Uber’s Recent Collision, Its Impact On The Future Of Autonomous Vehicles, And The Machine Vision Technology That Powers The Industry

In the wake of what is likely the first occurrence of its kind, Uber Technologies Inc. has decided to halt its field testing of autonomous vehicles in cities like, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto, and Phoenix after one of its autonomous vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. It has been reported that the pedestrian stepped in front of the autonomous vehicle suddenly, which will likely take focus as authorities continue investigating the incident that occurred Sunday night.

A photo of an autonomous vehicle owned by Uber.

Uber Has Halted All Field Testing On Public Roads.

What is known at this point is that the woman had crossed the street outside of a crosswalk when she was struck. The autonomous vehicle did have a human safety driver supervising inside the cabin of the vehicle, who said the incident occurred “like a flash”. The supervisor also reported their first indication of the collision was the sounds of the collision itself. Some experts following the industry closely expressed significant alarm when it was revealed no braking or swerving maneuvers were enacted to avoid the collision. The incident took place around 10 pm local time, at which point the pedestrian was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries. According to local authorities, Uber is cooperating fully with the Tempe Police Department during the investigation.

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Machine Vision Components And Applications In Production Processes

Easily one of the most mundane and repetitive of tasks, picking and sorting of objects is activity few humans look forward to with great elation. However, the tedious nature of the task is a prime candidate for automation using robotics. Beyond the obvious hardware that it takes for a robot to operate within the confines of a designated task, a less obvious one, machine vision, acts as a critical component of efficient robotic sorting. The technologies involved with machine vision, sensing, and object interaction are already being used by robots with great success on the International Space Station in completing even complex tasks, semi-autonomously.

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Space Robots, Machine Vision, And Object Interaction

With the successful launch and reentry of Tesla’s Falcon Heavy rocket, now is an excellent opportunity to talk about robots, machine vision, and their roles in expanding space research and exploration.

a still of the starman mannequin and tesla roadster with earth in the background from the SpaceX.com live feed..

A Stunning View Of Earth Captured Following The Falcon Heavy Launch. Photograph: SpaceX.com Live Feed.

Space robots. Emulated after us in terms of morphology and size, they are superior to industrial robots when it comes to versatility and capability. While right now they may not look as advanced or operate as nimbly as their representations in sci-fi features from the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, that gap is quickly shrinking. Taking on repairs and other tasks deemed too dangerous for astronauts, these specialized robots are the obvious candidates for many of the precarious activities taking place beyond the relative comfort of Earth.

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