Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 7, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Diesel becomes the 'norm' and other auto news

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Tesla seeking engineers to develop self-driving cars

Eschewing more traditional means of recruitment, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is using Twitter to hire engineers that will be tasked with developing an autopilot system expected to debut on the battery-powered Model S. Musk ambitiously hopes the technology will be ready for mass production in three years.

The yet-unnamed system is still at the embryonic stage of development but the CEO promises it will be capable of controlling the Model S in about 90 percent of driving situations. Musk predicts that fully autonomous cars requiring no driver input whatsoever will take longer to develop for a host of legal and technological reasons.

A company spokesperson confirmed the system is being developed in-house, putting an end to rumors of a tie-up between Tesla and Google in the field of self-driving cars. Similar to a plane’s autopilot system, Tesla’s technology will drive the car in everyday situations such as when cruising on the highway, but it will require driver input in more complicated situations. A switch on the dashboard will enable the driver to turn autopilot on and off.

Tesla’s self-driving system might be the first on the market, but it will face stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Nissan, General Motors and components manufacturer Continental before the end of the decade.  

New anti-theft system works with brain waves

It’s hard out there for a thief today, and it’s getting harder. Once upon a time, all the bad guys needed to do was find an unlocked vehicle. Now, they’ve got to fight their way past kill switches, LoJack devices, and OnStar (not to mention the impending arrival of digital license plates, voice-identification, and fingerprint-recognition). 

But all those gadgets pale in comparison to the latest theft-prevention tool. According to Mashable.com, Isao Nakanishi and his colleagues in the graduate school of engineering at Japan’s Tottori University have developed a prototype for a safety system that uses brain waves to identity drivers. The system takes samples of brain waves from a driver and stores them in a database. If a vehicle begins moving and the driver’s brain waves don’t match those on file, the vehicle is disabled. The system can also tell if a driver is drunk or falling asleep, since brain waves in those circumstances vary significantly from samples taken when a motorist is fully awake and sober.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Tourists attracted here by history, beauty, politics As my friend and colleague, writer Don Glynn has so artfully portrayed over the decades, "For many years after the dawn of aviation, U.S. presidents visiting Western New York started at the Niagara Falls Airport. The reason: The main runway here was longer than that of the Buffalo airport and could easily accommodate Air Force One, the presidential aircraft."

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob mug CONFER: A constitutional convention is not the answer For the past few years it has been popular for folks of the right persuasion (Republicans and neoconservatives) to call for a constitutional convention ("Con-Con") in hopes of passing a balanced budget amendment (BBA.) A lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon; no doubt your email inbox or Facebook news feeds have shown that.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Scheer, Mark mug CITY DESK: Hobel will be missed

    Lost in all the hoopla surrounding last week’s announced retirement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, was the loss of another well-known figure in local government and politics.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: More pastors, a new church and more of everything Before I go further back in time, I want to just go back to last week where I took my own advice and spent a couple of hours at the Como, where I enjoyed one of their traditional "parade of bowls and plates of great salads, pasta and meat dishes" and listened to longtime friends of Tom Darro roast him with humor, accolades and best wishes. And best of all no one who came to the microphone mentioned garbage totes or carts. It was a welcome relief.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Border Patrol chief examines deadly acts A former Buffalo police chief now has the formidable task of reviewing cases where border agents have used deadly force.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Nostalgia for nostalgia: Where will it end? Not only has there been a huge nostalgia boom in America, but we're now getting to the point where there's much nostalgia for nostalgia! Maybe signifying that nostalgia will wear itself out, or, as in the old adage, that it ain't what it used to be?

    July 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Driven to distraction by recent incidents For reasons best left unexplained, Doug drives home from Niagara Falls at twilight many nights, usually alone. It's about 10 miles, 15 minutes, from pressbox to driveway. He exits I-190 at the Beaver Island ramp, hugging its right edge in deference to any mainstream traffic, which would be coming downhill from the left at a 140-degree angle.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: Council, administrative hypocrisy, and that is the gospel truth If there isn't a walk-on resolution on the Niagara Falls City Council's upcoming last agenda before the August recess to change the zoning back to what it was prior to the South End Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission opening its hearts and doors, then the city council should just cease its hypocritical practice of even saying prayers before the meeting.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug 071714 GLYNN: Hochul retains a low profile as running mate If you're still not convinced that politics makes strange bedfellows, consider the report claiming Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has been keeping his running mate out of the spotlight.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Chiropractic doc wants to help area vets

    The idea came to her when she was running a half-marathon in June. Kristin Jacobsen is that type of person. The Pine Avenue chiropractor says she gets her best ideas when she runs. She also uses that time to pray.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page