South Korea Gives Green Light to Samsung Self-Driving Car Highway Tests

In a first for South Korea, Samsung has received governmental permission to test its autonomous vehicles on public roadways.

South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure announced Monday that it had approved a request by the consumer electronics giant to test a self-driving car on Korean highways.

Equipped with several layers of “deep-learning” technology, “Samsung Electronics’ self-driving car is a renovated domestic vehicle that is equipped with diverse sensors including Lidar,” according to a Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure press release, cited by Korea JoongAng Daily.

The statement added that the Samsung-modified vehicle would use “artificial intelligence, or deep learning algorithms, [to] make inferences of its own about road situations and obstacles.”

The Samsung autonomous car program was initiated in 2015, primarily to develop replacement and add-on parts for electric vehicles. The company also creates infrastructure around the implementation of onboard vehicle infotainment resources and other online technologies, including GPS and roadside assistance services.

Samsung has stated that it does not intend to actually build and market an autonomous vehicle, focusing instead on system solutions and parts for cars to stay connected online.

“Samsung Electronics plans to develop algorithm, sensors and computer modules that will make a self-driving car that is reliable even in the worst weather conditions,” the company announced on Monday.

South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure has eased regulations in the country for self-driving cars recently. Autonomous cars without steering wheels or pedals are now allowed on roads and the number of people required inside test cars has been reduced from two to one.

(Source: sputniknews )

Computer Scientists Create Most Accurate Digital Human Face Models Yet

Many smartphone apps allow users to transform into animals, swap faces with other people, and much more. Now, such technological distractions look set to become even more dazzling, as Imperial College researchers have created the most advanced technique yet for building digitized 3D facial models – and it has a vast array of other potential uses.

When computers process faces, they typically rely on a 3D morphable model (3DMM), which represents an average face, but also contains information on common patterns of deviation from that average — such as length of face — and how they impact other facial features. Based on these common correlations, a computer then characterizes faces — not based on every point in a 3D scan, but by mere consideration of the basic ways in which an individual’s face deviates from the average.

However, to account for all the ways faces can vary, 3DMMs must integrate information on a large number of faces, which necessitates scanning lots of people and then labeling all their features. By definition, this is an extremely time consuming process, and consequently even the current best models are based on only a few hundred individuals, and have limited ability to model people of different ages and races — as FaceApp users found in April, 3DMMs often have a bias towards white people.

Now, a team of researchers at Imperial College London, led by computer scientist James Booth, have developed a new method, capable of automating 3DMM construction and incorporating a wider spectrum of humanity into its memory bank.

The method depends on three major steps — first an algorithm automatically landmarks facial scans, labeling the tip of the nose and other points, then another algorithm lines up all scans according to their landmarks and combines them into a model, and finally an algorithm identifies and removes any poor scans.

Booth and colleagues also applied their method to a set of almost 10,000 demographically diverse facial scans, conducted at London’s renowned Science Museum by plastic surgeons who endeavor to improve reconstructive surgery. Applying the algorithm to those scans created a “large scale facial model” (LSFM).

Paper The LSMM of The pdf https://t.co/kCzecrVanE
– 3DBrainz #VR #AR #AI (@ 3dbrainz) May 1, 2017

Tests demonstrated the team’s LSFM much more accurately represented faces when pitted against other applications. In one comparison, models of a child’s face were created using a photograph — every other popular morphable provision struggled to emulate a child’s looks, while the LSFM almost perfectly recreated them.

Booth’s application was also able to create specific morphable models for different races and ages, and to intuitively classify individuals into particular demographic groups. Booth’s team has already put the new model to work.

In another paper, the researchers document using 100,000 faces synthesized by the LSFM to transform 2-dimensional snapshots into accurate 3D models. This technology would be hugely beneficial for identification purposes, whether by law enforcement or other interested parties — for instance, creating a detailed picture of an individual based on photographs or CCTV footage. Alternatively, individuals in portraits and photographs could be effectively brought to 3D life.

The LSFM could even have medical applications, such as helping optimize the design of bespoke prosthetic organs, limbs and appendages. Moreover, as facial scans often assist in the diagnosis of particular diseases and syndromes, enhanced modeling could augment such tests. They could even assist in machine learning, allowing artificial intelligence applications to identify emotions via monitoring facial expressions and movements.

(Source: sputniknews)

China-Europe freight train brings UK-made products to China

The first freight train from the UK to China which filled with UK-made products will arrive in Yiwu, East China’s Zhejiang Province on Saturday, after finishing its 12,000-kilometer journey. Analysts said that the train has not only injected vitality into China’s trade with the UK and Europe, but also revealed the glimmer of the“Belt and Road” initiative.

The train, filled with 32 containers of products, left theLondon Gateway terminal of Dubai Ports World (DP World) on April 10. The London-Yiwu line recreates the ancient “Silk Road” trade route that once connected Europe to China.

“People came all the way to the gateway to witness the historic moment. The cold weather and strong wind did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the public,” Nelson, a security guard at the port, described the moment when the train set off from London.

He added that it was touching to see the crowds waving Chinese national flags and good luck banners.

In the two weeks since the train’s departure, many more customers showed interest in the train and consulted about the details, said Oliver Treneman, manager of the gateway’s logistics park.

Treneman said that thetrain has a significant meaning for them as a new way of transportation for manufacturers and retailers based in London.

It is faster than sea transportation and cheaper than air freight, he explained, adding that the freight train has offered a new approach for the transnational transportation of British commodities.

“We believe it’s just a start and there will be plenty such trains in the future. It trades British goods for firm hard currencies,” said an employee of the London gateway who hailed China as the country on which the UKhas placed high expectations after its exit from the EU.

The UK, as an island country surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, heavily relies on exports because of its limited domestic market. The country is expected to have to find new business chances post-Brexit, as the European market currently accounts for over half of British exports.

Against this backdrop, the UK political circle reached a consensus to seek benefits from China’s Belt and Road initiative.

“China-Europe freight trains are the best opportunity for the UK to strengthen its trade with its global partners especially after its exit of the EU,”the BBC said in a report.

“The UK’s commodities will reach out to the world along the ancient Silk Road,” said Greg Hands, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, adding that the freight train commuting between China and the UK will inspire and acceleratethe latter’s globalization process.

The Belt and Road initiative will bring Scotch whisky, a symbol of national pride, to the vast Chinese market, and as a result generate tangible benefits, said Shane, an employee with the Scotch Whisky Experience, a whisky visitor attraction based in the UK.

“You can image how exciting that will be,” he said, saying that many Chinese residentslike the liquor as well.

According to Shane, the Scotch Whisky Experience has made a plan to keep a 5 percent growth for whisky exports from now until 2020. He believes the plan will be realized under the assistance of the Belt and Road initiative.

When the outbound freight train that departed from Yiwu finally arrived at Barking Station in Londonin January, the BBC said that it was amazing for China to reopen the ancient Silk Road with modern technology.

Less than three months later, the fully loaded freight train departed London for Yiwu. It has been compared to an unusual Silk Road train by some British media outlets.

The Belt and Road initiative is a cure to the consequences of Brexit, and the country will enjoy development, an owner of a pharmacy located in Beak Street of downtown London, told the People’s Daily.

“The arrival of the first China-Europe freight train in London marked the reach of the Belt and Road route to the westernmost tip of Europe, and now it has returned,” remarked a British scholar in an interview with the People’s Daily.

The expertadded that the train has injected new energy into China-UK and China-Europe trade, and also reflects the great attraction of the Belt and Road initiative.