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Microsoft to Showcase Concept Car with Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017

AFP Relaxnews

Updated: January 4, 2017, 11:09 AM IST
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Microsoft to Showcase Concept Car with Artificial Intelligence at CES 2017
For representational purpose. (Photo: AFP Relaxnews)

Many industry experts consider Google to have made the most progress on the road towards fully autonomous driving, but at this year's CES, Microsoft is revealing its own plans for putting drivers in the passenger seat.

The company, best-known for the Windows PC operating system, is partnering with five firms including insurance company Swiss Re on what it's billing as a "collective vision of safe and secure end-to-end mobility." And it's one where artificial intelligence takes a front seat.

Specifically, AI bots will make real-time connections between traffic situations and pedestrian density via the current suite of sensing tools used in vehicles, from car-to-car (V2V) and car-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, to radar, camera and LIDAR systems to optimise driver safety and engagement. What's more, the same tech will use information gathered from a driver's personal preferences and daily routine.

"This collaboration at CES 2017 is another example of how we work together to continue testing, to see what sticks, and to help automakers bring truly personalised experiences to drivers and services that learn unique behaviours and can make improvements over time," said Kevin Dallas, corporate VP of business development for Microsoft.

In terms of autonomous driving, German-based IAV is providing the technology for cars to guide themselves. It will work with Microsoft's Azure Cloud services and is based on the system the company is already using in real-world tests in Europe and the US. "Those vehicles have already covered a huge number of miles with almost no intervention from the driver," said Karsten Schulze, senior VP, active safety and driver assistance at IAV.

Other partners include Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors, Californian mapping and analytics firm Esri and Ireland-based Cubic Telecom for 4G/LTE provision. NXP's role is enabling V2V and V2I communication. "Self-driving cars must be perfectly safe and secure," said Lars Reger, NXP Semiconductors chief technology officer. "This requires firstly: an array of high-performance sensors; secondly: a powerful detection and sensor fusion system complemented with cloud connectivity; and thirdly: an efficient system play with industry leaders."

As for Swiss Re, insurance is going to be a hot topic as cars become more autonomous and it will be using the data gathered via sensors and user history to create smart, personalised insurance models.

Microsoft will be unveiling a concept car boasting all of this technology on January 4 at CES in Las Vegas.

First Published: January 4, 2017, 11:09 AM IST
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