Have Your Car Talk To My Car

Researchers at MIT have created a communications network for autonomous cars that let them "see" what any other car in the area is seeing upon request. Multiple "eyes"create a continuous and widespread 3D view.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

CarSpeak, a communications system developed at MIT, allows autonomous cars -- those that don't require a human driver -- to "see" parts of the environment through each other's sensors. Together, a group of these cars driving in a particular area create an enormous cloud of data, but CarSpeak lets each car request the portions of data that apply to their immediate location. When tested on golf buggies in Singapore, the vehicles "were 14 times less likely to be involved in a collision with an unseen obstacle."

What's the Big Idea?

Humans are limited in terms of what they can see in their vicinity, but a car connected to CarSpeak has "eyes" not just around it, but beyond its immediate range. It's easy to see how this data could improve driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety, and the next step in the research process will involve multiple full-sized cars. The individual sensors on a typical autonomous car are limited in range, but a network like CarSpeak "has the potential to make that footprint significantly larger."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less