D’amato. Gerdes and D’amato believe that developing these rules relies on being able to translate legal and ethical principles into engineering requirements, with no need for endless philosophical discussions about The Trolly Problem (should the car hit the baby or the senior?). These engineering requirements are the basis of AI algorithms that teach ethics to self-driving cars.

Engineers have become ethicists to help clarify the choices that self-driving cars need to make; they have been making programming decisions to steer these cars through unclear, or new, and unidentified road conditions. Developing Automated Driving System (ADS) rules relies on algorithms that prioritize care for humans, respect the traffic law, and ensure that the vehicle avoids decisions that introduce unreasonable risks. Some proposed rules to avoid a collision in a self-driving car include the Safety Force Field (SFF), which uses symmetric rules for collision-free driving; another set of rules is Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS). However, neither the SFF nor the RSS factor in how to deal with unusual driving scenarios when following the provisions of the traffic code conflict with the goal of avoiding human harm.

D’amato mentioned that if designers emphasize the duty of care owed to each road user, then dealing with unusual driving conditions can be handled at a high level by three hierarchical rules, (1) duty of care to all road users, (2) actively avoid harm, and (3) follow traffic code. This approach not only resolves apparent conflicts between the vehicle code and the desire to reduce harm but also resolves dilemma situations. Using these rules, the motion planner would not explicitly prioritize one group of road users over another. The motion planner would follow what the law specifies as the duty of care owed to different groups of road users and would program the vehicle to fulfill the duty owed to each road user.

Building Ethics into Autonomous Vehicles

The virtual event on Building Ethics into Autonomous Vehicles will take at place at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) on Monday, October 10, from 6-7 pm PT.

Professor Tom Byers will lead a conversation with two experts in autonomous vehicles, Stanford professor Chris Gerdes and Tony D’amato. Of the Ford Motor Co. A video of the tests at the racetrack will be shown, and test cars will be on display.

Cornell’s Self-Driving Cars Have Memory

Cornell researchers built an artificial neural network for self-driving cars to make the cars remember routes and signs; each vehicle that uses this network can identify what constitutes traffic participants and what is safe to ignore. After several tests runs on the road, these vehicles can reliably detect and identify objects, even if they are traveling on a new route.

Cornell researchers presented this research at the Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2022), last June, in New Orleans.