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Tesla Model Y without radar gets the ultimate Forward Collision and Auto-Braking stress test

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A Tesla Model Y equipped only with the automaker’s eight external cameras, and no radar underwent an extreme Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) stress test, thanks to owner Kevin Smith.

Smith, who has a new 2021 “Tesla Vision” Model Y without any radar hardware, wanted to assess the all-electric crossover’s ability to recognize and avert obstacles on a closed course. Smith said this was the second round of testing, and he used an inflatable clown as the obstacle that his vehicle would have to avoid to consider the test a successful one.

In May, Tesla announced that it would be removing radar from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles that were manufactured in May 2021 and beyond. In an attempt to transition to a camera-based approach for its cars, a plan that Tesla set out many months ago, the automaker chose its two mass-market vehicles as the guinea pigs to accumulate data for future use. The Model S and Model X are keeping radar, but only for a short time. Eventually, both Tesla flagship vehicles will also transition to Tesla Vision.

For now, the Model Y and Model 3 are the only two vehicles that will not utilize any radar hardware for the foreseeable future. Many owners who have utilized Tesla’s Autopilot of Full Self-Driving suites for semi-autonomous driving capabilities grew concerned when the automaker announced it would be ridding vehicles of any radar, with the most common complaint being performance in severe or low-visibility weather. Instead, Tesla believes that a vision-based approach will actually make the vehicle’s performance much more robust and accurate, comparing the vision-driven system to that of a human driver.

CEO Elon Musk commented on it during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call:

“…when your vision works, it works better than the best human because it’s like having eight cameras, it’s like having eyes in the back of your head, beside your head and has three eyes of different focal distances looking forward. This is — and processing it at a speed that is superhuman. There’s no question in my mind that with a pure vision solution, we can make a car that is dramatically safer than the average person.”

In Smith’s stress test, it proves that Tesla’s camera-based approach definitely needed some work early on. As a result, Tesla launched Software Update 2021.4.18.1, improving the performance of Autopilot for Vision-based automobiles. The vehicle successfully stopped while operating on Autopilot based on multiple test runs with the inflatable barrier. However, the manual test, where Smith controlled the car and depended on FCW and AEB to stop the car automatically, wasn’t as successful. All manual runs activated FCW, but AEB only interfered a handful of times. The vehicle didn’t stop, either. It only slowed down, softening the blow and unfortunately deflating Smith’s blow-up clowns.

Other owners have indicated that Autopilot’s performance with Tesla Vision has led to more confident showings of Autopilot compared to other vehicles that equip both cameras and radar. Tesla also added several safety features and new additions to vision-only vehicles. Teslas will only become more confident as the Neural Net compiles more data from Tesla Vision cars as they become more popular in the coming months.

Check out Kevin Smith’s video below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Tesla Model Y without radar gets the ultimate Forward Collision and Auto-Braking stress test

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-y-no-radar-foward-collision-warning-automatic-emergency-braking-stress-test-video/

Automotive

Honda Developing Shoe-Based Navi System For Visually Impaired

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Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a new firm called Ashirase, Inc. It’s the first startup that came from Ignition, Honda’s new business creation program.

Ashirase, Inc.’s first technologically advanced product is quite revolutionary, but it isn’t for cars. The company is developing an in-shoe navigation system to support visually impaired individuals with walking. Honda aims to begin sales of the system, which is also named Ashirase, by March 2023.

The Ashirase uses a smartphone app and a 3D vibration device with a motion sensor that’s attached inside the show. With the use of vibrations, the Ashirase will tell the user when to go straight, turn right, turn left, and stop. Honda said that the product should enable an intuitive understanding of the route so users don’t have to constantly mindful of directions for a safer and more relaxed walk.

Of note, the route guidance is provided by Global Navigation Satellite System while the vibrators are aligned with the foot’s nerve later. Vibration via the foot also allows freedom with the user’s hands, which can be used for other functions such as holding a cane.

We’re pretty sure a healthy lot of you know that Honda isn’t just an automaker. It’s also a tech company that constantly develops new-age products to aid in various walks of life.

Last year, Honda introduced the Ropot, which is practically a blind-spot warning for 7-year-old kids in Japan when walking. All of these technological devices sprung from a need for it, with the Ropot coming from the sheer number of accidents involving kids and walking.

