IBM has teamed up with Local Motors, a Phoenix-based automotive manufacturer that made the first 3D-printed car, to create a self-driving electric bus. Named "Olli," the bus has room for 12 people and uses IBM Watson's cloud-based cognitive computing system to provide information to passengers. In addition to automatically driving you where you want to go using Phoenix Wings autonomous driving technology, Olli can respond to questions and provide information, similar to Amazon's Echo home assistant. The bus debuts today in the Washington D.C. area for the public to use during select times over the next several months, and the IBM-Local Motors team hopes to introduce Olli to the Miami and Las Vegas areas by the end of the year. By using Watson's speech to text, natural language classifier, entity extraction, and text to speech APIs, the bus can provide several services beyond taking you to your destination.
Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today. Donald Trump will try to work his magic on Capitol Hill today, meeting with GOP leaders to see if they can find some common ground. Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have cautiously stepped onto the Trump train, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan has refused to endorse the billionaire. We'll be keeping an eye on everything here. Twice, the chairman of the California Coastal Commission met with developers of the Newport Banning Ranch project -- which calls for homes, retail space and a hotel to be built on the largest undeveloped coastal parcel in Southern California.
A gunman who police said killed five people in a Washington state mall remained at large Saturday as authorities appealed for help in identifying the suspect but said there were no indications the slayings north of Seattle were a terrorist act. People fled, customers hid in dressing rooms and employees locked the doors of nearby stores after gunshots rang out just after 7 p.m. Friday at the Cascade Mall. A helicopter, search teams and K-9 units scoured the area for a rifle-carrying man in a police response that included more than 200 officers. "There are people waking up this morning and their world has changed forever," Burlington Mayor Steve Sexton said Saturday at a news conference. "The city of Burlington has probably changed forever."
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to discuss "military cooperation" in Syria's conflict, a bone of contention between Moscow and Washington. Shoigu was sent by President Vladimir Putin for the unannounced meeting with Moscow's long-time ally Assad on Saturday, the Syrian state news agency SANA said. "The talks focused on military cooperation between the two countries and joint action to fight against terrorist organisations on Syrian soil," it said. In Moscow, the defence ministry said in a statement that the discussions centred on "current questions of military and technical cooperation... as well as certain aspects of the cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups operating in Syria". The visit came as a US defence department spokesman said Pentagon officials in a video conference with Russian counterparts had voiced "strong concerns" over Moscow's alleged bombing of US-backed forces in southern Syria.
Donald Trump campaign staffers who've been raising concerns in the press about his unfocused private debate preparations may have found a solution: bring the practice sessions into public view. The Republican presidential hopeful delivered remarks and then fielded questions Monday from an audience of retired military officials in a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. For a candidate who prefers public rallies to private practice sessions, the campaign at least could get him comfortable with a version of the format of Sunday's town hall-style debate. In his remarks, he focused on his plan for cybersecurity, a topic that came up in the first presidential debate but one that Trump seemed to struggle with. Trump said cybersecurity would be a "major priority" for his administration, and notably discussed the threats of state-sponsored cyber attacks from countries like Russia and China.