Sep 4, 2019

Nissan designs golf ball to help sink a 60-foot putt

For struggling golfers out there, take heart: Nissan has an autonomous golf ball that will let you sink that 60-foot putt every time, according to

How it works: Like Nissan's ProPilot 2.0 driver-assist system that will debut next month in the new Skyline, the ProPilot ball “supports golfers by following a predefined route to its goal.”

  • A drone-mounted camera detects the position of the ball and cup.
  • When the ball is hit, an internal monitoring system plans a route to the hole and adjusts its trajectory.
  • A tiny electric motor, along with wireless transmitters and other sensors, helps the ProPilot golf ball find the hole, Nissan says. 

Yes, but: Nissan has no more intention of selling autonomous golf balls than it does a self-parking chair or slippers that put themselves away autonomously (2 innovations previously demonstrated).

Go deeper: Nissan is the leader in self-driving technology — for golf balls (Forbes)

Go deeper

Snapchat will no longer promote Trump's account in Discover

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Snapchat will no longer promote President Trump's account on its "Discover" page of curated content, a spokesperson tells Axios, after Trump tweeted comments that some suggested glorified violence amid racial justice protests.

Why it matters: Snapchat is taking action on the president's account for comments he made elsewhere. That's going farther than other big tech firms and signals a commitment to aligning content served to users with core values, rather than making moderation decisions based narrowly on each post made on its own platform.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Esper catches White House off guard with opposition to military use, photo op

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not currently support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.

Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.