FUTURE OF TRANSPORT- AI AND SELF-DRIVEN VEHICLES

Almost everybody has experienced artificial intelligence of one level or the other by using everyday things around them. The next big thing everybody is looking forward to is revolution in the automated mobility industry. In 2016, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook described the challenge of building autonomous vehicles as “the mother of all” AI projects.

While big players like Google, Uber, and Tesla are competing with other each and other prominent companies, investing billions to come up with a commercially successful fleet of driverless cars, AI experts believe that it may take many a year before self-driven vehicles can successfully conquer the unpredictability of traffic.

AI plays the main role, as always

An autonomous car can be defined as a vehicle capable of navigating itself without human help, using various sensors to perceive the surrounding environment accurately.  They can make use of a variety of techniques including radar, laser light, GPS, odometry, and computer vision.

Complex algorithms, cameras and LIDAR sensors are made use of to create a digital world that orients the self-driven car on the road and helps identify fellow cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians. It is extremely difficult to design and produce such systems. They must be programmed to cope with an almost limitless number of variables found on roads. The autonomous vehicle industry therefore looks to machine-learning as the basis for autonomous systems. That is because huge amounts of computing power are required to interpret all of the data harvested from a range of sensors and then enact the correct procedures for constantly changing road conditions and traffic situations.

Deep learning and computer vision systems can be ‘trained’ to drive and develop decision-making processes like a human. Humans naturally learn by example and this is exactly what computers are taught to do as well, ‘think like humans’.

What is deep learning? – Deep learning is a method that uses layered machine-learning algorithms to extract structured information from massive data sets. It is a key technology behind driver-less cars, enabling them to recognize a stop sign, or to distinguish a pedestrian from a lamppost. Each self-driven car is programmed to capture data for map generation, deep learning and driving tasks while they move along the traffic.

Autonomous vehicle industry developments

Google launched its self-driving car project in 2009, being one of the first to invest in this stream. Sensing that autonomous vehicle technology can open up a huge market and disrupting the current one, other tech-giants like Intel, IBM and Apple as well as cab hailing companies- Uber and Lyft and car makers have joined the race.

Alphabet’s Waymo, the self-driving technology development company was launched in December 2016. Waymo has been testing its vehicles Arizona for a little more than a year now. Places like California, Michigan, Paris, London, Singapore, Beijing among others regularly witness test-drives by self-driven cars.

The ground reality

While test-drives have become common in these places, the people have not yet adjusted to it. Research conducted by British luxury car maker Land Rover shows that 63% of people mistrust the concept of driverless cars. They are programmed to drive conservatively. While under the right conditions, it can eliminate aspects of human error and unpredictability like speeding, texting, drunken driving, when they move along with human drivers, the same unpredictability can confuse the autonomous cars. This could lead to accidents as well as a general mistrust over the technology. In March 2018, a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 operating in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman named Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona. It is clear from regular reporting of accidents that happen during test-drives that autonomous car technology has a long way to go. Even after succeeding to avoid accidents, self-driven cars will have to face more than a decade long transition period, where humans have to accept this technology as well as give up driving.

This blog was written by our Content Writing Intern – Rona Sara George. Click on the name to view her LinkedIn profile.

Author: Xaltius (Rona Sara George)

This content is not for distribution. Any use of the content without intimation to its owner will be considered as violation.

{ENHANCING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE THROUGH AI}

This tech-talk was organized by NULAB wherein a set of four speakers talked about data science and its importance in the business. Ranging from things like jupyter notebooks to AutoML, the series of talks gave the audience a broad insight into what is used today.

Xaltius talked about a very hot topic required and growing in the market today – enhancing customer experience using Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Using a customer journey map the topic walked through how to understand the pain points of a customer, where AI fits in to address these pain points and how AI can be used broadly across different domains.

We want to thank NULAB for giving us this opportunity to speak.

If you are interested to conduct such workshops and talks for your institution, please get in touch with us

{DATA STORYTELLING}

Businesses today collect a tremendous amount of data and this is only going to increase in the coming few years. It has become pivotal for businesses to make sense of the data on an on-going basis through interactive data visualizations. Data visualization expert Stephen Few says, “Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice. Any insight worth sharing is probably best shared as a data story.”

Xaltius hosted its first workshop on Data Storytelling which took participants through the story of how to work with data and tell a story around it such that business insights could be derived and be made more explainable.

The workshop engaged participants in a hands-on session with data wrangling, data manipulation and data visualization using real retail data. Data visualization was done on Tableau wherein the participants were exposed to the fundamentals of Tableau including measures, dimensions, calculated fields among many others.

The participants enjoyed the hands-on tremendously and created some wonderful visualizations.

If you are interested to conduct such workshops and talks for your institution, please get in touch with us

{DESIGN THINKING} – {FROM IDEA TO PROTOTYPE}

Xaltius is very passionate about helping budding coders and enthusiasts. The ‘Idea to Prototype’ event was conducted by Xaltius in conjunction with Code For Asia.

