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Cars and traffic signals are talking to each other



traffic signals new york

Cars and traffic signals are talking to each other, leaving the driver — if there even is one — out.

Top automakers including Volkswagen, Honda (HMC), Ford (F) and BMW (BMWYY) are experimenting with technology that allows cars and traffic lights to communicate and work together to ease congestion, cut emissions and increase safety.

Volkswagen (VLKAF) teamed up with Siemens (SIEGY) earlier in October to test a smart light system in its German hometown of Wolfsburg.

The companies have set up a section of road with 10 traffic signal systems that transmit information about their light phases.

The idea is that the system will be able to tell the driver (or a self-driving car in the future) when to expect a wave of green lights. The goal is to eventually make the system work with a range of cars and brands.

“BMW have a counter, which counts down 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 second to green, while Mercedes says ‘if you drive between 32 and 52 kilometers per hour, you’ll get green,'” said Franz Schober from Siemens’ Connected Mobility Systems team.

Volkswagen will start equipping cars with the technology next year.

The network uses WiFi technology and sensors to produce position data than is more accurate than GPS, the location system used in smartphones.

The system will help cars avoid unnecessary stopping and starting, reducing the amount of gasses they emit. Cars produce more emissions when idling than when in motion.

The technology could also help improve safety by transmitting information about traffic conditions directly to the driver.

Volkswagen and Siemens are using sensors to detect pedestrians and cyclists at two of the crossroads in Wolfsburg.

“[The sensors] process that information, and then the traffic controller can send a message to everyone that there is a cyclist on the left,” Schobersaid.

Other carmakers are working on similar technology.

Earlier in October, Honda showed off its “smart intersection” technology in a town in Ohio.

The Japanese company mounted four cameras in each corner of an intersection, creating a 360 bird’s-eye-view of cars and pedestrians moving around. That data was then sent to connected cars and decoded by their on-board computers.

When necessary, the system provides visual and audible alerts to the driver.

Ford is going even further. The company unveiled technology earlier this month that allows cars to communicate with each other when going through a crossroads. Drivers are advised to change their speed if necessary to avoid collisions.

The company said it took inspiration from how pedestrians move around in a crowd to avoid those crossing their path, adding it envisions the technology to make traffic lights obsolete in the future.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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