Toyota pauses automated driving testing on U.S. roads following Uber accident

Automaker Toyota has temporarily ceases its public road testing of its fully autonomous ‘Chauffeur’ system in the U.S. after an accident earlier this week saw an Uber self-driving test vehicle strike a pedestrian, which ultimately resulted in her death. Police have stated that initial findings suggest the accident would’ve been extremely difficult to avoid regardless of whether a human or an AV system was in control at the time, because of how quickly the victim crossed in front of the moving vehicle (outside of a crosswalk), but Toyota has indicated to Bloomberg that it’s stopping testing for now due to the potential “emotional effect on [its] test drivers.” Toyota spokesperson Brian Lyons noted that the automaker couldn’t speculate on the cause of the crash or its implications for the future of the self-driving industry, which is a fairly standard line I’ve heard across automakers and others involved in
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8bitdo’s wireless adapter adds flexibility to Xbox, PlayStation and Switch controllers

Game controller compatibility is a labyrinthine nightmare most of the time: Some controllers work with some platforms some of the time, but it’s very hard to keep track of how and when. 8bitdo’s latest accessory adds some simplicity to the mix, enabling use of Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch controllers with Switch, Windows and macOS systems quickly and easily. Yes, that means you can play your PC or Mac games with your favorite Xbox One X/S or DualShock 3/4 controller, or even use a Joy-Con. It also means that you can use a DualShock controller to play Breath of the Wild on the Switch, ion that’s what you want to do. The USB dongle also works with Android TV hardware, and with Raspberry Pi-based devices. It supports DualShock 4 vibration and 6-axis motion control on Switch, and it works lag-free for low latency gaming requirements. It’s also a tiny
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Insta360 One gets a massive upgrade with FlowState stabilization

One of the better 360-degree cameras out there just got a lot better: The Insta360 One, a standalone 4K 360 camera with a built-in iPhone or Android hardware connector now supports FlowState onboard stabilization. This provides much better automatic stabilization than the Insta360 One supported at launch, and enables a bunch of new editing and formatting features that really improve the value proposition of the $299 gadget. As you can see above, FlowState allows you to do a lot more with your footage after the fact, including creating smooth pans across footage for exporting to more standard vertical and wide-angle formats (since it’s very rare that people actually watch all that much true 360-degree footage). The changes make Insta360’s device a lot more like the Rylo camera in use, and more suitable for action sports and other adventure-friendly uses. Users can now add transition points in the mobile
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Japan’s government is providing nearly $1B to boost homegrown space startups

Japan wants to formally encourage domestic startups to pursue the growing opportunities in commercial space. The Japanese government has earmarked around $1 billion in public funds to startups working on space solutions. At the same time, the government revealed that it’s working on a legal path towards establishing commercial development on the moon. This is a big injection in the private space race, and the funds will be allocated both as investments and as loans, spanning five years and beginning during this fiscal year. The goal is to boost the Japanese space business, hoping to help amplify its growth and propel it to a 2.4 trillion yen ($22.5 billion) market by the beginning of the 2030s, per the Nikkei. Startups that qualify will be able to receive aid of up to 10 million yen per company, or around $100,000 U.S., for things like research costs and
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Ford’s new SmartLink connected upgrade for older vehicles will be available mid-2018

Ford is finally detailing availability of its FordPass SmartLink accessory, an OBD II plug-in device with Verizon 4G LTE on board which can add connected car features to model year 2010 to 2017 Ford vehicles that don’t already have native connectivity built in. The FordPass accessory will be available across the U.S. sometime in the middle of this year, with dealer enrolment now open. Dealers will provide the device to end users, providing installation for the add-on hardware, which will then cost users $16.99 per month for 24 months to get telematics services including remote key fob (via smartphone), car location and vehicle health alerts. The Verizon 4G LTE hotspot feature is an additional cost, but users will get a free trial for 30 days or until they reach 1GB of data usage. This is a way for Ford to build up its data business even on existing
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Waze Carpool expands to the entire state of Washington

Google -owned Waze is growing the footprint of its Waze Carpool product with a market expansion today to cover all of Washington state. That means Carpool is now available in California, Texas, Isreal and Washington following today’s launch. Waze also recently revamped its Carpool experience, which now includes new options for choosing what rides to tag along with, driver gender filters and other convenience tools that are designed to make the experience feel safer and more comfortable overall. Waze says this expansion shows that it’s increasing its commitment to the Carpool side of its project offering, since it’ll now reach an additional 375,000 commuters in Seattle alone. The company also has the support of local government in Seattle, with officials expressing their support for new solutions hoping to mitigate traffic in a press release announcing the launch. The Waze Carpool app is different from other offerings including Uber Pool,
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Uber self-driving test car involved in accident resulting in pedestrian death

An autonomous Uber test SUV driving in Tempe, Arizona was involved in a fatal collision last night, and the Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time the accident occurred, according to Tempe Police (via Daisuke Wakabayashi). The Uber SUV was driving northbound, and a woman crossed in its path outside of a crosswalk, at which point she was struck by the vehicle. She was later taken to hospital, as first reported by local Arizona ABC news affiliate ABC 15, where she died as a result of her injuries. As is required for Uber’s autonomous test vehicles operating on public roads, the AV had a safety driver at the wheel. Safety drivers are in place in order to be able to take control of the autonomous test vehicle in case the self-driving system should fail or appear to be at risk of endangering others on the road.
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