Early morning fire leaves 7 homeless

first_imgA fire early on Thursday morning at Ogle, East Coast Demerara has left seven persons homeless, including three children aged seven, 10 and 17.The fire allegedly broke out around 06:30h at Lot 34 Railway Line, Ogle and was spotted by a tenant of the property.Audrey Wilson, the owner of the property, said: “The fire apparently started in the apartment which we rent to two sisters. One was not at home at the time, while the other was sleeping in the front room. She woke up when she smelt the smoke and rushed downstairs to notify us. My husband then ran over to the building, but the fire was already too big.”Wilson added that an alarm was raised and neighbours quickly came over to help move household items from the building and contact the Guyana Fire Service.The fire truck reportedly reached the scene some 15 minutes later, but by that time the entire top floor was completely destroyed.One neighbour, speaking to this publication, noted that the property also housed Wilo’s Electrical Store, which would have had flammable items and contributed to the blaze.Wilson’s husband, Birley, broke down in tears explaining that no one was hurt, but the property was uninsured.The businessman estimated his losses to be in excess of $40 million. He said he had spent his entire life trying to reach where he was in life and was heartbroken to see it go up in flames the way it did.He mentioned that the two girls living in the apartment were the children of his friends and he always tried to help them out.“They are nice people and I don’t know how this could have happened. All I hear is she come over and say something wrong, but the place was locked up.”The father of three is contemplating his next move after seeing his main business destroyed.last_img read more

Twice Arrested Fort Nelson Drug Trafficking Suspect

first_imgAt least in terms of Fort Nelson RCMP apprehension on drug charges, James Beck, has been a two-time loser in less than two months.He was first taken into custody on March first, and charged with two counts of trafficking in marijuana, before being conditionally released.None of those conditions however, allowed him to continue to traffic in marijuana, and on June 15th he was arrested again and charged with two additional counts.- Advertisement -Now he will remain in police custody at least unitl his next court appearance, for which there’s no date given in a police news release. There’s also nothing in the release on his age or place of residence, but it does confirm there were two separate Fort Nelson under cover operations which led to his arrests.last_img read more

