Non-Profit Supports UAS Public Safety Through Outreach

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Non-Profit Promotes UAS Safety

In the commercial drone world, one of the biggest risks to developing commercial UAS programs is public approval of drones. Ensuring successful relationships is something the Airborne International Response Team (AIRT) excels at. The 501(c) non-profit organization is home to DRONERESPONDERS – the world’s fastest growing program supporting public safety UAS.

With recent events in Colorado, effective outreach is becoming even more important than ever. Because their primary focus is working with the public, this is especially true for drone operators working within public safety and emergency services.

This article was originally posted January 17, 2020 on Commercial UAV News.

In 2019, AIRT DRONERESPONDERS blazed a trail through the industry developing partnerships, alliances, and generating much needed visibility surrounding the use of drones by first responders. Continue reading

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First Driverless Car Exemption Granted by U.S. DOT

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First Driverless Car Exemption

Nuro, the self-driving startup founded by two ex-Google engineers, has a new delivery robot. The R2 is the company’s second-generation vehicle, and while it looks similar to the first-generation R1 — egg-shaped, no room for a human driver, objectively cute — there is one important difference: the R2 has been granted a special exemption from federal safety requirements. making it the first driverless car to receive this certification.

From an article by Andrew J. Hawkins in The Verge.

That may sound dangerous, but it’s actually pretty significant. It gives Nuro permission to produce and test vehicles that aren’t intended for human drivers. Right now, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) require cars to have basic, human controls, like steering wheels, pedals, sideview mirrors, and so on. These standards specify how vehicles must be designed before they can be sold in the US. If a proposed new vehicle doesn’t comply with all existing FMVSS, manufacturers can apply for an exemption. But the government is allowed to grant 2,500 exemptions per company per year. Continue reading

Posted in AI, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, Business Development, Consumer, driverless vehicles, Government, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Research, Robots, Safety, Sensors, smart cities, Software, Technology, The Industry, Uncategorized, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lifelong, Intelligent, Diverse, Agile and Robust – LIDAR??

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Lifelong, Intelligent, Diverse, Agile and Robust

Now this is just what we need to confuse many people, another use of the term lidar. This one comes from work being done at Purdue University on cyber threats. Their use of Lidar comes from “lifelong, intelligent, diverse, agile and robust.”

How about confusing? All I can ask is Why?

I have struggled with the issue of not wanting to even mention this as it just publicizes the story even more, but I assume you will do a quick search and find the following story in C4ISRNET. Continue reading

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The Future of Construction from a Leader in SLAM-Based Laser Scanning

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The Future of Construction

Since the early days of the personal computer the construction industry has been slow to adopt digital technology. As a result, increases in construction productivity have lagged virtually every other major industry, such as automotive and aircraft manufacturing. It’s true that every construction project is different, unlike automobiles and planes, but we can do more to improve the future of construction.

Over the past few years the AEC industry has begun to change  through, in large part, the increased use of 3D technology in the planning, design and most recently construction of the Built Environment. The concept of developing a digital twin during the construction phase of a project which documents the as-constructed conditions is now becoming the norm as owners and governments begin to demand this information in order to more efficiently manage the long term expenses of operating a facility. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, BIM, Civil Engineering, Construction, Hardware, Indoor Mapping, Infrastructure, Inspection, Laser Scanning, Mobile LiDAR, Software, Standards, Surveying, Surveying Engineering, Technology, The Industry | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Planting Trees is not the Solution to Climate Change

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Planting Trees is Not Enough

This morning, I spoke to Pachama’s co-founder and CEO, Diego Saez Gil–a graduate of the Y combinator who brings machine learning to the complex tree planting business. Pachama ensures in brief that the planting comes to action when an organization claims that it offsets pollution by planting trees.

From an article in the Sanford Philosopher.

Saez Gil says, adding that the platform needs greater accountability for the carbon offset sector — which is gradually trading on trees. “We employ remote sensing to track and verify reports of forest carbon ventures, incorporating satellite images and Lidar information. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, Agriculture, AI, airborne LiDAR, artificial intelligence, Data, Deep Learning, Drones, Environmental, Forestry, Government, Lidar, Orgs, remote sensing, Research, Software, Surveying, UAS, UAVs, Young Geospatial Professional | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inclement Weather Not Being Addressed by AVs

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Inclement Weather Not Being Considered

In late 2018, Krzysztof Czarnecki, a professor at Canada’s University of Waterloo, built a self-driving car and trained it to navigate surrounding neighborhoods with an annotated driving data set from researchers in Germany, that was not recorded in inclement weather.

