Los Angeles Times


Intel and Waymo expand their self-driving-car collaboration

Los Angeles Times

The world's largest computer chipmaker said Monday that it will take on a more collaborative role with Waymo's new self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans. Waymo's Chrysler Pacifica fleet is fitted with Intel technology for sensor processing, general computing and connectivity. "As Waymo's self-driving technology becomes smarter and more capable, its high performance hardware and software will require even more powerful and efficient compute," Intel Chief Executive Bryan Krzanich said in a prepared statement. BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced an autonomous vehicle partnership last year.


Merriam-Webster adds 'alt-right' and 'sriracha' and 250 more words to its dictionary

Los Angeles Times

Sriracha, of course, is a delicious hot sauce. The dictionary also added a new, politically inspired definition to the word "dog whistle": "an expression or statement that has a secondary meaning intended to be understood only by a particular group of people." The technology-related words added by Merriam-Webster include "ransomware," defined as "malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files," and "Internet of Things," which is "the networking capability that allows information to be sent to and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the Internet." The tribute to Johnson features his famous definition of "lexicographer": "a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words."


Girl with robotic hand will throw out first pitch during World Series

Los Angeles Times

Hailey Dawson is 7 years old and has already thrown out the first pitch before many Major League Baseball games. By using a robotic hand made with a 3-D printer, she has thrown out the ceremonial first pitch for several MLB teams, including the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Oakland A's, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. The Las Vegas native first threw out a ceremonial pitch before a UNLV game in 2014, then set her sights on doing so at major league stadiums. More than 20 of the league's teams, including the Dodgers and Angels, reached out to Dawson through that tweet.


Bill to set requirements for online dating service contracts heads to governor's desk

Los Angeles Times

On Tuesday, they rejected a plan for "safe injection sites" for drug users, while agreeing to spend money to help "Dreamer" immigrants. Vice President Mike Pence has rescheduled his California fundraising trip for October. On Tuesday, they rejected a plan for "safe injection sites" for drug users, while agreeing to spend money to help "Dreamer" immigrants. Vice President Mike Pence has rescheduled his California fundraising trip for October.


Lawmakers hear from industry, union on self-driving truck regulations

Los Angeles Times

In a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington on Wednesday morning on the potential safety and economic implications of self-driving trucks, Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said trucks come with a different set of considerations than much lighter passenger vehicles. "We don't believe you should just include 80,000-pound trucks without further study," he said. She said it didn't make sense to put regulations for trucks and passenger vehicles on two different timetables. One of those is a concept called platooning, in which a human truck driver would manage and lead a couple of self-driving trucks that would follow behind a control vehicle.


Self-driving ships could be ready in three years

Los Angeles Times

Spurred in part by the auto industry's race to build driverless vehicles, marine innovators are building automated ferry boats for Amsterdam canals, cargo ships that can steer themselves through Norwegian fjords and remote-controlled ships to carry containers across the Atlantic and Pacific. "We're in full autonomy now," said Jeff Gawrys, a marine technician for Boston startup Sea Machines Robotics, sitting at the helm as the boat floated through a harbor channel. The startup has signed a deal with an undisclosed company to install the "world's first autonomy system on a commercial container ship," Johnson said this week. In Norway, fertilizer company Yara International is working with engineering firm Kongsberg Maritime on a project to replace big-rig trucks with an electric-powered ship connecting three nearby ports.


Are you ready to unlock your iPhone with your face?

Los Angeles Times

But you can't share your biometrics," said George Avetisov, chief executive of biometric security firm HYPR Corp. With Touch ID, Apple's fingerprint technology, the chance that a random person could unlock your phone with his or her fingerprint is 1 in 50,000, Apple said; with Face ID, it's 1 in 1 million. It works by relying on an advanced suite of tech -- including an infrared camera, flood illuminator, front camera, dot projector, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor -- packed into the front of the new iPhone X, which starts at $999. Once it detects a match, the phone unlocks; Face ID will also work with Apple Pay and third-party apps. Apple reportedly acquired two companies that were developing facial recognition technology: Israeli start-up RealFace and San Diego start-up Emotient, which uses artificial intelligence to read facial expressions and emotions.


Driverless cars on public highways? Go for it, Trump administration says

Los Angeles Times

Under those guidelines, automakers and technology companies will be asked to voluntarily submit safety assessments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, but they don't have to do it. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that eventually would let automakers each put as many as even if some features don't meet current safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The new standards replace guidelines published by the Obama administration in September 2016 that asked automakers to voluntarily submit reports on a 15-point "safety assessment." The new "Vision for Safety" advises state officials to remain technology-neutral and not favor traditional automakers over technology companies; to remove regulatory barriers that keep driverless cars off the roads; and to make the federal Transportation Department's voluntary recommendations into law.


Pot delivery by drone? California cannabis czars put the kibosh on stoner pipe dream

Los Angeles Times

California's Bureau of Cannabis Control last week outlined its plans to ban pot delivery by drone, putting the kibosh on any business hoping to make a buck on the concept. On Wednesday, the bureau released an initial study describing proposed emergency regulations for commercial cannabis businesses ahead of Jan. 1, when marijuana sales, with proper retail licensing, will be allowed for recreational use in California. In its study -- Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing Program Regulations -- the bureau is clear: Marijuana must be transported in trailers or commercial vehicles. The rule differs from federal drone regulations, which allow package delivery by drone as long as the device is within sight of the pilot, doesn't fly over people and the product weighs less than 55 pounds.


la-fi-hy-tesla-autopilot-20170912-story.html

Los Angeles Times

"The Tesla's automation did not detect, nor was it required [to], nor was it designed to detect the crossing vehicle," Robert L. Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at the start of a hearing reviewing the Florida crash. Tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that Tesla and other vehicles with semiautonomous driving technology had great difficulty sensing cross traffic. The NTSB staff also said that Tesla's reliance on sensing a driver's hands on the wheel was not an effective way of monitoring whether the driver was paying attention. The NTSB staff recommended the use of a more effective technology to determine whether a driver is paying attention, such as a camera tracking the driver's eyes.