Chinese startup TuSimple to test driverless trucks in Arizona in 2018
Chinese technology startup TuSimple will challenge Tesla and Waymo when they bring their autonomous truck project to Arizona's roads in a 2018 test.
Tests in the Chinese province of Hebei have already been approved and will be carried out in October 2017, with an agreement signed with the Caofeidian government to conduct trials on the highways within the district.
Having already completed a 200-mile Level 4 test drive between Yuma, Arizona and San Diego in June, TuSimple ranks alongside Uber and Waymo in the autonomous industry.
Tesla, meanwhile, has planned to conduct Level 5 tests - which do not need a human at all - but have not yet finalised a date.
- Samsung secures permission to begin testing self-driving cars on California roads
Commercial services will begin in 2019, with a 20-mile route in Shanghai linking the port and warehousing, whilst a 120-mile stretch of highway between Phoenix and Tucson will be the first roadway in America to host the technology.
The main benefit of autonomous driving is safety - with the US estimating that 96% of all road traffic accidents are caused by human error, having AI could reduce the number of annual fatalities drastically.
China estimates that 25,000 people are killed by trucks every year, with 30% of all truck drivers suffering from fatigue early in the morning and at night.
Costs would also decrease by around 40% if autonomous commercial trucks were adopted into the industry, helping to alleviate the shortage of drivers.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.