Space luminaries such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have talked about building bases on the Moon to let humans live, work and play on the lunar surface. A new discovery, however, may bring that dream to reality sooner than realized. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has discovered an enormous cave under the lunar surface, something it calls a "very significant" discovery, due to its value for both science and human expansion into space. The discovery was made by Japan's Selenological and Engineering Explorer (Selene) probe and shows a 50 kilometer (31 miles) "lava tube" underground, alongside a lava flow river "rille" on the Marius Hills of the Moon. JAXA used radio waves to confirm the existence of the cave after examining the hole.
Nissan is launching its new semi-autonomous ProPilot Assist system in the Rogue crossover, its best-selling vehicle, before it arrives in the all-new electric Leaf next year. The system uses a camera and radar to allow a vehicle to steer itself in the middle of a lane on the highway, while maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front of it. Nissan expects around 30 percent of Rogues sold next year to be equipped with the feature. ProPilot Assist monitors the lane markers and vehicles ahead. Unlike some competing systems, ProPilot Assist isn't meant for anything resembling hands-off driving.
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.
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.
Renowned for his concerns over artificial intelligence and its potential negative impact on humanity, tech titan Elon Musk has made his most concerning comments yet surrounding AI. In a series of tweets on Monday, the Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and OpenAI co-founder wrote that artificial intelligence could be the eventual cause of the next world war. Musk's comments were in response to comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said that the country "who becomes the leader in this sphere [artificial intelligence] will be the ruler of the world." VLADIMIR PUTIN SAYS THE LEADER IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE'WILL BE THE RULER OF THE WORLD' Musk's companies, specifically Tesla, have used artificial intelligence to enhance its products and services.
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."
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."