Notes from the field: learning AI with the VIA Pixetto visual sensor

VIA Pixetto

It was a great pleasure to visit the prestigious Taipei Municipal Renai Junior High School last Friday to learn about the program the institution has developed to educate its students about advanced technologies like AI.

The goal of the program, as the school principal emphasized during his presentation, goes beyond simply teaching students narrow technical skills such as how to code or build a robot. Its overall objective is to provide a holistic framework for students to improve their critical thinking and problem solving abilities so that they can harness technology tools to make a greater contribution to society. Continue reading Notes from the field: learning AI with the VIA Pixetto visual sensor

notes from the field: enabling new last-mile services with autonomous delivery vehicles

last-mile services

Autonomous delivery vehicles have the potential to be much more than a replacement or extension of existing delivery services. With a powerful computing system inside them, they will be able to go beyond simply transporting goods or meals from a logistics hub to a consumer’s home to providing a wealth of new last-mile services that improve convenience, security, and health for individual consumers and the community at large.

In addition to core navigation and safety functionality such as 360° surround view video, long and short-range radar, and LiDAR, autonomous delivery vehicles will be able to support a huge selection of additional features and applications to meet individual and community needs – such as facial recognition to ensure that the right person is picking up the delivery and even thermal sensors for scanning the temperature of workers and other people who come close to the vehicle. Continue reading notes from the field: enabling new last-mile services with autonomous delivery vehicles

Notes from the field: when will autonomous delivery vehicles become a commonplace sight?

Autonomous delivery vehicles

How long will it be before autonomous delivery vehicles become a commonplace sight on the streets of our towns and cities?

Perhaps this will happen much sooner than many people think. Demand for such devices looks set to explode as delivery and logistics companies look to reduce operational costs and expand the range and convenience of the services they offer without having to hire additional drivers. According to a recent AutoSens blog article, there are already over thirty companies providing autonomous delivery solutions in China – with many more expected to pile into the market. In the US, a growing number of retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Lowes, and Target have also started testing autonomous deliveries using vehicles from the likes Nuro, Ford, and Waymo. Continue reading Notes from the field: when will autonomous delivery vehicles become a commonplace sight?

Notes from the field: promising new seeds of mobility?

new seeds of mobility

It’s hard to be optimistic when it comes to predicting how the mobility market will develop as more and more countries gradually emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown.

One key question is whether the traditional auto industry will be able to recover from its catastrophic drop in sales once people are allowed to hit the road again. The fragile state of the global economy and the growing popularity of remote working practices and on-demand grocery and meal delivery services suggest that achieving a recovery will be challenging to put it mildly. In the short term at least, it’s likely that auto makers will have to put a lot of long-term development projects on hold as they grapple with today’s grim economic realities. Continue reading Notes from the field: promising new seeds of mobility?

Notes from the field: it’s only in the cold of winter

cold of winter

Given the turbulent times that Confucius lived in, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that there are plenty of passages in the Analects that resonate with the difficult times that we ourselves are experiencing.

The one I find most resonant is in 9.28, were Confucius quotes an ancient saying: “It’s only in the cold of winter that you realize that the pines and cypresses are the last to wither.” The key point he is making is that it is only when tough times arrive that people reveal their true character. While it’s all too easy to prosper in the soft warmth of summer without any real effort, it’s a lot more difficult to make it through the harsh cold of winter. Continue reading Notes from the field: it’s only in the cold of winter