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MUJI GACA Self-Driving Bus
Photo credit: Justin Hirvi | Bonzu / MUJI via Design Boom
Japanese retail company MUJI partnered with Finnish technology company Sensible 4 to create “GACHA,” an autonomous shuttle bus that can operate in all weather conditions. It’s set to launch in Finland later this spring, starting in the city of Espoo with the eventual goal of expanding to Helsinki, Vantaa, and other large cities later by the end of 2019. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Microsoft MIT Artificial Intelligence Self-Driving Car
Microsoft has teamed up with MIT might to develop a model that uses artificial intelligence to catch virtual “blind spots”. Basically, the AI compares a human’s actions in a given situation to what it would have done, and modifies its behavior based on how closely it matches the response. Put simply, if a self-driving car doesn’t know how to pull over in an emergency situation, it could learn how to do so by simply observing a human driver moving to the side of the road. However, if the AI is wrong, a human driver can also step in to correct it. “The model helps autonomous systems better know what they don’t know. Many times, when these systems are deployed, their trained simulations don’t match the real-world setting [and] they could make mistakes, such as getting into accidents. The idea is to use humans to bridge that gap between simulation and the real world, in a safe way, so we can reduce some of those errors,” said first author Ramya Ramakrishnan from Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. Read more for a video and additional information.

Mercedes-Benz Nostalgia
Photo credit: Sehoon Hans Kim
Created by automotive designer Sehoon Hans Kim, the futuristic Mercedes-Benz Nostalgia Concept is all-electric and boasts autonomous technology that would make it nearly invulnerable to accidents. Instead of traditional headlights and taillights, this concept sports single lines of LEDs instead, drawing inspiration from the Mercedes Concept IAA. Read more for additional pictures and information/

Uber Engineer Coast to Coast Self Driving Car
Anthony Levandowski, a former Google and Uber engineer, has completed what he claims is the first US coast-to-coast drive completed entirely by self-driving technology. The 3,099 mile journey between San Francisco and New York was made in October, with him only taking charge of his vehicle to refuel and stop overnight. “I’ve admittedly grown frustrated  –  and at times impatient  – with the industry’s inability to deliver on its promises,” said Levandowski. Read more for a time-lapse video of his journey and additional information.

Rinspeed microSNAP

The Rinspeed microSNAP concept has leaked ahead of CES 2019 next month, and it’s essentially an autonomous electric vehicle designed purely for transporting goods and people. It rides on a skateboard chassis that holds the vehicle’s powertrain as we ll as autonomous driving system, and when the need arises, you’ll be able to easily swap different pods, whether it be for transportation or hauling materials. Read more for additional pictures and information.