Self-Driving Motorcycles

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Are driverless motorcycles on the BMW project board?
Maybe, but for now, the motorcycle manufacturer is using its autonomous motorcycle tests to develop technologies to improve the safety for conventional riders.

“We want to teach the motorcycle how to ride a bike,” said Stefan Hans, the engineer who leads the self-driving motorcycle project for BMW Motorrad.

Cheers!

quincy

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Self-driving Racecars

 

 

Last week, Roborace ran their self-driving racecar during England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. This marks the robo-car’s second public performance, having appeared previously in Paris, where it completed an unassisted lap.

The car boasts a look that is reminiscent of the Batmobile, and a Tron Lightcycle, (with a little bit Roomba, added in). It’s lack of driver cockpit gives the car an exceptionally low profile, that suggest an ability for sharp, high-speed turns. This, however, has yet to been seen; the Roborace’s top speed at Goodwind was only 125 kph (or ~78 mph).

Equally anticipated is date when the vehicles truly race. When asked how soon until two driverless vehicles share the same racetrack, Roborace’s chief strategy officer, Bryn Balcombe, replied, “I think.. we are not far away.”

Cheers!

quincy

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NTSB finds Operator at fault in Self-driving car fatality

excerpted from: engadget

The Tempe Police Department released a 318-page report on the self-driving accident in which an Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian.

The report shows that [the operator] was streaming The Voice the evening of the crash.  “The inward-facing video shows the vehicle operator glancing down toward the center of the vehicle several times before the crash.

Uber’s self-driving tests mandate that a driver must pay attention to the road at all times and drivers are prohibited from using mobile devices when the vehicles are on public roads.

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Hi-Tech Car Theft Prevention

This home cam in video, shared with the Police, shows how clever car theft has become. One crook waves a repeater around the front door, where he presumes the keys are hung safely within. The repeater sends the keyless entry signal to the a paired device, held near the car door. The car interprets the signal as the arriving owner and unlocks the car.

One solution: An RFID blocking sleeve.

Better still, keep your keys by the nightstand:  the panic/alarm button can serve as a  deterrent to break-in / home invasion.

 

Cheers (and be safe)

quincy

 

Shhh…Alexa is listening (and she can’t keep a secret)!

Amazon Echo

We’ve heard about her creepy laugh, but this may be the first reported instance of her tattling on her masters family. In what Amazon calls an “unlikely but possible” string of events one Echo device recorded a family’s private conversation and sent recording to contact.

Apparently, the device interpreted a word in the background conversation as ‘Alexa,’ prompting her to wakeup and take notice. She then it interpreted the ensuing words in the conversation as a send message.

Alexa’s query, ‘To whom? ‘ went unheard among the conversants, and she (Alexa) interpreted a word among in the conversation as the name of a saved family contact. Asking for confirmation (‘ ________, right?’) she interpreted, among the following words, a confirming, ‘right.’

Then did what she believes was told to do.

Amazon’s statement : “As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely.

Smart Glasses for the Blind

Better than an angel on your shoulder,  Aira.io (pr. EYE-rah)  puts a human assistant in your ear! Their glasses are equipped with earphone, mic, and wide-angle camera to  livestream imagery of what the wearer sees back to Aira. There, a human monitor observing the footage can offer real-time verbal instructions or information to the subscriber. For a vision-impaired individual this could offer a new level of freedom and mobility, with Aira agents offering everything from location guidance,  to pointing out where the building elevator panel or doorknob is located.

Visit their website to learn more.

Cheers!

quincy

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Uber Self-driving Car Causes Pedestrian Fatality

excerpted from: CNN-Money

Uber has removed its self-driving cars from the roads following what is believed to be the first fatality involving a fully autonomous car.

A self-driving Uber SUV struck and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona, Sunday night, according to the Tempe police. The department is investigating the crash.

 

“The vehicle involved is one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles,” the Tempe police said in a statement. “It was in autonomous mode at the time of the collision, with a vehicle operator behind the wheel.”

Uber said it is “fully cooperating” with local officials. “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” Uber said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is launching an investigation.

 

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