Two Driverless Cars Have Begun 8,000-Mile Journey from Italy to China

2011-02-18

Two Driverless Cars Have Begun 8,000-Mile Journey from Italy to China
A team of Italian engineers is gearing up for a high-tech road rally that should impress even the outside-the-box dreamers over at DARPA: an 8,000-mile journey from Italy to China, with nobody behind the wheel. The three-month convoy will be the longest test of driverless vehicles ever conducted, taking the cars through twisting mountain passes, Moscow traffic, and harsh Siberian weather before ending up in the sprawling roadways of Shanghai in October.

Of course, when we say there's nobody behind the wheel, that's not entirely accurate. The project includes two electric-powered "driverless" vans, each of which will carry two technicians. One of them will always be in the driver seat ready to press the red "oh sh*t!" button and take control should the car's laser scanners, cameras, and software get into a situation that might turn dangerous.

Each van will work in tandem with a manned leader van that will drive ahead and give its driverless counterpart cues on where it's going next. But the driverless vehicle will be responsible for negotiating traffic and responding to the environment and obstacles around it. Only one driverless van and leader vehicle will operate at a time; the other pair will be hauled behind on a truck. The vans require an eight-hour charge after every few hours on the road, so even traveling at speeds between 30-37 miles per hour -- not very fast but not a crawl either -- the going will be very slow.

The transcontinental trek is more of a stress test for driverless technology than a demonstration, and the project leaders concede that the cars will likely need quite a bit of help from humans. But the 100 terabytes of information collected en route will go a long way toward helping the driverless technology maker, VisLab, improve its intelligent systems and artificial vision.

The idea is that someday 100 percent driverless technology could be used to freight cargo across continents autonomously or to reduce troop risk
by running driverless military supply convoys, goals more or less congruent with those put forth by DARPA when it created the Urban Challenge several years ago. Of course, there's one more immediate challenge facing the team: Where, exactly, does one charge up a next-gen electric vehicle in the middle of Siberia?

Region:  USA and Canada / Europe / Asia-Pacific
Contry:  China / USA / Russia / Italy
Category:  UGV


ZALA drones protect wildlife of Russia

2020-04-07
ZALA drones protect wildlife of Russia
Yokanga river is a unique place on the Kola Peninsula in Murmansk region on the North of Russia. This is where the Atlantic salmon and other valuable fish run for spawning. One individual fish may weight up to 30 kg. Although the river is located quite remotely, it is very popular among tourists and, of course, among poachers.

Behind the scenes of a Chinese drone maker operation during COVID-19

2020-03-12
Behind the scenes of a Chinese drone maker operation during COVID-19
As the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) slows in China, the country has seen an orderly resumption of work to reboot its economy. The Chinese agriculture technology company XAG is one of the first companies obtaining work resumption approval from government. It has restarted business in its Guangzhou headquarters early on February 10, with an overall 90% work resumption rate of its R&D staff on the first day. To fulfil the large purchasing orders of agricultural drones for the farming season, XAG has also set up a 20-million-yuan relief fund for its supply chain partners who struggle to reopen their factories.

According to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, only 52 percent of small-to-medium sized enterprises have returned to work as of 6 March. While the coronavirus outbreak put many businesses into difficult situation because of the longer-than-expected closure, XAG has already resumed operations in both its headquarters and manufacturing center. Five key measures have been strictly put in place to ensure that work resumes orderly without compromising the efforts to contain the highly contagious virus.

Drones used to disinfect Chinese village from coronavirus

2020-02-13
Drones used to disinfect Chinese village from coronavirus
Drones are being used in Chinese villages to spray disinfectant in response to coronavirus throughout the village, to hopefully make the village a little safer to walk around in. The drones are being used around China and are being converted to help out.
A villager in Heze, Shandong province, is using his crop spraying drones to spray disinfectant over the village. The drones will be used to spray an area of around 16,000 square meters.

Russia Developing Anti-Drone Weapons

2020-01-22
Russia Developing Anti-Drone Weapons
The Russian defense industry is working on several models of anti-drone weapons to improve the military’s protection.

In a report on January 14, 2020, Air Recognition detailed some of the handheld anti-drone weapons that are being developed in Russia, which include the Garpun-M, Pishchal, and REX-1. The Russian military has begun to emphasize anti-drone weapons more in response to the experience in the campaign in Syria, where Russias Hmeymim airbase has come under attack by militant-operated drone swarms.

Chinese Air Combat Drone Types Caught By Satellite

2019-12-12
Chinese Air Combat Drone Types Caught By Satellite
Chinese Air Combat Drone Types Caught By Satellite

A satellite image that was posted on Chinese internet shows an impressive lineup of the Chinese military aerial drones, some of which are in development while others are operational.

The lineup occurred at Malan Air Base, a known hub of testing for these types of systems. The image is yet another stark reminder of how China is betting big on unmanned aerial military capabilities, from high-end unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs) to swarms of small expendable drones.

ZALA UAS survey the Arctic and Antarctic Regions

2019-12-06
ZALA UAS survey the Arctic and Antarctic Regions
The Arctic and Antarctic Regions – are unique territories in climate, geographical position and concentration of natural resources. This areas are valuable source of scientific data about the past of our planet. They help researches to understand how global climate changes and make accurate forecasts for future.
Not long ago scientists used ground vehicles and satellite images for their research. For a long time drones were not suitable to be used in the Arctic because the freezing cold damaged electronics and gale-force wind knocked over the vehicle during flight. For this conditions ZALA AERO developed a special UAS ZALA ARCTIC.

Remote GeoSystems Conducts BVLOS Geospatial Video Pipeline Inspection in China

2019-08-23
Remote GeoSystems Conducts BVLOS Geospatial Video Pipeline Inspection in China
Remote GeoSystems, Inc., a global provider of immersive geospatial video, photo and data recorders and reporting software for survey and inspection, and Xi’an ARTEL Technology, Inc., Chinas leading developer/operator of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) inspection UAVs, are pleased to announce the successful deployment of complementary geospatial data systems for long distance day and night drone pipeline patrol operations.

Avion Unmanned Wins Multi-State Contract To Provide Unmanned Aircraft System Services For The Public Sector

2019-08-23
Avion Unmanned Wins Multi-State Contract To Provide Unmanned Aircraft System Services For The Public Sector
Huntsville, AL – Avion Unmanned, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) division of Avion Solutions, Inc., was recently awarded Contract E194-79435 by the Commonwealth of Virginia. This contract opens the door for Avion Unmanned to provide UAS services to state and local government agencies in all 50 states.

Maiden Flight for Russian 6-Tonne Altius-U

2019-08-20
Maiden Flight for Russian 6-Tonne Altius-U
The Russian Defence Ministry has posted a video of the maiden flight of a 6-tonne Altius-U drone, capable of being in the air for more than 24 hours.

EHang to Build Autonomous Drone Network to Cover Chinese Metropolis

2019-08-15
EHang to Build Autonomous Drone Network to Cover Chinese Metropolis
Residents of Chinese metropolis Guangzhou can soon expect to see autonomous drones flitting over the city after drone manufacturer EHang announced the launch of its first urban air mobility pilot city program this past week.


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