Domino’s announced today that it has partnered with Nuro, the leading self-driving delivery company, to launch an autonomous pizza delivery robot in Houston. Customers who place a prepaid order on the Domino’s website on certain days and times can select to have their pizza delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot, the first completely autonomous, passenger-less on-road delivery vehicle with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Jung Yeon-je / AFP
Long before Tesla’s FSD (Full Self Driving) technology, Han Min-hong was already testing his self-driving car on the roads of Seoul back in 1993. Fast forward to 1995, it successfully navigated 185-miles from Seoul to the southern port of Busan, on the most heavily-traveled expressway in South Korea. AI-powered systems didn’t yet exist, or at least in vehicles, so Han used an Intel 386-chip-powered desktop computer, complete with monitor and keyboard, located in the passenger seat. Read more for a video of it in-action and additional information.
Photo credit: Yang Gu-Rum
No, we’re not talking about the touchscreen-based personal computers and interactive whiteboards from Microsoft, but a fully autonomous vehicle that would be a perfect Apple competitor when they get their own car into production with either Hyundai or Kia. Designer Yang Gu-Rum previews what a Microsoft Surface Car would look like, or at least the exterior. Sticking with a minimalist approach, there are LED light bars both up front and in the rear, while a small Windows logo lights up the grille. Read more for additional pictures.
Photo credit: MIT CSAIL
MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Senseable City Lab aim to create the world’s first fleet of autonomous boats for the City of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Their most recent robotic boat, the “Roboat II,” measures 6-feet and capable of carrying passengers. It used powerful algorithms to autonomous navigate Amsterdam’s canals for three hours, collecting data, before returning back to its start location with an error margin of less than 7 inches. Read more for a video and additional information.
Toyota Research Institute (TRI) collaborated with Stanford University to develop self-driving technology that may help prevent accidents on the road, and the testing involves installing autonomous systems in modern cars, like the GR Supra. To showcase this achievement, they recently installed the system on Toyota’s latest sports car and computer-controlled drifting ensued. For those who remember, Standford created a self-drifting DeLorean back in 2019. Read more for the video and a bonus.
Tesla has activated full self driving in a limited capacity, but aside from a few short tests, we haven’t seen just how advanced it really is. This feature is made possible with large neural networks for Autopilot, thanks to a Tesla-designed system on a chip that can process 2,300 frames per second (fps). This marks a 21x improvement in image processing compared to HW2.5, which is capable of 110 fps. Read more to see one vehicle navigating from San Francisco to Los Angeles without human intervention.
Volkswagen’s Mobile Charging Robot can be summoned either with a free app or Car-to-X communication, and it operates completely autonomously. It’s capable of steering the vehicle to be charged and then communicates with it, whether that means opening the charging socket flap or connecting the plug / unplugging. The entire charging process happens without any human involvement whatsoever. To charge several electric vehicles simultaneously the mobile robot moves a trailer, or a mobile energy storage unit, to the vehicle, connects, and then uses this to charge the batteries. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
It’s official, Nuro has received the first ever Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Permit from the State of California. This means the company can now launch the first commercial autonomous vehicle service in the state, which provides safety, economic, and environmental benefits to many people in the future. The R2 EV has been used on public roads in California under the testing permit issued by the CA DMV earlier this year, but now, it can make autonomous deliveries with new as well as existing retail partners in San Mateo / Santa Clara counties soon. Read more for a video and additional information.
Think of the MINI Vision Urbanaut as an all-electric autonomous living room on wheels. Featuring an expansive interior space that can be used in multiple ways and offers a whole new ease of movement inside the vehicle. How so? When you’ve arrived at the destination, it can transform into a living room in just a few steps. Passengers enter the futuristic cabin through a large sliding door in the side of the car, thanks to a cutting-edge slide and swivel mechanism, as there are no other doors on the driver’s side or front passenger side. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
There are plenty of autonomous drones, but what about helicopters? Meet the Kawasaki K-Racer. Put simply, it’s essentially a compound helicopter sporting two small wings with motors on either side of the chassis for forward flight and a horizontal stabilizer rotor. It’s capable of flying at high speeds that were not technically possible for conventional helicopters. When in forward flight, the main wings share lift, thus reducing the load on the main rotor, which has a diameter of 157.4 inches. Read more for a video and additional information.