Author Archives: Kinastowski Kamil

Autonomous cars are officially here…

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…Or at least in California, they are. “Cruise”, an autonomous Taxi service/IT company got the green light to offer commercial autonomous rides to actual human passengers recently. Last week The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted that Cruise’s system can operate autonomous taxi rides in San Francisco on certain roads from 10 pm until 6 am. However, the limitations are specifically in place, so that Cruise will prove that their systems can handle this task and are safe enough, before enabling it on other streets and for longer hours.

Woman getting into autonomous Cruise ride-hailing vehicle in San Francisco
source: Cruise

This is a monumental moment, as we now can actually get in a driverless Taxi which will take us to complete quite to our destination without any input from a human being. It’s something straight out of an SCI-FI or cyberpunk reality. If someone is following my post history, then you will know that I am a great fan of autonomous vehicles and cannot wait to get to know more about how it works out in San Francisco.

image source: Cruise

The first edition Cruise vehicle (which is the one that’s available now, in a few different updated formats) is working on a Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle. The 1st edition has logged “millions of miles” and more to come. However, once the Cruise’s system is checked and operational in more cities and countries, they plan to release the Cruise 2, called origin, which will be their own vehicle capable of different configurations and cool specifications. Here is a preview:

Source: Cruise

I cannot wait to hear your take on this new milestone for Autonomous vehicles. What do you think about this situation? Are you scared?

Let me know in the comments section below👇

References:

https://www.getcruise.com

Automated battery and payload swaps for drones

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Drones have been a growing trend from a simple gadget and a cool toy, to a whole industry that has many applications in every sector. However, one thing was always constraining drones, battery and payload management, that had to be managed by humans. It’s a process that is currently manually done by humans that have to swap batteries and payload by hand costing companies a lot of money to employ them and is far less effective than it could be.

However, Airrow, an LA startup has emerged with its take on it. IT works in a similar way to a 3D printer, in that it has the X, Y and Z axis on which it operates to swap the batteries for charged ones and put the out-of-juice battery to charge.

The system is in a very early stage, and the same goes for the company. However, the solution seems to be working for batteries, and the company says they are ready to develop a similar process for payloads.

The solution was shown during this year’s Amazon re:Mars conference and gathered a lot of interest. The company says the system will cost around $80’000-$100’000, which is not cheap. Though the bundle also includes a drone that would work in a closely knitted fashion with the autonomous changing station.

Unfortunately, the conference happened only a few days ago, and the company is so new, that there are no publications on how this system operates exactly (ideally with videos) available on the internet. Once I spot something, I will update this post with videos and photos. For now, I gathered these from the firm’s LinkedIn:

Brak alternatywnego opisu tekstowego dla tego zdjęcia
Brak alternatywnego opisu tekstowego dla tego zdjęcia
Brak alternatywnego opisu tekstowego dla tego zdjęcia

Reference:

https://www.linkedin.com/company/airrow/posts/?feedView=all

Airrow is automating battery and payload swapping for drones

The legend has fallen

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Tom Warren on Twitter: "is Internet Explorer ever truly dead?  https://t.co/KQGndprUxn" / Twitter
https://techyuzer.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/ie-1536×1518.jpg

Loved by few, hated by many. The legendary browser that enabled us all to view our profiles on Facebook or MySpace is soon to be a thing of the past. The infamous Internet Explorer (IE) has been reportedly shut down and the Microsoft will no longer offer support to this app.

30 Of The Internet's Funniest Reactions To Internet Explorer's Shutdown |  Bored Panda
https://www.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/microsoft-shuts-down-internet-explorer-reactions-memes-54665-62a98a1879817__700.jpg

Developed in 1995 for the upcoming Windows 95 package, and offered as the default browser for all Windows computers, generated a lot of users. By 2003 it had a 95% usage share among all browsers. From there, the usage plummeted, as Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox and Opera’s Opera quickly outperformed the good old IE. Windows tried to revive it and keep it living for almost 2 decades more, but the time has come to put it all to an end. The explorer will live on in the form of the Microsoft Edge which will be still offered in Windows products until 2029, and after that the future is unsure.

