Notes from the field: the ever-changing autonomous vehicle narrative

Work Truck Show 2020 day 1

It’s been fascinating to watch how the autonomous vehicle narrative has changed over the past year or so. Not so long ago a legion experts, many of whom were not entirely coincidentally connected to the VC-Startup complex, were predicting that 2020 was set to be the year in which self-driving cars and trucks finally arrived. Now, according to predictions by those who think they know best, it will take at least another decade before the true age of autonomy explodes.

Given that there already well over a billion vehicles on the road and the political complexity of pushing through new legislation and regulation, it is more likely that the transition to autonomy will take much longer than a single decade. It’s also probable that there will be multiple bursts in different categories rather than a single big bang. Continue reading Notes from the field: the ever-changing autonomous vehicle narrative

Notes from the field: from Jiuwufeng to Elephant Mountain

jiuwufeng to Elephant Mountain

Definitely a tad cooler on the Four Beasts this morning – though not enough to prevent me from sweating buckets for most of the hike. Even after thirty years in Taiwan, my body has never quite been able to adjust to the humid climate.

Today’s hike took me up to Jiuwufeng and then on to Elephant Mountain. Between the two peaks is a delightful little shrine nestled below Muzhi Mountain. It’s dedicated to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and a host of other Buddhist and Daoist deities. Many people stop there to pray with an incense stick before going on their way. It’s one of my favorite spots along the trail. Continue reading Notes from the field: from Jiuwufeng to Elephant Mountain

Notes from the field: Cuifeng Lake in Taipingshan

Cuifeng Lake

Perhaps I was just imagining it, but the temperature on the climb up Jiuwufeng was slightly cooler than usual this morning. Here’s hoping that this marks the end of what has been an extremely hot summer this year in Taiwan. Let’s see. Thank goodness for air conditioning – quite possibly the greatest invention in human history.

I assume that the weather must be nice and cool at Cuifeng Lake (翠峰湖), another of the main attractions in the Taipingshan National Forest Area (平山國家森林遊樂區). About a forty-five minute drive from Taipingshan Villa, this is the defined as the largest high-mountain lake in Taiwan. During the rainy season it can reportedly cover an area of up to 25 hectares – though it was a lot smaller than that when we visited it. Continue reading Notes from the field: Cuifeng Lake in Taipingshan

Notes from the field: bringing AI to life with the VIA Pixetto vision sensor

As Artificial Intelligence becomes increasingly embedded in our daily lives, it’s never been more important for schools worldwide to equip their students with a theoretical and practical knowledge of how the technology works and how it can be applied.

Our goal with VIA Pixetto, which we officially launched yesterday, is to make it easy for teachers to bring AI to life and fun for students to learn about the subject. To give you an idea of the possibilities the platform enables for teaching and learning AI, we’ve already posted a number of sample tutorials on the VIA Pixetto website and will continue to add to them in the future. Continue reading Notes from the field: bringing AI to life with the VIA Pixetto vision sensor

Notes from the field: AI summer camp Qinxian Junior High School in Jiufen

AI summer camp

How to inspire interest in AI among school students? My visit this morning to Qinxian Junior High School in Jiufen to attend the opening of an AI summer camp being held there provided some interesting answers to this question.

Thanks to the outstanding work of Professor Zhang Yushan of National Taiwan Normal University and his team, students were given the opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience in AI by participating in a number of awesome projects combining the computer vision and machine learning capabilities of VIA Pixetto with the interactive digital smarts of Arduino. Continue reading Notes from the field: AI summer camp Qinxian Junior High School in Jiufen

Notes from the field: ancient cypress and Chinese hemlock trees at Taipingshan

Taipingshan

The Taiwan tourist industry has experienced quite a boom thanks to the restrictions on international travel resulting from Covid19. Ironically, this has meant that formerly sleepy backwaters like Taidong, Penghu, and Jiaoxi have been so swamped with visitors that the peace and calm they were once known for have been snuffed out by the noise of the traffic and crowds.

I was lucky enough to make it out to the hot spring resort of Jiaoxi (礁溪)before the boom really took off. Despite recent efforts by the county government to spruce it up, it’s not a particularly attractive town but it does provide a convenient starting point for excursions to nearby attractions in Yilan County. Continue reading Notes from the field: ancient cypress and Chinese hemlock trees at Taipingshan

Notes from the field: a regular exercise regime

regular exercise regime

We’ve been very lucky that we’ve had very few restrictions to our daily lives in Taiwan as a result of Covid19, apart from the very minor inconvenience of having to wear masks on public transport. The biggest change for me has been the lack of international travel. I can’t remember the last time I’ve spent more than four months in one place without having to step on a plane.

Not that I’m complaining about that. The reverse in fact. It feels good to have much greater control of my schedule rather than having it governed by the demands of the next flight. So much of my time and energy was spent on traveling or preparing for trips that I put a lot of personal and business issues on the backburner. The past few months in Taiwan have given me the chance to address them. Continue reading Notes from the field: a regular exercise regime

Introducing the VIA Mobile360 AI Forklift Safety Kit

Warehouses and logistics hubs have never been busier as they scramble to meet accelerating demand for home and office deliveries as a result of Covid19. Ensuring the safety of staff amid the relentless pressure to fulfill the avalanche of orders can be a huge challenge. It only takes a momentary loss of concentration by someone inadvertently stepping in front of a forklift to cause a serious injury and thousands of dollars of damage to the goods it’s transporting.

Our aim with the new VIA Mobile360 AI Forklift Safety Kit is to harness the power of Computer Vision and AI technologies is to enable warehouse managers to prevent such accidents from happening. With real-time 360° SVS (Surround View System) video and DMOD (Dynamic Moving Object Detection) capabilities, the kit enables forklift operators to identify potential safety threats such as the unexpected arrival of another person or vehicle within a close range in time to take appropriate action to avert a collision. Continue reading Introducing the VIA Mobile360 AI Forklift Safety Kit

Accelerating AI education in schools with VIA Pixetto

Accelerating AI learning

There can be little doubt that computer programming, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are becoming more important than ever in education, and a crucial form of literacy for the next generation of school children. But inspiring young people to engage with this complex world of often daunting technology can be far from easy.

To meet this challenge, VIA is bringing the VIA Pixetto vision sensor to market. With a host of in-built vision sensor features, support for visual block programming, and an easy-to-use Machine Learning Accelerator, it provides the ideal platform for accelerating AI education in schools. Continue reading Accelerating AI education in schools with VIA Pixetto

Setting up the VIA Fleet Cloud Management Portal in Five Easy Steps

fleet cloud management portal

Cloud-connected dash cams like the VIA Mobile360 D700 enable centralized data collection and provide a comprehensive overview of the status of a vehicle fleet from any location with an internet connection. This connectedness gives fleet managers the tools they need to monitor vehicles and drivers on the road, as well as the data to analyze routes and driver behavior. The combination of these tools allows fleet managers to deploy their vehicles more efficiently, improve safety, and reduce liability.

One of the main goals of the VIA Fleet Cloud Management Portal is to make capturing, compiling, and accessing mission-critical vehicle and driver data generated by the D700 as convenient and fast as possible. Its features include live tracking of both vehicles and drivers, a dashboard that displays key fleet, vehicle, and driver statistics, and trip histories of vehicles and drivers. Continue reading Setting up the VIA Fleet Cloud Management Portal in Five Easy Steps