CONFIRMED: Yaya Toure signs new one-year deal with Manchester City

first_imgManchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has signed a new one-year deal with the club having won over manager Pep Guardiola this season.The 34-year-old, whose existing deal expired this month, began the season under a shadow after Guardiola omitted him from City’s Champions League squad.That sparked a rift with the player’s agent Dimitri Seluk, who claimed Toure had been humiliated, which resulted in the manager insisting the Ivorian would not be included in any team until he apologised.Toure eventually smoothed things over and returned to the side to play an instrumental role in the second half of the season, resulting in the offer of a new contract.“Yaya has been a fantastic servant for Manchester City and continues to be a vital member of Pep Guardiola’s squad,” City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain told mancity.com.“He is one of our most experienced and popular players and we couldn’t be happier that he is staying with us as we embark on what we all hope will be a very exciting season.“Yaya has been central to the successes we’ve had over the past seven years and he has a vital part to play next season,”Toure has won six trophies, including two Premier League titles and an FA Cup, with the club since joining from Barcelona in 2010.“I’m delighted. I told myself the journey at City is not done and when I received a call from Txiki and talked to the manager I was very delighted,” said the midfielder.“When I was first coming here I was trying to be part of a new story, of something special at this club. I am very lucky now to be part of a great club with great players around me who are helping me to achieve my targets.“Of course I want to win trophies, that is very important to me. I want to enjoy it at this age still and remaining here is a massive, massive thing.“It is a great club, going in the right direction with new players who are coming in.”City are still trying to get a deal for new goalkeeper Ederson over the line as Guardiola continues with his squad rebuilding.Benfica announced they had “reached an agreement” over a £35million deal with the 23-year-old, who has yet to win a senior cap for Brazil, having been in Manchester since Tuesday.Under current exchange rates he is set to become the game’s most expensive goalkeeper, edging Gianluigi Buffon’s switch to Juventus although the Italian’s 51m euros move back in 2001 eclipses the 40m euros City are paying Benfica.The Portuguese club posted a picture of the keeper accompanied by the words “thank you @edersonmoraes93” on their Twitter account and said in a statement to the stock exchange “it has reached an agreement with Manchester City Football Club Limited for the definitive transfer of the rights of the athlete Ederson Santana de Moraes for the amount of forty million euros”.But City have not been able to finalise the deal quickly as Ederson’s contract with Benfica involves third-party ownership of his economic rights, with previous club Rio Ave still holding 30 per cent share and Jorge Mendes’ agency Gestifute 20 per cent.Football Association rules do not allow for any third party involvement, meaning Benfica must take care of business independently before tying up loose ends with City.City had a similar experience with Gabriel Jesus’ transfer last season and are prepared to wait days, if not weeks, for the correct paperwork to be finalised.Ederson’s expected arrival at the Etihad Stadium essentially confirms England number one Joe Hart has no chance of a reprieve after his season-long loan at Torino, while his original replacement, Claudio Bravo, has failed to live up to expectations.He will become Guardiola’s second signing of the summer after the £43million arrival of Monaco playmaker Bernardo Silva.City, meanwhile, have until 2020 to re-sign Enes Unal after agreeing a buy-back clause with Villarreal.The 20-year-old Turkey international never played a competitive match for the club after arriving from Bursaspor in 2015 and he enjoyed several loan spells prior to joining the Yellow Submarine on a five-year deal on Wednesday. He scored 18 Eredivisie goals for FC Twente during the 2016-17 campaign.But City have reserved the option to take the striker back in the next three seasons and, though the figure remains undisclosed, it is thought to be under £20million – hardly a stretch for any player considered good enough for their first-team squad.Villarreal welcomed Unal to the club with a glowing post on their official website, writing: “The Turkish footballer is one of the most promising footballers in Europe at just 20 years of age.“He is a strong player of great stature, but also possesses great technical ability with the ball at his feet: dribbling, change of pace, a knack for getting in behind the defence and attacking the goal.“Strong in the air, Unal also has a powerful shot and is dangerous on set-plays, making him the complete footballer at just 20 years old.” 1last_img read more

Teen arrested in pen probe

first_imgROSEMEAD – A 17-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of booby-trapping pens that exploded when they were picked up at two high school campuses, authorities said Thursday.Acting on a tip and armed with a search warrant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arson investigators raided a home in Rosemead on Wednesday, where they arrested the teen and uncovered a stash of evidence linking him to three exploding pens that injured people at Rosemead and El Monte high schools.Officials will not release the boy’s name because he is a juvenile. He apparently lived in a home in the 8600 block of Grand Avenue.“He later admitted to investigators that he had constructed ink pens to explode when the cap was removed,” said Deputy Tania Plunkett. “He also said he made the devices with the intent of injuring anyone who picked up any of the pens.”The latest incident occurred Dec. 2 at 2,170-student El Monte High School, when a student there picked up a marker found in the boys’ restroom. When the student took the cap off the marker, it exploded in his hand, causing minor injuries, officials said.The teen is suspected in that case and two others on and near the 2,000-student Rosemead High School campus. One of the booby-trapped pens was found on the campus in August by a maintenance worker, who was slightly injured when it exploded in his hand.Another pen left on the sidewalk along Rosemead Boulevard, adjacent to the campus, injured a woman. An arson investigator said a plastic shard from the pen lodged in the woman’s face, about an inch below her eye.Both high schools belong to the El Monte Union High School District.“They feel they have the right person,” said Nic Salerno, assistant superintendent.School officials had not learned the name of the suspect Thursday and could not confirm if the teen attended a school in the district.Salerno is awaiting more information from investigators.“And we’ll have a better idea if it’s an isolated thing related to this person, or if it’s a group of people,” Salerno said. “Our hope is it’s an isolated thing.”Students were notified of the arrest Thursday, he said.If the suspect turns out to be a student, the offense would definitely qualify him for expulsion, Salerno said. A counseling component would accompany any discipline. jason.kosareff@sgvn.com(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Ballyshannon Leisure Centre to celebrate 20 years anniversary

