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New York Unearths Paleotech Relic

A subway fire shines light on a system so old that it is amazing it runs at all

4 min read
Photo: Jeff Christensen/Reuters
Photo: Jeff Christensen/Reuters

photo of subway movingNew York City’s subway system slowed in January when a fire in a signal room fried relays and wires of eye-popping antiquity.Photo: Jeff Christensen/Reuters

What you get often depends on what you’ve already got. In technology this is known as the legacy problem, and most people see it in their desktop computers. Yet although an old PC may boot up slowly and crash easily, its problems can usually be solved with a reboot, and no lives are at stake.

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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
Purple

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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