At BlackBerry's analyst summit this week, a great deal of time was spent on the company's secure QNX operating system, its IVY platform for software management on cars, and other tools and utilities designed for the next generation of personal transportation. This conversation can't happen soon enough. A growing concern of mine is that automobile companies don't yet seem to fully understand the risk they are taking with platforms that aren't secure enough for products tied to human transportation and safety. Having someone hack your phone or PC is bad, but having someone hack your car could be deadly. So when the industry is talking about putting apps in cars, safety and security should be a far higher priority for many of the automotive OEMs than it seems to be.
Apple has arguably changed our lives more than any other company in the world during the past two decades or so. But aside from its digital devices such as iPhones, laptops, watches and operating systems, is there another direction it could go? The somewhat tentative answer to that has been transport, in the form of electric self-driving vehicles. Is Apple gearing up to challenge electric vehicle market leader Tesla, and what progress has been made so far? An Apple-branded car has been mooted for some years now, with sporadic reports of progress being made.
With road trips and domestic travel set to boom this summer, everyone is anticipating to see record levels of people on the road in 2022. While traffic jams seem inevitable in response to pent-up travel demand, a new machine-learning and artificial intelligence-based technology, comprised of a network of video and radar sensors, is proposing a solution to traffic congestion. When traffic management company NoTraffic realized that the traffic light technology used today is severely outdated, it wanted to see if there was a better way of doing things -- starting by combining the current hardware with a smarter software platform. NoTraffic's new technology system is currently being sold to local governments and their departments of transportation, as they work with traffic engineers in the area to address specific needs of intersections and provide oversight to adjust visual meteorological condition algorithms as needed. The company is privately held and does not disclose financials.
As we wrap up our Cooking Week on Engadget, my purchase of a milk frother is just one part of the Engadget team's surprisingly broad selection of essential small kitchen gadgets -- big spenders can scroll down to Breville's bonkers induction cooker. But back to me: Nespresso's Barista Recipe Maker heats and froths your milk (or milk alternative) simply to upgrade your espressos or moka coffees into flat whites, cappuccinos and more. I've owned mine for a couple of years, and I love how easy it is to clean. The spin mechanism is magnet-based, too, so it's less likely to break and should last plenty of summers filled with iced macchiatos. For all the other kitchen-centric stories this week, you can find them here.
Apple's long-awaited Apple Car could have virtual displays on the inside instead of clear windows, according to a new patent. The tech giant has filed a patent for a virtual reality (VR) vehicle system that matches up'virtual views' with the physical motion of a car as it's travelling. For example, if the car was careering down a hill, the system could project a virtual image of a rollercoaster ride. Chairs in the car would move about to match the visuals, the patent suggests, much like an immersive '4DX' cinema experience. But it would mean passing views of the real world – such as a beautiful medieval cathedral or stunning coastal hills – would be entirely replaced with virtual graphics.
Groundbreaking research has always been an important aspect of SIGGRAPH, as scientists and researchers present the latest industry advancements to conference-goers. So, the fact that Nvidia, in collaboration with top academic researchers at 14 universities, will be presenting a record number (16) of research papers at this year's conference is astounding. When a reinforcement learning model is used to develop a physics-based animated character, the AI typically learns just one skill at a time: walking, running, or perhaps cartwheeling. But researchers from UC Berkeley, the University of Toronto, and Nvidia have created a framework that enables AI to learn a whole repertoire of skills--demonstrated with a warrior character who can wield a sword, use a shield, and get back up after a fall. Achieving these smooth, lifelike motions for animated characters is usually tedious and labor-intensive, with developers starting from scratch to train the AI for each new task.
A recent Model S crash that killed three people has sparked another Federal probe into Tesla's Autopilot system, The Wall Street Journal has reported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting the investigation and said it's currently looking into more than 30 incidents involving Tesla's Autopilot. The accident occurred on May 12th in Newport Beach's Mariners Mile strip, according to the Orange County Register. The EV reportedly struck a curb and ran into construction equipment, killing all three occupants. Three construction workers were also sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Federal authorities are investigating whether a Tesla involved in a crash that left three people dead and three others injured last week in Newport Beach had its Autopilot system activated at the time of the wreck. A special crash investigation team was sent for the May 12 incident on Pacific Coast Highway, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday. In that crash, Newport Beach police were called around 12:45 a.m. to the 3000 block of Pacific Coast Highway, where they found a 2022 Tesla Model S sedan had crashed into a curb and hit construction equipment. Three people were found dead in the Tesla; they were identified last week as Crystal McCallum, 34, of Texas; Andrew James Chaves, 32, of Arizona; and Wayne Walter Swanson Jr., 40, of Newport Beach, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Three construction workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said, adding that the department's Major Accident Investigation Team had been brought in.
You could be forgiven for believing that we've already achieved the era of autonomous vehicles. Tesla, the electric car manufacturer run by Elon Musk, refers to a version of its Autopilot software as "Full Self Driving". The company released a (misleadingly edited) video of an autonomous vehicle navigating city streets, its drivers' hands on their lap – a style replicated by enthusiasts. Musk has repeatedly assured in speeches and interviews that autonomous vehicles were one to two years away – or, as he put it in 2015, a "solved problem" because "we know what to do and we'll be there in a few years." But the existing Autopilot technology has not yet realized those promises and, as a new New York Times documentary illustrates, the gap in expectation and reality has led to several deadly crashes.
Hyundai's Genesis brand is now taking orders for its first electric vehicle, the GV60. The EV, which follows the G80 hybrid, starts at $58,890 and comes with three years of 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations at no extra cost. US sales will be limited at the outset, however. To begin with, the GV60 will only be available for purchase at select retailers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The EV will be available in two dual-motor trims, Advanced AWD and Performance AWD.