In The Future of Autonomous Vehicles we look at Robin Chase telling us how the future of self-driving vehicles will be, humans attacking them, shrinking cities, buying properties on the blockchain, and 20,000 scientists warning us about the future.
The Future of Autonomous Vehicles with Robin Chase
Rage against the machine: self-driving cars attacked by angry Californians
On 10 January, a pedestrian in San Francisco’s Mission District ran across the street to confront a GM Cruise autonomous vehicle that was waiting for people to cross the road, according to an incident report filed by the car company. The pedestrian was “shouting”, the report states, and “struck the left side of the Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body”.
No injuries occurred, but the car’s left tail light was damaged.
In a separate incident just a few blocks away on 28 January, a taxi driver in San Francisco got out of his car, approached a GM Cruise autonomous vehicle and “slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch”.
The police were not called in either case.
The two human-on-robot assaults are not the first time San Franciscans have fought back – physically – against robots.
Read more at The Guardian
Managing Shrinking Cities in an Expanding World
Urbanisation has been a well-established trend in the 20th and 21st centuries. However, depopulation and deurbanisation in some countries and numerous cities are becoming serious problems for which no good solutions exist at present.
People have steadily moved from rural to urban areas to improve their standard of living as well as quality of life. In 1950, 30% of world population was urban. A century later, 66% of people are expected to live in urban areas. In terms of absolute number, difference is stark. In 1950, 746 million people lived in urban areas. By 2046, it is estimated to be over six billion.
Not surprisingly, the global attention has focused on this rapid century-long urbanisation processes and their social, economic and environmental implications. In contrast, deurbanisation receives limited attention. If one searches “deurbanisation” in Google, the response is “Did you mean: urbanisation?”
Read more at The Wire
Vermont Woman First Ever to Make US Real Estate Deal on the Blockchain
On February 20, Vermont resident Katherine Purcell signed off on the first completely blockchain-based real estate deed in the United States.
“I was a little nervous, like I couldn’t believe I was doing this,” Purcell tells Inverse. “But this type of technology excites me. Its encryption capabilities are top of the line in terms of keeping deeds and other documents safe.”
These proceeding were made possible by the San Francisco-based startup, Propy, which partnered with the city of South Burlington to begin using the blockchain to record real estate conveyance documents instead of using the city’s record system. According to Propy, Vermont is one of the first states to allow this type of book keeping.
Her transaction has now been stored on the Ethereum blockchain, which Propy runs on, just like any other cryptocurrency exchange would be.
Read more at Inverse
20,000 scientists give dire warning about the future in ‘letter to humanity’ – and the world is listening
A dire warning to the world about its future, which predicts catastrophe for humanity, is continuing to gain momentum.
The letter – which was first released in November – has now been signed by around 20,000 scientists. And the world seems to be listening: it is now one of the most discussed pieces of scientific research ever, and its publishers claim it is now influencing policy.
The new letter was actually an update to a an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. It said that the world had changed dramatically since that warning was issued – and almost entirely for the worse.
Read more at The Independent