Stagecoach and Starship Technologies today lobbied the UK Parliament’s Transport Committee to introduce regulations to make autonomous vehicles safer. Stagecoach is working on autonomous buses, and Starship is introducing autonomous delivery robots. Warwick University’s Manufacturing Group, a leading university in engineering and manufacturing design, joined the companies. The companies advocate that safety measures will help protect the public and the companies who work in this field.
AI-Image Processing Helps Autonomous Cars
Autonomous cars will benefit from high dynamic range (HDR) cameras because these cameras use AI-based chips that process data better in low and high-field vision. This image from Silicon Valley’s Ambarella AI chip maker shows how HDR chips help autonomous cars better detect objects at tunnel entrances and exits. The Norwegian company Zivid is one of the leading companies for HDR computer vision. Lucid Motors which makes high-end electric vehicles uses some of the best HDR cameras on the market.
Germany’s Continental Autoparts will use US Ambarella AI Chips
Silicon Valley’s Ambarella chips will be used to power the vision and intelligence of German cars. Germany’s Conti (who create the future in motion and whose parts are widely used in Bentley and other major car brands) signed an agreement in January 2023 with Ambarella to use its AI-based chips to create hardware for autonomous cars. Ambarella’s chips lead in the new chip trend of ‘system on a chip’ or SoC which combines multiple CPUs on one logic board. Conti uses this technology in its AEye’s 4Sight Intelligent Sensing Platform.
Autonomous Car Chips
The autonomous vehicle chip market is forecast to reach $29 Billion by 2030. Chips for autonomous vehicles fall into four categories: traditional automotive microcontrollers (emission control, antilock brakes); wireless chips that connect the cars to the Internet; vision sensors that “see” the road; processor chips that use AI and include the autonomous vehicle’s “brain.”
Some leading chip makers for autonomous cars include Mobileye (Intel), NVIDIA, NXP (Netherlands), Renesas (Tokyo, Japan), Qualcomm, TI, Infineon (Milpitas, CA), STMicro (India), and Xilinx (now part of AMD).
Volkswagen has been using NVIDIA Drive IX Technology since 2018. Baidu’s Apollo Go Robotaxi service uses Baidu’s second-generation Kunlun II AI chip. Samsung is developing special chips for Google’s Waymo.
Apollo Go Autonomous Taxis
Baidu, known as China’s Google (NASDAQ: BIDU), developed Apollo Go Robotaxi, the first autonomous taxi to get permits in China. The service is based on 5G technology, which companies say ensures the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles. Apollo Go has operated without a safety driver since 2021 in 10 Chinese cities, including Bejing and Wuhan. The service started on August 8, 2022, reached a milestone of 1.4 million rides early in 2023 and is expected to add more cities. Like Google’s Waymo autonomous taxi service, Apollo Go uses AI for maps and driving algorithms. Waymo operates in San Francisco and Phoenix and will add Los Angeles in 2023.
Cowboys & Self-Driving Trucks
With the rise of self-driving vehicles, it’s only a matter of time until there’s a country where the guy’s truck leaves him.
Uber bought self-driving San Francisco startup Otto in 2015; in 2016 Otto made the first-ever autonomous beer delivery.
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.