Self Driving Vehicles From Toyota at Olympics

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Self-Driving Vehicles From Toyota at Olympics

Toyota will deploy some 3,700 vehicles, including self-driving buses and mobility products at next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, nearly all of them electrified, including a futuristic self-driving pod car that will escort the Olympic torch and lead the marathon race.

From an article in Ad Age by Hans Greimel.

The so-called Concept-i will be a working version of a concept first unveiled in 2017. Toyota said the vehicle will demonstrate Level 4 autonomous driving ability and “agent conversation” technology, which uses artificial intelligence to “understand” and interact with humans.

It was unclear whether the Concept-i will be driving itself during its torch and marathon duties.

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Virtual Testing of Lidar Sensors in CarMaker V8

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Virtual Testing of Lidar Sensors

IPG Automotive has launched version 8.0 of its CarMaker virtual testing suite with newly integrated of Lidar raw signal interface (RSI). The lidar RSI is a physical sensor model based on ray tracing that enables detailed modeling of lidar sensors. With this latest addition, users now have access to virtual models of all physical sensor technologies in the simulation solution.

From an article in Automotive Testing Technology International by Rachel Evans.

A lidar determines the distance to its surrounding objects by measuring the time of flight. CarMaker version 8.0 enables virtual modeling and individual definition of specific lidar properties using a variety of parameters. This allows users to define the mounting position and orientation, cycle time or transmission power, for instance, and even the beam pattern. In addition, it is possible to model rotating lidar systems for 360 surround view.

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Waymo Database Access for Academic Research

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Waymo Database Access

Academic researchers have now been granted access to the Waymo database, amassed by its fleet of self-driving cars.

The move is a way to “give back to the community,” says Drago Anguelov, Waymo’s head of research, “not an admission in any way that we have problems” that the company can’t solve on its own. Deadlines for self-driving cars have come and gone, and though Waymo still seems clearly in the lead, the advent of absolutely driverless cars still appears many years away.

Waymo’s competitors are free to register and look at the data set, so long as they don’t use it to build commercial self-driving cars. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Cloud, computer vision, Consumer, Data, Deep Learning, driverless vehicles, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, Mapping, point clouds, Research, Software | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phoenix Can Wirelessly Power Your Lidar Sensor

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Spark Connected’s Phoenix

Spark Connected’s new solution named Phoenix, is designed and engineered to wirelessly power LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) applications.

DALLAS, Aug. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Spark Connected, a leading technology developer of advanced and innovative wireless power system solutions, today announced a proprietary high-performance wireless power solution, named The Phoenix designed and engineered for LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) applications.

From self-driving autonomous vehicles to automated services robots in residential to floor robots in connected factories (Industry 4.0), LiDAR can be used to measure distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor and thereby creating a 3D map for the application to operate.

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Norfolk Naval Shipyard Employs 3D Laser Scanning

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Norfolk Naval Shipyard Goes 3D

Although they have only worked at Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for less than 10 months, two employees are already involved in the future of innovative technologies in America’s Shipyard.

From an article in Naval Sea Systems Command.

Code 268 Engineering Technician Jason Ewick and Code 2340 Assist Shift Test Engineer (ASTE) Joey Hoellerich were brought into the NNSY Technology and Innovation (T&I) Lab, a group dedicated to bringing the real ideas and technologies of the shipyard to the forefront. With their arrival to the team, both were given the unique opportunity to share knowledge with Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS&IMF), using laser scanning to provide accurate measurements for shipboard work.

“The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) was at NNSY in years past, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) brought Puget Sound representatives to our shipyard to use their laser scanning technology to cut off all added material from four sponsons onboard the vessel,” said NNSY T&I Lab Lead Dan Adams. Sponsons are the projections extending from both sides of the watercraft to provide protection, stability, mounting locations, etc. “During the time, we observed the process and wanted to learn what we could from our sister shipyard team.”

