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Auto Shows Torc car drives itself as well as any human at CES 2018

23:56  08 january  2018
23:56  08 january  2018 Source:   cnet.com

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A drive through Las Vegas in Torc Robotic's self- driving car shows that the technology may be ready for the public. January 7, 2018 6:58 PM PST. Torc Robotics brought its self- driving car to CES 2018 , demonstrating how it can handle traffic during the convention.

The car I'm in gets into the left turn lane, then pulls a U-turn when the light goes green. All perfectly legal and safe, and what I would have done if I were Only, this car , a Lexus RX 450h modified by Torc Robotics, is driving itself , and I realize it's the first time I've experienced a self- driving car

Torc Robotics brought its self-driving car to CES 2018, demonstrating how it can handle traffic during the convention.© CNET Torc Robotics brought its self-driving car to CES 2018, demonstrating how it can handle traffic during the convention.

Coming down Paradise Road in Las Vegas, my destination sits on the opposite side of the road. The car I'm in gets into the left turn lane, then pulls a U-turn when the light goes green. All perfectly legal and safe, and what I would have done if I were driving.

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Only, this car, a Lexus RX 450h modified by Torc Robotics, is driving itself, and I realize it's the first time I've experienced a self-driving car performing a U-turn.

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CNET: Torc car drives itself as well as any human at CES 2018 . Here’s what people were saying about us: Engadget: “ Torc Robotics, meanwhile, is one of the early pioneers of self- driving , having placed third in DARPA’S 2007 Urban Challenge — back when self- driving cars were a bit more bulky.”

At CES 2018 , car and gadget makers alike are showing off their wares and demonstrating the The company, a subsidiary of Hitachi, actually makes a boatload of software that goes into cars as well . Torc is a robotics company that claims to have “one of the oldest self- driving car teams developing

For the next few minutes, I geek out with Torc CEO Michael Fleming and CTO Ben Hastings, riding in the car with me, about driving paths, vehicle dynamics and steering angles.

That seemingly innocuous moment was just one of the highlights during my ride in Torc's car, as it negotiated Las Vegas streets and freeways. It followed a path of GPS-defined waypoints, using its lidar, radar and cameras to detect its surroundings, and Torc's Asimov self-driving software to figure out how to deal with other traffic, pedestrians and bicycles all while paying attention to traffic lights, lane lines and other infrastructure.

Self-driving car development has picked up incredible steam in recent years, as an array of companies representing traditional automakers, equipment suppliers and big tech all dip their oars in the water. The technology promises not only to make getting around more convenient and accessible, but also to make roads much, much safer.

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Inventing a better driver . The biggest change to mobility in a century. 1.2 million people die each year from human driver error. Commutes are longer and car prices are higher than ever. Our goal at Torc isn’t just to develop some new technologies. To fundamentally shift how society moves

Self- driving cars are part of what most thing of a future, emerging part of technology. How Businesses Are Already Adapting. In fact, that’s quite parallel to what AAA itself is doing, Blasky Featured image credit: Torc . Originally published Jan 10, 2018 6:00:00 AM, updated January 10 2018 .

Although relatively unknown, Torc is an early player among self-driving companies, having partnered with Virginia Tech for its third-place win in the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2007, a government-sponsored contest calling for researchers to tackle an urban environment with self-driving car technology. Fleming points out that Torc ranks with Google among the earliest private companies focused on self-driving cars.

a close up of a boat: Torc Robotics self-driving car© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Torc Robotics self-driving car

Over the last few years, I've experienced more than a few rides in self-driving cars, on both closed tracks and public roads. This ride in Torc's vehicle showed the maturity of its software, as the car handled an array of challenges with very humanlike, yet safe, behavior.

The day's bright sunlight created glare on the streets, making it difficult for me to see the lane lines. However, the car kept its position perfectly, and Torc notes that its technology works in the rain, as well.

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Aptiv Lyft CES Self- Driving Car . There was still a safety driver up front, but the car largely drove itself . The Speak Plus adds a dash camera, as well as new features like forward collision warnings. Torc Robotics brought its self- driving car to CES 2018 , demonstrating how it can handle

AAA will test Torc ’s self- driving cars to build out safety criteria. China's Baidu revealed a major update to its Apollo autonomous driving platform at CES 2018 today, including support for new computing platforms, new reference vehicles, more HD mapping services avail.

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In a right turn lane, a couple of other cars cut in front of us, nosing into the lane. Torc's car tapped the brakes a few times, a little less smoothly than I might have done, but it let the other cars in without drama, quickly resuming its following distance.

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Torc was born in Blacksburg, but that’s not why we’re here. We stayed because this is a perfect place to innovate. The area around our HQ is like a Downtown Blacksburg is adjacent to the 3rd largest university in Virginia, and its streets are frequently traveled by pedestrians and cyclists, as well as

The car announces autonomous mode as well as lane changes and turns. A lot has happened since then. The car seems surer of itself , if you were to give it human attributes. With the 2018 Aptiv autonomous- drive tools, you can see how we’re on a glide slope that would provide Level 4, possibly

Stopped at a light, a confused driver ahead put his right signal on, switched it to the left signal, then ultimately pulled into the left turn lane. No problem, as the Torc car sensed the space opening up in front of us and pulled in behind the next car up in the lane.

Of course, cars face many more challenging situations on the road that we didn't encounter. Fleming showed me a video taken in earlier testing where another car was actually going the wrong way down the street. The Torc car took appropriate measures, braking and letting the other car get out of the way before proceeding.

In talking about Torc's self-driving software, Fleming espouses the guiding principle, "What is the safest thing for this vehicle to do?"

Can Torc's self-driving software handle every situation that might come up on the road? "There an infinite number of corner cases," says Fleming. However, Torc has accumulated petabytes of driving data over 10 years of testing. Each time something out of the ordinary happens, such as a wrong-way driver, Torc logs how its car handled the situation, potentially making refinements to what the car should do. The next time a similar situation comes up, any car using the Torc software will act from this experience.

Torc accumulates this data not only through testing on public roads, but also on test tracks and in a virtual environment. Many of the corner cases the software needs to deal with will rarely be found in public, but engineers can dream up scenarios that might occur and put them to the test.

All of this testing seems to be paying off. Torc joins a number of other companies, including Aptiv and Navya, putting their self-driving cars onto the Las Vegas streets during CES 2018, letting convention attendees get their first rides in what will be the future of transportation.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

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