Waymo recently released via Youtube a lecture on “Waymo Driver,” the company’s fifth-generation robocar platform.

Presented by YooJung Ahn, head of design at Waymo, the video clip shares the new platform’s basic design ideas.

Some observers speculate that Waymo has amalgamated CPUs (i.e. Intel’s Xeon), GPUs (i.e. Nvidia) or FPGAs, in addition to Google’s own TensorFlow-based accelerators. It’s possible that Waymo designed its own highly optimized custom silicon to offload certain workloads, Rich noted.

Ahn in her presentation disclosed only two things about Waymo’s compute engine: 1) It’s custom designed, and 2) while offering “even more powerful” compute power, the compute engine’s volume is now “successfully reduced,” providing more trunk space. (Translation: On previous platforms, Waymo’s robocar depended on a server-like computer unit that occupied pretty much the whole truck.)

Lex Fridman interviews Anca Dragan, a professor at Berkeley, working on human-robot interaction — algorithms that look beyond the robot’s function in isolation, and generate robot behavior that accounts for interaction and coordination with human beings.

OUTLINE:
0:00 – Introduction
2:26 – Interest in robotics
5:32 – Computer science
7:32 – Favorite robot
13:25 – How difficult is human-robot interaction?
32:01 – HRI application domains
34:24 – Optimizing the beliefs of humans
45:59 – Difficulty of driving when humans are involved
1:05:02 – Semi-autonomous driving
1:10:39 – How do we specify good rewards?
1:17:30 – Leaked information from human behavior
1:21:59 – Three laws of robotics
1:26:31 – Book recommendation
1:29:02 – If a doctor gave you 5 years to live…
1:32:48 – Small act of kindness
1:34:31 – Meaning of life

Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary of General Motors, revealed its first vehicle to operate without a human driver, the Cruise Origin.

The vehicle, which lacks a steering wheel and pedals, is designed to be more spacious and passenger-friendly than typical self-driving cars.

Cruise says the electric vehicle will be deployed as part of a ride-hailing service, but declined to say when that might be. 

Siraj Raval gets back to inspiring people to get into AI and pokes fun at himself.

Almost exactly 4 years ago I decided to dedicate my life to helping educate the world on Artificial Intelligence. There were hardly any resources designed for absolute beginners and the field was dominated by PhDs. In 2020, thanks to the extraordinary contributions of everyone in this community, all that has changed. It’s easier than ever before to enter into this field, even without an IT background. We’ve seen brave entrepreneurs figure out how to deploy this technology to save lives (medical imaging, automated diagnosis) and accelerate Science (AlphaFold). We’ve seen algorithmic advances (deepfakes) and ethical controversies (automated surveillance) that shocked the world. The AI field is now a global, cross-cultural movement that’s not limited to academics alone. And that’s something all of us should be proud of, we’re all apart of this. I’ve packed a lot into this episode! I’ll give my annual lists of the best ML language and libraries to learn this year, how to learn ML in 2020, as well as 8 predictions about where this field is headed. I had a lot of fun making this, so I hope you enjoy it!

As millions of Americans hit the roads today for Thanksgiving travel, I wonder how different it would be if self-driving cars were the norm.

CNBC explores the current state of self-driving cars.

More companies are trying to bring self-driving cars to the masses than ever before, but a truly autonomous vehicle still doesn’t exist. It’s not clear if, or when, our driverless future will arrive. Where exactly are we with self-driving cars, and when can we expect them to be a part of our daily lives? 

I know that after my experience last week, that I am ready for a world of self-driving cars. Oddly enough, just last week, Waymo rolled out a driverless taxi service called Waymo One in Arizona. The company has been operating self-driving cars, occasionally without safety drivers behind the wheel, for about a year and half now.

The goal is to use all the data they have collected to make Waymo’s autonomous vehicles the safest drivers on the road. Andrew Hawkins from The Verge went down to Chandler, Arizona for a test ride.