Enjoy this weekly feed of inspiring, interesting and intellectual articles and news, with a focus on disruption!
Self-driving car involved in a fatal accident
In a recent feed we wrote about Arizona as the first state to allow self-driving cars without a safety driver behind the wheel. Now, just a few weeks later, we can report that a self-driving car has been involved in a first fatal accident, even this in Arizona. It was a Uber car, with a safety driver behind the wheel, that struck and killed a pedestrian. As a result, the company has suspended all of its testing. Despite the accident, researchers consider that self-driving cars are still safer than regular vehicles. The question is what the public’s impression is and how that will affect future regulations.
Googles (planned) smart neighborhood in Toronto
Alphabet, through Sidewalk Labs, are planning a smart neighborhood in Toronto. Smart cities have been tried before with few impressive examples. There are a few other similar projects out there but not much concrete has come out and often, as in the most ambitious project yet Songdo (a tech metropolis built in Korea), cost of living is too high for most people. Sidewalk Labs has this as its most important issue, just next to data security. Interesting and comprehensive article from Engadget on this project which should be read by anyone interested in the field. To name a few things the team wants this to be the first district in Toronto where only shared and self-driving vehicles are allowed. They will also pilot an “adaptive traffic light” concept that can detect and prioritize cyclists at busy intersections. The company has some new ideas, too, such as automatic, retractable canopies and heated bike paths that melt snow in the winter. Definitely an interesting project to follow!
Cambridge Analytica and Facebook…
Cambridge Analytica (‘CA’) have one huge selling point, and that being able to understand the personalities of voters and influence them. That’s obviously a huge deal and highly questionable as to the ethics of using such tactics. This, even though it is (in our eyes) the main part of the problem, is fairly old news and what’s now come to light is just how CA got a hold of data to do that. They utilized an app with a psychological quiz on Facebook to access personal data of up to 50 million people. Data that most users had NOT given consent to be shared with third parties. And even though this selling point and the way CA has delivered on it are both very questionable its mostly Facebook that is now getting bad press. The share price has dropped more than 10% and a recent statement from Mr Zuckerberg did not seem to help..