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September 22, 2017 News of the Day: AEye Demonstrates First Commercial Solid State LiDAR, Uber Loses its License to Operate in London

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【Summary】September 22, 2017 News of the Day

Original Eric Walz    Sep 22, 2017 1:55 PM PT
September 22, 2017 News of the Day: AEye Demonstrates First Commercial Solid State LiDAR, Uber Loses its License to Operate in London

AEye Demonstrates First Commercial Solid State LiDAR

SAN FRANCISCO — AEye Inc., today announced completion of a successful live metropolitan demo showcasing its solid state commercial LiDAR system with 360° vehicle coverage.

AEye's high performance system employs a dense 150-vertical-channel LiDAR scanner, paired with region of interest configurability, for enhanced ranges up to 300 meters. AEye is the first to announce a commercial solid state system capable of 360° coverage and real-time software configurability—key milestones for the delivery of high performance, compact, cost-effective advanced vision systems that enable self-driving vehicles to safely navigate roadways.

"This milestone reflects a leap into next generation vision systems, in which solid state systems combine best-in-class technology to achieve distance, frame-rate, and resolution previously unattainable," said Luis Dussan, founder and CEO of AEye. "This is just the starting point for AEye. Our system's use of intelligent sensing and software-definable LiDAR (SDL) will catalyze rapid innovation and world class perception capabilities, enabling OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and mobility companies to successfully tackle their toughest corner cases."

AEye's integrated system architecture and advanced algorithms emulate how the visual cortex pre-processes and customizes information sent to the brain. The system pre-fuses computer vision and 1550 nanometer band LiDAR for intelligent data collection and rapid perception and motion planning.

Additionally, AEye's software-configurable hardware enables vehicle control system software to selectively customize data collection in real-time, while optional edge processing reduces control loop latency for optimal performance and safety. By having a visual cortex behind the "eyes" of the vehicle that digests information quickly and efficiently, AEye improves reliability, lowers power requirements and reduces median system bandwidth requirements - advances that are key to providing high resolution and low latency mobility solutions.

The unique MEMS-based design allows for rapid development, customization, and cost-effective manufacturing at scale.

AEye is currently testing its system with large transportation and heavy industry OEMs and conducting demonstrations with key mobility and supply chain partners, with phased commercial rollouts planned throughout 2017 and 2018.

Uber Loses its License to Operate in London

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LONDON — In a major blow to the ride hailing giant, Uber was stripped of its license to operate in London when it expires at the end of the month.

The capital's transport regulator said the Silicon Valley technology giant's approach and conduct was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire license and it would not be renewed when it expires on Sept. 30.

Uber has 40,000 drivers working in the capital, said it would contest the decision. Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said it would let Uber operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take several months.

"Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications," TfL said.

Specifically, TfL cited Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, background checks on drivers and software called Greyball that could be used to block regulators from gaining full access to the app.

"Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice," said Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in London. "We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts."

Ushr Secures $10m Series A Funding Led by Forté Ventures

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DETROIT — Ushr Inc., creator and provider of high-definition (HD) mapping technology and software for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, announced that it has secured $10 million in Series A funding, commensurate with its spin-off from GeoDigital, Inc. Forté Ventures led the investment round with participation from EnerTech Capital, Emerald Technology Ventures, and GM Ventures.

Ushr's team has spent the past three years developing the first production HD map software for autonomous driving. Now having mapped the entire U.S. and Canada controlled access highway network with under four inches deviation, Ushr's platform provides the most accurate long and medium-distance sensing systems to enable autonomous vehicles (AVs) to safely navigate roadways.

"Ushr provides a long-range view that allows the vehicle to proactively plan safer routes and anticipate roadway changes instead of merely reacting to sensor inputs," said Bruce Gordon, Ushr CEO. "In a recent road test comparison, our nearest competition had dozens of lane touches and several crossovers; our maps had zero touches and zero crossovers."

Ushr's HD mapping technology in combination with vehicle sensors and on-road cameras conveys "real world" detail to AVs. The company's control algorithms are constantly interpreting and communicating key details from sensors to the vehicle control system, allowing for more precise steering, safer vehicle control and directional predictability.

The technology currently applies to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) but has a role in every stage of development within the autonomous driving technology spectrum. Presently, Ushr is working with major automotive manufacturers and suppliers, including General Motors (GM), to integrate Ushr software and map technology into future products.

The Series A investment will allow Ushr to advance the development of lower cost data acquisition technologies and of automated map production using artificial intelligence techniques; to build a fleet of data collection vehicles; and to test in-vehicle software on automotive grade embedded hardware.

Faraday Future Factory Project Dissolved in Nevada

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Faraday Future has officially ended its incentive agreement with the state of Nevada over its factory. The state's promise to put up $335 million in taxpayer dollars to attract the proposed $1 billion factory and 4,500 jobs became a point of contention when FF's ambitions began to appear wildly overblown.

Following months of media reports detailing financial struggles, the China-backed startup eventually downsized its production plans and switched to a much smaller facility in California.

Faraday has since sent a letter to Nevada officials admitting that the project is no longer qualified for the incentive package, according to a Nevada Independent report. The company sent a check for around $16,000, while the rest of the money was already protected in a separate fund.

"The Faraday project is basically dissolved at this point at absolutely no cost to the state and local governments," said Steve Hill of the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

The state has already spent money on infrastructure at the business park to help support the automotive factory. Hill suggests several other companies are seriously interested in the site, so the improvements will apparently not go to waste.


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