UPS has been delivering cargo in self-driving trucks for months and no one knew

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The self-driving freight truck startup TuSimple has been carrying mail across the state of Arizona for several weeks.

UPS announced on Thursday that its venture capital arm has made a minority investment in TuSimple. The announcement also revealed that since May TuSimple autonomous trucks have been hauling UPS loads on a 115-mile route between Phoenix and Tucson.

UPS confirmed to Gizmodo this is the first time UPS has announced it has been using TuSimple autonomous trucks to deliver packages in the state.

Around the same time as the UPS and TuSimple program began, the United States Postal Service and TuSimple publicized a two-week pilot program to deliver mail between Phoenix and Dallas, a 1,000 mile trip.

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Bill Gates just purchased an enormous amount of land to build his own “smart city”

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24,800 acres of land will soon become a “smart city” in Arizona. One of Bill Gates’ investment firms is investing millions into this project, hoping that its proximity to local hubs and ability to be completely molded will allow for innovation.

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Immigration – The New Generational Conflict

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Arizona lawmakers passed the toughest state anti-immigration act in the country.

Meaghan Patrick, a junior at New College of Florida, a tiny liberal arts college in Sarasota, says discussing immigration with her older relatives is like “hitting your head against a brick wall.”

Cathleen McCarthy, a senior at the University of Arizona, says immigration is the rare, radioactive topic that sparks arguments with her liberal mother and her grandmother.

 

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Solar without the Panels

Solar without the Panels

The solar power plant Abengoa Solar will build in Gila Bend, Arizona won’t rely on fancy photovoltaic panels. Mirrors focus the sun’s rays into tanks of heat-transfer oil, heating it to about 400°C, boiling water for a steam turbine.

The appeal of the system is its low cost and high scalability. MIT’s Technology Review says that, according to one expert, “solar thermal power will become cost competitive with other forms of power generation decades before photovoltaics will.” And even though solar thermal costs more than wind power (around 15 cents per kilowatt versus wind’s 8 cents per kilowatt), solar thermal energy, trapped in the form of heat, is much more easy to save up. Energy can be generated even when the sun isn’t shining—in the case of Abengoa’s Arizona plant, part of the heat doesn’t directly boil water but is transferred to molten salt tanks, where it can be stored to power the turbine for up to six sunless hours.

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