Illuminated drone shows are the new laser light shows, at least judging by this video, which captures a performance by Intel drones set to the music of popular jam band Phish. Intel confirmed to Mashable that the performance features 500 Intel Shooting Star drones, purposely made for these sorts of light shows. The drones are capable of 4 billion color combinations, and fly in various formations that were in response to Phish's song "More," from their 2016 album Big Boat. I'm not saying some weed edibles would really make that heart formation during the line "I'm vibrating with love and light / Pulsating with love and light" even more beautiful, but I'm not NOT saying it, either. The big to-do happened Monday night at Intel's Capital Global Summit in Phoenix, Arizona and was just the latest iteration of an annual tradition; you can watch 2018's drone show here.
Nuro has partnered with Fry's Food Stores to utilize its autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries in Scottsdale. Supermarket giant Kroger said it soon will end a pilot program in which more than 2,000 grocery deliveries were made in self-driving vehicles from a store in Scottsdale, Arizona. The program, launched last August, featured deliveries in autonomous vehicles from robotics company Nuro from the Kroger-owned Fry's store at 7770 E. McDowell Road for customers in ZIP code 85257. The companies described it as the nation's first program featuring deliveries to the general public from fully unmanned vehicles. Wednesday will mark the final day of deliveries.
Nuro, a self-driving car company founded by two former Google employees, today announced that it's expanding its driverless delivery partnership with grocery giant Kroger to a new market: Houston. This follows pilots in Scottsdale, Arizona that kicked off in August, first with a fleet of modified Toyota Priuses and then with Nuro's custom vehicle, R1. In Houston, Nuro will service four zip codes -- 77401, 77096, 77005, and 77025 -- near two Kroger locations, one on 10306 South Post Oak Road and other off of 5150 Buffalo Speedway. Customers within range will be able to place autonomous same-day or next-day delivery orders via Kroger's website or app seven days a week (based on slot availability) later this spring, for a flat price of $5.95. Once an order is placed, store employees will load the groceries into one of several compartments in Nuro's thin, stout R1, which packs a proprietary mix of laser sensors, cameras, and computers.
A year after the first fatality caused by a fully self-driving car, questions about liability in the event of a death involving the cars are still completely up in the air. Officials announced earlier this week that Uber won't face criminal charges in the death of a pedestrian struck and killed by one of its self-driving cars nearly a year ago in Tempe, Arizona. The Yavapai County Attorney's Office said it conducted a thorough review of the evidence and determined there was no basis for criminal liability against Uber. It did not detail how the decision was made and has declined to answer any questions on the case. The pedestrian was walking a bicycle across a road at night.
Elaine Herzberg was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona street when a Volvo XC90 hit her, almost a year ago on March 18, 2018. She died at the hospital. The car that hit her was an Uber, but this one was self-driving. The driver and sole occupant in the car was a "safety operator" sitting behind the wheel, not controlling the vehicle. The fatal crash had immediate ramifications for Uber's self-driving car program and the industry.
Mr. Douma said prosecutors' announcement Tuesday tracked with how typically people, and not car manufacturers, are held responsible for crimes they commit behind the wheel. But, as autonomous vehicles become more sophisticated, he said, such cases raise questions about that way of thinking. "Is this driver, or was this driver, behaving in any way different than what most drivers are going to be behaving like when the car is doing this much driving?" he said. "It's a very conventional way of thinking to say we can expect and we should expect people to sit and monitor technology that is otherwise doing all the decision-making." The Yavapai County Attorney's Office did its review at the request of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which had a potential conflict of interest in the case because of an earlier partnership with Uber in a safety campaign.
The Yavapai County Attorney said in a letter made public that there was "no basis for criminal liability" for Uber, but that the back-up driver, Rafaela Vasquez, should be referred to the Tempe police for additional investigation. Prosecutors' decision not to pursue criminal charges removes one potential headache for the ride-hailing company as the company's executives try to resolve a long list of federal investigations, lawsuits and other legal risks ahead of a hotly anticipated initial public offering this year. The crash involved a Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicle that Uber was using to test self-driving technology. The fatal accident was a setback from which the company has yet to recover; its autonomous vehicle testing remains dramatically reduced. The accident was also a blow to the entire autonomous vehicle industry and led other companies to temporarily halt their testing.
A video still from a mounted camera captures the moment before a self-driving Uber SUV fatally struck a woman in Tempe, Ariz., last March. A Yavapai County prosecutor found that Uber is not criminally liable for the crash. A video still from a mounted camera captures the moment before a self-driving Uber SUV fatally struck a woman in Tempe, Ariz., last March. A Yavapai County prosecutor found that Uber is not criminally liable for the crash. An Arizona prosecutor has determined that Uber is not criminally liable in the death of a Tempe woman who was struck by a self-driving test car last year.
Who is criminally liable when a self-driving car fatally strikes a pedestrian? Not the company that built and tested the car -- at least not when it comes to Uber's fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona last March, which killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. Uber won't be charged with a crime, according to a letter, first reported on by Quartz, from Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk, the prosecutor who was temporarily in charge of the case. "After a very thorough review of all the evidence presented, this Office has determined that there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation arising from this matter," reads the document. Originally, the case was being prosecuted by Arizona's Maricopa County, but that department was forced to temporarily hand it off to Yavapai County due to a potential conflict of interest.