Scientists are developing the next generation of robot-driven cars and predict they could be shuttling humans around by the year 2030, a conference was told on Saturday.
The first wave of intelligent robot cars, capable of understanding and reacting to the world around them, will be tested in November in a competition run by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Scientists are developing vehicles which will not only be driven by robots independently, but will be able to operate in a simulated city environment.
"In the past it was sufficient for a vehicle just to perceive the environment, said Sebastian Thrun, an associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford University.
"The new challenge will be to understand the environment. The robot must be able to recognize another car, to understand that it is moving and that it will interact with it as it gets closer," he said.
Thrun, who was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Francisco, is a member of the Stanford team participating in the DARPA competition, scheduled for Nov. 3.
Stanford's entrant "Junior" is a converted Volkswagen Passat from last year whose steering, throttle and brakes all have been modified by engineers to be completely computer-controllable.
An array of lasers fitted on the car bumpers, radar and global positioning systems feed data into the on-board computer to determine its location and position.
Thrun predicted that leaps in artificial intelligence would lead to driverless cars on the roads by 2030.
"Today we can drive about 100 miles [160km] before human assistance is necessary, by 2010 I expect this to go 1,000 miles, by 2020 up to a million miles," he said.
"By 2030 you'll be able to see them on the highway, with a driving reliability that will exceed humans by orders of magnitude," he said.
"We believe this technology will affect all of us. It is going to have enormous significance for people who can't drive because of disabilities or because they are ill or impaired," he said.
Thrun said he believed robot-driven vehicles would be deployed in war zones before they are seen in everyday civilian environments, perhaps by 2015.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion
‘ONE-STOCK SHOW’: Turnover hit an all-time high as TSMC continued to determine the local market’s direction and surpassed Visa in market capitalization The TAIEX early yesterday hit an all-time intraday high on the back of soaring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) shares, before tumbling back to the previous day’s close as the contract chipmaker could not single-handedly prop up the index. The TAIEX rose more than 400 points in the first 20 minutes of trading to hit a record 13,031.7 points, but later pared its gains to close down 0.01 percent at 12,586.73. Turnover was NT$343.252 billion (US$11.63 billion), the highest in the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s history. TSMC continued to dictate the market’s direction, as its early surge by the daily