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First BVLOS Drone Flight Maps Trans-Alaska Pipeline

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First BVLOS Drone Flight Maps Trans-Alaska Pipeline Image Credit: Enrico Blasutto

To date, flight beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) has been tested with visual ground observers or in an “extended line of sight” scenario – one that may require as much staff as flight within visual line of sight. This week in Alaska, however, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) moved forward with a ground-breaking, first BVLOS flight – one that demonstrated the true value of long-range drone operations for inspections of critical infrastructure.

From an article in DRONELIFE by Miriam McNabb.

The mission was an almost four mile linear inspection of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. The University of Alaska team and Alyeska Pipeline Service designed the project, which involved a hybrid electric drone made for endurance flight from Skyfront, on-board sense-and-avoid technology from Iris Automation, and ground-based, high-performance radar sensors from Echodyne.

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Posted in 3D Modeling, Business Development, BVLOS, Drones, Government, Mapping, remote sensing, Research, Sensors, Standards, Technology, The Industry, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

US FAA Drone Advisory Committee Survey

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U.S. FAA Drone Advisory Committee

The U.S. FAA Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) (PDF) is a broad-based, long-term Federal advisory committee that provides the FAA with advice on key UAS integration issues by helping to identify challenges and prioritize improvements. The committee helps to create broad support for an overall integration strategy and vision. Membership (PDF) is comprised of CEO/COO-level executives from a cross-section of stakeholders representing the wide variety of UAS interests, including industry, research and academia, retail, and technology.

All DAC meetings are open to the public, except as provided by section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). All meeting materials are publicly available subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Members of the public may present a written statement to the committee at any time. Please email the UAS Integration Office. Read comments that have been submitted to the DAC here:

2019 Comments Submitted to the DAC (as of 7/29/2019) (PDF)

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Autonomous Vehicles – Musk vs. the Rest of the World

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Tesla Autonomous Vehicles

In April, Elon Musk declared that Tesla should have over a million level 5 autonomous vehicles manufactured by 2020. To clarify, that means over a million cars equipped with the necessary hardware capable of driving with no help from a driver. That’s contingent, of course, on the software being ready. In addition, government approvals will be necessary (read: mandatory) long before self-driving Teslas will be commonplace.

This article comes via EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Posted by Matt Pressman.

In addition, Musk also sparked some lively debate when he commented that Tesla autonomous vehicles will not be relying on lidar, the laser sensor technology that self-driving cars from many other companies (most notably Google’s Waymo) currently depend on for “seeing” lines on the road, pedestrians, and more.

According to Ars Technica, autonomous vehicle (AV) industry experts continue to be at odds over which tech approach will ultimately prevail.

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Protecting Personal Privacy of Geo-location Data

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Protecting Personal Privacy at the UN

James Van Rens, Senior Vice President with RIEGL USA and Strategic Advisor for Government and Industry Relations for the RIEGL International Group, recently participated in the 9th meeting of the United Nations Global Geographic Information Management group. Discussions were held on the issue of protecting personal privacy of geolocation data.

“The role of Geospatial Data and its impact on the global community has reached a level that the UN-GGIM and world associations such as WGIC are studying its impact. For those of us in the geospatial community it is clear that we need to understand these impacts and to provide our perspective on future policies.” said Van Rens.

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Canyons of the Ancients National Monument 3D Mapped

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Canyons of the Ancients

Crow Canyon Archaeology Center and the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument looked to map Sand Canyon an ancestral Pueblo site. They knew traditional mapping would not suffice. Using UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) LiDAR technology, they received impressive results. They also made some new discoveries.

Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the culturally rich Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, USA contain a wealth of historical and environmental resources. Now a recreational hotspot, in A.D. 1240, the Pueblo community occupied the area. They constructed over 70 villages with approximately 30,000 residents. In Sand Canyon alone over 90 subterranean structures, known as ‘kivas’, were used by families as dwellings. Hundreds of years later, the preservation team were looking for a way to accurately survey this site of archaeological importance. It had been over 20 years since a survey of this calibre had been undertaken. They needed new ways to visualise the area. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, airborne LiDAR, archaeology, cultural heritage, Data, Historic Preservation, Laser Scanning, Lidar, remote sensing, Sensors, topography, UAS, UAVs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment