All about New Scientific, Concept and Futuristic Technologies Thread

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Tinderbox (UK)

    Tinderbox (UK) Sir Pumpkin Longshanks

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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Fatal self-driving Uber crash raises safety concerns
    Published on Mar 22, 2018
    Police in Tempe, Arizona, released new video of the deadly crash involving a self-driving Uber SUV and a pedestrian. It happened last Sunday and was the first death involving an autonomous vehicle. Kris Van Cleave reports.
    CBS This Morning
    Warning: Video shows Pedestrian and Driver just before impact
     
  3. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Is Waymo's self-driving tech better than Uber's?
    Published on Mar 27, 2018
    "Arizona's governor indefinitely suspended Uber's tests of self-driving vehicles after the company temporarily pulled autonomous cars from all public roads following a deadly crash this month. The CEO of Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google, says his company's technology would have prevented a crash like that. Tim Stevens, editor-in-chief of Roadshow by CNET, joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why Waymo seems to be "at the head of the pack" in self-driving cars."

    This video was taken private, here is a playlist that included it.

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
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  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    EEVblog #1068 - Autonomous Uber Incident Update

    Published on Mar 27, 2018
    An update on the autonomous self driving Uber Volvo XC-90 involved in the pedestrian fatality.
    It is being reported that Uber disabled the Intel Mobileye collision avoidance sensor that is factory fitted in Volvo XC90.
    Intel have ran the dashcam footage of the accident through the Mobileye system and said that even with the dark footage it would have detected the pedestrian a second before the incident.

    "John Ward 53 minutes ago
    For those that don't get it - the issue here is not whether the car could have stopped or whether the pedestrian should have crossed there or any of that.

    This is a car, self driving at highway speeds, and loaded with multiple technologies to identify everything around it and avoid collisions.

    It did not react in any way to an obvious pedestrian.

    What's next - the car didn't detect that intersection and mashed into the crossing traffic?

    Or it didn't detect the bend in the road and continued straight into the opposite lane causing a head on collision? Or it didn't detect that stationery traffic / shopping mall / park / school / pedestrian area ?

    Uber are buying thousands of these cars. They will be driving in your country, in your town, in your street."

    EEVblog #1066 - Uber Autonomous Car Accident - LIDAR Failed?

    Published on Mar 21, 2018
    A self driving autonomous Uber car killed a pedestrian in Tempe Arizona. How did this happen?
    It basically shouldn't have.
    TLDR; It looks as though the LIDAR and/or RADAR system failed to detect the pedestrian until fairly ideal practical circumstances.

    A look at the newly released camera footage of the accident, the location, and the car LIDAR, RADAR, and camera sensor suites available to prevent such an accident.
    Video footage: https://twitter.com/TempePolice/statu...
    Location of accident: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@33.43...
    The same location at night with another dash cam:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRW0q...
    Inside Uber’s self-driving car mess:
    https://www.recode.net/2017/3/24/1473...
    What a LIDAR sensor should show and detect (Google's self driving car):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiwVM...
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Uber’s use of fewer safety sensors prompts questions after Arizona crash
    Heather Somerville, Paul Lienert, Alexandria Sage
    MARCH 27, 2018 / 3:13 PM / UPDATED 8 MINUTES AGO
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...s-questions-after-arizona-crash-idUSKBN1H337Q

    "TEMPE, Ariz./PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - When Uber decided in 2016 to retire its fleet of self-driving Ford Fusion cars in favor of Volvo sport utility vehicles, it also chose to scale back on one notable piece of technology: the safety sensors used to detect objects in the road.

    That decision resulted in a self-driving vehicle with more blind spots than its own earlier generation of autonomous cars, as well as those of its rivals, according to interviews with five former employees and four industry experts who spoke for the first time about Uber’s technology switch.

    Driverless cars are supposed to avoid accidents with lidar – which uses laser light pulses to detect hazards on the road - and other sensors such as radar and cameras. The new Uber driverless vehicle is armed with only one roof-mounted lidar sensor compared with seven lidar units on the older Ford Fusion models Uber employed, according to diagrams prepared by Uber.

    In scaling back to a single lidar on the Volvo, Uber introduced a blind zone around the perimeter of the SUV that cannot fully detect pedestrians, according to interviews with former employees and Raj Rajkumar, the head of Carnegie Mellon University’s transportation center who has been working on self-driving technology for over a decade.

