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We've seen each version of Google's self-driving car. (Video via Google)
"There's no steering wheel in the way." (Video via Google)
And we're ready to give it a test drive. So where is it?
â€‹â€‹â€‹Well, a report out last week from MIT Technology Review outlines a number of obstacles Google needs to address before its cars can share the road.
For starters, they can't handle bad weather. Google has yet to test the vehicles in snow and heavy rain, making the car off-limits pretty much anywhere outside of California.
â€‹Back in May, Google told us, "We've taught the vehicle to recognize and navigate through construction zones."
Potentially more dangerous is how it treats pedestrians. The car reportedly recognizes them as moving, human-shaped pixels, but Urmson agreed with MIT, which said, "The car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop."
â€‹But maybe the largest obstacle: mapping. So far, Google has only a few thousand miles of roadways and driveways mapped for its cars. And the vehicles require more information than a basic Google map.
Gizmodo adds it’s a bit unreasonable to expect robocars to drive uncharted roads. "But this presents a hyper-magnified version of the same problem that faces electric cars: The inability to just get out there and go wherever."
And that's perhaps the ultimate obstacle. Still, Google is taking this one challenge at a time.
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt previously told The Wall Street Journal: "We have to find where the limits are. We have to actually use it. We have to create some test beds."
Business Insider adds: "Google is doing what it can to address these problems. When a Google car encounters new street signs and lights, it sends feedback to update the mapping software."
But let's not forget the vehicle's external challenges, like, you know, the law. (Video via Google)
In Google's home state of California, the DMV just introduced new safety regulations requiring every car to have a steering wheel.
Meaning the auto you see here likely won't be the exact version Californians will see someday.
And if it can't take the weather, it's probably not the one you'll see on the roads anywhere else, either.
This story includes images from Getty Images / Justin Sullivan.Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:26:06 -0400
If only kale tasted like Oreos, right? Well, new research says you might be able to train your brain to eventually crave the healthy foods you don't like.
According to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, a solution might be conditioning and an increased consumption of low-calorie, high-fiber foods. You could eventually be searching for more spinach and fewer sweets. (Video via Allrecipes)
Researchers looked at the brain activity of overweight individuals, some of whom underwent a diet program that included behavioral intervention. After six months, the researchers say those in the diet program responded more positively when shown photos of low caloric foods than those not in the program.
As the study's author explains in a news release: "We don't start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta. ... This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly! - what is out there in the toxic food environment."
This idea of training your brain has been explored before. One other recent study suggests even portion control plays a large part in changing eating habits.
One medical expert equates junk food to drugs. She tells CBS the simple carbohydrates in processed foods trigger the same pleasure center in the brain as cocaine and heroine, causing you to come back for more.
The authors also say this conditioning would be more beneficial than, say, gastric bypass surgery, which causes people to eat less food in general rather than learn to love healthy food. (Video via Mayo Clinic)
So, the good news is, it seems you may be able to kick unhealthy cravings to the curb. But scientists warn this study is small — just 13 participants. They also don't know if the same effects would be observed in the long-term.
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:16:23 -0400
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are still looking for a suspect after a woman said she was raped in the heart of Uptown this weekend.
The victim spoke to Channel 9 because she said she does not want this to happen to anyone else.
The 47-year-old woman was still shaken Monday. She says she was raped early Saturday morning in Uptown.
"It doesn't seem real, no. When I look at my face obviously and my tooth being gone, yeah I know it is real," the woman said. She didn't want us to reveal her name or face, but Channel 9 saw the bloody scars and missing tooth she described.
The woman said she was having drinks at Tilt on Trade Street with her boyfriend. After they had an argument, she said she decided to walk home alone. That's when she says she was suddenly pushed to the ground and raped in an alley.
"It seemed like forever but in reality probably 15 minutes, 10 or 15," the woman said.
She said the man told her, "This is what you get for walking alone."
CMPD investigators say the incident happened near the intersection of East 3rd and South College streets in the heart of Uptown, an area in which the victim said she used to always feel safe.
"Do I feel safe now? I don't know. I haven't been out since," the victim said.
And she says she'll never walk alone again. She says somehow, she found the strength to run away.
"Adrenaline, it comes out of you. You don't know where you got it from because I still don't know where I got it from," she said.
Now she hopes others will be more cautious, too.
The victim said she gave police a description of the suspect. Police say they are actively looking for that person.
CMPD also says crimes like this one are rare in that area.
Channel 9 searched within a 0.2 mile radius of where this happened on South College Street, and in the last month there were four assaults, one strong-arm robbery and a few other minor crimes but no rapes.