Canadian universities chosen for North American selfdriving car competition with 2020 deadline

Each school will receive a Chevrolet Bolt, General Motors’ new electric car, to work on. Intel will provide the computers needed and third parties will provide sensors.The rest will be up to the students.Next spring the schools will enter the first phase of the competition that will test straight roadway driving and object avoidance. By the third and final phase, which will take place at General Motors’ test facility in Yuma, Ariz., the cars will be navigating a complex urban setting, according to General Motors Canada spokesperson Uzma Mustafa.The upshot for General Motors is simple: they’re looking to create a pipeline of well-trained engineers to hire in the company’s big push towards self-driving cars and related technologies.At an event with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last June, the Detroit-based car company announced it was looking to hire about 700 engineers in the next few years, many of whom will work at a new automotive software development centre in Markham, Ont.“We have cars being tested in the United States and this is a good talent pool to see where the ideas are,” Mustafa said.There’s something about turning a robot into a vehicle that really captures people’s imaginationsDerek Rayside, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Waterloo who is overseeing his school’s team, said the competition is unique because it is geared for undergraduate students.Artificial intelligence research is a booming field at his school, he said, with at least 20 professors working on various aspects of it, including many in the automotive area. But much of that research is limited to professors, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students.“At the undergraduate level, it’s often difficult for those students, to get into that area of research,” Rayside said. “You can’t just do this on your own — you need all this infrastructure, like the car, the computers, the sensors.”Canada’s oil industry ponders its fate as the threat of electric cars looms in the rearview mirrorRide hailing, electric vehicles, self -driving cars : Ford Canada wants to be ‘auto and mobility’ companyBoth schools say their teams will be large.Barfoot thinks his team will have 100 students, but he’s now scrambling to figure out how to accommodate everyone who is interested. Rayside thinks his team will be upwards of 50 students, but admits that could number could grow.“There is huge, huge interest here, in just a few days,” Rayside said, noting his university has already selected a name for the car: WATonomous.The goal is to achieve what’s known as “level four” autonomy by the end of the competition, Rayside said.“That’s a very ambitious goal, but it’s good to have ambitious goals,” he said.Level zero is no automation, Rayside explained.“Level one is stuff like lane-keeping, so you start drifting out of the lane and the car can nudge you back into the lane and that’s on the market now,” he said.“Level two is stuff like the car senses there might be a collision and it applies emergency braking before you can get your foot down. That is on the market now and there is data that shows that this is making the world a safer place.”At level three, the car starts driving on its own, which isn’t available to the public, but exists at research facilities, he said, including at the University of Waterloo, where the self-driving “Autonomoose” — developed by a team of professors, researchers and graduate students — is being tested.“For levels three and four, the car is allowed to ask the human for help, if it’s confused and not sure what to do,” Rayside said. “At level five, the car is not allowed to ask for help. Nobody can do level 5 and nobody is even close to level 5.”The Canadian Press Two Canadian universities have been chosen to participate in a North American competition to develop a self-driving car in three years.The University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo will compete against each other and six American schools with the goal of autonomous driving in an urban setting by 2020.General Motors and SAE International, an engineering association, have launched the competition designed for undergraduate students that they’ve dubbed the “AutoDrive Challenge.”Tim Barfoot, an engineering professor with the University of Toronto who is overseeing his school’s team, said student demand is intense just days after last week’s announcement that the university had been accepted as a competitor.“There’s something about turning a robot into a vehicle that really captures people’s imaginations,” Barfoot said, adding 250 students have expressed interest in joining the team.“When you can sit inside the robot and it’s driving around, that’s a totally different experience than watching it from the outside.”The other schools competing are Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young read more

Oaktree Capital invests in deep directional drilling services

first_imgDDH1 Drilling Pty Ltd, a leading deep directional drilling services company, has received an investment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, a leading global alternative investment management firm. DDH1 will continue to advance its current strategy with strategic support from Oaktree that will allow it to provide expanded capacity and capabilities to its customers. DDH1 was advised by Novo Capital and terms of the Oaktree investment were not disclosed. DDH1 is a leading provider of deep directional mineral drilling services used to identify and extend resources, reserves and mining plans for Australia’s exploration and mining industry. It explains that it “designs complex drilling programs delivered by highly skilled rig operators and has a strong history of satisfying customer requirements. The company’s drill rig fleet is modern, standardized and the largest in Australia for deep directional mineral coring.”Co-founders of DDH1, Murray Pollock and Matt Thurston, will continue in their roles as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively. Together they bring over 70 years of experience in the industry and have pioneered deep directional drilling technologies in Australia. “DDH1 will continue to be managed by its founding directors and long term staff, and we remain committed to our strategy of being the drilling contractor and employer of choice in the mining and exploration industry,” said Pollock. “With the support of Oaktree’s capital and expertise, we intend to focus on growing our business organically, and we will also carefully consider consolidating similar niche operators to gain expanded capacity and provide our customers with enhanced drilling services as industry demand recovers.” Byron Beath, Managing Director at Oaktree, commented: “Throughout the recent mining downturn, there has been significant underinvestment in the capacity of the Australian drilling services industry due to low demand, competitive pricing and numerous insolvencies. During this period, DDH1 has continued to invest in its capacity and has consolidated its market-leading position in its targeted service. Oaktree’s investment will further enable DDH1 to grow to meet the demand from its customers.” Oaktree has extensively researched the Australian drilling landscape in light of the cyclical stress the sector has experienced, and has identified DDH1 as a leading operator in the sector with a disciplined focus on services that are critical to the sustainability of a mining operation. “The fact that DDH1 has been able to survive and emerge stronger during the recent downturn is a validation of the high quality and essential service that DDH1 provides to its clients,” Beath added. DDH1 is a leading deep directional drilling services company, founded with one diamond core drilling rig in 2006. As of 30 June 2017 the company has a fleet of over 50 diamond coring rigs with operations spread across Western Australia, Northern Territory and Australia’s east coast. The company has pioneered deep directional drilling techniques in Australia and says it “has a leading market position by capability, fleet size and reputation.”last_img read more

Man arrested over cannabis seizure in Gorey worth €80000

first_imgGARDAÍ IN GOREY have arrested a man following the seizure of cannabis plants and herb with an estimated street value of €80,000.Following a planned search of a house in Courtown Harbour in Gorey on Monday, gardaí discovered the drugs.ArrestA man in his early 50′s was arrested at the scene after a follow up search in the early hours of this morning.He is currently detained under Section 4 Criminal Justice Act at Gorey Garda Station.Read: Gardaí seize drugs after stopping car on Dublin street>Read: Legal highs stolen from Belfast shop not to be ingested, warns PSNI>last_img