Ford set to test self-driving vehicles in Washington in 2019
The US automotive giant, Ford, has confirmed a partnership with the Washington DC government to commence testing of self-driving cars at the beginning of 2019, CNN Business reports.
The company’s self-driving car startup, Argo AI, has begun to map out the city with Washington selected due to its progressive mayor and young population.
Washington is due to become the second city after Miami to trial Ford’s self-driving vehicles, with the company planning to unveil the full service in 2021.
Speaking to CNN Business, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner said: “With new technology, there's always new opportunities for job diversification and job growth. If we're able through this pilot to create a new pipeline for District residents to fill these new jobs, we're happy about that.”
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It is expected that Ford will operate across the entire city as oppose to just in the more affluent areas of Washington.
As part of the agreement, Ford confirmed it would partner with a workforce training centre in a poorer part of the city in order to help hire new test drivers to monitor the cars.
The city is regarded as one of the most progressive in America and has embraced other transportation enhancements such as dockless e-bikes and scooters in recent times.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.