Google’s self-driving cars still face many hidden obstacles

google.car
A pre-made map only lets  Google’s self-driving car know about the presence of certain stationary objects, like traffic lights.

Google’s self-driving car has made impressive progress but there are still some major limitations for automated driving. It can’t drive itself in 99 percent of the country. The car knows nearly nothing about parking,  and can’t be taken out in snow or heavy rain, and it would drive straight over a gaping pothole.

 

 

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Top 9 ways Google is changing the world

Google Loon

Project Loon aims to bring internet access to the two-thirds of the world.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, last month, thumbed his nose at Google for its various “moonshot” projects, currently housed at Google’s semi-secret X Labs. When Nadella was asked if Microsoft could learn a thing or two from X Labs, he said that there’s always something to learn from “from people who market themselves well.”

 

 

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Baidu is developing a semi-autonomous car

Baidu

Baidu wants to keep the individual in control.

Would you prefer to ride in a completely autonomous self-driving car, like Google’s self-driving car, or one like Chinese search engine Baidu’s semi-autonomous car?  Instead of cars that have no steering wheels, gas pedals, or brake pedals for drivers to control, Baidu is thinking about cars with intelligent assistants who help you drive.

 

 

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Top 10 ways nanotechnology is transforming the world around us

Gecko
Nanotechnology might be outside your window at this very moment in the form of a gecko-like human scaling a self-cleaning, nano-enhanced solar window.

A pair of hand-held, gecko-inspired paddles that can help you ascend a 25-foot sheet of glass might not seem like the most impressive use of nanotechnology but this real-world advance aptly demonstrates how quickly the field of nanotechnology is climbing into our lives. Below are ten additional examples of how nanotechnology is already changing the world, followed by 10 ways it may help society scale even greater heights in the near future.

 

 

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Here’s why automakers want 4G technology in cars

4g tech

Automakers are counting on the connected car.

Today’s cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common. Dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. Large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars starting this year. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?

 

 

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Imagine life without cars

uber driver

The big benefit from new IT-mediated car services will come if they make it possible for lots of people.

There has been a lot of discussion lately about Uber, Lyft, and all that. The big benefit from new IT-mediated car services will come if they make it possible for lots of people, not just people in Manhattan,  to live without owning their own cars. And if you think about it, you can see how that might work.

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FBI sees driverless cars as a ‘potential lethal weapon’

driverless car

FBI is more optimistic about the benefits of driverless cars when it comes to surveillance efforts.

Self-driving cars are a “potential lethal weapon,” but could make surveillance “more effective and easier,” according to FBI claims in an internal report surfaced by the Guardian.

 

 

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Abandoned luxury cars become a big problem in Dubai

abandoned car 1

Thousands of luxury cars are being abandoned every year since Dubai’s financial meltdown.

Dubai over the last several years has been facing an unusual problem of high end sports cars being abandoned and left to gather thick layers of dust at airport parking lots and on the roadside across the city. If you’ve ever been to Dubai or anywhere in the United Arab Emirates, you will have noticed they have a serious car culture out there, with a particular preference for the latest and greatest in high-end super cars. (Pics)

 

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Solar Forest provides a charging station for electric cars

solarforest 1

Solar Forest

We aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to providing a steady supply of clean energy for electric vehicles. So, designer Neville Mars has conceived of an incredible EV charging station that takes the form of an evergreen glade of solar trees. His photovoltaic grove serves a dual function, acting as a go-to source for clean renewable energy while providing a shady spot for cars to park as they charge.

 

 

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Thanks to Google and Tesla, the first driverless cars will be electric

robot car

Electric cars and robotic cars are moving to the market hand-in-hand.

Google’s new experimental fleet of robotic cars are electric. That’s important because as one of the leaders of developing the software and artificial intelligence that will move autonomous cars through the streets, Google is now also helping set the path for the hardware of the future industry, and it’s skewing that path toward electric vehicles.

 

 

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