Self-Driving Car’s Accident In Arizona Was Not Intentional Or Avoidable

In the early morning hours of Monday, March 19, 2018, a fully-automated Uber vehicle struck a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The 49-year-old female initially battled her quickly-depleting health, but later died at a hospital in Tempe.

Many people might think, upon first glance, that the unmanned Uber vehicle was unarguably at fault for the crash. Since when can cars drive themselves, right?

In actuality, even though the vehicle wasn’t being driven by anyone, an alert, trained driver was behind the wheel, but even she couldn’t stop the crash from happening. Local regulations in Tempe require all moving vehicles to have an alert, licensed driver behind the steering wheel; even if they didn’t, Uber still finds human drivers as a necessary, added layer of safety.

The self-steering, -braking, and -accelerating Volvo XC90 SUV was traveling at roughly 38 miles per hour in a 35 mph speed zone. Before calling “speeding robot!” think about how you and most other people on the road travel at least a handful of your odometer’s tick marks above the speed limit. 38 miles per hour in such a situation was entirely reasonable.

So, here’s what happened – a pedestrian entered a crosswalk with a bicycle and several plastic shopping bags, failing to watch out for traffic, when the self-driving Volvo XC90 struck the 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.

The collision occurred at night, and the side of the road Herzberg shot out from was undeniably dark. Neither the human driver nor Uber’s self-driving intellectual property detected Herzberg in time. The woman presented herself in front of the Uber so quickly that police inspection of the Uber’s two cameras resulted in police claiming that “[Herzberg] came from the shadows right into the roadway.”

Tempe police agreed that how quickly she moved into the roadway made the collision practically impossible to avoid.

Nobody knows if Tempe, Arizona, police are going to release the front and rear cams on the self-driving Uber-branded Volvo. No passengers were inside the vehicle, and the case is still being investigated.

How Self-Driving Vehicles Will Revolutionize Urban Design

The sweeping changes mad possible with self-driving vehicles may extend well beyond commercial application and the influence this technology is expected to have on the transportation industry. From the largest commercial trucks to the smallest passenger cars, having growing numbers of self-driving vehicles on the road will have a major impact on urban planning and city design. Having to rethink urban development from the ground up may be the only way developers and planners will be able to keep pace with autonomous vehicles.

Congestion, Traffic and Parking

Traffic patterns are expected to undergo a rapid evolution thanks to vehicles that drive themselves and those that are able to operate without the need for human occupants. Certain routes, roads and areas may see a steep rise in the total volume of vehicles and traffic while other locations may experience a sudden drop off. Removing human drivers from the equation can also eliminate many of the most common and significant causes of traffic congestion. Even dedicated parking areas and structures may no longer serve a useful purpose as self-driving vehicles that have been stored off-site can easily routed to pick up passengers regardless of their proximity or surroundings.

Other Advances in Transportation Technology

Autonomous vehicles are not the only emerging technology that may serve to reshape urban environments. Other transportation technologies, such as emission-less vehicles, next-generation public transit systems and even aerial delivery drones may all have a role to play in shaping the ways cities are designed and built. Overcoming the limitations of existing city layouts and making the necessary changes and infrastructure upgrades needed to maximize the potential benefits made possible with self-driving vehicles is an important undertaking. Widespread access to more efficient and convenient transportation solutions is expected to make a big impact on the way tomorrow’s cities and urban areas are designed.

Apple Is Trying to Build a Self-Driving Car

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook recently gave an interview where he admitted that the company is hard at work trying to develop the world’s first self-driving car. Cook admitted that the A.I. required for such a project would have to be incredibly sophisticated. Companies like Google have made headlines in their attempt to create self-driving cars. However, Apple is the world’s biggest company. Therefore, the fact that they have entered this industry raises the stakes considerably. Cook did not give any indication as to how long Apple has been involved in this project. He also did not say how far along the company is. He did say that this project is one of the top priorities for the company.

 

Google and Apple are not the only big players in this game. The American auto makers have already made it very clear that they are very serious about developing driverless cars in the future. Ford has already spent $1 billion on a driverless software company. General Motors has also made a significant investment into developing this sort of technology. It remains to be seen which of these companies will have investments that actually pay off. The race to be the first company to get a self-driving car on the market has never been more competitive than it is now.

 

Apple is always very secretive about the various projects they are working on. The self-driving car project is no different. Tim Cook was very stingy with the info that he would reveal. He would basically only confirm that the project is indeed underway. He also said that people have been hired for various positions of importance on the project. He would not confirm who those people are or what their positions will be. Apple just recently opened their new headquarters building in CA that is shaped like a flying saucer. It took several years to build. The self-driving car is the first major project to be announced since the building opened.

 

 

 

Recent news article about funny viral internet trends

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Horsey McHorseface Takes the Gold

Many of you may remember awhile back when the British government used an internet poll to name their new research vessel, then got their collective crumpets in a twist when the winning entry was “Boaty McBoatface.” They then went on give it the slightly less amusing name of the RRS Sir David Attenborough. Now, the internet has a new champion, a race horse named Horsey McHorseface. Well, if you can’t have a boat, the obvious next best choice is to get a horse.

 

 

The owners, who bought horse who would become Horsey McHorseface back in 2015, thought the name would be a good way to generate some positive media buzz. In an interview with CNN, the horse’s manger discussed the events leading up to picking the name “We had a laugh about it in the office and thought, ‘Hey, why not.'”

 

 

Getting your name out there is great, but victories are that much better. So, imagine the excitement when the three-year-old gelding whose name helped it became a cult figure amongst the racing crowd (not to mention having 24-million Twitter followers), proved it’s not just a one trick pony by winning his first race. Horsey took a trip from his home in New Zealand to the pull a last second victory at the Cessock Racetrack in New South Wales, Australia beating the less amusingly named “The Big Dreamer” and “Lucky Starlet”

 

 

Coming out this massive victory it does raise the rather pertinent question of have we reached the peak of the trend Something McSomethingface? Or, with this new victory for funny names, will this only encourage others to run this trend straight to the glue factory?