From an article in Wired by Will Knight.

The vehicle worked well enough to begin with, recognizing Canadian cars and pedestrians just as well as German ones. But then Czarnecki took the autonomous car for a spin in heavy Ontarian snow. It quickly became a calamity on wheels, with the safety driver forced to grab the wheel repeatedly to avert disaster.

Some may call this an edge case – I call it reality. Shouldn’t one design your system for the worst case scenario?

The incident highlights a gap in the development of self-driving cars: maneuvering in bad weather. To address the problem, Czarnecki and Steven Waslander, a professor at the University of Toronto, compiled a data set of images from snowy and rainy Canadian roads. It includes footage of foggy camera views, blizzard conditions, and cars sliding around, captured over two winters. The individual frames are annotated so that a machine can interpret what the scene conveys. Autonomous driving systems typically use annotated images to inform algorithms that track a car’s position and plan its route. Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, AI, AR/VR, artifical perception, artificial intelligence, Autonomous vehicles, computer vision, Data, driverless vehicles, Laser Scanning, Lidar, machine learning, point clouds, Research, Safety, Sensors, The Industry, Weather | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Solid State FMCW Lidar Sensors Mounted in Headlamps

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Solid State Lidar Chip

SiLC Technologies has been touting its solid state 4D+ Vision chip as the ideal solution for developing more effective LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles, since first introducing the tech in 2018. But after getting a better sense of the 4D+ Vision chip at CES 2020 in an actual application with Varroc Lighting Systems, it’s easier to see how the company’s vision could help drive the future of AVs.

From an article in Ride by Marcus Amick.

SiLC demonstrated the application of its 4D+ Vision chip in an automotive headlamp in partnership with Varroc Lighting Systems.
The SiLC single chip LiDAR sensor system is said to simplify the assembly and packaging for automotive applications, helping to reduce cost.
SiLC’s LIDAR chip architecture can be seamlessly embedded anywhere on a vehicle for optimal vision and safety, say company officials.
The team at SiLC Technologies have been very adamant about their belief that the company’s 4D+ Vision chip can help drive the future of autonomous vehicles. Continue reading

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Analyzing a Train Wreck with Lidar and UAV Data

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Analyzing the Scene with Lidar and UAV

It was early morning on Dec. 18, 2017, and an Amtrak passenger train was making its inaugural run between Tacoma and Portland, Oregon. As it neared a curve leading to an Interstate-5 overpass near DuPont, the train was traveling at 78 mph––50 mph over the speed limit––and the lead locomotive, along with 11 of its 14 rail cars, derailed. Analyzing the scene would have to wait as saving lives was the first priority at this accident scene.

It was 7:33 a.m. and I-5 was already teeming with commuters. The lead locomotive and three rail cars landed on I-5, causing a 14-vehicle pile-up. Three of the 77 passengers onboard the train were killed and 62 passengers and 6 crew members were injured. The initial damage was estimated to be $40 million.

From an article in Directions by Mary Jo Wagner.

Within minutes the scene was swarming with hundreds of troopers, detectives, firefighters and paramedics, all of whom had one thing on their mind: rescue.

Continue reading

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High Definition Maps – What are They?

It seems like the autonomous vehicle industry agrees that they will require high definition maps in order for the vehicle sensor packages to compare the derived location with what is supposed to be ground truth. The only problem is, nobody knows what the specification of a high definition map is supposed to be.

Continue reading

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Tu Duc Tomb First Vietnamese Site in Open Heritage

The tomb of Emperor Tu Duc of the Nguyen Dynasty has become the first Vietnamese site to be featured in Google’s Open Heritage database which is a theme in Google’s Arts and Culture project.

Photo of Part of the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (Photo by VnExpress/ Tuan Dao

Part of the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (Photo by VnExpress/ Tuan Dao)

What could be found on Open Heritage about the tomb, which has the scale of a park with lots of temples, ponds and green space in real life, are 2D and 3D photos, videos and information about how it was built, as well as Tu Duc’s history.

Tu Duc was an emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last imperial family of Vietnam (1802-1945), ruling from 1847 to 1883.

Continue reading

Posted in 3D Modeling, archaeology, art, cultural heritage, Education, Government, Historic Preservation, Laser Scanning, Lidar, Mapping, Open Source, Orgs | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment