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Bill Gates firm buys Arizona land for $80 million to create 'smart city'

FOX News

A real estate investment firm owned by Bill Gates recently bought land in Arizona for $80 million to be developed into a "smart city." A real estate investment firm owned by Bill Gates recently bought a giant plot of land in Arizona for $80 million to be developed into a "smart city." Arizona-based Belmont Partners, one of Gates' investment firms, purchased close to 25,000 acres of land in Tonopah, around 50 miles west of Phoenix, to create a "smart city" called Belmont, KPNX reported. "Belmont will create a forward-thinking community with a communication and infrastructure spine that embraces cutting-edge technology, designed around high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles and autonomous logistics hubs," Belmont Partners said in a press release, according to KPNX. The community "will transform a raw, blank slate into a purpose-built edge city built around a flexible infrastructure model," according to Belmont Properties.


Self-driving shuttle hit by human-driven truck hours after debut

FOX News

An automated driverless shuttle bus debuts in Las Vegas and on the same day a semi-truck backs up into it. An automated driverless shuttle was involved in an accident hours after it debuted in the streets of downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday. Those involved in the conception of the project have said the shuttle was not at fault. "The exciting thing is that the vehicle did exactly what it was programmed to do. This is a really good real-world case of how the technology actually works, said John Moreno, a spokesperson for The American Automobile Association (AAA,) who is a sponsor on the project.


Trump OKs test program to expand domestic drone flights

FOX News

WASHINGTON-- Some Americans could see a lot more drones flying around their communities as the result of a Trump administration test program to increase government and commercial use of the unmanned aircraft. President Donald Trump gave the go-ahead Wednesday, signing a directive intended to increase the number and complexity of drone flights. The presidential memo would allow exemptions from current safety rules so communities could move ahead with testing of drone operations. States, communities and tribes selected to participate would devise their own trial programs in partnership with government and industry drone users. The administration anticipates approving at least five applications, but there is no limit on the number of communities that can join.


Tesla's autonomous car claim is 'full of crap', says General Motors expert

FOX News

Tesla's entrepreneurial boss Elon Musk claims his cars "already have the hardware needed for a full self-driving capability", known in the industry as a "Level Five" engineering standard. However in a briefing about autonomous cars to Australian media in Detroit overnight, Scott Miller, General Motors' director of autonomous vehicle integration said "I think he's full of crap", when asked what he thought about Musk's claim. "To be what an SAE Level Five full autonomous system is, I don't think he (Elon Musk) has the content to do that." Mr Miller said lydar and radar systems do a good job of measuring object speed and cameras do a great job of identifying objects.


Where militaries window shop

FOX News

These are just a few of the latest military and security innovations from around the world on offer at the Defence and Security Equipment International Show (DSEI) in the U.K. this week. There is a mind-boggling array of offerings, from the latest in body armor and ways to covertly armor up civilian vehicles through to Special Forces equipment and ATVS, rations and explosion containment. For countries thinking about possible intervention with North Korea and Syria that could pose Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN)-type threats, delegations are looking at potential solutions like suits to protect forces against radiological and nuclear weapons, as well as decontamination technology. This is window shopping at the level of a country's top officials, a country's top military level – not individual level.


This smart home tech offers seniors independence

FOX News

One Cincinnati-based startup recently launched a DIY kit of smart-home connected products – which includes voice-controlled Amazon Echo Dot technology -- that it says can help senior citizens live independently for longer. When a pattern shifts, TruSense notices, and updates the user and the circle of people who they've chosen via custom notifications--it can even notify the 24/7 emergency monitoring center through a voice integration with the Amazon Echo Dot. TruSense: We have gone to great lengths to ensure that TruSense delivers multiple layers of protection, providing a fail-safe system that provides a safety net. TruSense has personalized alerts and notifications when something goes wrong based on customized user thresholds that can trigger a text or voice commands can be used to notify our 24/7 emergency response team via integration with digital assistants such as Amazon Echo.


Apple car had sphere wheels?

FOX News

Apple tried to reinvent the wheel. In a wide-ranging New York Times report on the technology company's efforts to enter the autonomous car arena, insiders revealed that one team researched the idea of replacing traditional wheels and tires with spheres that would allow a car to move side to side more easily. They weren't the only ones to explore idea, it's showed up in science fiction several times and Goodyear last year showed a concept for spherical wheels that use magnetic levitation to suspend the car above them. Eventually, it gave on the idea of building a car and began to focus on the technology that will enable autonomy instead.


This saves many lives

FOX News

Electronic blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping systems do help to prevent crashes, according to new studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A second institute study of blind-spot detection systems -- usually warning lights in side mirrors -- found the systems lower the rate of all lane-change crashes by 14 percent and the rate of such crashes with injuries by 23 percent. A separate study by the insurance industry-funded institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AgeLab found that drivers using automated systems that scan for parking spots and then park the car spend a lot more time looking at dashboard displays than at the parking spot, the road in front or the road behind. Automakers, taking note of the problem, appear to be switching to systems that vibrate the steering wheel or driver's seat, Cicchino said.


Google car is cushy

FOX News

As it continues to improve its sensor technology to help its vehicle understand its surroundings and respond quickly and safely to unfolding events, it's also been considering how to deal with unavoidable collisions, whether it's with a "soft" human that could easily sustain an injury, or a harder object like another vehicle. A patent recently awarded to Waymo offers some insight into how the company is approaching the issue. In Waymo's own words: "The vehicle may contain tension members that are arranged so that a change in tension across one or more of the tension members will alter the rigidity of the vehicle's surface. The vehicle may identify and respond to a potential collision by altering the tension that is applied to one or more tension members, thereby altering the rigidity of the vehicle's surface."


Homeland Security concerned about commercial drones being used for 'nefarious purposes'

FOX News

Combined Joint Task Force officials echoed these comments, saying that "the Coalition takes this threat seriously and has implemented increased force protection measures and improved UAV counter-measures to protect Coalition forces and our partners on the ground." They also stated ISIS drones will not dramatically impact the battlefield, but add that "the Coalition remains responsive to this emerging threat through both active and passive measures, and we continue to improve force protection measures for all our Coalition personnel and Iraqi and Syrian partner forces." So what does increased weaponized commercial drone activity overseas mean to the United States? The Federal Aviation Administration estimates small, hobbyist unmanned aircraft system purchases may grow from 1.9 million in 2016 to as many as 4.3 million by 2020.