Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Berlin, March 19, 2017: Carmakers and suppliers gave widely differing timelines Thursday for the introduction of self-driving vehicles, showing the uncertainties surrounding the technology as well as a split between cautious established players and bullish new entrants.
Chipmaker Nvidia, facing direct competition with the world’s top chipmaker after Intel’s $15 billion deal to buy Mobileye, an autonomous driving technology firm, this week, gave the most optimistic predictions.
Chief Executive Jens-Hsun Huang said carmakers may speed up their plans in the light of technological advances and that fully self-driving cars could be on the road by 2025.
“Because of deep learning, because of AI [artificial intelligence] computing, we’ve really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles,” he said in a keynote speech to the Bosch Connected World conference in Berlin.
Germany’s Bosch, however, the world’s biggest automotive supplier, gave a timetable as much as six years longer to get to the final stage before fully autonomous vehicles, and declined even to forecast when a totally self-driving car might take to the streets.
NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.
Technology, liability among hurdles
Progress is fraught by issues including who is liable when a self-driving car has an accident, bringing down the costs of sensor technology and guarding against hacking.
“Of course, we still have to prove that an autonomous car does better in driving and has less accidents than a human being,” Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner told a news conference.
Nvidia has applied its market-leading expertise in high-end computer graphics to the intense visualization and simulation needs of autonomous cars, and has been working on artificial intelligence — teaching computers to learn to write their own software code — for a decade.
“No human could write enough code to capture the vast diversity and complexity that we do so easily, called driving,” Huang said.
Together with Bosch executives, Huang presented a prototype AI on-board computer that is expected to go into production by the beginning of the next decade. The computer will use Nvidia’s processing power to interpret data gathered by Bosch sensors.
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
Degrees of autonomy
On the way to fully self-driving cars, levels of autonomy have been defined, with most cars on the road today at level two, and Tesla ready to switch from level four to five — full autonomy — as soon as it is permitted.
Level three means drivers can turn away in well-understood environments, such as highway driving, but must be ready to take back control, while level four means the automated system can control the vehicle in most environments.
Independent technology analyst Richard Windsor wrote this week that he doubted automakers would have autonomous vehicles leaving factories by a typical self-imposed deadline of 2020, mainly because the liability issue was unresolved.
“This is good news for the automotive industry, which is notoriously slow to adapt to and implement new technology as it will have more time to defend its position against the new entrants,” he wrote.
But Nvidia’s Huang said he expected to have chips available for level three automated driving by the end of this year and in customers’ cars on the road by the end of 2018, with level four chips following the same pattern a year later.
That is at least a year ahead of the plans of most carmakers that have an autonomous-driving strategy.
NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.
BMW says market will decide
The head of autonomous driving at BMW told the conference the luxury carmaker was on its way to deliver a level three autonomous car in 2021, but could produce level four or five autonomous cars in the same year.
“We believe we have the chance to make level three, level four and level five doable,” he said. He told Reuters the decision on which levels to release would depend in part on the market, and that cars with more autonomy might first be produced in small batches for single fleets.
Bosch said it saw level three vehicles being released with its on-board computer at the end of the decade, and level four driving not before 2025.
Uber, Baidu and Google spin-off Waymo are testing self-driving taxis, while carmakers including Volvo, Audi and Ford expect to have level four cars on the road by 2020 or 2021.
Nvidia’s Huang predicted those plans would speed up: “In the near future, you’re going to see these schedules pull in.” (VOA)
The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.
The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.
ALSO READ: Can You Drink Coffee While You're Pregnant?
"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.
"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
ALSO READ: The Importance of a Good Mattress for Pregnant
"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.
Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.
ALSO READ: Emoji- A Choice for Interracial Couple
Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.
"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
ALSO READ: Apple Previews Selection of Emojis on World
This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.
Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.
ALSO READ: Jeff Bezos Used To Review Products On Amazon
After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
ALSO READ: “We are Tiny”: Elon Musk to NASA
The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)