Self-Driving Cars Have Arrived

The self-driving car is a technology of degrees. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping features will be released first. But when will you be able to sit back and relax?

What's the Latest Development?

Self-driving cars are already here, though they are a technology of degrees. Features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technology will be released first. Adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts your speed to the car in front of you, is already well-tested. Unlike the past, complex software is enabling more vehicle innovation than the invention of new hardware. It is thanks to software that Google's self-driving hybrids have logged more than 140,000 miles on public roads.

What's the Big Idea?

Despite the rapid advance of automated driving software, it may be a long time before you can enjoy a brandy in the back seat while your car whisks you away from the office. The more automated cars are, the more complex they become, requiring (trained) humans to oversee their operations. Future drivers will be like airplane pilots who, making use of autopilot, must still ensure that everything is working correctly. Market acceptance is another concern. Are we, as individuals, comfortable handing our safety over to a machine?

Photo credit:

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