The U.S. Army has for the first time tested swarms of consumer drones during a major military training exercise and determined the low-cost technology is at a stage where it could be used offensively.
Off-the-shelf drones have brought what was previously complex and expensive technology into the reach of consumers, and the military was curious to see how much of a threat that might pose.
So it brought consumer quadcopters and octocopters to the Network Integration Evaluation war games that concluded earlier this month at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, and Fort Bliss, Texas.
During the exercise, which is used by the Army to help evaluate new technology, the drones were deployed as a swarm to simulate a threat. Later, the Army expanded the trials to discover whether it might be able to make use of the same technology. Continue reading »
Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal the tech giant created Google Auto LLC to help develop its self-driving cars even as it courted big car makers
Google has set up its own car company. The tech giant has flirted with major car firms as it explores driverless cars but has also quietly set up its own auto company, according to documents obtained by the Guardian.
Google Auto LLC is headed by Chris Urmson, project lead for Google’s self-driving cars. Urmson has been on a charm offensive with the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. At the North American International Auto Show in January, Urmson announced talks with General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen. In March, he told USA Today: “Making cars is really hard, and the car companies are quite good at it. So, in my mind, the solution is to find a partnership.”
To date, no such partnership has emerged. That might be because Google already has its very own car maker in Google Auto. The company is registered with national and international organisations as a passenger vehicle manufacturer, and was licensed last year as a car maker in California. Google declined to comment on this story. Continue reading »