first_imgBallyshannon Leisure Centre is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year since the centre was re-opened following refurbishment in 1996 with a special event being held in the centre on Friday 25 November.Caroline Patton, Manager of Ballyshannon Leisure Centre is spearheading plans to mark this milestone in the life of the centre which she describes as a hub of activity and a place that is often used by the community for social occasions, leisure activity, family outings as well as keeping fit and active.“We are delighted to have reached this milestone at the Ballyshannon Leisure Centre and we are looking forward to celebrating our 20 year anniversary with a special event on Friday next and we hope that the entire community can come along and join in our celebration at 3pm”. “We will be using this occasion to acknowledge and recognise the contributions made by the people who were instrumental in establishing the centre. In particular we will be unveiling two special plaques to the late Cllr Frank O’Kelly and the late Michael Dalton in recognition and appreciation of their commitment and dedication to their community, to water safety and for the contribution they made to securing and developing the leisure centre in Ballyshannon”.The centre was originally constructed in the 1970’s and was extensively refurbished in 1995/1996 and was officially re-opened on the 3rd May 1996 by the then chairman of Donegal County Council Cllr. Sean McEniff. Funding for these works was received from the National Lottery, the Department of the Environment, Donegal County Council, Ballyshannon Town Commissioners and the local community.The centre has been improved again recently with funding from Donegal County Council and works include refurbishment of the reception area and upgrade works to both men’s and ladies less-abled shower facilities. New gym equipment has also been installed and a new entry system has been put in place.Facilities at the centre include a 25 meter swimming pool with a hoist and stairs for less abled access, Sauna & Steam Room and a newly refurbished Gym and Fitness Suite. The centre attracts users not only from the Ballyshannon area but from the entire south & southwest Donegal, north Sligo and north Leitrim region with schools from all over the region using the centre for their swimming lessons. Ballyshannon Leisure Centre is open seven days a week and has a packed timetable offering a variety of classes including Swimming lessons for children & adults, Birthday Parties Seasonal Camps, Aqua Aerobics, Parent & Tot Aqua Fit, Master Swim Class, Spin, Boot Camp, Yoga and Pilates.While the centre is under the ownership of Donegal County Council it is managed by a dedicated board of directors drawn from a range of sectors as follows Cllr. Barry O’Neill, Chair, Eunan Kelly, Secretary, Seamus O’Neill, Irish Water Safety, Cllr. Tom Conaghan, Cllr Sean McEniff , Paul McDevitt Accountant, Damian Conlon, Colaiste Colmcille and Anne McPartland, business representative.Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Terence Slowey has congratulated all those involved with Ballyshannon Leisure Centre and believes that the success of the centre is testament to the hardwork and dedication of both the board of directors and the management and staff of the centre.“I think it is fitting for Ballyshannon Leisure Centre to mark their 20th anniversary with a celebration of this nature. The success of the centre is testament to the hardwork and dedication of both the board of directors and of the management and staff. It is also a manifestation of the support that the centre has received from the entire community including the schools, the businesses and the residents of Ballyshannon and the wider area. The fact that Ballyshannon Leisure Centre is the centre of choice for swimming lessons for schools from towns as far away as Glenties, Maugherow, Manorhamilton and Garrison is in itself a mark of the excellent standard of service that the centre provides and the esteem with which it is held in the region. I would like to congratulate everyone involved with centre on reaching this milestone and I wish them every success in the years ahead”.The 20th anniversary celebration will take place in Ballyshannon Leisure Centre at 3pm on Friday 25 November 2016. Ballyshannon Leisure Centre to celebrate 20 years anniversary was last modified: November 18th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Drafting and reviewing your buy-sell agreement

