Argo.ai and Carnegie Mellon to found driverless vehicle research center

25Jun - by aiuniverse - 0 - In Uncategorized

Source:- venturebeat.com

Argo.ai, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based driverless car startup founded by former executives from Google’s and Uber’s autonomous technology divisions, today announced that it’s teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University to form a new center for autonomous vehicle research: the aptly named Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research.

Argo.ai says it’ll pledge $15 million over five years to fund faculty leaders and support graduate students conducting studies in pursuit of their doctorates. Additionally, the company says it’ll provide Carnegie Mellon students engaged in autonomous vehicle research access to data, infrastructure, and platforms like Argoverse, a curated corpus of more than 300,000 vehicle trajectories and 290 kilometers of recorded road lanes.

In a blog post, Argo.ai principal scientist and associate professor at Carnegie Mellon Deva Ramanan said that the Center will investigate smart sensor fusion, 3D scene understanding, urban scene simulation, map-based perception, imitation and reinforcement learning, behavioral prediction, and software validation as they relate to driverless vehicle technology. More broadly, it’ll pursue projects to help self-driving cars overcome hurdles like such as winter weather or construction zones, and Ramanan expects its work will “spur engagements” on topics like safety policy and ethics.

“While the team at [Argo.ai] sees a pathway to achieve initial commercialization opportunities for self-driving technology, there are still advancements required to be able to perceive and navigate autonomously in the most complex, open conditions with dramatically lower compute power,” wrote Ramanan, who added that all of the Center’s findings will be reported in open scientific literature. “And until we’re able to do so at scale, the visionary benefits that have been spelled out for society won’t be achieved.”

Ramanan will serve as the Center’s faculty leader along with Simon Lucey, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute specializing in computer vision. The team’s other founding members include John Dolan, David Held, and Jeff Schneider.

“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Argo.ai to shape the future of self-driving technologies,” said Carnegie Mellon president Farnam Jahanian. “This investment allows our researchers to continue to lead at the nexus of technology and society, and to solve society’s most pressing problems. Together, Argo.ai and [Carnegie Mellon] will accelerate critical research in autonomous vehicles while building on the momentum of [Carnegie Mellon’s] culture of innovation.”

The Center follows on the heels of Argo.ai’s existing collaboration with Carnegie Mellon and Georgia Tech, but it’s worth noting it’s not the first of its kind. Intel last October announced that it would launch an Institute for Automated Mobility in Arizona, which will combine three state universities; the Departments of Transportation, Public Safety, and Commerce; and companies working on automated cars, trucks, and drones.

Argo has a close relationship with Ford, which in February 2017 said it would invest $1 billion in the startup over the next five years to help it achieve its goal of producing a self-driving vehicle fleet by 2021. This made Ford the company’s largest shareholder and enabled Argo to hire 200 additional employees, many of whom were Ford employees working in the R&D department on a virtual driver system.

Autonomous hardware and software stacks remain Argo’s core projects, along with the high-definition road maps and virtual driver system that will eventually slot into Ford’s self-driving vehicles. Ford has previously said it intends to launch a self-driving taxi and delivery service by 2021.

A.T. Kearney: Get used to competing in digital disorder era

But the global management consulting firm predicted in a report that by 2030, a new digital era will emerge. The trajectory of the global regulatory environment for technology as well as the extent to which the Internet remains open or balkanized will determine the contours of this period.

To be positioned for the future digital era, businesses must engage in a strategic digital transformation. A.T. Kearney’s Score framework presents a road map for this process.

A.T. Kearney said there are different possible futures, with fears growing about a new “digital cold war” and the “splinternet,” where the Internet becomes more balkanized. This is forcing companies around the world to shift strategies on everything from procurement to customer engagement.

In a new report by A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council, Competing in an Age of Digital Disorder, the firm said that companies can no longer be passive observers of the digital revolution.

Instead, they must actively adapt to the present disorder while also preparing for the future digital order by embarking on strategic end-to-end digital transformations.

Much attention is focused on the “techlash” nature of new policies on key  issues such as consumer privacy, data protection, and anti-competitive practices. But many governments are now seeking to strike a balance in policies that both maximize digital’s upsides and mitigate its downsides as they prepare to regulate the digital environment for the first time. Whether those
governments are able to deftly strike such a balance will influence companies’ ability to use digital technologies effectively in the coming years.

“This cycle of innovation, adoption, and then regulation is consistent with  previous waves of technological change,” says Paul Laudicina, chairman of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the report, in a statement. “Today, the intense regulatory debate regarding digital technologies is creating a high degree of uncertainty about how the policy environment will evolve.”

After providing a richly researched background on the opportunities and pressure points facing societies, governments, and businesses in this period of digital disorder, the study then offers four scenarios for the digital order that will emerge.

The scenarios are based on two political uncertainties that are unfolding:

  • Regulatory activity. The extent to which governments in key markets around the world impose new regulations on technology companies and the use of digital technologies more broadly
  • Digital environment. The extent to which the digital economy is a globalized whole, characterized by extensive cross-border digital flows, or an islandized environment, fragmented into different country-level or regional blocs

“These scenarios are designed to be compelling and plausible visions of the future that challenge and test executives’ capacity to anticipate and plan for their companies’ digital strategies in the coming years,” said Erik Peterson, managing director of the Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the study, in a statement. “In fact, some aspects of these scenarios, such as the
emergence of a digital ‘cold war’ between major global powers and early indications of a ‘splinternet,’ are already playing out in various markets around the world.”

Finally, the study argues that companies cannot be simply spectators of the ongoing digital revolution. Instead, executives will need to guide their organizations through strategic digital transformations across a variety of business functions.

“Companies must adapt to the emerging digital order across strategy, customer experience, operations, risk management and compliance, and employees and culture—our Score framework,” said Courtney Rickert McCaffrey, manager of thought leadership for the Global Business Policy Council and co-author of the study, in a statement. “To compete in the 21st-century digital economy, companies must embark on end-to-end digital transformation in all SCORE

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