Radio jamming systems apparently thwarted an attempted presidential assassination with improvised drone bombs in Venezuela. On Saturday 4th August, President Nicolas Maduro's speech at an outdoor rally was interrupted by two explosions. Seven soldiers on parade were injured, three critically. Others scattered while bodyguards rushed to protect the president with bulletproof shields. Witnesses reported seeing two multicopter drones which crashed into a nearby apartment building and exploded.
For the developers of self-driving vehicles, semi-trucks are a potential low-hanging fruit. Although big rigs are imposingly, intimidatingly huge, they also predominantly run on freeways and other fixed routes that are simpler to automate. Fleet managers are easier to convince with rational, financial arguments than individual car buyers. Today, a new startup, Kodiak Robotics, is edging out of stealth, announcing $40 million in financing, and telling the world it's going to pick and ship that fruit. The company is worth watching because it's cofounded by Don Burnette, who also cofounded Otto, a trucking startup acquired by Uber in 2016, and particularly notable because it led to a high-profile legal spat in the nascent autonomous vehicle industry.
Venezuela's interior minister says six people have been arrested, after what President Nicolas Maduro says was an assassination attempt against him. The president accuses Colombia and a group of US financiers of trying to kill him. Venezuela's opposition fears the government will launch a crackdown. Colombia's Foreign Affairs Ministry called that accusation absurd, and in Washington, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton strongly denied any US role.
On Saturday, as Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a speech in Caracas before a large military assemblage, drones carrying explosives approached, detonating near the stage. While Maduro was unharmed, Venezuelan information minister Jorge Rodriguez said that the attack injured seven soldiers. It's a method of assault that only a few years ago felt unthinkable, but has quickly become inevitable. Details remain scarce about the exact nature of the attack, which Rodriguez characterized as an "assassination attempt," including what type of drones were used and the nature of the explosives involved. In a televised address to his country, Maduro appeared to attribute the strike to far-right factions in Venezuela and Columbia.
The race to create self-driving trucks just got a little less crowded. That's because Uber announced Monday that the ride-hailing giant is shuttering its self-driving truck program, a division that made history in 2016 by completing the world's first autonomous truck delivery -- 50,000 cans of Budweiser. That division -- a part of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group -- had other successes as well, including delivering freight on highways in Arizona using automated Volvo big rigs. The robot-driven Volvo trucks were rolled out in November and included a human backup driver, the company said. The company did not have a formal partnership with Volvo but, instead, retrofitted Volvo trucks with its technology.
A Saudi-led coalition has launched air raids on Yemen's Hodeidah, in an apparent resumption of military operations on the strategic Red Sea city after Houthi rebels attacked two Saudi oil tankers and one of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) main airports. The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said in a series of tweets on Friday that coalition air strikes had targeted a radio station inside the city and a fishing pier. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The latest offensive on the port city of Hodeidah came a day after Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack on Abu Dhabi's international airport. According to the Al-Masirah television channel, the Sammad-3 drone launched three attacks on the airport.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans are afraid to ride in self-driving cars, according to the latest survey by the American Automobile Association. There is bad news ahead for the many automobile and technology companies currently developing, and road-testing, self-driving cars: many people are too frightened to ride in driverless vehicles. The American Automobile Association (AAA) May consumer trust survey on autonomous vehicles (AVs) found that 73% of U.S. citizens now fear traveling in an AV, compared with 63% just six months before. In addition, the survey found that two-thirds of millennials--a supposedly tech-loving generation--are also too fearful to ride in self-driving cars. The AAA even has unwelcome news from pedestrians and cyclists, with nearly two-thirds saying they don't trust AVs enough to use roads and sidewalks alongside them.
Waymo self-driving cars will be used to chauffeur "early riders" to and from their Walmart online grocery pickup location. Waymo self-driving cars will be used to chauffeur "early riders" to and from their Walmart online grocery pickup location. The future is here and soon it will be toting grocery shoppers around Phoenix. Walmart and Waymo -- formerly Google's self-driving car project -- announced on Wednesday the launch of a pilot program that will allow consumers to make their grocery pickups with the help of an autonomous vehicle. Participants in Waymo's "early riders" program will be able to take a driverless shuttle service to and from Walmart whenever they purchase groceries from Walmart.com using the retailer's online grocery pickup service.