Just like how Spidey slings a web to capture bad guys, this little drone shoots a net to stop dangerous flying drones. DroneCatcher's special track and trace tech ensures the drone is precisely hit and caught by the shooting net. It is important for law enforcement to be equipped with the solutions to stop armed drones. With tech like DroneCatcher, law enforcement could more easily protect targets attractive to terrorists.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that "operational limitations" of Tesla's Autopilot system played a "major role" in a fatal crash last May, but that the driver was also at fault for not paying adequate attention to the road. At the time, Autopilot was capable of steering the car within its lane and autonomously braking for vehicles in the road ahead. His last action was setting the cruise control at 74 mph on the 65 mph road, two minutes before the collision. The NTSB report was issued on the same day that U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao revealed the federal government's latest voluntary guidelines for autonomous technology, which includes a section on driver monitoring and the transfer of control from vehicle to operator when a system determines that human interaction is required.
General Motors-owned Cruise Automation has revealed what it claims is the first mass-producible car capable of driving itself. In a blog post, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt said the Chevrolet Bolt-based vehicle is equipped with all of the sensors and redundant equipment to safely put it on the road without a driver when the software to operate it is fully-developed. No timeline for final validation of the software was revealed, and public sales are not yet planned. Tesla also claims its new Model 3 is equipped with the hardware needed for full self-driving capability, but has not said when its software will be ready to activate the function.
With the looming advent of the age of autonomous cars comes many questions. Foremost among them: Can they deliver pizza? That's what Domino's and Ford will try to find out in the coming weeks when they deploy a jointly-developed self-driving car into the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich., that's equipped with a heated compartment hidden behind the passenger side rear window that rolls down and dishes out orders when a customer enters an access code into a tablet installed on the side of the vehicle. Whether its people or pizza, the question remains: What do you give a robot for a tip?
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.
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.
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."
Looking to ever expand ways to deliver goods to its customers, Amazon has patented a way to allow its drones to deliver packages without ever having to land. The patent would not only provide a safe distance between the UAVs and the people receiving the packages, but also cut down on noise pollution, BizJournals noted. Bezos, now the world's third-richest man with an estimated fortune of $83.3 billion according to Forbes, first showed off Amazon's drone delivery unit in a Dec. 2013 interview on "60 Minutes." It recently filed patents for a beehive-like structure that would allow drones to pick up and drop off packages.
Within the decade, several airlines could be on their way to rolling out pilotless flights, reports Fox Business. Also, United States citizens were more likely, at 27percent, than German and French citizens, at 13 percent overall, to take a flight without a pilot. From those savings, UBS surmises that the consumer would benefit with cheaper ticket costs. In the report, UBS states: "The average percentage of total cost and average benefit that could be passed onto passengers in price reduction for the U.S. airlines is 11 percent."
The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer recently announced plans to build a massive $10 billion plant in Wisconsin. In a phone interview from Shanghai, where he was concluding a nine-day trade trip in China, Snyder told the Associated Press Monday night there is a "strong possibility" for Foxconn to still locate in the state after the company in recent weeks picked neighboring Wisconsin for a $10 billion display panel plant with 3,000 employees that could grow to 13,000. They discussed the autonomous vehicle industry and advanced manufacturing, Snyder said. But we're going to continue to present them good opportunities of what we can do in Michigan."