Five for Friday: Driverless cars blazing ahead (or are they?)

A weekly roundup of interesting technology, medical, and sustainability news served up in perfect conversation-starter tidbits.

This week we're all about driverless cars and some big news that's come out this week.

1. From The Atlantic - We're starting with a bang this week and The Atlantic's story about the cozy relationship between Google and national regulators is perfect for starting a great conversation at tonight's happy hour. There's a lot to unpack here and as always, The Atlantic makes it a great read. When it comes to balancing the public interest with a corporation's technology that's leaps and bounds ahead of laws and regulations, how does it play out to everyone's benefit?

2. From Forbes - Another article about Google, this time with a potential setback. One of the things we work on a lot at Apparatus is the tricky spot in between emerging technology and the rules and systems already in place. In Michigan, Google wants to test driverless cars; however, the current rules would only let a carmaker test such vehicles, not someone adapting cars to be driverless like Google is doing. Looks like it will get amended, but as we all know, nothing in government happens quickly.

3. From Business Insider - Uber is at the helm of change once again, this time by upping the ante in its car service and introducing driverless cars to the fleet. This article has great visual aids if you want to see what it'd be like to grab a ride in one. (Bonus counterpoint article from the journalistic scholars at The Daily Mail asking whether driverless cars are pointless.)

4. From CNBC - Driverless cars mean that cars won't need drivers. Surely we've all grasped this concept, but what will this do to the ~3 percent of all working American that drive for a living? Some [congressional] areas will be hit much harder than others (the trucking industry, dense urban centers) -- how will representatives support their constituents through change?

video games help driverless car researchers

5. From Tech Radar - If your mom ever told you to lay off the video games (Grand Theft Auto in particular), this one's for you. GTA is being used as a way for researchers to plan for the different road and environmental conditions a car may face. Guess all those hours staring at the TV were worth it after all.

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