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Driverless Car: Popular App-based cab Uber gives us a look of what Future Holds!

After Google now Uber has joined race for driverless cars launching test drives in Pittsburg

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App-based Cab Uber. Wikimedia

PITTSBURG, Sept 15, 2016:  Beating all competition in the silicon valley Uber did a test ride of its driverless cars in Pittsburg.Competitors such as Volvo and Google have invested hundreds of millions of dollars and logged millions of miles test driving autonomous vehicles, but Uber is the first company in the U.S. to make self-driving cars available to the general public.

Starting Wednesday morning, a fleet of self-driving Ford Fusions will pick up Uber riders who opted to participate in a test program. While the vehicles are loaded with features that allow them to navigate on their own, an Uber engineer will sit in the driver’s seat and seize control if things go awry.

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That pilot really pushes the ball forward for us,” said Raffi Krikorian, Director of Uber Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh, the company’s main facility for testing self-driving vehicles. “We think it can help with congestion, we think it can make transportation cheaper and more accessible for the vast majority of people.”

A reporter from The Associated Press tried out the service Monday. The ride through downtown Pittsburgh and over some bridges went smoothly, with the car waiting for oncoming traffic before making a turn and at one point stopping for a vehicle that was backing into a parking space. Parking, however, was a task the human driver had to perform.

This real-time map is constantly being matched against a map that’s been pre-loaded into the car’s brain. Uber collects the new, real-time data from its cars twice a day, and it pushes updated maps to its cars once a week.

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What allowed Uber to get to the front of the pack was not auto engineering but rather its ability to accumulate and crunch massive amounts of data on road and driving conditions collected from the billions of miles driven by Uber drivers.”We have one of the strongest self-driving engineering groups in the world, as well as the experience that comes from running a ride-sharing and delivery network in hundreds of cities,” said Uber founder and chief executive Travis Kalanick.

But even if Uber manages to get the driverless cars on the road and running, there’s still a matter of legislation issues as even if a car is fully functional and equipped it still requires a driver with a legitimate license behind the wheel according to the current laws which of course might undermine the whole point of making mechanised cars.

But bigger changes in laws have been done and nobody can undermine the huge technological advancement that is represented by these driverless cars.

– prepared by Anubhuti Gupta of NewsGram

 

  • Enakshi

    Technology is making its way to the top.
    Amazing news but will it be successful? will people be fine with a car that is fully automatic and does not have a driver?

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Biggest Facial Recognition System in The World To Arrive in India Next Month

The beneficiaries will be Ministry of Home Affairs, NCRB and state police forces

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Face Recognition
Currently, the leading Facial Recognition software are: Amazon Rekognition; Face Recognition and Face Detection by Lambda Labs, Microsoft Face API; Google Cloud Vision and IBM Watson Visual Recognition, among others. Pixabay

With the tender submission date to procure the National Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) just 20 days away, India is closer to install worlds largest facial recognition system to track and nab criminals.

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), under Home Ministry, asked for the bids on July 8 which will be closed on November 8. The winner to provide AFRS will be announced on November 8.

“This is an effort in the direction of modernizing the police force, information gathering, criminal identification, verification and its dissemination among various police organizations and units across the country,” said NCRB in its 172-page document.

The beneficiaries will be Ministry of Home Affairs, NCRB and state police forces.

The benefits will be “a robust system for identifying criminals, missing children /persons, unidentified dead bodies and unknown traced children/persons all over the country; a repository of photographs of criminals in the country; enhanced ability to detect crime patterns and modus operandi across the states and communicate to the state police departments for aiding in crime prevention”.

With the help of the software, the state police personnel can check the suspect with the hotlist of criminals.

Currently, the leading face recognition software are: Amazon Rekognition; Face Recognition and Face Detection by Lambda Labs, Microsoft Face API; Google Cloud Vision and IBM Watson Visual Recognition, among others.

In China, startup Megvii and AI unicorns like SenseTime, CloudWalk and Yitu have made facial recognition commonplace in China.

In April last year, Delhi Police identifed almost 3,000 missing children in just four days during a trial of a facial recognition system.

However, there are concerns that the technology can be misused.

According to Pavan Duggal, one of the nation’s top cyber law experts, the Information Technology Act, 2000 does not specially deal with misuse of this technology.

Facial Recognition
New Facial Recognition System is an effort in the direction of modernizing the police force, information gathering, criminal identification, verification and its dissemination among various police organizations and units across the country. Pixabay

“The first casualty of the absence of regulatory framework for facial recognition technology is people’s right to privacy,” Duggal told IANS recently.

“In India, there is not even any framework to regulate the storage of facial recognition data,” he added.

Some of the major technology giants including Microsoft and Amazon also agree that there is a need for governments to regulate this technology.

Microsoft and its President Brad Smith have urged governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

The tech industry needs to step up and do more to address challenges related to regulation, said Smith in his new book titled “Tools and Weapons”.

Given the potential for abuse of the fast advancing facial recognition technology, governments across the world need to start adopting laws to regulate this technology in 2019, Smith said last year.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” warned Smith in a blog post.

“The use of facial recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms,” he said in December last year.

Amazon has also defended the face recognition. It offers “Rekognition” — a facial recognition tool that has been used to spot criminals.

Facial Recognition
The use of Facial Recognition technology by a government for mass surveillance can encroach on democratic freedoms. Pixabay

According to NCRB, the Automated Facial Recognition System (AFRS) to be implemented that would help in automatic identification and verification of persons from digital images, photos, digital
sketches, video frames and video sources by comparison of selected facial features of the image from an already existing image database.

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“A facial recognition system is a great investigation enhancer for identification of: criminals, missing children/persons, unidentified dead bodies and unknown traced children/persons. It can provide investigating officers of the civil police with the required tools, technology, and information,” said NCRB. (IANS)