Sense Photonics flashes onto the lidar scene with a new approach and $26M

Lidar is a critical part of many autonomous cars and robotic systems, but the technology is also evolving quickly. A new company called Sense Photonics just emerged from stealth mode today with a $26M A round, touting a whole new approach that allows for an ultra-wide field of view and (literally) flexible installation.

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Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics+AI Sessions Event

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics+AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate discussions with […]

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Tesla vaunts creation of ‘the best chip in the world’ for self-driving

At its “Autonomy Day” today, Tesla detailed the new custom chip that will be running the self-driving software in its vehicles. Elon Musk rather peremptorily called it “the best chip in the world…objectively.” That might be a stretch, but it certainly should get the job done.

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Tesla’s full self-driving computer is now in all new cars and a next-gen chip is already ‘halfway done’

The Tesla computer, a new custom chip designed to enable full self-driving capabilities, is now in all new Model 3, X and S vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day. Tesla switched over from Nvidia’s Drive platform to its own custom chip for the Model S and X about a month ago and […]

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Backer of Musical.ly, Grindr and Opera to invest $50M in self-driving startup Pony.ai

A games publisher in China is following the path of its larger peer Tencent to back a wide spectrum of startups for financial gains. Beijing Kunlun Wanwei, or Kunlun, announced in a filing this week that it plans to inject $50 million into autonomous driving startup Pony.ai in exchange for a 3 percent stake. Pony.ai […]

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Tempe police chief says Uber “preliminarily…would likely not be at fault” for fatal crash

The chief of police in Tempe, Arizona, where an Uber self-driving car just hit and killed a pedestrian, has told the San Francisco Chronicle that “I suspect preliminarily it appears that the Uber would likely not be at fault in this accident.”

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Here’s how Uber’s self-driving cars are supposed to detect pedestrians

A self-driving vehicle made by Uber has struck and killed a pedestrian. It’s the first such incident and will certainly be scrutinized like no other autonomous vehicle interaction in the past. But on the face of it it’s hard to understand how, short of a total system failure, this could happen when the entire car has essentially been designed around preventing exactly this situation from occurring.

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Nissan and DeNA will begin testing a self-driving taxi service in Japan next month

 Nissan Motor and DeNA announced today that field tests of Easy Ride, the self-driving taxi service they developed together, will begin next month in Japan. This means that Nissan and DeNA now rank among Uber, Lyft, GM, Didi Chuxing and other companies pioneering self-driving taxi pilots, with the goal of launching commercially within the next few years. Read More

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These are the arguments that define the Uber Waymo lawsuit

 In a crowded courtroom in San Francisco, the trial that could determine the fate of Uber’s autonomous driving program is finally underway.
For the past year, lawyers for Waymo (the self-driving car unit spun out from Alphabet in December 2016) and ride-hailing juggernaut Uber have been sparring in court over evidence and witnesses and proceedings.
At the center of the lawsuit is an… Read More

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