August 2019

AV Update

Canadian AV News

This year's CAV Canada 2019 Conference will be the biggest and best yet. It will be held on September 9-10, 2019 in Ottawa.  CAVCOE is very pleased to be working with our partners Kanata North Business Association and Invest Ottawa on this conference.

60 speakers from Canada and 5 other countries will make for a great program.  Both Ford and GM are giving keynotes. The speakers include ACAMP, Aurrigo, Blackberry QNX, CAVCOE, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (Govt of UK), City of Montreal, City of Ottawa, ENCQOR, Ericsson, Ford, Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, MTO, Nokia, Ontario Centres of Excellence, the US Centre for Automotive Research, and many others.

The streams focus on technology development / testing and CAV deployment. There will also be a tour of the Ottawa L5 test track and a local company.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, advance registration for the full 2-day conference is only $250-$300. For full details and to register, click here.

On Monday August 26, two autonomous Aurrigo Pods provided rides to 350 people at the Marshes golf course in Kanata, which is adjacent to the Kanata North Tech Park.  The Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Test Facilities led and powered by Invest Ottawa and the Kanata North Business Association, launched a trial that enabled the public to experience a CAV operating in autonomous mode.

This special event brought together many key people including the Mayor of Ottawa, federal, provincial and local politicians, Sir Terry Matthews, David Keene (Aurrigo) and members of the Invest Ottawa and
Kanata North Business Association teams.

CAVCOE is pleased and proud to be an ecosystem partner to the local stakeholders. The detailed media release is here.

Saskatchewan-based DOT Technology is a leader in farm equipment automation. On August 13-14 and In partnership with Olds College in Olds, Alberta, DOT demonstrated their farm equipment automation technology in Old College’s 2,000-acre smart farm in the two-day AgSmart showcase. The DOT automated equipment can be configured for various tasks such as spraying, seed drilling, fertilizer spreading and a grain cart. The equipment can reduce costs for farmers and also address the labour shortage on Canadian farms.  More information is at this link.

International AV News
Some experts believe that the advent of autonomous vehicles could have negative impacts on traditional public transportation.  Several recent studies predict something different. Their view is that a fleet of shared electric AVs coupled with high capacity public transportation may be the best solution.  In the most optimistic scenario, such a scheme may remove 9 out every 10 cars in a mid-sized European city.  Furthermore, the studies suggest in addition to reducing congestion, a combined shared AV/high-capacity public transport network can reduce off-street parking needs by 80% freeing up valuable land for alternative uses.  More information is at this link. Copy of the 36-page report by International Transport Forum can be viewed/downloaded from this link.

In a somewhat related story, some experts believe that public transportation in rural areas may be a fertile ground for automated vehicles.  This is particularly true in rural Japan where public transportation is scarce and the aging population do not have many private cars. Add to this the general labour shortage in Japan and it is easy to see why this might be the case. The Japanese government has promised to deliver automated public transportation in rural areas by 2020.  More information is at this link.

In common with other standard setting organizations, the British Standards Institute (BSI) has started work on setting technical standards and guidelines for the development of AVs in the UK. BSI will initially focus on standards concerning safety, advanced testing, data, cybersecurity, CAV infrastructure, human factors and the deployment of automated vehicle services. More information is at is this link.

Another reality check for the AV industry was the recent announcement by Cruise that it has delayed its commercial robotaxi service till sometime in 2020.  Back in November 2017, Cruise had set the end of 2019 as the beginning of its commercial service. Cruise is doing almost all of its testing in San Francisco using about 180 Chevy Bolt electric vehicles.  Cruise has reportedly attracted investments of US$7.25 billion over the past year and currently employs about 1,600 people. More information is at this link.

In a surprise move, Navya – a leading manufacturer of autonomous shuttles -- announced that it will stop building complete autonomous shuttles. In a change of direction, Navya will focus on developing self-driving technologies and sensors for third parties, as well as enter into technology development for freight transportation.  More information is at this link.