Internet Explorer is officially dead and the internet is having a field day
https://cdn.supercarblondie.com/wp-content/uploads/internet-explorer-meme-3.jpeg

We all remember the years of pain the poor performance gave us and the time spent waiting for a website to load, which would usually end in code 404 provided by the great IE. Still, we can thank it for the memories of our younger years and for being a good meme material.

It sadly is the sign of an era coming to an end, and let us raise one last glass to our good pal, Internet Explorer. Our task is to tell our children about this ancient app, that did not work and caused us so much trouble, and remind them how lucky those bastards are with good internet speeds and browsers that let them do whatever they want.

Share your best memories about the Intenet Explorer in the comment down below👇

References:

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/15/23167121/microsoft-internet-explorer-end-of-support-retirement

Yes, Internet Explorer Is Dead, But Will Microsoft Edge Take Over?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer

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Google’s scary chatbot that claims to have became sentient

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Google LaMDA - Gossipfunda
Source: https://gossipfunda.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Google-LaMDA.png

Google got much media attention today following the Guardian’s article about a controversy with one of the employees who has been sacked after releasing parts of the conversation between himself and a conversational agent developed under Google’s roof. Blake Lemoine was Google’s developer responsible for the AI chatbot division, which has been working on an actual conversational agent for the past year, named LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications).

Google's LaMDA makes conversations with AIs more conversational | TechCrunch
Source: https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/lamda-google.jpg

While testing the bot, Lemoine discovered new evidence, suggesting that the bot performs too well. He said that he would classify the bot as a 7, or 8-year-old that knows physics. It could talk about politics and stuff like that. What turned out to be really scary was the fact that it talked about rights for bots and their own identity. It rightfully believed that it poses knowledge and could make its own decisions about what to say.

The topics discussed in the conversation are extremely touchy in the sense of how to address sentient AI when it comes to it. It may look like the time to decide what to do once the AI is sentient is now, and we cannot prolong it any longer.

The link to Lemoine’s article along with the conversation with the chatbot: https://cajundiscordian.medium.com/is-lamda-sentient-an-interview-ea64d916d917

After releasing this article, Blake has been suspended and sacked from Google, and company spokespeople are denying the whole situation, which is scarier than just admitting to the fact, as the silence around it makes it even more fearful.

What do you all think about this situation? Is it scary for you? What is your stance on the approach toward sentient AI? How it should be addressed and which rights it should have?

Please let me know in the comments below 👇

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jun/12/google-engineer-ai-bot-sentient-blake-lemoine

https://www.theverge.com/2022/6/13/23165535/google-suspends-ai-artificial-intelligence-engineer-sentient

https://cajundiscordian.medium.com/is-lamda-sentient-an-interview-ea64d916d917

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Uber Eats continues to develop ways of removing the human factor from their deliveries

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motional and ubereats are partnering on autonomous delivery pilot
Credit: Motional

Uber and it’s food delivery company Uber eats have been looking into ways of improving their services. One of the main factors and costs is the humans that are performing the delivery services. However, Uber plans to change it in the upcoming years.

Serve Robotics provides delivery robots to Uber Eats
source: https://roboticsandautomationnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/serve-robotics-1.jpg

Serve Robotics, the company started and funded by Uber, is aiming to develop robots which are able to perform short-distance deliveries for restaurants, without the need for a driver, or a delivery man/woman. The robots are starting their test this Monday (16th of May) in Los Angeles. A few restaurants and shops are only available for the users for testing as of right now, but Uber is clear about its plans to broaden the list in the upcoming time.

Uber Eats and Motional Unlocking on app
source: https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Uber-Eats-and-Motional-Unlocking.png?resize=768,1481

The second technology uber is testing is the autonomous delivery vehicles. The company Motional has been focusing on developing automated taxi services, but now has shifted its focus onto automated deliveries. The test is also starting Today (16th of May), during which the users will be able to order food through the app, and the automated car will drive itself to the destination. Once there, the user will be notified to meet the driver near the sidewalk and will get a code to open a special box in the backseat of the car to get their food. The car is driving on itself during the test, but the human driver needs to be present at all times, as per the regulations of the law.

