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Autonomous Vehicles


— Automotive

Autonomous cars to appear on UK roads by the end of the year

By - July 17, 2013 1 Picture
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
— Games

Meet Anki Drive, the self-driving (toy) car for your living room

By - June 28, 2013 4 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Mercedes to launch car-to-car communications this year

By - June 19, 2013 2 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Robots take a pounding for Ford test drivers

By - June 16, 2013 4 Pictures
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
— Robotics

Could a drone be your next personal assistant – or dance partner?

By - June 3, 2013 2 Pictures
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
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Romanian teenager takes out $75,000 Intel prize with low-cost, self-driving car system

By - May 20, 2013 1 Picture
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
— Automotive

BMW and Continental team up to develop automated driving "co-pilot" technology

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
— Robotics

Hitachi's ROPITS tablet-controlled, self-driving urban vehicle

By - March 19, 2013 2 Pictures
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
— Robotics

Lynx autonomous indoor vehicle promises materials handling boost

By - January 22, 2013 1 Picture
If you’re in charge of a parts warehouse, a distribution center, or some other big building full of things that need to be moved around, the Adept Lynx might be just what you need. Made by California-based Adept Technology, the autonomous indoor vehicle (AIV) is able to find its own way as it carries cargo from point to point, within “challenging environments.” Read More
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