    The lidar system made by Velodyne - one of the top suppliers of sensors for self-driving vehicles - sees objects in a 360-degree circle around the car, but has a narrow vertical range that prevents it from detecting obstacles low to the ground, according to information on Velodyne’s website as well as former employees who operated the Uber SUVs.

    Autonomous vehicles operated by rivals Waymo, Alphabet Inc’s self-driving vehicle unit, have six lidar sensors, while General Motors Co’s vehicle contains five, according to information from the companies.

    Uber declined to comment on its decision to reduce its lidar count. In a statement late Tuesday, an Uber spokeswoman said, “We believe that technology has the power to make transportation safer than ever before and recognize our responsibility to contribute to safety in our communities. As we develop self-driving technology, safety is our primary concern every step of the way.”

    Uber referred questions on the blind spot to Velodyne. Velodyne acknowledged that with the rooftop lidar there is a roughly three meter blind spot around a vehicle, saying that more sensors are necessary.

    “If you’re going to avoid pedestrians, you’re going to need to have a side lidar to see those pedestrians and avoid them, especially at night,” Marta Hall, president and chief business development officer at Velodyne, told Reuters.

    The safety of Uber’s self-driving car program is under intense scrutiny since Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed last week after an Uber Volvo XC90 SUV operating in autonomous mode struck and killed her while she was jaywalking with her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona.

    The precise causes of the Arizona accident are not yet known, and it is unclear how the vehicle’s sensors functioned that night or whether the lidar’s blind spot played a role. The incident is under investigation by local police and federal safety officials who have offered few details, including whether Uber’s decision to scale back its sensors is under review.

    Uber has said it is cooperating in the investigation and has pulled all of its autonomous cars off the road, but has provided no further details about the crash.

    Like the older Fusion model, Uber’s top competitors place multiple, smaller lidar units around the car to augment the central rooftop lidar, a practice experts in the field say provides more complete coverage of the road.

    The earlier Fusion test cars used seven lidars, seven radars and 20 cameras. The newer Volvo test vehicles use a single lidar, 10 radars and seven cameras, Uber said.

    Since Uber launched a self-driving car program in early 2015, it has hustled to catch up with Waymo, which began working on the technology in 2009. Uber management moved swiftly and confidently even as some car engineers voiced caution, according to former employees, in a rush to get more cars driving more miles.

    Seven experts who have reviewed the crash agree that a self-driving system should have seen Herzberg and braked. She had crossed nearly the entire four-lane, empty road before being struck by the front right side of the vehicle. The night was clear and streetlights were lit.

    “Radar is supposed to compensate for (the lidar’s) blind spot,” said Rajkumar.

    Uber declined to comment on its radar system. Volvo Car Group, owned by China’s Geely, declined to comment. A Ford spokesman said the company was not involved in Uber’s use of the Fusion or the self driving technology employed on the cars.

    To be sure, there are many possible causes of the crash other than the lidar blind spot. There could have been a software failure in the Uber car, said Richard Murray, an engineering professor at California’s Institute of Technology and the former head of Caltech’s student self-driving team.

    “But this would be quite surprising since there was nothing else on the road,” he said.

    THE BLIND ZONE
    An Uber diagram of the Fusion model notes that “front, rear and wing-mounted lidar modules aid in the detection of obstacles in close proximity to the vehicle, as well as smaller ones that can get lost in blind spots.”

    A diagram of its Volvo version shows a single lidar system on the roof. In reducing its lidar units, Uber chose to rely more on radar to detect obstacles that may end up in those blind spots, according to company statements.

    At Uber’s September 2016 unveiling of its Pittsburgh self-driving car operation, it was still using the Fusions, but had a Volvo on display. Uber staff pointed to the sleekness of the SUV and the relatively small roof mount with only one lidar system, a more attractive upgrade from the Fusion, which had a bulkier look with more sensors attached to the exterior.

    A former employee said Uber justified the decision to slim down to one lidar by saying they “overdid it” with the additional sensors on the Fusions, suggesting the multiple lidars were unnecessary as Uber continued to refine its self-driving system.

    Uber’s decision to move from the Fusion to a much taller vehicle exacerbated the issue of a blind spot from a single lidar unit, said former employees, because the lidar now sits up higher on top of an SUV, further reducing its ability to see low-lying objects - from squirrels to the wheels of a bicycle or a person’s legs.

