Thursday, September 18, 2014

Carnegie Mellon's NREC Takes Autonomy to the Water!

Carnegie Mellon's NREC is riding a new wave of autonomy research! We’re acquiring a 30 foot boat as a development platform for autonomous maritime systems. Our goal is to expand our unparalleled expertise in autonomous ground vehicles to autonomous surface ships.

Honolulu Is Building America's First Fully Driverless RAIL Transit System

HART is working on an alternative to that miserable commute: a 20-mile elevated rail line—a first for the islands—that will whisk passengers between downtown and outlying communities in a fraction of the time it currently takes to crawl through rush hour traffic. With the first trips planned for 2017, the $5.2 billion Honolulu Rail Transit Project is expected to reduce congestion by 18 percent, taking as many as 40,000 automobiles off the road and replacing them with a fleet of four-car trains that can accommodate up to 800 riders, with racks for both bicycles and surfboards.

Tesla CEO Musk Sees Fully Autonomous Car Ready in Five or Six Years

Tesla chief Elon Musk is touting the increased safety of autonomous vehicles, saying that they will improve safety by "a factor of 10." Musk also believes that driverless cars will be fully operational in the next six years, saying the need to perfect "machine vision," and advancements in sensor technology are the only obstacles to seeing the cars fully operational. Musk says the company hopes to build more charging and service stations to keep up with expected demand.

Self-Driving Cars Face Serious Roadblocks, Experts Say

"The technology to validate software systems this complex does not exist today," said Raj Rajkumar, a professor in the robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University. "If we were to switch to completely automated vehicles [everywhere], that would be one thing," he says. "But it's another when they have to coexist with many vehicles of varying capabilities."

USDOT Secretary Foxx talks about CMU's Transportation Deployment Success

Carnegie Mellon University was the only university represented at last week's Infrastructure Investment Structure Summit hosted at the U.S. Treasury Department by the Secretaries of Transportation and Treasury. Secretary Foxx talks about CMU's successful model in Pittsburgh researching, developing and deploying technology-based solutions for region's infrastructure, including reducing traffic congestion and reducing the cost of road and bridge maintenance.  CMU's Traffic21 Institute and Technologies for Safe and Efficient Transportation, The USDOT National University Transportation Center for Safety, work together to solve real world traffic problems in Pittsburgh. 

CMU's Raj Rajkumar to speak at Washington Post's America Answers Forum

Driverless cars are coming. At America Answers: Fix My Commute, hear Carnegie Mellon University's Raj Rajkumar talk about how they will work and State Farm CEO Edward Rust on how they will change insurance. Join us on Tuesday, October 21st to hear perspectives from these and other speakers from around the country.

Audi gets first permit to test self-driving cars on California roads

“Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness,” Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, said in a statement. “Obtaining the first permit issued by the state of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lessons From the Past for a Future in Smart Cars

How did cars become “computers on wheels,” so automated that some are about to start driving themselves? The story begins 45 years ago with a quest to make cars safer and the battle over the air bag.

Google's driverless car avoids bump in the road with temporary steering wheel

Google says it "had a plan ready", and that plan was to fit a temporary steering wheel to its cars. That obviously contradicts Google's master plan for a totally autonomous vehicle, but after testing it should be able to ditch the wheel - or at least that's the hope.

Emerging apps designed to promote traffic safety compete in AT&T-sponsored contest

Starting Wednesday, the public can vote for their favorite entries in the AT&T-sponsored challenge. Eight winners will share prize money totaling $50,000, and ten prizes will be awarded in all. Voting ends Sept. 30; winners will be announced Oct. 21.