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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:

The Conversation (0)

Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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