DRIVERLESS TRUCKS * China - Are revving their engines
* China is gearing up to overhaul its road delivery with fleets of self-driving long-haul trucks
--- A number of companies are developing automation technologies that promise to lower costs, reduce accidents, and improve overall efficiency for the trucking industry by allowing drivers to make longer trips that include periods of rest... Intercity freight transportation will be a huge market in China, says Xiaodi Hou, CTO of TuSimple, a company based in San Diego and Beijing that’s developing an automated trucking platform in partnership with a large Chinese truck maker (Hou declined to name which). He says there is effectively no restriction on testing self-driving systems in China currently, and he believes the government will be supportive because it wants to see the trucking industry improve... TuSimple is collecting data aboard a number of manually driven trucks. The company aims to demonstrate the technology in the first quarter of next year, and to have a commercial demonstration in 2018... The approach TuSimple is focused on is particularly cost-effective. It relies heavily on computer vision and algorithms that can understand a scene in detail, going beyond identifying vehicles to predicting what actions they may take. “Everything is done in computer vision with deep learning,” Hou says, referring to a popular kind of machine learning that involves feeding large amounts of training data into a big neural network... China’s auto regulator said in July that it was drafting rules regarding automated vehicles, and asked that companies limit their testing until they are released. However, Hou, believe the government will ultimately be relaxed about testing and commercialization of self-driving trucks...
(Photo: A prototype automated truck developed by Foton and Baidu) -- San Diego, CAL, USA - MIT Technology Review, by Will Knight - November 16, 2016