With as many as one in three Americans experiencing motion sickness, a team of researchers at the University of Michigan has been conducting a unique project to understand what makes people carsick and explore how to make passengers more comfortable in driverless cars.
“One of the great promises of autonomous vehicles—to give us back time by freeing us from driving—is at risk if we can’t solve the motion sickness problem.”
Monica Jones, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute
Waymo announced this week that it will begin testing its self-driving vehicles in Florida in time for hurricane season, when Miami becomes one of the wettest cities in the US. The firm will initially test its vehicles' sensors on a closed track in Naples, before manual testing on public roads in Miami, as it gathers data about real-world driving situations in heavy rain.
The company has also revealed it is making a high-quality multimodal sensor dataset for autonomous driving available to researchers, comprised of data collected by Waymo's self-driving vehicles.
According to an article in Digital Trends, Toyota's involvement in the forthcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics will include the torch relay leading up to the games, in which one of its Concept-i self-driving cars will be used. However, it may be a stretch to assume the famous Olympic flame will be carried autonomously on its travels around Japan; the article says that it's currently "unclear if the car will drive itself".
Russia's Yandex is considering plans to expand its fleet of self-driving cars to up to 1,000 within the next two years, reports Reuters. The company, which hopes to start testing 100 of its self-driving cars on roads by the end of this year, reportedly hopes to use the enlarged fleet to speed up tests of its self-driving technology.
Interns from NASA and professional services and technologies provider KBR recently competed to race fully autonomous vehicles during the 'DeepRacer' event at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The vehicles were developed using reinforcement learning, an advanced machine learning technique, and participants were rewarded for speed and accuracy for staying on the course. KBR collaborated with NASA and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to stage the event.