Jan 5, 2019

Smarter cars are on the horizon, like it or not

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Even if fully autonomous vehicles are still years away, automakers are rolling out automatic braking, computer-guided lane changing and other features that try to make conventional cars smarter and safer.

Why it matters: Tech continues to advance even as consumer demand lags behind the industry’s pace of investment. How consumers use or misuse, embrace or reject these features — and what impact they have on safety — will determine the course of AV development as much as the tech itself.

What we're watching:

  • The Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas next week, which has become as important as any auto show, will feature the latest in automotive robotics and sensors, including lidar systems (like radar, only with light) that can help cars see and understand their environment.
  • A week later, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, we'll be watching for hands-free highway driving and other advanced driver-assist systems.
  • These technologies are intended to make driving safer, but people may get complacent and mistakenly believe the car can drive itself.

Go deeper

Coronavirus accelerates AI in health care

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From predicting outbreaks to devising treatments, doctors are turning to AI in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: While machine learning algorithms were already becoming a part of health care, COVID-19 is likely to accelerate their adoption. But lack of data and testing time could hinder their effectiveness — for this pandemic, at least.

Live updates: Crewed SpaceX launch postponed due to weather

The Falcon 9 rocket with a Crew Dragon atop. Photo: SpaceX

SpaceX's attempt to launch NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken has been postponed due to weather. They could attempt to launch again as soon as Saturday.

Why it matters: If all goes well, the launch — now expected to happen at 3:22 p.m. ET on Saturday — will mark the first time a private company has successfully launched people to orbit and the first crewed, orbital rocket launch from the U.S. in 9 years.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,647,961 — Total deaths: 353,011 — Total recoveries — 2,325,227Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,692,786 — Total deaths: 99,783 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Business: African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs saysDisney plans phased reopening on July 11Author Ann Patchett says bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers.
  5. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy