Slack

Slack to take unusual route to public markets, likely valuing it around $16 billion

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Slack Technologies, the fast-growing workplace messaging and communication platform, is poised for an unusual public listing on Thursday that will see it trade on the New York Stock Exchange and could value it at around $16 billion, according to a person
/
Reuters news

Bitcoin tests 15-month highs after 10% weekend jump

LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin tested 15-month highs on Monday after jumping more than 10% over the weekend, with analysts ascribing the spike to growing optimism over the adoption of cryptocurrencies after Facebook unveiled its Libra digital coin. The biggest cryptocurrency hit $11,247.62 on the Bitstamp
/

The Driverless Car

In the not too distant future, it’s quite conceivable that people will look back at the time when humans were left alone to drive their vehicles as they saw fit with a mix of amusement and horror. The rate of advancement in the arena of driverless cars is staggering and every day brings us a little closer to a reality that seemed like absolute science-fiction less than a decade ago.

In a recent interview with Danish newspaper Borsen, Tesla founder Elon Musk informed readers that he expects the first fully autonomous Tesla’s to be available in 2018 and to be approved by regulators less than 3 years later. Toyota claims its first autonomous vehicles will be on the roads by 2020, while the United States Secretary of Transportation was quoted at the 2015 Frankfort Auto Show as saying that he expects driverless cars to be globally in use within the next ten years. It seems autonomous vehicles are now merely a question of ‘’when” rather than ‘’if”.

However, the technology is moving quicker than the regulations which govern the roads. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Car makers globally have been hesitant to commit to deploying such technology until governments approve it and set up guidelines. However, many governments are unsure how to regulate the technology, which is still in development and could be stifled by overly constrictive rules.”

Andrew Moore, dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon told The Atlantic that’ “I don’t think anyone is clear, at the moment, on how autonomous driving is actually going to get introduced.”

Yet almost every vehicle manufacturer is taking tentative steps towards this future. Germany’s big three (Mercedes, BMW and VW) are adding autonomous features to their cars and there is general consensus that hands-free systems for highway driving would be a logical first step. It’s the unpredictable urban environment where the bigger challenges and risks lie for all the major players in the field.

As the notion has taken hold that this future is inevitable, it’s not just manufacturers getting involved. There are questions of ethics and philosophy raising their head: What should a driver do if the car is heading towards pedestrians and the only option is to drive off a cliff? Who is responsible if someone deliberately steps in front of a car and causes it to swerve? The website Quartz has been unpacking these issues lately; writing that “Of course, cars will very rarely be in a situation where it there are only two courses of action, and the car can compute, with 100% certainty, whether either decision will lead to death. But with enough driverless cars on the road, it’s far from implausible that software will someday have to make such a choice between causing harm to a pedestrian or passenger. Any safe driverless car should be able to recognize and balance these risks.”

Google Driverless Car

The safety of the cars themselves seems to be beyond reproach and it’s likely that the number of fatalities around the world will plummet with the widespread adoption of these vehicles. The real threat comes from humans and the way they drive and make less than optimal decisions on the road.

A car that behaves ‘’too safely” also poses a risk when dealing with real risk-taking humans.

Nevertheless, the progress feels inevitable and it’s only a matter of time before we take for granted the sight of a car on the road with no sign of a driver. And all this, before Apple even formally admits that it has assembled a crack team of engineers who are working on an autonomous vehicle of their own.

The introduction of the “iCar” will likely be the ultimate game-changer, if history is anything to go by.

By Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel

Jeremy Daniel is an author, online marketing strategist and a firm believer in the transformative power of mobile technology for emerging markets. Jeremy has written across various media platforms since 2001, from television to advertising to print, and spends most of his time in the beautiful city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Allan Leinwand

The Unintended – and Intended – Consequences of Cloud Data Sovereignty

Cloud Data Sovereignty It seems that everything has unintended consequences – whether positive or negative. Intended consequences are those that ...
Why ‘Data Hoarding’ Increases Cybersecurity Risk

Why ‘Data Hoarding’ Increases Cybersecurity Risk

Data Hoarding The proliferation of data and constant growth of content saved on premise, in cloud storage, or a non-integrated ...
Sports Data Analytics

Sports Data Analytics and the National Hockey League (NHL)

Sport Data Analytics Sports teams are always looking to get ahead of the competition. Winning doesn’t come easy and many ...
Ronald van Loon

Build Your Intelligent Enterprise through a Data Fabric

The future offers interesting and exciting times ahead for most businesses. With data being a big influencer in the enterprise ...
Bloomberg

The Trade War Is Set to Hit Tech, but Not as Hard as Your Wallet

/
Over the last year, technology companies were hopeful they might remain at least somewhat shielded from an intensifying bilateral trade war. After numerous exemptions, a far-reaching tax hike is finally ...
Google News

Meet David Feinberg, head of Google Health

/
Dr. David Feinberg has spent his entire career caring for people’s health and wellbeing. And after years in the healthcare system, he now leads Google Health, which brings together groups ...
MIT tech review

Five reasons “hacking back” is a recipe for cybersecurity chaos

/
A new US bill would make it legal for private companies to chase hackers across the internet. It’s a terrible idea that simply will not die. Sometimes when tech policymakers ...