Bosch unveils Australia’s first self-driving car - everything you need to know
The first Australian self-driving car has been developed in Victoria and was recently unveiled at Bosch's Clayton headquarters.
The first prototype was developed with the Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads and with a $1.2 million subsidy from the Victorian government. Business Review Australia covered the growth and diversification of VicRoads.
The car has level four autonomy which means that the driver has to be present in order to physically hand over control to the car before it takes control. This is one step below a fully autonomous and completely driverless car. The car took 85 people nine months to build, according to Bosch.
Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said that it could be 15 years or longer before driverless cars such as the Bosch model are seen on Australian roads – he cited safety as a major concern: "More than anything else, it's how we can actually get the number of lives lost on our roads down to zero".
Bosch Australia President Gavin Smith, referring to its six on-board radars, high-resolution GPS and sensors, said: "The computer power could probably put a spaceship on the moon”.
Smith also noted that drivers might have to take the wheel while driving through areas that were not mapped or in certain traffic or weather conditions. He noted that Victoria’s road infrastructure was adequate for highly autonomous vehicles.
While it is not legal to run a driverless car on Victorian roads, a trial run has received an exemption to run on closed roads.
The driverless car from Bosch is likely to be slightly more expensive than a regular car once mass production is underway.
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.