When Apple received its permit to test autonomous cars in California, people started geeking out hard. Now, prepare to cry some more tears of fanboy joy, because Apple’s car has been spotted in the wild yet again.
MacRumors posted a reader-submitted video, showing Apple’s Lexus RX outfitted with all manner of self-driving hardware, including a Velodyne lidar emitter, multiple radar emitters and a whole bunch of cameras. It was just cruising down CA 101 in Palo Alto, minding its own business.
Apple isn’t working on its own car, but rather it’s developing a hardware suite capable of providing autonomous driving. It’s unclear whether Apple will become a supplier, selling the tech to automakers who will then implement it, or if the tech titan is just burning piles of cash for fun. This kind of stuff ain’t cheap.
Bloomberg News was one of the first outlets to catch Apple’s self-driving hardware on the road. Expect to run into more and more sightings as Apple’s development work continues over the next few years.
The idea is to make the pre-existing Smart Routes as direct as possible. That means setting pickup points past a busy traffic light on the righthand side of the road to make things less stressful for drivers, avoiding bus lanes and less zig-zagging along the way. More than that, the app will analyze the route along the way (every few seconds, apparently) and recalculate the drop-off point to maximize efficiency versus setting a static destination when you get in the car.
Uber says that all of this has resulted in routes that have 20 percent fewer turns, and, as a result, are faster, saving you time and money. This makes a lot of sense for a place like Manhattan, and maybe we could see some of these additions trickle down to smaller cities as well.
Is it as convenient as getting picked up at your front door and being delivered in front of your destination? No, but unless you’re extremely lucky, subways and bus stops don’t really work that way either. And hey, it’s not like walking is unhealthy or anything.
The Grand Sport features the best of the base Stingray and the bonkers Z06.
by Emme Hall
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This doesn’t mean humanity is doomed, provided the predictive model is reasonably accurate in the first place. However, it does reinforce the idea that lowering emissions involves more than a single solution like planting greenery. Any real answer to human-made climate change is going to involve a complex set of answers.
For the researchers, this involves both reducing fossil fuel consumption and implementing multiple techniques for removing CO2. You could make more efficient use of available land by eliminating food waste, as an example. Reforestation is still wise, to be clear, but it’s just one piece in a larger puzzle that can include everything from smarter farming to solar power.
President Donald Trump, you see, believes in “America First.” (And, some say, Russia close behind.)
Is this, though, what Americans actually want?
A new survey by NPR and Ipsos offers some interesting thoughts about the American psyche with respect to our relations with the rest of the world.
The survey focused on foreign policy. However, pressing Apple and other companies to manufacture in the US is a foreign and economic policy position. It’s surely not a free trade position.
What, then, did Americans say about this “America First” thing?
Only 41 percent of respondents overall agreed that “American foreign policy should focus on enriching America and Americans.”
Yes, 57 percent of Republicans thought it should. However, those pesky independents and Democrats brought the number down.
The survey also asked specifically about the slogan “America First.”
There was considerable division between those who thought it was about taking care of business at home first and “putting the welfare and focus on our people.”
Others, however, thought it “short-sighted” or “xenophobic.”
This is the problem executives have with making important decisions in the Trump era. They could decide to throw the government a bone or two. They could even conclude it’s best to contribute wholesale to a changing of the world order.
This survey, however, suggests the public’s feelings about “America First” simply aren’t that strong.
Indeed, 42 percent of Americans actually believe that American foreign policy should prioritize promoting democracy and human rights in other countries.
A surprisingly small proportion — 24 percent — say that American foreign policy should look out for Americans, even if it harms people in other countries. This, despite a mere 40 percent believing that we’re still the dominant foreign power in the world.
It appears, then, that we’re a little more sanguine about the state of the world and perhaps not quite as selfish as we appear.
Apple has always insisted that its primary focus is the customer. And, yes, this is just one survey of 1,009 adults conducted May 15-16. I wonder, though, whether Cupertino has made calculations about how popular US manufacture of its products really would be. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many might conclude that we always have high ideals, but when it comes down to money, we’ll always take the selfish option. Perhaps, though, even our high ideals aren’t all that high anymore.
We’ve come to accept that the world is something of an ugly place and we’ll just try and deal with it the best we can. As long as it doesn’t cost us too much, that is.