From the Editors

The Automakers, Tier1s and AV Developers
Delphi has joined hands with BMW, Intel and Mobileye amid talks over AVs. Delphi is expected to provide help to integrate the autonomous driving systems. BMW, Intel and Mobileye had already entered into a partnership in July 2016, and it will be interesting to see how this new development solidifies the position of each of the companies in the AV sector.

In the Uber vs Waymo court battle, the court has told Uber to return the stolen files to Waymo. Uber is also required to have the employee in question, Anthony Levandowski, move away from Uber’s AV work involving LiDAR systems. Uber is complying with the ruling and has threatened to fire Levandowski if he refuses to turn over any files he stole from Google.

NVIDIA has developed its own AI-backed supercomputer that is designed to learn to drive by observing humans. The supercomputer, named Xavier, is grabbing a lot of attention and a number of automakers – Tesla, Audi, Volvo, Honda are on-board with using AI to accelerate the development of their AV visions.

So far, Apple had been keeping a low profile when it comes to company's AV operations. However, things seem to be changing. This Engadget article reported a Lexus SUV coming out of an Apple facility in Silicon Valley. The company also recently obtained its permit to test AVs on public roads in California.

The battle of the smartphones carries on into the AV space. Samsung is now ready to take on rivals Google and Apple in the self-driving car race. The company has received permission from the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to test its vehicles on public roads. It appears that, for now, Samsung does not plan to make its own vehicles and will be using Hyundai’s vehicles for the testing. “Samsung Electronics plans to develop algorithms, sensors and computer modules that will make a self-driving car that is reliable even in the worst weather conditions,” said a Samsung spokesperson. Earlier in the year, Samsung also acquired US automotive and audio supplier Harman International.

A consortium of British companies, led by Oxbotica, has unveiled a plan to test driverless cars on UK roads and motorways in 2019. The tests, the first ones of its kind on public roads in UK, will include a fleet of autonomous vehicles traveling between London and Oxford. One of the project objectives is to find out the circumstances and kind of data that the vehicles share with each other.

The UK Government. has a fund of £55 million for projects to develop connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) testing infrastructure. Businesses and research organizations are welcome to apply for funding in this competition. The competition’s instructions explain that proposals should integrate existing proving grounds and public road test sites across the UK’s existing automotive and technology heartlands. The link above provides other details include the dates and deadlines for the competition.

Disney World is planning to test autonomous shuttles to carry passengers through parking lots. After a successful pilot program, where the plan will be to transport park employees only, Disney plans to use the shuttles for visitors. Disney is in talks with 2 manufacturers: Phoenix-based Local Motors (the Olli shuttle) and Paris-based Navya - both of whom can carry up to 15 people.

Tesla is making consistent improvements in its AV software. In the latest version update, the speed limit of Autosteer has been increased to 90mph on highways. The speed limit off highways has been removed and the vehicle will now be able to move at any speeds up to 5mph above the detected speed limit.

A Canadian startup, X-MatiK, is aiming to bring autonomous vehicle technology to your cars. The company plans to bring Level 3 automation feature to the cars you already own through its first product, LaneCruise (the product is to be available from 2018). This is further evidence of an increasing interest in AVs in Canada. Here’s the company’s website to learn more .

Talking about startups, here is an infographic by Silicon Republic that lists the top startups to watch out for in the AV business.

Amazon could very well be working on its own self-driving technology that can assist the company with its logistic operations. However, for now, the company does not seem to be looking into developing its own vehicles.

Canada’s AV ecosystem is building momentum. Ontario is investing CAN$80 million over five years to create the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Innovation Network in partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence. The network will capitalize on the economic potential of AVs and help the province’s transportation systems and infrastructure adapt to AV technology. Ontario’s investment will support industry-led AV R&D projects; create sites across the province to develop, test and validate new technology, including a demonstration zone in Stratford ON, and attract and grow talent in the AV sector.

AV Regulations
Georgia becomes the latest US State to legalize AV testing on public roads. The bill requires the vehicle to be registered as an automated vehicle by DMV, maintain a valid insurance policy and follow local speed limits. However, humans inside the vehicle will not be required to have a driving license.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has now released the written comments submitted in connection with its formal rule-making on proposed updated regulations governing autonomous vehicles. The comments cover a range of topics, from proper definition of driverless cars, to working with local authorities for smoother AV testing, to reporting disengagements of the AV mode in the vehicle, to deploying these vehicles, among others.

AV Research
A recent research report by the University of Illinois shows that the presence of only a few AVs on a road can help reduce the accident risk and improve fuel efficiency of the vehicles on road by reducing the stop-and-go behaviour of human driving. The research team conducted field experiments in which a single AV was driving along with 20 cars with human drivers on a circular track. In the situation where all cars are driven by humans, a stop-and-go traffic jam inevitably begins to happen in such a situation. However, with the presence of a single AV, a smoother traffic flow pattern was observed. “Our experiments show that with as few as 5% of vehicles being automated and carefully controlled, we can eliminate stop-and-go waves caused by human driving behaviour,” noted Daniel B Work, assistant professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a lead researcher in the study.

Other AV Articles
Chris Urmson is back. He recently gave a lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, in which he talked about a number of discussion points around AVs. His take on the no-win, life threatening situations, in which an AV would have to make a choice between choosing the vehicle’s passengers and pedestrians on road, is. He compares the situation to “let the perfect be the enemy of the great.” Urmson also discussed that the deployment of this technology could well be within the next 5 years. However, that would only be the case for communities with the best of weather conditions.

India, a country with one of the worst traffic situations and congestion issues, is now preparing for AVs and EVs on its roads. The Government.of India plans to have public transportation modes (two-wheelers, three-wheelers and non-air conditioned buses) ready for selling without batteries in the coming years. Discharged batteries could be swapped by recharged ones at low costs. There are tax incentives for the local AV and EV manufacturers as well. This Economic Times article provides further details about India’s plans and vision.

Upcoming AV Related Events

Jun 7-8, 2017: TU Automotive Detroit 2017; Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Jun 20-22, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development Symposium; Stuttgart, Germany. Registrations are now open.

Jul 1-2, 2017: IMCreate: Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Hackathon; Milton Keynes, UK.

Jul 5-6, 2017: The Future of Transportation World Conference; Cologne, Germany.

Jul 5-6, 2017: 4th International VDI Conference Automated Driving 2017; Berlin, Germany.

Jul 11-12, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle ADAS Japan 2017; Tokyo, Japan.

Jul 11-13, 2017: Automated Vehicles Symposium; San Francisco, California, USA.

Sep 19-21, 2017: AutoSens; Brussels, Belgium.

Sept 25-28, 2017: IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference; Toronto, Canada

Oct 5-6, 2017: Automotive Simulation World Congress; Tokyo, Japan.

Oct 24-25, 2017: Autonomous Vehicle Safety Regulation World Congress 2017; Novi, Michigan, USA.

Oct 29-Nov 2, 2017: ITS World Congress; Montreal, Canada.

Nov 16-17, 2017: Automotive Tech.AD 2017; Detroit, Michigan, USA.

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

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