Waymo: Google's Self-Driving Car
December 2016
From the Editors
We are pleased to announce that the Ottawa Autonomous Vehicles Summit will be held on January 19, 2017. CAVCOE is pleased to be working with the Kanata North Business Association and the Conference Board of Canada on this event. The objective is to help Ottawa-area technology companies learn more about the opportunities in the global autonomous and connected vehicle supply chain and to network with each other. The 1/2 day seminar will be held in the Brookstreet Hotel, Kanata, Ontario, Canada. Registration is $50. For more information and a registration link, please click here.

And looking back on 2016, we have compiled a summary of key activities in the AV space in 2016. This was prepared primarily for our Canadian readers and most of the events were in Canada, although a few of the many international events are also included. Our takeaway is that a lot of things have happened within industry and all three levels of government this year. It is an exciting time to be in the AV space.

Ontario has awarded permits for Canada’s first AV pilot programs, led by the University of Waterloo, Blackberry QNX, and the Erwin Hymer Group. Here’s the press release from the Government of Ontario website or you can refer to this CBC News article.

CAVCOE is now a proud member of Alberta’s ACAMP’s Consortium for ‘Advanced Systems for Transportation’ (AST) as the subject-matter-expert on policy and regulations as well as socio-economic aspects of AVs.

Finally, we wish all our readers a wonderful and merry Holiday Season, and our best wishes for a prosperous and Happy New Year.

The Automakers, Tier1s and AV Developers
BlackBerry QNX has opened its own autonomous vehicle driving research center in Ottawa. QNX is a global supplier of software platforms to the auto industry, with deployments in more than 60 million vehicles worldwide. The use cases include telematics, infotainment, acoustics, and instrument cluster systems, QNX is extending its platform expertise into Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), AVs and CVs, and secure over-the-air software update services. Here’s the TechCrunch article to read more.

Keolis Canada and NAVYA have joined forces to implement public transport using autonomous electric shuttles in Canada. For both companies, electric vehicles represent the future of public transit. NAVYA and Keolis Canada view Ontario as fertile ground for the development of new solutions and are collaborating to bring a pilot project to the province in the near future. More on this story in Le Lézard.
For nearly eight years, Google has been working on the self-driving project. And now we hear that the project is re-branded Waymo. A self-driving technology company, Waymo is aiming to enable safer and easier travel for people and things. You can refer to this article on Robotics Trends or this one on Medium to read more about this development. A photo of the Waymo car is on the masthead.

Steve Kenner, Apple’s Director of product integrity, has written a letter to NHTSA citing the company’s interest in AV technology and asked the regulators to not pose too many restriction on testing of the technology. Here’s a recent article from Reuters that captures this news.

GM’s CEO Mary Barra was recently interviewed by Business Insider. Among the main topics of conversation were the plans for GM, how the company sees the road ahead for AVs, the competition with other automakers, and the impact of AVs. Here’s the Business Insider article to read more.

AImotive, a startup backed by Nvidia, is developing AI technology for automakers. The platform can help understand the vehicle's surroundings, its location, and then plan a safer route to the destination. Here’s an article from WardsAuto to read more.

Auro, an autonomous self-driving shuttle, is now being used in Santa Clara University to help students travel short distances within the University. Here’s the CBS San Francisco article on it. And here’s the Auro website to know more about the initiative.

The UK Government is providing £390 million for transportation technologies of the future. The funding includes £100 million towards new connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing infrastructure; £80 million towards charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and Enhanced Capital Allowances for businesses investing in new charge points; £150 million towards low emission buses and taxis; £40 million towards the Plug-In-Car Grant, and £20 million towards the development of alternative fuels for HGVs and aviation. You can read more on this on the UK Government’s website.

