Driving is a chore. Sure, there are stretches of roads that are pleasant, and there are cars so slick that piloting them feels both graceful and powerful, but most of the time, commuting in traffic and controlling a machine is a tedious task. Etos, a concept car from Swiss automaker Rinspeed, wants drivers to enjoy the experience of travel again. To that end, their car has a landing pad for a drone on the back, so drivers can fly around while they’re on the road.
As usual, traffic was apocalyptic on the 10 Freeway. So I cued up the Master of None episode I didn’t finish the night before, pulled out the Greek yogurt I hadn’t had time to eat for breakfast, reclined my seat way back, and relaxed. Imay have even dozed off as my vehicle steered its way towards Santa Monica.
A team of engineers from Stanford University decided to create a self-driving DeLorean. But unlike the autonomous cars that are designed to sedately drive in city traffic, this one’s made to drift and pull donuts.
This past spring, two engineers huddled behind computer monitors as they fine-tuned a robotic ape. The 443-pound simian-inspired machine, calledChimp, would soon be competing in the Pentagon-funded DARPA Robotics Challenge. The competition to build disaster-response robots, which had started three years before, was nearing its final showdown. And Carnegie Mellon University’s Chimp was considered a front-runner for the top prize of $2 million.