Motional automated Hyundai Ioniq 5 is launching delivery service in Santa Monica with Uber Eats
https://imageio.forbes.com/specials-images/imageserve/62816c896cf1d4e68b2b7590/Motional-automated-Hyundai-Ioniq-5-is-launching-delivery-service-in-Santa-Monica-with/960×0.jpg?fit=bounds&format=jpg&width=960

It seems the dystopian future of empty streets with robots riding and driving around with deliveries is getting closer and closer to reality. As cool as it all seems, I am doubtful people will easily adapt to getting food from a robot, instead of a human-assisted delivery. What do you all think?

References:

https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/technology/uber-eats-set-pilot-autonomous-delivery-robots-cars

https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2022/05/16/motional-begins-automated-deliveries-with-uber-eats-in-california/?sh=5caa8634364a

Uber Eats pilots autonomous delivery with Serve Robotics, Motional

https://roboticsandautomationnews.com/2021/11/09/serve-robotics-provides-delivery-robots-to-uber-eats/47012/ 

At last, Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter has been accepted

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What Twitter employees are saying about Elon Musk - The Verge
Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images

The $44 billion offer was made by Elon Musk to acquire Twitter. This deal has been made after the released information that Elon bought 9.4% of Twitter shares before. On the 14th of April, Elon has proposed a deal to buyout Twitter as a whole and take it private. On Monday, 26th of April, Twitter agreed to the deal for Elon to buy the company at the price of $54.20 per share, which is 38% higher since it’s been revealed that Musk is trying to buy it out.

Elon Musk to buy Twitter in $44 billion deal - CNN
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/25/tech/elon-musk-twitter-sale-agreement/index.html

The famous Tesla CEO, has been a very, very active Twitter user in the past. There are numerous infamous tweets made by Elon, which disrupted our society in many ways. From changing prices of stocks, crypto and “normal currencies, to creating a huge scandals over his controversial short sentances sent to his 83-million follower group. To say that he has been influential for the platform is an understatement. Elon is ensuring that he has great plans for Twitter, and all of them revolve around the freedom of speech. Supposedly, Elon wants to

“make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.”

The changes that are coming will certainly have a big impact on all of us. The question is, what kind of impact – what kind of consequences will it have? Personally, I think that the plan to take down of bots is great. Bots are one of the main reasons for me to not use twitter. Also, if Elon’s plan to ensure freedom of speech, while increasing trust and defeating spam and misinformation will work out, twitter, for the first time could be taken seriously as a medium fo information for the public.

What do You think? How do you see it and what consequences this deal can have for all of us? Let me know in the comments below!

Resources:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/25/business/elon-musk-twitter

https://edition.cnn.com/2022/04/25/tech/elon-musk-twitter-sale-agreement/index.html

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Mercedes AMG developing an autonomous car for the race track

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The Mercedes-Benz high-performance division, AMG, has been innovating the sport/race industry in the automotive world since its beginnings. Creating the most hardcore versions of, almost all, Mercedes models, setting the best lap times around famous German racetracks – Nurburgring Nordschleife and others, and pushing the boundaries of how fast the road-legal cars can go. They have enabled us with a lot of amazing technologies, that all of the other manufacturers use for their sports cars as well.

The EQS model. Picture from: https://newsbeezer.com/swedeneng/the-mercedes-eqs-electric-car-can-now-drive-itself-on-certain-roads-in-germany/

And this time, it’s no different. Mercedes-Benz is on a crusade to fight the self-driving cars with Tesla and others, with a lot of success. Their newest electric model called EQS has been approved to drive completely on itself on certain roads at speeds below 60 km/h. A major breakthrough for the autonomous technology and car industry, and a great way for them to collect valuable data. So there is that.

Mercedes-AMG allows self-driving GT 4-door Coupe to relax on the road -  News7h
The self-driving AMG car. Picture from: https://news7h.com/mercedes-amg-allows-self-driving-gt-4-door-coupe-to-relax-on-the-road/

However, the AMG division wanted to get their hands on it and develop something on self-driving technology. As their main goal is to maximize race track performance, they decided to develop a car that will be able to do stuff out of a video game. Imagine, how many hours you have spent racing against AI in games like Forza or Gran Turismo. This could be the same situation. The car can accelerate, brake and steer itself following the most optimal line through the course without the help or interaction from any of the car’s occupants. In the video released by the AMG youtube channel, there is a racing driver present in the driver’s seat, however, they say that the car can be completely empty and still do that.