With the Ashirase, Honda reported that there are quite a number of visually impaired individuals that needed aid when walking, thus the birth of this intuitive device.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/513570/honda-ashirase-shoe-based-navigation/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Artificial Intelligence

The rise of robotaxis in China

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AutoX, Momenta and WeRide took the stage at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 to discuss the state of robotaxi startups in China and their relationships with local governments in the country.

They also talked about overseas expansion — a common trajectory for China’s top autonomous vehicle startups — and shed light on the challenges and opportunities for foreign AV companies eyeing the massive Chinese market.


Enterprising governments

Worldwide, regulations play a great role in the development of autonomous vehicles. In China, policymaking for autonomous driving is driven from the bottom up rather than a top-down effort by the central government, observed executives from the three Chinese robotaxi startups.

Huan Sun, Europe general manager at Momenta, which is backed by the government of Suzhou, a city near Shanghai, said her company had a “very good experience” working with the municipal governments across multiple cities.

In China, each local government is incentivized to really act like entrepreneurs like us. They are very progressive in developing the local economy… What we feel is that autonomous driving technology can greatly improve and upgrade the [local governments’] economic structure. (Time stamp: 02:56)

Shenzhen, a special economic zone with considerable lawmaking autonomy, is just as progressive in propelling autonomous driving forward, said Jewel Li, chief operation officer at AutoX, which is based in the southern city.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/11/the-rise-of-robotaxis-in-china/

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Automotive

Why Mate Rimac is working on electric robotaxis

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Mate Rimac, the founder and CEO of Croatian electric hypercar and components developer Rimac Automobili, started a separate company nearly three years ago to work on electric robotaxis.

Little is known about the company, which still operates in stealth. Rimac told TechCrunch this week at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021 he hopes to keep this separate company under wraps until the team is ready to showcase what it has been working on.

Rimac did provide some details on what he described as an electric robotaxi company. He said the company has offices in Croatia and the U.K. and could expand to other locations. Rimac also said the company intends to be a global operator and he expects to reveal what the team has been working on early next year.

“Why stealth mode?,” Rimac asked during the interview. “Because there’s so much hot air in this industry, and so many PowerPoint companies, you know, announcing big things and not delivering and so on. We didn’t want to be that company, we wanted to do a lot of stuff — and like under-promise, over-deliver.”

Few even knew of the company’s existence until last month when local media discovered a Croatia Ministry of Transport filing that described a proposed project involving an urban mobility ecosystem that used electric autonomous vehicles. While Rimac noted that was an unfortunate discovery, he wants to reveal their work properly.

“People see us as the hypercar company,” Rimac said, noting the company is viewed as one focused on ultra-high net worth individuals. (Indeed, Rimac Automobili unveiled a production version of its Concept 2 vehicle. The renamed Nevera has a $2.44 million price tag.) “We have many other things cooking and have a longer-term outlook. I think that the new mobility will be really a shift in society. Just like phones didn’t just change the phone industry. Apple didn’t just disrupt Nokia, but changed our lives. I think the next big change that we’ll have is mobility.”

Rimac didn’t get into details about the autonomous driving system, sensors or design of the vehicle.

“We think that a lot of people are missing the bigger picture and focusing on some of the building blocks, like the autonomous driving system itself,” he said. “We believe maybe that’s not the differentiator itself, that there are some other differentiating factors within the ecosystem of autonomous mobility.”

Rimac later added that the user experience of the robotaxi is one area that he is focused on and believes it can be different than what others are developing.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/11/why-mate-rimac-is-working-on-electric-robotaxis/

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Automotive

Apple confirms hiring of Ulrich Kranz, former CEO of EV company Canoo

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As former senior executive of BMW AG’s electric car division, Kranz oversaw the development of the sporty electric i3 and i8 cars at BMW, which might give us a hint into the potential aesthetic of the future Apple Car. Anonymous sources say he’ll report to Doug Field, who runs the Apple Car project and previously led development of Tesla’s Model 3.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/10/apple-confirms-hiring-of-ulrich-kranz-former-ceo-of-ev-company-canoo/

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