Self-driving vehicle testing in Pittsburgh area shifting gears to focus on trucking industry

October 3, 2023

Not long ago, cars topped with a futuristic apparatus could regularly be seen cruising along Pittsburgh’s streets, testing technology that allowed the vehicles to get around without a person steering the wheel.

But such car sightings have become rare as the autonomous vehicle sector has refocused from the hype of the 2010s…

Karen Lightman, executive director of the Metro21 Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, called it “tech-lash.”

“People react out of fear of technology,” Lightman said.

Although there are challenges for passenger vehicles, Lightman said, the technology is poised to improve people’s lives.

“People who are disabled or don’t have access to reliable, safe transportation can be cut off from the rest of the world. They can’t work, get groceries, go to worship, can’t see friends and family,” Lightman said. “There’s a whole chunk of our country that’s disconnected because we don’t have public transportation that serves them.”

“I’m hoping that we’ll see public transportation also become more automated and autonomous, and shared mobility will be a critical part of it,” she added. “If we end up having more single-occupancy vehicles that happen to be autonomous, we’re not improving quality of life. And if it’s just for the rich elite, that’s not sustainable, either. We have to make sure there’s equity in this.”

Innovation Contest Rewards Adventurous Curiosity

June 29, 2018

RoadBotics is a new company that combines smartphone and artificial intelligence technology to detect and record the condition of concrete and asphalt surfaces. But the technology began as research on self-driving cars.

It wasn’t until Christoph Mertz and his team at Carnegie Mellon University started asking, “Hey, what if we … ?” that the research veered down a tangent toward civil engineering innovation…

Now used by 41 cities to monitor roads, RoadBotics is a classic innovation success story, one of several brilliant ideas showcased by the 2018 ASCE Innovation Contest.
ASCE hosted the various category winners this week for a two-day Innovation Contest celebration event at the Society headquarters in Reston, VA.

Artificial Intelligence Coming to Auto Glass—and Insurance

March 20, 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is coming to the auto glass and insurance industries. Case in point, Mitchell International is exploring a computer vision application that uses image recognition to confirm repair vs. replace decisions.

This is according to the company’s 2017 Third Quarter Industry Trends Report.
Computer vision researchers at Carnegie Mellon demonstrated the ability to detect and understand small movements.

Mitchell said in its report, “Instead of an automotive repairer just getting guidance on the next step in a given repair procedure, they could get real-time evaluation of ancillary problems detected by computer vision.”