The Pandemic Is Bringing Us Closer To Our Robot Takeout Future

from ars technica On the morning of March 30, I set out from my home in Washington, DC, to the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In only a few hours, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam would issue coordinated stay-at-home orders. But I was going to GMU’s campus to check out a new technology seemingly tailor-made for the moment—technology that could help people get food without the risks of face-to-face interactions. Campus was eerily quiet; most students and staff had long been sent home. But as I approached a Starbucks at the northern edge […]

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Waymo: “We’re Bringing This Case Because Uber Is Cheating”

from ars technica In a packed courtroom on the first day of the blockbuster Waymo v. Uber trade secrets trial, both sides presented their opening arguments. Charles Verhoeven, Waymo’s top lawyer, said that Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO from 2010 until mid-2017, was not playing fair in his company’s efforts to catch up with Waymo. “The evidence is going to show that Mr. Kalanick, the CEO at the time, made a decision that winning was more important than obeying the law,” he said. “He made a decision to cheat. Because for him, winning at all costs, no matter what, was his […]

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Tesla Model S Hack

from Schneier on Security Impressive remote hack of the Tesla Model S.  Details. Video. The vulnerability has been fixed. Remember, a modern car isn’t an automobile with a computer in it. It’s a computer with four wheels and an engine. Actually, it’s a distributed 20-400-computer system with four wheels and an engine. More here.

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A Ride In Uber’s Self-Driving Car

from The New Yorker One day they just appeared—Ford Fusions, some black, some white, with uber stamped on the side. With their twenty cameras, seven lasers, and rooftop-mounted G.P.S., the self-driving cars stood out. People stopped and stared as they took trial journeys around Pittsburgh. That was in the spring. Now, in the waning days of summer, passengers hailing an Uber X may be picked up by one of the city’s many human drivers, or by one of a tiny fleet of autonomous vehicles. “I think that this is the most important thing that computers are going to do in the next […]

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The Driverless Truck Is Coming, And It’s Going To Automate Millions Of Jobs

from TechCrunch A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs — or drive more economic efficiency — than the driverless truck. Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings aren’t the only gains to be had from the adoption of driverless trucks. Where drivers are restricted by law from driving more than 11 hours per day without taking an 8-hour break, a driverless truck can drive nearly 24 hours per day. That means the technology would effectively double the output of the U.S. […]

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Domino’s Is Trialling An Autonomous Pizza Delivery Robot

from ars technica Pizza delivery boys and girls, beware! Pizza giant Domino’s has unveiled an autonomous pizza delivery robot that is being trialled in New Zealand. On Friday the company unveiled the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU), and announced that the bot had already carried out its first successful pizza delivery on March 8. “DRU is an autonomous delivery vehicle and is set to take the world by storm,” the company wrote in a statement on its website. The vehicle’s development started in 2015 and was pushed towards commercialisation by Domino’s Australia-based skunkworks DLab. According to a promotional video (embedded below), DRU uses software developed by the […]

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