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In this blog series, we’ll unpack the latest smart mobility news in a little more detail. Each week we’ll focus on fresh topics, covering emerging stories and research that has caught our attention.
AVs are the topic of today’s discussion – with Amazon’s driverless robotaxi fleet ready to hit the roads in California, Deep Learning technology facilitating new autonomous vehicle intelligence, and the death of the personal car. We’ll round things off with a look at how Australian communities are turning to smart city technology to improve residents’ lives, and how Wejo can help US municipalities do the same.
Another self-driving vehicle start-up, recently announced it is now testing driverless robotaxis on California public roads with passengers on board. Resembling tiny shuttles, the units have no steering wheels or pedals – with bidirectional driving capabilities operating on four-wheel steering, allowing it to change direction without reversing. The California Department of Motor Vehicles gave the go ahead for testing last week – limiting the company to transporting employees on a one-mile public stretch between two office buildings at the company’s headquarters. The DMV also stated that speeds must not exceed 35 mph.
At present, autonomous vehicles can navigate urban regions using 2D or 3D maps, but they’ve yet to interact with people on busy city streets. In the future, however, they’ll be able to weave around traffic such as buses, trains, and people. It’s all thanks to Deep Learning (a subset of Machine Learning), which can be used to complete the “scene understanding task”. According to the Springer journal, the learning approach is divided into three steps: prediction, loss, and optimization, with little loss being the ultimate goal.
It’s hard to imagine that car ownership only became such a fixture for Americans in the 20th century. In fact, it’s hard to picture an American landscape without cars. But this could all be coming to an end, as experts predict that by 2050, owning a car will be more of a luxury than a necessity. What will we be driving instead? Well, it’s possible we won’t be driving at all – the rise of the automated taxi could make traveling via Uber or Lyft a much more convenient – and affordable – way of getting around.
Wejo recently teamed up with New Statesman to host a three-part podcast series exploring the smart mobility future. In the third and final episode, we unpacked the life-changing potential of autonomous vehicles, the legislation and policy enabling widespread AV adoption, what the AV landscape looks like currently, and what needs to be done to make the self-driving future a reality. We also talk specifically about how Wejo hopes to accelerate this process with our unique Autonomous Vehicle Operating System (AV-OS).
The term “smart city” has certainly become a buzzword in recent years, but what does living in a smart city actually mean for residents? A number of things, actually – smart city technology offers a range of features, like the ability to check for car parking spaces or automatic alerts to the council for waste disposal. In Australia, proposals have been made for the use of motion sensors to help elderly people across the road, and some technology is already being rolled out. And it looks like the US won’t be far behind…
Passed by the US Senate in August 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could play a crucial role in smart city development throughout America. It unlocks a number of opportunities for municipalities to access technology funding – including a grant program intended solely to lay the foundation for smart cities. Better yet, if you work in architecture, engineering or construction, Wejo’s smart mobility data has the power to supercharge your bids.
For further insights into the goings-on in the mobility industry, check out our resource center, or speak to our team by filling out the form below.
As always, if you’ve come across a story that you think is worth sharing, or you want to give your input on what we’ve featured this week, send us a message.