June 29th, 2017 News of the Day: Ford Forms Team for AI, Dubai to Patrol Streets With Driverless Cars

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【Summary】News of the Day for June 29th, 2017.

Original Claire    Jun 29, 2017 4:24 PM PT
June 29th, 2017 News of the Day: Ford Forms Team for AI, Dubai to Patrol Streets With Driverless Cars

Ford to form R&D team for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

In a blog post published on Thursday, Ford's newly appointed CTO Ken Washington revealed that the automaker is forming a new team under the Ford Research and Advanced Engineering department, to focus on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

The team will research "new sensor technologies, machine learning methods, technical requirements for entry into global markets, and development of personal mobility devices, drones and other aerial robotics to enhance first- and last-mile travel," Washington wrote.

He further mentioned that Argo AI which Ford previously invested will provide resources for the new division's development. The Pittsburgh-based startup is now developing automated driving system for Ford's next-generation autonomous cars.

Audi to use Valeo's technology in sports coupe


According to Reuters, luxury carmaker Audi will introduce Valeo's "stop-start" micro-hybrid systems in its RS5 sports coupe.

The contract with Volkswagen's luxury brand division is meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Valeo system can reduce fuel consumption up to 15% by automatically shutting down the engine whenever the car is stopped by a red light or traffic, with an in-step reduction of CO2 and pollution emissions in traffic jam.

Both Volkswagen and Valeo declined to comment at this time.

Fisker begins to accept Emotion reservations


The Fisker Emotion is now available for reservation on Fisker's website with a $2000 deposit. The company also released a new video showing the upcoming Emotion model. The eye-catching electric vehicle is equipped with mirror caps and rear diffuser made of carbon fiber, also the wheels are equipped with carbon fiber rims.

Fisker has already confirmed that the Emotion will be all-wheel drive and have a range of over 400 miles. Moreover, the EV will come with a fast-charging feature that can provide 125 miles of range in just 9 minutes.

Emotion will be unveiled on August 17th, with price set at $129,900.

Dubai to police streets with autonomous cars


Dubai police plans on deploying a fleet of self-driving patrolling cars that will scan people and identify criminals or "undesirables".

The driverless car will patrol the city all by its own and use biometric software to scan individuals it sees. The patrol car is equipped with a laser scanner, thermal camera, HD cameras, GPS, and LiDAR for navigation and facial recognition. The car is also equipped with an onboard drone that will be linked to the Dubai Police's office for aerial surveillance.

The vehicle, also called "the OR3 security robots",  will be developed by Singapore-based company OTSAW Digital. It's expected to be utilized by the end of 2017.

Facebook's Aquila completes its second successful flight


Aquila, Facebook's first functional aircraft, has completed its second test flight and landed successfully. The large solar-powered high-altitude drone is intended to connect areas where consistent internet access is not sustained.

Spending one hour and 46 minutes in the air at a speed of 10-15 mph, the drone rose to a height of above 3000 feet, and climbed at a rate that doubles that of its first flight. The drone's first test trip ended in a structural failure which affected the craft's landing and resulted in an NTSB investigation. However, after improvements the second testing trip went smoothly.

The purpose of the flights are to gather data to improve on the current drone models, so that the research team can predict energy usage and optimize the battery and solar system design. Facebook eventually plans to make Aquila fly for up to 90 days at a time, offering internet access to an area 60 miles wide.

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