You Need to Know About Driverless Technology Changing the Automotive Industry

BY MEGAN RAY NICHOLS

Even though they’re not on the roads yet, driverless cars are disrupting the automotive industry in unforgettable ways. Keep reading to learn about expected factors related to the evolution of these futuristic vehicles.

1. Market Trends

Automotive analysts say emerging technology is gaining momentum in the automotive market. Top car brands are making their vehicles compatible with popular gadgets and tech-related services, and some people think the Internet of Things (IoT) will also play a role in upcoming models.

Business leader Elon Musk has even announced he plans to earn income by lending extremely safe self-driving cars to interested persons.

2. Potential Reductions in Car Ownership

Musk’s idea doesn’t seem so far-fetched when you consider most of us are accustomed to carpooling at least occasionally. If you’re from a city where the service is available, you may have even used car-sharing companies that allow you to drive a vehicle on an as-needed basis, then drop it off in a pre-determined spot when you’re done.

Once driverless cars become more mainstream, we may increasingly use borrowed vehicles rather than owning cars. That’s especially true because self-driving cars will be too expensive for some people to own.

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The Menace of American toads in Queensland Australia

Recently I stumbled upon an unusual documentary from the 80s about the giant American toads (Bufo Marinus) of Queensland, Australia. That’s correct. Who would have thought that this 50 minute movie (embedded at the end of this article) with songs of the toad’s praise would turn out to be one of those surprisingly informative and strangely funny movies.

Well, it was certainly fun to watch. Here’s a gist of all interesting things I got from it and some reading which ensued.

Cane toads were never native to northern Australia before the 1930s. Raquel Dexter an entomologist, during the 1932 world conference of sugar technology in Puerto Rico, suggested that the cane toad was the ultimate solution to deal with a native Australian cane beetle. This beetle had decimated the output of sugarcane crop of North Queensland cane farmers.

So, Mungomery Reginald William brought in 102 cane toads into the freshwaters of little Mulgrave river in Gordonvale from Hawaii to tackle the problem of beetle infestation. Mungomery’s intention to make the toads travel for two weeks from Hawaii to Sydney and for another two days to Gordonvale was a noble yet arduous one:

“We have got these bloody grubs by the balls this time and we will go on to bigger and brighter things”

A jubilant Irishman

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How to Help Nature Recover from a Wildfire

BY MEGAN RAY NICHOLS

Wildfires are often associated with destruction. It wipes out homes, wildlife habitat, and of course trees. Areas that are damaged to that extent take time to regrow. Also, all that burning has another side effect. It releases a burst of greenhouse gasses into the air. The smoke and ash from the fire can make it difficult to breathe, especially for those prone to respiratory problems like asthma.

It goes without saying that property damage is an issue with wildfires. As long as people have enough warning, there should be no casualties. However, as climate change continues to make weather increasingly severe, human safety becomes less reliable.

However, one of the main issues comes from the lack of vegetation. After intense wildfires, there is a risk of soil erosion. If the fire is small, it may not be a big deal, but for fires that burn thousands of acres can pose serious hazards.

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