AV Regulations
Michigan has taken a big step forward in AV regulations in the state. Governor Rick Snyder has signed four bills into law regarding AV repair, research, driving networks and accident responsibility. As a result, Michigan just became the first state to pass comprehensive self-driving regulations. One .law recognizes that an autonomous system is responsible for the accidents and not the driver. Another law allows the resumption of operations related to AV testing in Michigan, ending the ban on autonomous cars in the state. Automakers are also encouraged to develop on-demand taxi services. The Engadget article covers one of the biggest news from the past month. Here’s the Recode article that throws further light into this.

Two Uber self-driving cars were caught running red lights on the streets of San Francisco. California's Department of Motor Vehicles has ordered Uber to stop immediately and seek testing permit before resuming driverless operations. Uber, on the other hand, claims that the vehicles in question ran the red lights because of human error and has suspended the drivers. Here’s The Guardian article that provides more information on this.

AV Research
Apple was recently granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for “Collision Avoidance of Arbitrary Polygonal Obstacles”. The patent describes how vehicles can navigate accident free by calculating number of objects and distances from objects. For interested readers, here’s an article from Value Walk.

Other AV Articles
“When a human driver makes a mistake, he or she learns but nobody else learns. When a self-driving car makes a mistake, all the other cars learn from it as well as the unborn cars, future cars. The rate of progress is much faster” – Sebastian Thrun. Sebastian, the founder of Google X and widely regarded as the father of self-driving cars, recently gave an interview with San Francisco Chronicle where the future of AVs and his startup, Udacity were among the main topics of conversation. Interested readers can refer to this GovTech article.

Today, most of a car’s time is wasted in a parking space. Gary Silberg, a KPMG auto analyst, talks about the future of automakers in the middle of the growing trend to ride-sharing. He predicts more vehicle miles travelled (VMTs) in the future, which would ultimately lead to cars being used far more and hence they would be replaced more frequently. Here’s the Business Insider article to read more.

Adobe just released a short report on the automotive industry which provides trends on ride sharing and self-driving cars based on web analytics and social posts. Here's a link to the 2016 Automotive Report by Adobe Digital Insights.

This Business Insider article talks about 8 prominent ways in which self-driving cars will impact our lives. From reduction in accidents to less congested roads to increased productivity for individuals and companies to less parking problems, future with autonomous vehicles seems to have it all.

Upcoming AV Related Events
Jan 4-8, 2017: CES 2017; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. (Many companies in the AV space will be exhibiting.)

Jan 19, 2017: Ottawa Autonomous Vehicles Summit 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Feb 27-28, 2017: Cyber Security 2017: Securing the Smart City of the Future; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Mar 6-7, 2017: Autonomous Tech.AD 2017; Berlin, Germany.

Mar 14-16, 2017: EEVC 2017 – European Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Congress; Geneva, Switzerland.

Apr 4-6, 2017: SAE 2017 World Congress and Exhibition; Detroit, Michigan, USA.

April 19-20, 2017: Automated Vehicles 2017: Planning the Next Disruptive Technology; Toronto, Ontario, Canada. AV Update subscribers can register using promotional code PRM2 to save $400 off the total conference rate. For more information, please contact Joel Elliott at elliott@conferenceboard.ca.

May 15-17, 2017: UITP Global Public Transport Summit; Montreal, Canada.

June 20-22, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium; Stuttgart, Germany.

Oct 29-Nov 2, 2017: ITS World Congress; Montreal, Canada.
AV Update is a free, monthly roundup of news and analysis in the world of automated vehicles and their impact on all levels of government and the private sector.

Chief Editor: Geetansh Kakkar
Editors: Barrie Kirk, Paul Godsmark

To subscribe, click here.      To unsubscribe, click here.
We welcome all comments; please send them here

© Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE)
CAVCOE is dedicated to helping public and private sector stakeholders plan for the arrival of autonomous vehicles.
  300 Earl Grey Drive, Suite 222, Ottawa ON  K2T 1C1, Canada.
info@cavcoe.com               www.cavcoe.com