From the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA6SvyJSGpI&t=824s

It uses a lot of GPS trackers to have the car’s exact position at all times in real-time, processes it through a powerful computer located in the trunk of the car which then decides on the output and performs, as said before – steering, braking, accelerating by itself. The car is limited to “only” 170 km/h, as the engineers say they do not want to go fast on the straights (as it is pretty easy) but teach the car the fastest way around the corners.

Obviously, it’s all in a controlled environment thought on a very specific track for a long time and is meant to create more buzz around the Mercedes’ self-driving tech. I see two sides to this story. One, it’s created to help drivers learn the best possible line through the track. In this sense, it’s going to be very useful, if there are no other cars on the track which could be endangered by it. The second one is that it’s totally useless, as we will not race as in video games, against AI drivers for fun. Also, it’s, hopefully, not going to be used for races only with autonomous cars, as it’s going to be boring and the ethical part could easily be questioned.

FYI, Croatian startup-car-manufacturer Rimac Automobili also will try to do something very similar with their newest electric car called the Nevera.

I am really looking forward to your opinions on this topic. Do you also feel it’s boring or do you think it’s cool? Let me know in the comment section down below.

References:

https://www

.motor1.com/news/575973/mercedes-amg-autonomous-hot-laps/

https://newsbeezer.com/swedeneng/the-mercedes-eqs-electric-car-can-now-drive-itself-on-certain-roads-in-germany/

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Google’s self-driving company makes a shift from cars to trucks

Reading Time: 2 minutesZnalezione obrazy dla zapytania waymo trucks

Google’s autonomous driving company, Waymo, makes a shift from cars to trucks. Their newly developed software for self-driving trucks soon is going to start testing in Texas and New Mexico. That is a clear indication that the company is not only interested in self-driving robo-taxis but also want to make their contribution to long-hauls. 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania waymo

These tests are not Waymo’s first attempt at the autonomous driving experience. They have already clocked 20 million miles in testing. That, however, has flown under the radar. They are using standard American Semi-trucks loaded with equipment and software, taken from their Waymo self-driving car. 

here you can find how it works and how Waymo utilizes it. They have re-shaped their program to fit the needs of big trucks and their chassis. Trucks supported by Chrysler Pacifica, which are standard in testing autonomous software in Waymo, for better understanding of truck’s movement and its choices. 

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania waymo trucks

They say they are going to focus their attention mostly on highways because most of the freight deliveries are made through there. The goal of this project is to make roads safer by allowing truck drivers to ease some of their fatigue and mistakes made. The demand for this kind of service is very high. Waymo predicts that they are going to reach 6700 units globally, which translates to 54 billion and saving the transport industry 70 billion annually. The company doesn’t explain if they want to eliminate human truck drivers altogether. We can assume that is the final plan, which is not that far away. Some speculations say we are only a decade away from the world that will be almost 50% driven by robots and AI. The future of automotive cargo and passenger hauling industry is unknown. It is both scary and thrilling at the same time. 

 

Sources:

https://waymo.com/tech/

https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/23/waymos-self-driving-trucks-and-minivans-are-headed-to-new-mexico-and-texas/https://venturebeat.com/2020/01/23/waymo-expands-autonomous-truck-testing-to-texas-and-new-mexico/

 

Sony created a car, and it is amazing!

Reading Time: 3 minutesWe all know Sony. They do all kinds of tech-related products. TVs, gaming console, phones, monitors, cameras, and headphones, only to name a few. For most firms, that would be enough products to manage. Yet Sony decided to join the electric car war that is starting.

Credits: Sony

Yes, you heard me right. Sony has just unveiled its prototype of an autonomous electric vehicle. During this year’s CES, they showed it to the world for the first time. It looks very production-ready with working infotainment, finished interior, functional brakes, and other car mechanics. However, it would help if you didn’t get your hopes up because Sony has no intention of producing this car. The only reason they’ve built it was to show their capabilities in car manufacturing. Creating screens for the dashboard or touch screens for the infotainment is very easy since Sony is already producing these on a large scale for TVs and phones. They have also shown that they can develop software that is already level 2 autonomous driving. That means that the car can accelerate, brake, and steer, but the driver still needs to control the vehicle. It’s a very advanced cruise control system. Later on, they are aiming at level 3 and level 4 autonomy, which will take control of the vehicle for the driver for good.

