Self-driving cars are supposed to be our salvation, drastically reducing the 1.3 million road fatalities worldwide each year by replacing humans with robots who can do precision piloting and never get distracted, drowsy or drunk. So why did a self-driving Uber SUV being tested in Tempe, Arizona, strike and kill a woman March 18 without so much as hitting the brakes? The accident will only drive more anxiety about autonomy given that 63 percent of Americans already say they’d be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving car, according to a AAA survey. As experts and investigators pore over the Arizona fatality to determine the cause, here’s a look at some factors that may determine how safe robot rides may, or may not, be.1. How do self-driving cars work?Driverless cars “see” the world around them by using data from cameras as well as radar and lidar -- sensors that bounce laser light off objects to determine their shape and location. High-speed processors crunch … [Read more...] about Just How Safe Is Driverless Car Technology, Really?
American light pole
With almost two dollars to the pound, there's never been a better time to visit the US. STAY Next spring the historic and muchloved The Plaza hotel reopens after a $350 million makeover. As well as 152 rooms there will be 182 apartments for sale, ranging from $6-$36 million. Midtown's Hotel Mela is a sophisticated newcomer in the university and theatre district with an Italian feel; artwork pays homage to New York past and present. (120 West 44th St, 001 877 452 6352, www.hotelmela.com, doubles from $249). Check out the art and the hype at Ianwww.gramercyparkhotel.com; doubles from $495).EAT The Modern at MoMa is actually two restaurants in one — a formal dining room and a buzzy bar area that's popular at lunch. The views of the museum's sculpture garden are almost as impressive as Gabriel Kreuther's French-American food (9 West 53rd St, 001 212 333 1220, www.themodernnyc.com). Indulge your sweet tooth at new dessert-only diner, Room 4 Dessert (17 Cleveland Place, 001 212 941 … [Read more...] about 25 things to do in NYC before Christmas
The first performance of his masterpiece, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, and his notorious libel trial were still more than a decade away. But the crowds did not flock to Derry’s Opera House to see an unknown, for Oscar Wilde, despite the lack of success for his early works, was quickly becoming one of the most celebrated people of the day. Wilde’s visit to Derry in 1884 came midway through the second of two lecture tours of America - tours that allowed him to earn a living and which, increasingly, brought him to the public’s attention. It was upon arriving in the United States in late 1881 that he is said to have told a customs official “I have nothing to declare except my genius.” His reputation was growing and he was revered in equal measure for his wit and flamboyance. Indeed, by the early 1880s, he had become the epitome of the new aesthetic movement putting its stamp on the English arts scene. Upon his return to his London home, and … [Read more...] about 1884: When the people of Derry went absolutely Wilde for Oscar
Register for our free newsletter JAKUB Marian is a Czech cartographer, whose maps give a fascinating and different take on the world from above. His latest creation depicts Europe, but instead of names countries are given the autocomplete of a question about the country. The question is “Why did (country name) … ?” and the answers, taken from Google in the US, give a revealing incite into both the Americans using the search engine and the European countries themselves. Others are intriguingly specific however, such as Sweden’s “ban Christmas lights”, referring to a fake report that the country banned them to avoid offending Muslims – the truth was reportedly a ban on lights being put on poles for safety reasons. Norway’s “knight a penguin” refers to the similarly bizarre story of Nils Olav I, II and II, three penguins adopted and honoured by the Norwegian military – the second of whom was knighted in 2008 and is … [Read more...] about Google autocomplete map of Europe reveals most-searched for questions about each country
If you’re looking for a way to go camping in style, or need some extra space for wedding guests, a tepee could be the perfect solution Emma Hall-Craggs has always loved camping in the lovely wild countryside of the North-East that she is proud to call home. She wanted something a bit different to the usual bell tents, though, and after finding nothing to suit her family’s camping needs, she decided to design her own, and the family-run Northern Star Tepees was born. Loading article content Inspired by an 1800s American military tent, her canvas, single-pole tepees are sturdy, practical, and hardy, yet high-quality, luxurious, and stylish, with some much-needed modern adjustments. “We’ve made a few adjustments that suit the modern traditional camper, but it is essentially the same bit of kit,” says Emma. “Tried and tested over the years by some of the world’s most intrepid explorers, this tent design is rugged, practical and super … [Read more...] about Out & About: Emma Hall-Craggs introduces us to her North-East tepee business