Tesla will have fully autonomous cars in three years, Elon Musk says

Tesla will have developed cars with “full autonomy” in just three years, CEO Elon Musk has.

At present Tesla is working on a model that has basic levels of autonomy and Musk said, in an interview with Danish media Borsen, he hopes that the features should come out of beta testing as soon as October.

“The Tesla that is currently in production has the ability to do automatic steering, so autopilot on highways, that’s currently being beta tested and will go into wide release next month,” Musk said.

“We’re probably only a month away from having autonomous driving at least for highways and for relatively simple roads.

“My guess for when we will have full autonomy is about three years. Approximately three years.”

Elon_Musk_2015

But the Tesla and SpaceX boss continued to say that while it will be technically possible for his fully self-driving cars to exist in 36 months, the regulations surrounding their use won’t be developed by then.

Musk said that officials would still be deciding on the rules for self-driving cars between “one to three years” after a Tesla model is created.

“It depends on the particular market.

“In some markets the regulators will be more forward leaning than others but in terms of when it will be technologically possible I think three years,” he explained in the interview.

In some locations around the world, rules and regulations around self-driving cars – and in particular the testing of them – are being developed by governments. For example, UK officials have drawn up a code that states those testing autonomous vehicles in the UK have to be sober and the cars need to be hack-proof.

During the interview, Musk continued to say that he believes by 2020 an electric Tesla car will be able to travel up to 1,200km with one charge and that in 20 years time the majority of cars will be electric.

Image courtesy of Tesla

Image courtesy of Tesla. Featured image courtesy of Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Tesla has also just announced its first electric SUV, the Model X, which has Falcon Wing doors.

The car can fit up to seven people and travel around 250 miles on a single charge, the company says. As well as being able to fit all the family, plus extras, the vehicle can accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds (3.2 seconds if you select the upgraded model) and has a top speed of 155mph.

Among the car’s array of features is automatic keyless entry, GPS, parking sensors and automatic emergency breaking.

The Model X is expected to ship next year.

Wanted man captured thanks to facial recognition

A Chinese man who was wanted by police for “economic crimes” – which can include anything from tax evasion to the theft of public property – was arrested at a music concert in China after facial recognition technology spotted him inside the venue.

Source: Abacus News

SpaceX president commits to city-to-city rocket travel

SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell has reiterated the company’s plans to make city-to-city travel — on Earth — using a rocket that’s designed for outer space a reality. Shotwell says the tech will be operational “within a decade, for sure.”

Source: Recode

Businessman wins battle with Google over 'right to be forgotten'

A businessman fighting for the "right to be forgotten" has won a UK High Court action against Google.. The businessman served six months’ in prison for “conspiracy to carry out surveillance”, and the judge agreed to an “appropriate delisting order".

Source: Press Gazette

UK launched cyber attack on Islamic State

The UK has conducted a "major offensive cyber campaign" against the Islamic State group, the director of the intelligence agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, has revealed. The operation hindered the group's ability to co-ordinate attacks and suppressed its propaganda.

Source: BBC

Goldman Sachs consider whether curing patients is bad for business

Goldman Sachs analysts have attempted to tackle the question of whether pioneering "gene therapy" treatment will be bad for business in the long run. "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" analysts ask in a report entitled "The Genome Revolution."

Source: CNBC

Four-armed robot performing surgery in the UK

A £1.5m "robotic" surgeon, controlled using a computer console, is being used to shorten the time patients spend recovering after operations. The da Vinci Xi machine is the only one in the country being used for upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Source: BBC

Virgin Galactic rocket planes go past the speed of sound

Virgin Galactic completed its first powered flight in nearly four years when Richard Branson's space company launched its Unity spacecraft, which reached supersonic speeds before safely landing. “We’ve been working towards this moment for a long time,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides said in an email to Quartz.

Source: Quartz

Google employees protest being in "the business of war"

Thousands of Google employees, including dozens of senior engineers, have signed a letter protesting the company’s involvement in a Pentagon program that uses AI to interpret video imagery and could be used to improve the targeting of drone strikes. The letter, which is circulating inside Google, has garnered more than 3,100 signatures

Source: New York Times

Computer system transcribes words users “speak silently”

MIT researchers have developed a computer interface that transcribes words that the user verbalises internally but does not actually speak aloud. The wearable device picks up neuromuscular signals in the jaw and face that are triggered by internal verbalisations — saying words “in your head” — but are undetectable to the human eye.

Source: MIT News

Drones could be used to penalise bad farming

A report by a coalition of environmental campaigners is arguing squadrons of drones should be deployed to locate and penalise farmers who let soil run off their fields. Their report says drones can help to spot bad farming, which is said to cost more than £1.2bn a year by clogging rivers and contributing to floods.

Source: BBC

Californian company unveil space hotel

Orion Span, a California company, has unveiled its Aurora Station, a commercial space station that would house a luxury hotel. The idea is to put the craft in low-earth orbit, about 200 miles up, with a stay at the hotel likely to cost $9.5 million for a 12-day trip, but you can reserve a spot now with an $80,000 deposit.

UK mobile operators pay close to £1.4bn for 5G

An auction of frequencies for the next generation of mobile phone networks has raised £1.36bn, says regulator Ofcom. Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three all won the bandwidth needed for the future 5G mobile internet services, which are not expected to be launched until 2020.

Source: BBC