Highlights from Interbike 2014

Autonomous Vehicles

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University will be running a Navia autonomous shuttle to...

Should you be at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) sometime soon, and wish to take the shuttle bus to JTC Corporation's CleanTech Park, you might find yourself in a vehicle that drives itself. Plans call for just such an autonomous shuttle to start running the 2-km (1.2-mile) route, as a real-world test of driverless public transportation.  Read More

DefCon and Black Hat highlight the fact that companies often seem more concerned about the...

The cyber security convention DefCon and its corporate counterpart, Black Hat, that are held annually in Las Vegas present a unique tableau where the traditional (and traditionally overstated) conflict between underground hacking culture and corporate and government security professionals is suspended with the goal of openness and education. If you enjoy and own technology and gadgets of any kind, the conferences highlight a looming security crossroads that affects every layperson. Gizmag takes a look at some of the more important hacks from this year.  Read More

The Mobile Robotics Group's autonomous Nissan Leaf

Autonomous cars will be tested on UK roads before the end of the year, according to a government policy paper published on Tuesday. According to the BBC, trials will take place on less busy rural and suburban roads, using what the paper describes as a semi-autonomous mode which will allow a driver to take control of the vehicle if necessary. A driver will ride along during all tests for safety reasons.  Read More

Screen capture from the Anki Drive app, highlighting its AI street smarts

Name a toy car that follows lines while navigating. A hundred years ago you would've answered slot cars, which use a physical line. Twenty years ago saw the mass production of toys that use optical sensors to navigate a printed line. This generation's new racing wonder toy, Anki Drive, still uses optical sensors to navigate an invisible line, but can adopt numerous racing strategies, detect other cars and conditions on the track, and react instantly. While nominally the successor in the toy race car market, Anki Drive arguably has more in common with a Google driverless car than it does with its scaled toy counterparts, and Anki has grander ambitions in the field of autonomous robotics.  Read More

The Car-to-X system will warn drivers of hazards and obstacles

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are a fundamental pillar of autonomous, self-driving cars. Once vehicles can exchange data with each other and the greater driving infrastructure, they'll be able to "see" and adapt to driving obstacles more completely, preventing accidents and delivering more efficient driving. Mercedes plans to be the first automaker to bring a Car-to-X vehicle-to-vehicle communications system to market.  Read More

Ford's robotic testing system drives trucks and vans over test tracks without human driver...

Self-driving cars seem like they’ll be on our roads any day now, but what about self-testing cars that can drive themselves around insanely destructive tracks? Engineers at Ford’s Michigan Proving Grounds in Romeo, Michigan, say that they've come up with the industry’s first robotic test system designed to drive trucks and vans over roads that are intended to put a decade of wear on a van in around three months.  Read More

Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autono...

New York City-based robotics developer Falkor Systems is working on autonomous flying robots that could fly alongside extreme athletes, shooting video of their exploits in the process. Beyond that, however, the company envisions a day in which such machines may hover around everyday people, acting as their assistants and perhaps even becoming their “friends.” In a demonstration of how such a relationship could be possible, Falkor recently used an augmented AR Drone quadcopter to take part in a modern dance performance with a human partner.  Read More

Gordon E. Moore Award winner Ionut Budisteanu (center), with Intel Foundation Young Scient...

While companies like Google, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen pour millions into developing self-driving car technology with expensive components, 19-year-old Romanian high school student Ionut Budisteanu has designed an autonomous vehicle system that would cost just US$4,000. Budisteanu’s design took out the Gordon E. Moore Award in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to pocket him a sweet $75,000.  Read More

BMW and Continental have joined forces to develop technology that will enable highly auton...

German automotive companies BMW and Continental have teamed up to develop self-driving car technology, or as they call it, an “electronic co-pilot” for cars. The main goal of the joint venture is to develop and test technologies that would usher in an era of highly automated driving on European freeways from 2020, with fully automated systems expected from 2025.  Read More

Hitachi's ROPITS' navigation system combines GPS, stereo cameras, and multiple laser range...

Toyota, Honda, and General Motors have been toying with the concept of eco-friendly single-seater urban vehicles over the past few years, and Hitachi has taken notice. Although it may look like a miniature car, Hitachi's ROPITS is more like a robotic wheelchair designed to assist people with difficulty walking (i.e. Japan's growing elderly population). The key difference is that – unlike the concept vehicles demonstrated by the auto makers – ROPITS drives itself.  Read More

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