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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Lyft is building a self-driving platform with auto supplier Magna

Lyft is partnering with Magna, one of the largest tier-one automotive industry suppliers in the world, on autonomous vehicle technology. Lyft CEO and co-founder Logan Green explained that this will help them get their self-driving tech into various automaker vehicles around the world. Lyft will be working directly with Magna on “co-developing” an autonomous driving system, […]

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UC Berkeley Professor Abbeel to speak at TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics, May 11 at Zellerbach Hall

 TechCrunch’s upcoming TC Sessions: Robotics is fast taking shape. The single-day event, held on May 11, will focus of the crossroads of the latest AI and robotics technology and the startup ecosystem.  We’re really pleased to announce two sessions for the show — as well as throw open the application for an early-stage robotics startup pitch competition.
Robotics and Deep… Read More

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XPrize announces a $10M contest for remotely-controlled robotic avatars

 XPrize announced today that it’s teaming up with Japanese airline All Nippon Airways on a new $10 million competition. XPrize founder and chairman Peter Diamandis said the ANA team was interested in an XPrize around “reinventing travel,” which eventually turned into a prize for developing technology that would actually eliminate the need to physical travel in some situations.… Read More

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This robo-bug can improvise its walk like a real insect

 There are plenty of projects out there attempting to replicate the locomotion of insects, but one thing that computers and logic aren’t so good at is improvising and adapting the way even the smallest, simplest bugs do. This project from Tokyo Tech is a step in that direction, producing gaits on the fly that the researchers never programmed in. Read More

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Watch 1000s of Boston Dynamics SpotMinis in this Planet Earth-style video

 Straight out of Black Mirror, this video is a mock documentary showing a future where Boston Dynamics SpotMinis roam the Earth in packs (herds?) of thousands. It’s fictional but I suspect plausible if Boston Dynamics only defense against its robots is an engineer with a hockey stick. Boston Dynamics has been steadily advancing its robotics technology and design and its latest creation is… Read More

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Waymo and Google launch a self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta

 Waymo’s autonomous trucking program is coming along – though we haven’t heard much about it since discovering it was a real thing last year, Waymo today announced that it’s launching a pilot program in Atlanta to focus specifically on self-driving trucks and automated logistics. The pilot is being done in partnership with Google, another Alphabet company and… Read More

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