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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DARPA’s Self-Steering Bullets

Think Angelina Jolie shooting curved trajectory shots with her gun in the movie Wanted. Well, the end result is not exactly fictional anymore (the technique is). I recently stumbled upon the following video demonstrating DARPA’s new self-steering bullet technology and it blew my mind.Here’s the video:

The video shows new missile-like self-steering projectiles hitting a moving target, only this time these are not missiles but 0.5 caliber sized sniper bullets (0.5 inches internal diameter of the gun’s barrel). As seen in the video, enabled by technology, a novice-sniper seems to be able to make a fairly good shot. On a funnier note, I see it like the autotune technology that helps music artists to fit their out of tune recording to a perfect tune.

Jokes aside, watching this smart bullet change its path mid-air, stirred up the curious cat that lives in my head. I would have had a tough time sleeping without knowing how DARPA’s self-steering bullet actually works. So, armed with free journal access (being a Ph.D. student has its perks), I fired up my google scholar and started looking for white papers with some mention of these keywords. With this technology being developed under DARPA, it’s of course one of those hush-hush things and was sure I won’t find much. Still, I was happy to glean a tiny hint of its inner workings.

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The Great Pyramid is not Your Average Square Pyramid

Over the years, I have been fed with one shocking new fact a time about the Pyramids the Egyptians built over 3,800 years ago. Although not anywhere even close to being a new fact, this is the latest fact I have uncovered about the Great Pyramid of Giza, or the Pyramid of Khufu – The largest and the oldest of all the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex.

When observed carefully, what actually looks like an average square pyramid with four visible sides, that actually isn’t the case. Technically, there are eight visible sides. Here’s an exaggerated cartoon of what I mean by the eight sides.

concave2

In fact, the Menkaure, the third pyramid at Giza and the Red Pyramid at Dahshur have also been observed to have a similar concavity to each of their faces!

I know it is hard to believe, just because not many a people talk about it. For that, here are a few images of what it looks like from up above.

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