In any product design journey, the first significant step is to really think about the problem at hand and work your way towards designing a realistic prototype. This is what is called ‘Design Thinking’. The process involves team based participation, brainstorming, making paper prototypes and ultimately an app which resembles the final product through which one can tell the story of the solution.

Through this 6 hour hands-on workshop, the participants were taken through the journey of design thinking, given the opportunity to work with real problem statements, design low fidelity prototypes and lastly a replica of the final app using MarvelApp. This enabled them to comprehensively understand the process behind any prototype/product design.

We would like to thank our partners, Code For Asia, for giving us the opportunity to conduct this workshop.

If you are interested to conduct such workshops and talks for your institution, please get in touch with us

THE CHANGING FACE OF TECHNOLOGY

As time moves on, technology strives to make human lives faster and better. With how the technology is moving nowadays, it seems as if anything – from a personal robot that can be your friend/maid to driverless cars – is possible. Artificial intelligence is being embraced by the masses, enabling them to live hassle free lives.

Artificial Intelligence and the common man

Although thought capable artificial beings have appeared in fiction from the early ages, the formal and academic advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) began in the 1900s. Now, almost everyone who owns a smart phone (which is more than 80% of USA) experiences a certain amount of AI in their lives. It has already touched virtually all parts of our lives. Technical giants like IBM and Google are making the most out of technology by spending billions on manufacturing their own chips which are optimized for Artificial Intelligence. IBM’s Watson, which is involved in cancer research, is an excellent example of AI development. This cloud based intelligence has access to huge amounts of data, which it uses to perform analysis.

Are personal robots becoming a reality?

At this year’s Consumer Electric Show held at Las Vegas, big manufacturers put up their products for show, allowing the public a glimpse of their latest technology. The most promising one was Aeolus, a humanoid prototype robot which fetches things from other rooms and vacuums. Other robots like LG’s CLOI, Sophia and Kuri made their presence felt. But their (primitive) working convinced the reporters that a robotic personal butler is a viable option only in the far future.

Everybody’s personal assistant is already here!

Alexa and Siri have become common household names. The phrase ‘Hey Google’ is equally common, if not more. Smart virtual assistants are penetrating our personal and professional domains. Switching off lights and locking doors are fast becoming non-physical tasks, with only a command to our smartphone completing the task. Internet of Things – IoT (or Internet of Everything) enables physical objects to be connected to each other through the internet. Business Insider further suggests that by 2020, more than 24 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be installed all over the world. Today, virtual personal assistants are present in speakers and smartphones. But in a few years, it will take over other machines like TV, refrigerator among other things.

Driverless cars in the making

From all the newspaper reports in the past months, one can conclude that automatic cars that can navigate and park themselves are fast becoming a reality. Big players like Tesla, Uber and Google’s Waymo along with traditional firms like Toyota are spending huge amounts of money on creating the perfect automatic car that can completely take over the driving task while also monitoring the road for obstacles under specific traffic and weather conditions. Google wishes to start a self-driving ride-hailing service on the road by the end of this year. California witnesses, on a regular basis, Apple’s self-driving cars driving down the road. These are currently under tests. Uber predicts that such cars will be commercially available in 2030.

Revolution in Multiple fronts

Cloud computing has enabled companies like Netflix and Sling to shake the entertainment industry. With 4G networks being immensely successful, online streaming has crossed all bounds; with people ready to binge watch almost anything that garners their attention.

On the other hand, biometric security has undergone many changes, from Apple’s fingerprint recognition to facial recognition. Phones as well as buildings and computers are coming up with facial/eye recognition systems that increase the security.

3D printing is making the rounds in certain markets. John Kawola, President of Ultimaker North America, manufacturer of some of the most respected desktop 3D printers on the market told ZD Net that “Many auto manufacturers are using next-gen technology like 3D printing to drive efficiency. Volkswagen Autoeuropa is a great example. The company turned to desktop 3D printing to create custom tools and jigs that are used daily on the assembly line, replacing an old process that required outsourcing and long lead times.” Very inexpensive 3D printers, hobbyist and enthusiast 3D printers are available in the $500 range, while desktop professional 3D printers are present within the three to five thousand of dollar range.

Exciting future ahead

While Artificial Intelligence is creating waves in today’s world, constant research and studies is being done into creating new technologies and improvements. New technologies will not only be more powerful and fundamentally different, but it will also take the general public time to catch up to it. We are nearing a ‘fantasy’ age, almost similar to the atmosphere of the once popular show-‘ The Jetsons’. With the way things are going, it is important for us to stay ahead and up to date with the tech world. Getting left behind will be a poor decision.

This blog was written by our Content Writing Intern – Rona Sara George. Click on the name to view her LinkedIn profile.

Author: Xaltius (Rona Sara George)

This content is not for distribution. Any use of the content without intimation to its owner will be considered as violation.

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