Thanks for subscribing to The Stack, a monthly newsletter from Argo AI and Ground Truth that goes under the hood of safe self-driving technology.
We close out the year with 2021’s last edition of The Stack, featuring a whole raft of interesting new content about self-driving.
Happy holidays and New Year to you and your loved ones. Drive safe!
Bicycle safety is something that we take extremely seriously at Argo — not only because we have a large group of cyclists on our staff.
As our co-founder and president Peter Rander outlined in an essay last year, we believe that autonomous vehicles should safely share the road with pedestrians, cyclists, and the myriad other people who use them. So as part of our ongoing commitment to cyclist safety, we recently partnered with the League of American Bicyclists, a non-profit advocacy group, to develop a series of technical guidelines for recommended autonomous vehicle behaviors when operating around cyclists.
As anyone who’s ridden a bicycle in traffic or driven a car around cyclists can attest, negotiating shared road space can be tricky. But by following the guidelines established by Argo and the League, autonomous vehicle developers can prepare their systems to anticipate common cyclist behaviors, like the “Idaho Stop,” and maintain conservative margins and speeds around cyclists to give them space.
Want to learn more about how Argo technology safety shares the road with cyclists? Watch these videos showing how the Argo Self-Driving System follows these guidelines while testing on public roads: braking in an instant for a cyclist riding suddenly through an intersection and slowing, giving space, and allowing a cyclist to pass before turning.
Pittsburgh Business Times
Technical and procedural standards are important for every industry, especially those that directly impact people’s safety. Whether it’s stepping into an elevator or onto an airplane, we trust that the manufacturers and operators of those systems are following the rules, regulations and best practices of their industry to keep us safe.
The same should be true of autonomous vehicles. Two organizations, the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Consortium’s (AVSC) and SAE International, have established standards and best practices that guide how autonomous vehicles should be tested on public roads, with a focus on the hiring, training and safety processes for test drivers operating autonomous vehicles. But third-party validation is not currently a requirement in the industry.
Argo proactively asked TÜV SÜD, a world-leading certification body for safety in the autonomous vehicle industry, to conduct an independent audit of Argo’s policies and procedures.
TÜV SÜD concluded is that “Argo meets, and in some cases exceeds, industry best practices and standards as outlined by AVSC and SAE International’s J3018 , citing Argo’s four-week ‘Autonomous Vehicle System Test Specialist’ certified training program as being compliant with these applicable standards.” That makes Argo the first organization to be independently audited and certified against these criteria by TÜV SÜD for the safety of autonomous vehicle testing operations!
We’re delighted with the outcome but not surprised: Argo’s Test Specialists are rigorously vetted, highly trained, certified, and full-time employees who epitomize Argo’s culture of safety. Learn more about what it takes to become one here, how they work here and about the surprising musical background of many here.
Steven Aquino is an acclaimed tech journalist who’s written for TechCrunch, Forbes, and many other leading publications in the space. He also happens to have been born with low vision, such that he is considered legally blind by the government. Since he can’t operate a motor vehicle, he makes heavy use of ride-hail services to get around. Would an autonomous ride-hail service offer a tangible improvement to Aquino’s life? Read his answer in his own words at Ground Truth.
“It is impossible to step in the same river twice,” goes a phrase attributed to the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus. But the same could be said about roads, too. Even if you drive the same streets over and over again, no two trips are exactly the same — there are always new things to see, whether it’s unexpected construction, an impromptu block party, or even just another driver pulling a sudden U-turn.
So while we can expect that most of our drives will likely remain the same, we human drivers must always be ready to react to the unexpected. And the same goes true for self-driving vehicles: how do they react to objects or sights they’ve never encountered on the roads before?
In a new article, Argo principal scientist Deva Ramanan, head of the Argo AI-Carnegie Mellon University Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research, discusses developing a self-driving system that can handle this kind of “open world” challenge reliably and safely. Read all about it.
Reliable sources at the North Pole have told us that Santa Claus a.k.a. Saint Nicholas, Papa Noel, Father Christmas, the Jolly Old Elf himself, has built a fleet of self-driving sleighs that he will use to deliver his customary haul of gifts to millions of children on the “nice” list this Christmas Eve.
Ground Truth even managed to score a rare 1-on-1 interview with Santa himself, who said: “The future of the supply chain is self-driving. Since I was the first to do on-demand global delivery, it’s important for me to stay lock-step with industry leaders like Argo.”
But don’t worry about the fates of Santa’s loyal reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen or Rudolph: they’ll still be flying up with Santa and surveying the autonomous delivery operations overhead and from the warm and cozy Elf Mission Control room.
Read all about it in this new heartwarming holiday classic — perfect for kids from one to 92.
As a new year approaches, is it time for you to consider a new career in self-driving? Check out all the openings we’re hiring for across our many departments and locations:
Global Supply Manager
Autonomous Vehicle System Test Specialist
Test & Integration Engineer, Autonomy
Internship: Systems Architect
Autonomous Vehicle Operator
Machine Learning Engineer, Map Detection
C++ Software Engineer, Lidar & Grid Perception
Autonomous Vehicle Operations Lead
…and many, many more in all our locations. See the full list here.
Argo and the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team partnered to host a STEAM-focused assembly for over 500 students at nearby Shaler Area Middle School
The the last-mile delivery space is hotly contested ground for startups, but Gopuff has something that others don’t: the backing of pop singer Selena Gomez
Researchers in the Netherlands and Germany created a Lego Mindstorms robot that they say mimics the human brain to “learn” how to navigate itself out of a maze
How will self-driving vehicles change country music? This meme offers a funny prediction
Have autonomy links you want to recommend? Send them over to Stack@argo.ai. We may include your recommendations in a future edition
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