Ford's Train Station, Elon's Angry Emails, and More Car News


The future of transportation is all about brilliant engineering, sure, the sort of fast-moving modeling and number-crunching that Volvo employees needed to pull to transform a concept car to a production one in less than two years. Ford making strategic, symbolic moves and purchases in the big, struggling city it once helped make great. Massachusetts attempting to balance the leeriness of its citizens about self-driving tech with its desire to maintain its reputation as a center of innovation. This week was all about automakers, tech goliaths, states, and cities making canny moves to position themselves to welcome the next few months, years, and decades. Sometimes, you gotta get down and dirty.

Blockchain and Data Monetization: The Next Big Thing in the Automotive Industry?


The automotive sector will see more transformation in the coming decade than in the last 50 years combined. Although the industry is already adapting to trends such as electric mobility, autonomous vehicles, and digitalization, the unprecedented pace of change shows no sign of slowing. As income streams switch away from hardware to software-based solutions, and blockchain-powered marketplaces for buying and selling data become increasingly prominent, we predict that data monetization will be a key revenue driver for the automotive industry in the future. By 2027, big data is expected to be worth up to one trillion dollars. Over the same timeframe, technologies based on the blockchain (a highly secure register of digital financial transactions that works without any central authority) may have become so ubiquitous that they store more than ten percent of global GDP.

Police: Backup Driver in Fatal Autonomous Uber Crash Was Watching 'The Voice'


The human backup driver in an autonomous Uber SUV was streaming the television show "The Voice" on her phone and looking downward just before fatally striking a pedestrian in suburban Phoenix, according to a police report. The 300-page report released Thursday night by police in Tempe revealed that driver Rafaela Vasquez had been streaming the musical talent show via Hulu in the 43 minutes before the March 18 crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she crossed a darkened road outside the lines of a crosswalk. The report said the crash, which marks the first fatality involving a self-driving vehicle, wouldn't have happened had the driver not been distracted. Dash camera video shows Vasquez was looking down near her right knee for four or five seconds before the crash. She looked up a half second before striking Herzberg as the Volvo was traveling about 44 miles per hour.

NVIDIAVoice: AI Is Enabling Our Need For Speed And Safety In Racecar Driving


The racing industry is on the fast track to driverless racecars, thanks to AI. At the center of this evolution is Roborace, the world's first autonomous racing competition. Conceived by renowned car designer Daniel Simon -- a former Bugatti designer who's gone on to create various cars for Hollywood -- the "Robocar" is designed, developed, and built by the Roborace organization. Teams compete by writing the software and developing deep neural networks that consume the sensor data to see, think, and act. The cars -- which are 4.8-meters-long -- can reach speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour.

Police: Operator in Self-Driving Uber Crash Was Streaming 'The Voice' WSJD - Technology

"This crash would not have occurred if Vasquez would have been monitoring the vehicle and roadway conditions and was not distracted," the Tempe, Ariz., police report said. The police report said Ms. Vasquez could face vehicular manslaughter charges. Tempe police have referred the case to the Yavapai County attorney's office, where a spokeswoman said the matter is under review. Uber said in a statement it has a "a strict policy prohibiting mobile device usage for anyone operating our self-driving vehicles." Ms. Vasquez, who no longer works for Uber, couldn't be reached for comment.

Driver in fatal self-driving Uber crash was reportedly watching 'The Voice'

FOX News

Raw video: Cameras mounted inside the car catches the fatal moment. Authorites are investigating the cause of the crash. A police report released Thursday on the deadly self-driving Uber accident in March reportedly revealed that the female backup driver had been watching "The Voice" prior to the crash. The report from police in Tempe, Arizona, indicated that the crash could have been prevented had the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, not been watching the show, The Associated Press reported. Elaine Herzberg, 49, was killed in the March 18 crash - believed to be the first of its kind - after being struck by the autonomous vehicle while walking outside of the crosswalk, authorities said at the time.

Here’s the fundamental flaw with self-driving cars: Humans


The safety driver in a self-driving Uber was not being very safe -- aka, not paying attention -- when the vehicle in autonomous mode struck and killed a woman in an Arizona city earlier this year, police records show. Included in a massive Tempe Police Department report this week were details about the March 18 fatal crash. The 318-page report found that Rafaela Vasquez, the 44-year-old driver, was frequently looking down and even smiling and laughing at what appears to be a cellphone streaming an episode of the talent search show, The Voice. In the moments before the test vehicle hit 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona, road, the test driver, Vasquez, was apparently streaming the TV show through Hulu. A video of the moments before the crash shows Vasquez looking toward her right knee while occasionally looking up and around.

Detroit: Become Human review – Being a person has never been so personal

The Independent

In Detroit: Become Human, the ultimate challenge is deciding what it means to be alive. The kinds of questions that this game forces you to ponder – what it means to be alive as a human, what it means to not be, and whether it's possible to switch between – are the kinds of questions that the greats of both both science fiction and science fact have been asking themselves for decades. But Detroit: Become Human makes them immediately real, lifting them out of the abstract and forcing you to confront what it actually means to be a person, in perhaps the most personal way ever. Starting the game, you're dropped into 2038, which is largely like our current world except is filled with androids that help out around the home. And you're dropped into the heads of three of those androids, all of whom are at different stages of figuring out their role in this new and computer-populated world: one who is tasked with hunting down other rogue androids, and two who are stuck in domestic servitude, each teetering on the brink of their own breakthrough.

Listening to audiobooks is more engaging than watching films – even if you don't realise it, study finds

The Independent

Audiobooks are more emotionally engaging than TV and film – even if you don't realise it, according to a landmark new study. The new research from UCL suggests that having a book read to you causes physiological changes including an increased heart rate and heat spreading through your body. During the experiment, scientists had 103 participants of various ages listen to a range of different books, and compared their responses to how they felt when they watched the same scene in a film or TV adaptation. The study included emotional scenes from Game of Thrones and the Girl on the Train, for instance, both from the original book and their hugely popular adaptations. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph.

Gtech e-bike review: Like a normal bike, except you feel like you're incredibly good at cycling

The Independent

Technically, an e-bike is a normal bicycle that also includes a battery that gives you a push, but in reality it's nothing like that. In reality it's like a wizard: able to summon winds behind your back to propel you, like making yourself roughly twice as strong and fit as you really are, or like getting a backie from a friendly ghost. You pedal as normal, but when you do it triggers a computer that starts the motor whirring at the same time, propelling you along; when you reach 15mph, the law requires that it stops helping you, but it will kick back in when you slow down. Gtech's e-bike manages this magical act even better than most, by virtue of looking like a real bike. Some of its rivals embrace the fact that they are something towards a moped, with visible batteries and plenty of wires and weight; the Gtech model has all that, of course, but packs it onto a frame that looks like a normal push bike.