Tesla to have hardware in place for fully autonomous driving
“Tesla Motors Inc., preparing for a future of self-driving cars, has begun equipping all its new vehicles with the hardware required to make them entirely capable of driving themselves.
“Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk announced the changes on Wednesday, saying his goal is to demonstrate a vehicle traveling in fully autonomous mode from Los Angeles to New York by the end of next year. Autonomous features will be introduced over time based on what he dubbed “Hardware 2,” he said.
“Tesla cars already come with a semi-autonomous system called Autopilot. But having a fully autonomous car on the road by 2018 would put the Palo Alto, Calif., auto maker ahead of major car companies racing to develop their own self-driving models. Companies from Ford Motor Co. to BMW AG have proposed fully autonomous vehicles in 2021. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has a fully autonomous test fleet on public roadways, but the company hasn’t detailed its plan for the technology it has been working on for more than seven years. …” – The Wall Street Journal
Would you drive under this bus?
“Last May, pictures of a weird, elevated bus that glides above traffic began circulating on the internet. Predictably, everyone freaked out. The so-called “straddling bus” was held up as a solution to China’s notorious traffic problems, but all anyone wanted to talk about was how it looked like the bus was eating cars, or how insane anyone would have to be to actually drive underneath.
“Thankfully, the Chinese company that designed the bus has answered the internet’s prayers by actually building one. According to China’s Xinhua News, the TEB-1, or Transit Elevated Bus, took its first test ride Tuesday in the northeastern city of Qinhuangdao, in the Hebei province.
“Pictures show a spacious interior that is over 72-feet long and 25-feet wide, as well as beaming passengers gazing out the window. It’s roughly 16-feet tall, and offers about 7 feet of space underneath for cars to travel through. The bus, which can carry up to 300 passengers, rides along tracks embedded in the street. …” – The Verge
Look up from your phone before crossing the street? Don’t bother!
“Crosswalks were originally designed with the expectation that the people who used them would look where they were going. Today, thanks to cell phones, that’s a dangerous assumption. Numerous studies on distracted walking have found that injuries related to cell phone use are on the rise. Pedestrians, evidence suggests, are increasingly likely to amble into intersections with their eyes on their phones, instead of the road.
““Human behavior has changed significantly since smartphones turned up, but our environments haven’t adapted,” says Soren Luckins, founder of Melbourne design studio Büro North. His solution: Put the crosswalk signal on the ground—you know, where people are actually looking. The plan is to embed tactile indicators—the bumpy curb-surface designed for visually impaired people—with red and green LEDs that will alert pedestrians when it’s safe to cross the street. He calls it Smart Tactile Pavement. …” – Wired
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