Daimler and Bosch have developed an automated valet parking system which they claim to be the first of its kind in the world. Work started in 2015 and a first pilot was implemented in 2017.  Bosch provides the sensors and the infrastructure and Daimler the vehicles.  The automated valet parking is initiated via a smartphone app and the vehicle is recalled from its parking spot the same way.  More information is at this link.

Google’s self-driving car unit – Waymo -- is tapping into the expertise of another Google unit – DeepMind.  DeepMind is a leading AI and machine-learning (ML) company and has developed many innovate techniques in AI and ML including the concept of population-based and biological evolution to train AI-based systems. Similar techniques will now be used to refine the algorithms for Waymo’s self-driving vehicles.  More information is at this link.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains a continuously updated list of all companies issued a permit for testing their automated vehicles on California’s public roads.  As of August 9, 2019, 63 companies had been issued such permits. Some are well known companies such as Waymo, Uber, Lyft and others.  Many are little known companies.  To see the current list of the permit holders, visit this link.

The Emirate of Dubai has been active in development of automated vehicles. In the run up to its self-driving Congress in October 2019, it is staging a competition among some of the AV industry leaders (NAVYA, EasyMile, GAUSSIN, Westfield, and 2getthere) to test their AVs under real-world traffic conditions such as obstacles, water sprinklers,  speed humps, and sand-blasting machines.  A total of US$5 million in prize money will be awarded to the winners. More information is at this link.

A country’s nuclear authority is not the first place you think of when considering connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). All the same, the UK’s Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has announced completion of a new £5.8m (US$7m) CAV testing facility at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire. With 10km (6.2 miles) of varied and mixed private roads, as well as more than 2,000 people on-site, Culham Science Centre offers a unique environment for controlled testing of driverless vehicles before they travel on public roads.  More information is at this link.

Uber has been planning an automated air-taxi service through it Uber Elevate division for a few years now. To this end, it has partnered with a five aviation companies (Bell Helicopter, EmbraerX, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, and Karem Aircraft) to design concept passenger air vehicles (PAV). The latest such company is New Jersey-based Jaunt Air Mobility. Uber target is for a PAV with an operating cost of US$700/hr.  The current costs are about US$1,200. Uber plans to introduce PAVs into Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia, by 2023. More information is at this link.

After the failure of two previous attempts to create legislation for self-driving cars by the U.S. Congress, a new initiative hopes to bring this forth this year.  The House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Commerce Committee will work with auto makers, safety groups and other industry stakeholders for their input on developing a bipartisan, bicameral self-driving car bill. More information is at this link.

Cybersecurity remains one of the main challenges for connected & autonomous vehicles (CAV). In a recent paper in the journal Physical Review E by researchers at Georgia Tech, they demonstrate how attacking only 20% of vehicles in a place like Manhattan can cause complete gridlock.  This is because of a physical phenomenon known as Percolation Point.  More information and an explanation of Percolation Point is at this link

Upcoming AV-Related Events

Sept 9-10, 2019: CAV Canada 2019, a national CAV conference organized by the Kanata North Business Association, Invest Ottawa and CAVCOE; Brookstreet Hotel, Ottawa

Sept 22-25, 2019:  Joint TAC and ITS Canada conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Sept 22-25, 2019: IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii

Oct 15-16, 2019: ITS (UK) Summit, Coventry, England

Oct 15-16, 2019: World Congress and Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, Dubai, UAE

Oct 21-25, 2019: ITS World Congress, Singapore

Oct 22-24, 2019: Autonomous Vehicle Test and Development Symposium; Novi MI, USA

Oct 30-Nov 1, 2019: Unmanned Canada 2019, organized by Unmanned Systems Canada;  Ottawa, Canada

Nov 26-27, 2019 The Future of Transportation World Conference, Vienna, Austria

Jan 7-10, 2020 CES 2020, Las Vegas NV

Oct 4-8, 2020: ITS World Congress. Los Angeles

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: Ahmad Radmanesh
Contributor to this issue: Barrie Kirk

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© CAVCOE 2019
CAVCOE (formerly the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence) provides advice to public and private sector organizations to help plan for the arrival of self-driving vehicles

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