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Microsoft thinks Google's self-driving car should have Kinect installed

Microsoft decided to take a not-too-subtle pot shot at Google's self-driving car project this week. Microsoft believes that Google's automated vehicles could benefit from its Kinect motion sensor technology.

In a post on the Kinect blog (opens in new tab), Microsoft, without mentioning Google by name, refers to a recent report that one of Google's self-driving cars hit a bus in Mountain View, California in February. The car reportedly drove around some sandbags in a wide lane, and it believed a nearby bus would slow down, but it didn't and the two vehicles collided.

Microsoft's blog post states:

Could a Kinect sensor have helped the autonomous car make the better decision? Researchers at the University of La Laguna in the Canary Islands think so. They are building a system that uses the Kinect sensor's infrared depth camera to help self-driving cars identify nearby obstacles and maneuver around or over them. Using a self-driving golf cart, the researchers tested the Kinect depth camera against a laser rangefinder and stereo cameras. By operating the vehicle on a test road that contained stairs, ramps, and curbs, they discovered that the Kinect sensor outperformed the other two devices in detecting and correctly discerning nearby, close-to-the-ground objects.

So far, Google has yet to issue a response to the Kinect blog's statements.

52 Comments
  • Skynet will come xD
  • Yeah, but it's all good. John Conner will save us. Queue GnR.
  • That would really be cool to see them partner up on something like this. It's not a phone or OS, so why not? Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • Partner up. Ha! Google wouldn't do this. Microsoft should make autonomous cars. Just think about it they have a "cheap" sensor from some years ago yet it's better than Google's sensor (I'm sure it costs more than Kinect, and they've been updating their sensor). If MS really wanted to I'm sure they would succeed in the autonomous car race. If Google for some reason would want to, I imagine MS telling them they should put all their apps in the Windows Store. One can dream...
  • Seeing as the division that handles software and the division that would handle autonomous cars are two entirely different teams, I don't think there would be any issue with them teaming up if there was a mutual benefit.
  • That would be cool, but every company is building self driving cars, and Microsoft has always been one step ahead in building future products (ex: The HoloLens while everyone is on VR, the Surface while everyone is on laptops). I think they need to build something a step further than a self driving car. Not sure what that is, but there will be something. Zachary Bowling - ZAD Apps
  • Teleporters :) Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • HoloLens is not technology that is behind VR, it is just different and has many more usage scenarios. In fact, it could be considered more advanced in some ways, considering it is a standalone device where vr relies on a pc or console
  • That's what he is saying :) Posted from Windows Central for XL
  • Next thing you know apple will run off with the idea seeing as they own the company that had a hand in making the original kinnect
  • I can assure you that google will not use this just because it is a Microsoft device!
  • They don't need to tbh. They can make their own.
  • Or because they've already built their own sensor, and this is it's first at-fault collison after millions of miles.
  • one collision is enough to die.
  • I'm not arguing with that, but literally one in a million at fault collisions is much lower than the national average.
  • And if Kinect can improve that down to one in two million then that would be even better, don't you think so? I don't understand your resistance to improvement.
  • And that is why they do these tests. It's also not like they are reliant on 1 sensor. That said, they should naturally get the best hardware they can.
  • I agree, improvement is always welcomed, but I thought it would be better to take Microsoft's sensor if it is better. Human lifes are more important than google vs. Microsoft fight.
  • lives*
  • Yeah right! No google apps for windows phone and you expect that to happen? Instead google will make its own version of Kinect!
  • Will they force everyone to use it, then discount their product when they release no one likes the sensor?   /s
  • Kinect-sensor, not Kinect which does calculations that are reliant on being (close to) stil.l
  • troll level: Microsoft LOL
  • LOL, Microsoft is still trying to find someone who wants Kinect. Funny.
  • The US government has kinect sensors in most of their military equipments. and tada, NASA employed kinect too. :)
  • Maybe if Microsoft actually promoted Kinect, that would be a start. It is probably the most advanced technology that is completely underutilized because Microsoft completely failed at leading development for it.
  • Development or advertisement? Microsoft sucks at advertising Sent from Windows Central for Windows 10 Mobile
  • In terms of gaming, it's just a gimmick novelty, that's died off with the rest of motion controls.  My Day One Xbone Kinect sensor just sits in a drawer collecting dust. About the most use I've gotten out of Kinect is seeing it in that one Paranormal Activity movie...
  • If MS would make a Punch Out sort of game for the Kinect, than I consider it a success.
  • VR could benefit from it.
  • I see it coming back big time with hololens and skype. I imagine it's necessary to actually have your likeness be projected onto someone else's AR environment.
  • until it meets another kinect sensor and then it gets confused from all the infrared shooting everywhere
  • They will never use it just because it's a Microsoft technology. Retard google Sent from Windows Central for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Or because they already have a sensor that had a great track record Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Its not only about Kinect sensor. whatever technology Microsoft can make they will never use even though if its better. and also they will not make any kind of deal with Microsoft unlike friendly Microsoft-Apple deals.  
  • How would they
  • The problem with google is that they've become so big that their ego got big as well. They hate Microsoft. Rather see that apple car and have them team up google. google is an infestation in the tech industry.
  • agreed. egoistic retard. also people overlook their evil images considering it as a infant in tech history.
  • Considering not even Microsoft seem to be utilising their own Kinect, why would Google bother? Also it's worth mentioning that the driver of the Google car also believed that the bus would slow down, so I doubt a Kinect sensor would have helped all that much.
  • If Kinect Sports Rivals is any indication, you don't want Kinect in that thing. It struggles with fine movements, and it loses sight of people it shows in plain view after about 10 feet, if that. Its FoV is worse HoloLens.
  • Again Microsoft giving away technology to google while google won't be giving us any of their service on a application
  • They're talking about the kinect sensor which even the military & NASA use, not the console consumer camera Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Google cars might run over pedestrians wearing MS phones and vice versa /s
  • Before Microsoft make comments like these, they should fix their own junk first, looking at you Bing, I have been using Bing for the last 3 years, definitely worst results compared to Google, Bing news search returns classified ads, talk about Scroogled.
  • Instead of taking pot *****. Build a car and compete. If the tech is superior then nothing to fear :). Google car will probably bombard occupants with ads while stealing data at same time anyway
  • Right on the face Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I rather doubt that , the test dint involve the scenario the autonomous car was in. Moving obstacles of varying speeds. And the collision, it seems was a mistake in analysing just that. 
  • Partner with other European cars manufacturers. Google wont be a good choice Microsoft.
  • Nokia HERE was sold for chips. Microsoft could have owned future of autonomous driving. Nadella said no. Mastermind.
  • Nerdiest.thing.ever.
  • Windows central knew this was a crack pot story.
  • The question of the day if you get in an accident with a self driving car how does the police get the drivers statement?