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.
The Einride Pod has been undergoing road-testing since last year, and now, this autonomous, all-electric freight truck may be ready for the actual streets. No human driver inside the cabin is required, as it can operate completely autonomously while traveling between 80-110 miles per charge, transporting up to 18 pallets in back, with a maximum cargo weight of 16 tonnes. As for technology, the self-driving system consists of a freight management platform, electric cargo hauling and autonomous technology. Read more to see its record-setting run on the Top Gear test track.
For those who missed its debut at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas, the Sony Vision-S is essentially an all-electric concept sedan designed in collaboration with components manufacturer Magna International, Continental AG, Elektrobit and Benteler / Bosch. It showcases the latest Sony technology, and features always-on connectivity, complete with 33 sensors, including CMOS, solid state lidar, radar, as well as time-of-flight cameras that collectively form an advanced driver assistance suite called “Safety Cocoon”. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Jaguar Land Rover has officially unveiled Project Vector, which is a part of the company’s Destination Zero journey, or its vision of an autonomous, electric, connected future for urban mobility. This compact, flexible pod concept measures just 4-meters in length and is designed for the city, with its battery and drivetrain components all stored beneath its flat floor, thus freeing up space for a variety of uses. Read more for a video and additional information.
General Motors subsidiary Cruise Automation debuted its first vehicle specifically designed to operate without a driver on board. This driverless, electric shuttle is called Origin and does not have manual controls such as pedals or even a steering wheel. Simply put, it’s essentially a curved b box with split sliding doors similar to those on a subway train with all the sensors used to navigate located up top. Read more for a video and additional information.
Skyryse, a startup backed by Bill Ford, unveils Luna, an autonomous helicopter that can fly itself. Today, it completed the world’s first end-to-end autonomous flight for a modified, urban helicopter. The company also introduced Skyryse Flight Stack, a suite of automation technologies that automates flight in FAA-approved helicopters, safety and communication systems, and a network of smart helipads, which is perfect for air taxi service. Read more for a video and additional information.
MIT researchers have developed a self-driving car that can see around corners, thanks to a system of video cameras that focus on a very specific area. In this example, the system analyzes the ground where two perpendicular roads or paths meet, and then uses cameras to capture a series of video frames that can be intelligently processed and analyzed even when the vehicles are in motion. This enables them to detect the presence of shadows and changing lighting conditions from frame to frame. Read more for a video and additional information.
Drones can be picked up for less than the cost of game consoles, but the cutting edge of technology still comes at a hefty price. If you want a drone that is not only autonomous, but can track up to 10 people simultaneously, all the while traveling at 30mph, you’ll need to shell out $999 for the all-new Skydio 2. This drone features NVIDIA Tegra X2-based AI processing that tracks moving subjects, complete with omni-directional awareness of its environment. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Self-driving trucks in customer operations are nothing new, but the Scania AXL does not have a cab and that’s a game changer. The company built upon an existing chassis, and is powered by a biodiesel engine. Unlike its manned counterpart, the AXL utilizes seven cameras, multiple radars, and a laser to help it navigate its environment. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Inspired by Nissan’s ProPILOT 2.0 driver assistance technology, this golf ball can turn just about anyone into a professional, as it uses a predefined route to its goal. How does it work? An overhead camera detects the position of the ball and cup. When it’s hit, a monitoring system calculates the correct route based on the ball’s movement and adjusts its trajectory in real-time. Read more for a video and additional information.