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Fabulous Footage of Dueling Supercars in Rome

Feast your eyes on this teaser from the upcoming Bond movie

1 min read
Fabulous Footage of Dueling Supercars in Rome
Image: Danjaq/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Columbia Pictures

Jaguar and Aston Martin, makers of Britain’s two top performance cars, have recently jumped on the cars-that-think bandwagon, with Jaguar touting virtual reality see-through pillars and posts, and Aston Martin signing a deal for self-driving technology.

Both brands will be showcased in “Spectre,” the next movie in the James Bond franchise, although it’s not yet clear just how much of the cognitative gadgetry will be shown. But if I were the director, I’d put in a bit of safety-first stuff just for laughs, the way Steven Spielberg did in “Jurassic Park,” when he let a panicked driver see a charging tyrannosaur through a rear-view mirror emblazoned with the words, “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” (That idea was itself stolen from a Gary Larson cartoon.)

How about this scenario: the villain takes his hand off the wheel, the better to shoot at Bond, and his car complains: “driver must keep hands on the wheel.” Bad guy touches wheel, returns to shooting, and the process repeats itself. Finally, the car automatically parks and begins a lecture on the dangers of distracted driving. Mid-lecture, the car blows up.

Here’s a teaser from “Spectre,” filmed at night on the streets of Rome itself:

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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