Autonomous taxi fleet (Uber) …
In 2016, Autonomous vehicle was emerged in front of us as an industry.
Since Google announced the project SDC (self driving car) 2009, it was no secret to the public
and informative reports shared with steadily. But AV always sounds like futuristic and something in a lab
where engineers in full of curiosity play with. Was not yet like everyday life …
Ironically Tesla’s fatal car accident wake up that is with us already & we can even touch with our hands.
Uber was following headlines soon as they started self driving Taxi fleet in Pittsburgh, US and Singapore.
Uber also delivered first freight, 50,000 beer-can with autonomous truck. News and reviews about AV
have started bombarding the media.
Now, big trio is Google, Tesla and Uber.
It does not mean they have the most advanced technology (maybe but…). They are mostly mentioned in the media
in AV…like Idol? And, as of now it’s not news almost all players in auto companies are involved and investing in here.
Perhaps Autonomous Vehicle would be one of the decisive technical development
which changes the shape of our life and world in the near future (in 10 years)
Sensors (LIDAR) of Uber seems the most ugly and tough…
Google AV sensor is a beacon like in the ambulance, Tesla sensor is hidden in the tempting body lines.
Here Uber cab is something for Robocop.
I think it is wise to look back big hits in last year
before we continue navigating future AV world.
1) Uber started carrying passengers by autonomous cars in the US city of Pittsburgh and Singapore.
Yet for safety reason, driver is on board. But unmanned running is final goal definitely.
Uber is a Don Quixote in this industry. They deployed AV taxi in San Francisco too without the permission
of city authorities, and withdrew them after turmoils in there.
2) The company OTTO is AV start-up which specialized in truck. Uber acquired it and delivered the famous ‘first 50,000 beer can’
headlined last year. OTTO is actually a broke-a-part of Google SDC, because some engineers in SDC, probably sick and tired with
endless test drive for perfection, jut and built OTTO aiming commercialization of the technology. The reason they specialized for
truck is, the area would be first & most benefit with AV technology.
3) Elon Musk of Tesla announced it would showcase a complete autonomous car (Level 5) in 2017. Dare ambitious as he does always….
Autonomous driving technical level is divided 5 levels, level 4 is autonomous driving in a certain condition and level 5 is driving unmanned
without any conditional restriction or regional limit.
4) Ford announced mass production plans for autonomous cars targeting for 2021. The keyword here is ‘mass production’
5) Above all, the biggest news I think is the Google’s spun off SDC project to a company Waymo. Google is initiator of this industry
and technical giant of AV. They made the fiction to dream and then technology. They triggered many others join and eventually make
a whole new industry. Now they aim commercialization…
Autonomous driving is not limited to freight or passenger transport.
I mentioned Autonomous Weapons in prolog briefly which will change warfare.
Here another big change anticipated is agriculture. It is still man-labor job even though tractors and many farming machines we use.
But autonomous tractors (which AI’ed) will work day and night without intervention of human.
They don’t need to sleep and work like daytime at night using infrared sensors.
In future, for the first time in human history, farmer will not do farming.
They just own land, AV farming machinery and watch TV.
Agriculture will be taken over by machines…
Autonomous unmanned tractors …. where no seat at all
Where else we can use Autonomous technology & AI?
Limit in here is our ‘imagination’ not a ‘technology’…