Jul 10, 2017

Waymo's cars are learning to detect emergency vehicles

Via Waymo / Medium

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, is training its minivans in Arizona to respond to emergency vehicles like fire trucks and police cars, the company said on Monday. In partnership with the fire and police departments of Chadler, Ariz., Waymo's minivans have been observing and tracking emergency vehicles to gain data about their looks, sounds, and behaviors on the road.

Why it matters: This is an important part of teaching self-driving cars to obey the rules of the road as they prepare to eventually replace human drivers. The new breed of cars needs to know how to detect emergency vehicles and how to respond to them appropriately.

Go deeper

The growing focus on environmental justice could influence Biden's platform

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The killing of George Floyd in police custody and protests against systemic racism are prompting many green groups to declare their support for racial justice, and one thing to watch now is how this all might influence Joe Biden's platform.

Driving the news: Even before the recent mass upheaval in response to Floyd's death, Biden said he was expanding outreach and eyeing wider plans around environmental justice, or the disproportionate pollution burdens facing poor communities and people of color.

4 hours ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.