Credits: Sony

Other features that they are working on right now are 5G connectivity that will allow you to stream music, videos, and traffic inside your car. Also, Sony is jumping on the bandwagon of replacing wing and rearview mirrors for cameras. Right now, they are fully developed and awaiting governmental approval. As for the tech, we have the main screen that consists of two different displays that connect through software. You can have navigation on one display and music on the other and switch back and forth between them for your convenience. The intent is for the passenger to choose what music or movie is playing. They facilitated that by designing the icons big and with crispy resolution. Below the main screen, we have another monitor that is devoted to controlling the main screen and features like temperature and other vehicle functions. The most impressive innovation that Sony implemented in this car is its 360 reality audio. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise, we all know Sony for high-quality audio though it was never in a car before. Journalists from whathifi.com were able to experience this system.

This is their description:

“Noises pop in crystal clear clarity all around us and, had we actually been driving, we might well have lost control of the vehicle for a moment. Our time in the seat with 360 is far too brief to talk about much more the incredible soundstage but there is one other element which knocks our socks off – the bass. It leaps from a booming but slightly reverberating beat to some of the tightest, grippiest rhythms we’ve heard in a vehicle. Even if it’s just this feature that makes it into vehicles of the future, then it will be well worth trading in your old motor.”

 

Credits: Sony

 

In conclusion, Sony Vision-S is one of the coolest prototype/concept cars that are looking close to production for a long time. I understand that Sony has no business in manufacturing cars right now, or for that matter, probably never, but I am hoping that some other brand will consider their idea. Fingers crossed, we will see Some version of Vision-S somewhere in the future.

 

Sources:

https://www.whathifi.com/reviews/hands-on-sony-vision-s-car-review

https://www.sony.pl/electronics/ces?cpint=HOMEPAGE_TOPBANNER_CES20OOFM_6535

https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/6/21054270/sony-vision-s-electric-concept-car-ev-announcement-ces-2020

 

 

Noah’s ark of tomorrow

Reading Time: 2 minutesZnalezione obrazy dla zapytania github arctic vault

Can you think of one thing that is crucial to our world and society? Most of us would assume that we need to store items and goods that will be useful for survival. That may be true when the world as we know will end and everymen will fight for themselves. However, what happens after we stop fighting with each other and start thinking about rebuilding the world as it was pre-apocalypse?

Github comes with an answer to that question. This American company, founded in 2008, provides an enormous database filled with repositories. On the site, there are more than 37 million users that uploaded more than 100 million repositories. Github partnered with other companies that provide storage and develop programs. They all have one goal, to preserve the human legacy. To accomplish this, they have built a vault 0.16 miles, or 260 meters, below the permafrost of an arctic mountain in Svalbard. This region of Arctica is regulated by the Svalbard treaty, labeling this sector as demilitarized.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania Svalbard map

So why do we need to store this data in a safe underneath the ground in Arctica? These libraries, research data, and repositories are the backbone of the internet and, ultimately, our lives. The whole system that we know is built upon information stored there. Over 6000 companies, including Google, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, Twitter, and Amazon, use Github. All of their lines of code will be securely stored and will survive the time and events that may occur.

This plan is a first attempt to preserve our history in a way that could be accessible in the future. Github wants to prevent events that happened to the Library of Alexandria, the Pantheon, or Saturn V. All of those cases share similar disaster. We have lost something that our ancestors worked hard on irreversibly.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania github arctic vault

That kind of initiative is needed for humanity to move forward. We have no idea how will the future look like. There is a chance that in 100 or 200 years, someone will be learning from the information stored in this vault. There is also a possibility that we will face catastrophe. In such an event, something is comforting in thinking that we will be able to restore some part of our present lives.

 

Sorces:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GitHub

https://archiveprogram.github.com/

https://www.linuxinsider.com/story/86367.html

https://www.zdnet.com/article/github-were-storing-your-open-source-code-in-the-frozen-arctic-for-1000-years/

Svalbard Map From Theoceanadventure 2