    One former Uber employee involved in testing both the Fusions and Volvo SUVs said that during a test run in late 2016, the Volvo failed to see a delivery truck’s tailgate lift that extended into the street, and the car nearly hit it going 35 miles-per-hour.

    Uber declined to comment on specific testing incidents, but said its technology is constantly being updated and improved, and every incident in the cars is logged and checked out by an engineer.

    Additional reporting by Salvador Rodriguez in San Francisco and Eric Johnson in Seattle; editing by Joe White and Edward Tobin"
     
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  7. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Lyft president on self-driving cars, what sets them apart from Uber
    Published on Mar 28, 2018
    The president of ride-sharing company Lyft says the deadly crash involving an Uber self-driving SUV could have been prevented. Lyft is continuing trials of its own autonomous vehicles, even after Uber suspended testing. Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he thinks Lyft's service is better than that of Uber's. He also talks about Lyft's self-imposed audit on equal pay for employees.
     
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  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    An Uncertain Future for Self-Driving Cars | Fortt Knox
    Streamed live 50 minutes ago
    CNBC’s Jon Fortt, host of Fortt Knox, talks Uber, Tesla, Waymo and the whole autonomous driving industry from the New York Auto Show. Joining him: CNBC reporter Phil LeBeau and GGV Capital's Jeff Richards.
     
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  9. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    6 Crazy Recent Scientific Discoveries
     
  10. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Intelligence-augmentation device lets users ‘speak silently’ with a computer by just thinking
    April 6, 2018
    [​IMG]
    MIT Media Lab researcher Arnav Kapur demonstrates the AlterEgo device. It picks up neuromuscular facial signals generated by his thoughts; a bone-conduction headphone lets him privately hear responses from his personal devices. (credit: Lorrie Lejeune/MIT)

    MIT researchers have invented a system that allows someone to communicate silently and privately with a computer or the internet by simply thinking — without requiring any facial muscle movement.

    The AlterEgo system consists of a wearable device with electrodes that pick up otherwise undetectable neuromuscular subvocalizations — saying words “in your head” in natural language. The signals are fed to a neural network that is trained to identify subvocalized words from these signals. Bone-conduction headphones also transmit vibrations through the bones of the face to the inner ear to convey information to the user — privately and without interrupting a conversation. The device connects wirelessly to any external computing device via Bluetooth.

    A silent, discreet, bidirectional conversation with machines. “Our idea was: Could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?,” says Arnav Kapur, a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab who led the development of the new system. Kapur is first author on a paper on the research presented in March at the IUI ’18 23rd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces.

    In one of the researchers’ experiments, subjects used the system to silently report opponents’ moves in a chess game and silently receive recommended moves from a chess-playing computer program. In another experiment, subjects were able to undetectably answer difficult computational problems, such as the square root of large numbers or obscure facts. The researchers achieved 92% median word accuracy levels, which is expected to improve. “I think we’ll achieve full conversation someday,” Kapur said.


    Non-disruptive. “We basically can’t live without our cellphones, our digital devices,” says Pattie Maes, a professor of media arts and sciences and Kapur’s thesis advisor. “But at the moment, the use of those devices is very disruptive. If I want to look something up that’s relevant to a conversation I’m having, I have to find my phone and type in the passcode and open an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires that I completely shift attention from my environment and the people that I’m with to the phone itself.

    “So, my students and I have for a very long time been experimenting with new form factors and new types of experience that enable people to still benefit from all the wonderful knowledge and services that these devices give us, but do it in a way that lets them remain in the present.”*

    IoT control. In the conference paper, the researchers suggest that an “internet of things” (IoT) controller “could enable a user to control home appliances and devices (switch on/off home lighting, television control, HVAC systems etc.) through internal speech, without any observable action.” Or schedule an Uber pickup.

    Peripheral devices could also be directly interfaced with the system. “For instance, lapel cameras and smart glasses could directly communicate with the device and provide contextual information to and from the device. … The device also augments how people share and converse. In a meeting, the device could be used as a back-channel to silently communicate with another person.”

    Applications of the technology could also include high-noise environments, like the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, or even places with a lot of machinery, like a power plant or a printing press, suggests Thad Starner, a professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. “There’s a lot of places where it’s not a noisy environment but a silent environment. A lot of time, special-ops folks have hand gestures, but you can’t always see those. Wouldn’t it be great to have silent-speech for communication between these folks? The last one is people who have disabilities where they can’t vocalize normally.”
     
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