Tag Archives: engineering

Google has a fleet of automated cars


from TechCrunch:

Google Has A Secret Fleet Of Automated Toyota Priuses; 140,000 Miles Logged So Far.

MG Siegler

Google has developed a technology for cars to drive themselves. And they haven’t done it on a computer, or in some controlled lab, they’ve been out on California roads testing this out. “Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research,” Google engineer Sebastian Thrun (the brainchild of the project who also heads the Stanford AI lab and co-invented Street View as well) writes.

Further, The New York Times, which has a bit more, says a total of seven cars have driven 1,000 miles without any human intervention (the 140,000 mile number includes occasional human control, apparently). These cars are a modified version of the Toyota Prius — and there is one Audi TT, as well.

So how does this work? The automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors, and a laser range finder to locate everything around them (these are mounted on the roof). And, of course, they use Google’s own maps. But the key?

This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.

Google says it gathered the best engineers from the DARPA Challenges (an autonomous vehicle race that the government puts on) to work on this project. They also note that these cars never drive around unmanned in the interest of safety. A driver is always on hand to take over in case something goes wrong, and an engineer is always on hand in the car to monitor the software. Google also says they’ve notified local police about the project.

So has it worked? Apparently, yes. There has been one accident so far, but it was when someone else rear-ended one of these Google cars.

Google notes that 1.2 million people are killed every year in road accidents — they think they can cut this number in half with the tech. It will also cut energy consumption and save people a lot of time.

Read the article via TechCrunch



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Shinya Kimura

A short film about custom motorcycle engineer Shinya Kimura @ Chabott Engineering

by Henrik Hansen

Shinya Kimura, formerly known as the founder of “ZERO” or the so-called “ZERO Style” motorcycles,has launched his own workshop called “chabott engineering” in the city of Azusa, California in 2006.

In his 25 year career in the motorcycle world, Kimura started his own small repair shop named Chabo in 1992, a year before he started ZERO in Japan.

Chabo means “bantam rooster” in Japanese and, to Kimura, it means “back to basics”.

With the rebirth of Chabott engineering (with the fancy double t’s),Kimura will continue his exploration of metal and rubber…or whatever…in new and different ways — not merely building custom motorcycles– but creating functional art by infusing his philosophy and aesthetic values into his sculpturally unique and rolling designs

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Window Seat on the 33rd Parallel

Dealey Plaza was named after George Bannerman Dealey, founder of the ‘Dallas Morning News,’ and a civic leader in the area. The Plaza happens to the location of the very first home in Dallas, along with it being the site of the first courthouse, store, post-office, and Freemason’s Lodge. In the plaza is an obelisk that has a plaque identifying the site as ‘the birthplace of Dallas.’ In 1935, the site was named Dealey Plaza, and was placed under the management and authority of the City of Dallas Park Board a year later, with the official completion of a railroad bridge that has become known as the ‘Triple Overpass,’ and the streets that converge at its’ mouth, has become known as the ‘Triple Underpass.’

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Like Spinning Plates (a friendly reminder)

Like Spinning Plates

While you make pretty speeches,
I’m being cut to shreds.
You feed me to the lions,
a delicate balance

When this just feels like spinning plates.
I’m living in cloud cuckoo land.
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river.

Where I End and You Begin – Radiohead live from the basement

there’s a gap in between
there’s a gap where we meet
where i end and you begin

and i’m sorry for us
the dinosaurs roam the earth
the sky turns green
where i end and you begin

i am up in the clouds
i am up in the clouds
and i can’t and i can’t come down

i can watch but not take part
where i end and where you start
where you, you left me alone
you left me alone.

X’ will mark the place
like parting the waves
like a house falling in the sea.

i will eat you all alive
i will eat you all alive
i will eat you all alive
i will eat you all alive

there’ll be no more lies
there’ll be no more lies
there’ll be no more lies
there’ll be no more lies




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They Just Stand There

Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (Part I.)

clip shows an analysis of the plaza of 
Seagram Building
NYC and what makes it so effective as a small urban space.

busy place for some reason seems to be the most congenial kind of place if you
want to be alone. […] The number one activity is people looking at other

video was adapted from 
book of the same name
 by William H. Whyte, who is perhaps
most well known as the author of 
Organization Man

via kottke |

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