Science Fiction
Dictionary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

No Autonomous Trucks? Wait, What?

Starsky Robotics' autonomous truck made its driverless rounds less than a year ago, as shown in this video:

But in a surprising announcement, founder Stefan Seltz-Axmacher has stated that investors weren't willing to put the resources necessary into public safety:

While competitors expended effort adding machine learning-based features such as enabling trucks to change lanes on their own, Seltz-Axmacher said he threw resources into safety engineering. The company was the first autonomous trucking company to submit a Voluntary Safety Self Assessment to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

But a problem emerged: that safety focus didn’t excite investors. Venture capitalists, Seltz-Axmacher said, had trouble grasping why the company expended massive resources preparing, validating and vetting his system, then preparing a backup system, before the initial unmanned test run. That work essentially didn’t matter when he went in search of more funding.

“There’s not a lot of Silicon Valley companies that have shipped safety-critical products,” he said. “They measured progress on interesting features.”

...supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype. It isn’t actual artificial intelligence akin to C-3PO, it’s a sophisticated pattern-matching tool.

“The VCs started to realize early last year that something was amiss in the autonomous industry,” he tells Automotive News. “They’re putting a lot of money in, and they’re not getting anything out.”

The big problem with edge cases, unlikely events which still occur to all drivers, is that they seemingly require more resources to deal with that aren't necessary in 99.99% of driving - which as we all know is mind-numbingly boringly repetitive.

After an initial period of excitement, it looks like we won't be getting autonomous trucks except in highly controlled environments, like mining trucks.

I'm disappointed, having read about them so long ago in Autofac, the 1955 classic story on nanotechnology by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.

The truck was massive, rumbling under its tightly packed load. In many ways, it resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin. The horizontal surface was a loading stage, and the part that would normally be the headlights and radiator grill was a fibrous spongelike mass of receptors, the limited sensory apparatus of this mobile utility extension.
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's autonomous trucks - with pictures!

Via Jalopnik and Automotive News (subscription only).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/3/2020)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.' - Isaac Asimov, 1951

First Boring Passenger Station In Las Vegas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.' - Isaac Asimov, 1951

Tesla's 20,000 Superchargers
''To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...' - John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...' - Kenneth Brown, 1911.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Implantable Covid-Detecting Microchip Developed By DARPA
'Employees... were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

SpaceX Requests Starlink For Starship
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets.'

SF Writers Predicted John Deere Autonomous Tractors
'The huge plow... seemed to shake itself - and began to move back southward.'

DARPA Funding AI Fighter Pilots
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

StoryFile To Help William Shatner Become Landru
"I am Landru. I am he! All that he was, I am."

Telehealth Drones To The Rescue
'A shadow passed over him, and he looked up.'

Capture Asteroids In A Bag
'... just as a small boy catches a swift ball in his cap.'

Sony Pocket Air Conditioner Is Phil Dick's Idea!
'... he went to the hall closet to get his pith helmet and his mandatory cooling-unit.'

Is It Possible To GROW Planes And Vehicles?
'These are your rudimentary seed packages...'

Guard Dog Robot Security Check
'We still use people at the main gates, but here it's an automated sentry.'

Sheepskin Parchment Helped Medieval Lawyers Prevent Fraud
'The single sheet he held, and even the words and signatures upon it, were all integral parts of a single giant molecule...'

Space 'Hurricane' Has Been Seen
'... it was the biggest of the four hundred odd storms raging in the Fifty Suns region.'

PR2 Fencing Robot Perfect For Kwisatz Haderach-in-training
'Now, we'll work on your timing. Let me see you catch that thing sinister.'

Sole Morphing Astronaut Boots - A New Pair Of Moon Boots?
'It’s an ideal device for kangarooing along in lunar gravity.'

Mice Gestate In Mechanical Womb
'... in the Decanting Room, the newly-unbottled babes uttered their first yell of horror and amazement.'

3rd Century BC Gold Bee Is Just The Start
Bees knees, I order you to freeze!

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.