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest If you own a business, you have hopefully established a buy-sell agreement in case you or a co-owner voluntarily or involuntarily leaves the company. The creation of the document is just one step in a larger process. You simply can’t draft the agreement and lock it away for safekeeping. The document should be a fluid one, you need to review and perhaps revise the document periodically.The primary purpose of a buy-sell agreement is to legally confer on the owners of a business or the business itself the right or obligation to buy a departing owner’s interest. But a well-crafted agreement can also help ensure that control of your business is restricted to specified individuals, such as current owners, select family members or upper-level managers.Another purpose of a buy-sell agreement is to establish a price for the ownership interests. You should engage a qualified appraiser to estimate the value of those interests when first making a buy-sell agreement, and periodically thereafter to ensure the price keeps up with the growing (or shrinking) value of your company.Estate planning is also a priority for many buy-sell agreements. If your agreement was drafted more than a few years ago, you may need to update it based on recent gift and estate tax changes. For 2017, the top rate for the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes is 40% and the exemption limit is $5.49 million. However, also keep in mind that the President and Republicans in Congress have indicated a desire to repeal the estate tax.As I alluded to at the start of this article, most buy-sell agreements lie dormant for years. What can quickly bring one to life is a “triggering event,” such as the injury or death of an owner, or, when one retires or voluntarily leaves the company. These are the major events that can bring a buy-sell agreement into play, but other occurrences such as changes to marital status can as well. Also, many agreements cover events such as conviction of a crime, losing a professional license or certification, or becoming involved in some other situation that is deemed inappropriate or illegal.If you have not drafted a buy-sell agreement for your business, hopefully the wheels are now turning and you see the importance of having one. Let’s break down the different structures and options for agreements:• Redemption, which permits or requires the business as a whole to repurchase an owner’s interest,• Cross-purchase, which permits or requires the remaining owners of the company to buy the interest, typically on a pro rata basis,• Hybrid, combines the two preceding structures. A hybrid agreement, for example, might require a departing owner to first make a sale offer to the company and, if it declines, sell to the remaining individual owners.In choosing your buy-sell agreement’s initial structure, consider the tax implications. They will differ based on whether your company is a flow-through entity or a C corporation.Buy-sell agreements require a funding source so that remaining owners can buy their former co-owner’s shares. Life insurance is probably the most common, but there are alternatives. If your company is cash-rich and confident in its ability to remain so, you could rely on your reserves. However, this could leave many businesses vulnerable to an unplanned cash shortfall. Another option is to create a “sinking fund” by setting aside money for paying out the agreement over time. Again, if your cash flow begins to suffer, you may not have enough funds when they become needed.Keeping your buy-sell agreement updated requires some effort. That effort will pay off in saved time and prevented conflicts should a triggering event take place. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com or at BRavencraft@HolbrookManter.com.last_img read more

Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer: AFBF Economist Dr. John Newton

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentIn the latest episode of Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer, Ohio Farm Bureau’s Director of Water Quality and Research talks with American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Dr. John Newton.Hoewischer and Newton talk about the “tough shape” the farm economy has been in for a number years for various reasons, from low crop prices to trade and tariff issues, and how much impact the newly signed Farm Bill may or may not have on farm income in the future.Field Day with Jordan Hoewischer is an ongoing series of conversations with experts and leaders who are helping to shape and secure the future of Ohio’s ag industry for generations to come.Following are some highlights from this episode. Complete transcript.Q: I know there are a lot of different sectors, but what’s the general feel of the overall ag economy?A: Well it’s been in the doldrums now for a few years. You know net farm income was record high when we were right in the last farm bill. Over $120 billion at that point in time and it’s declined by nearly 50 percent. It declined fairly quickly and it’s remained at very low levels. 2018 farm incomes projected at $66 billion. That’s the third lowest level over the last decade in well below the historical average of about $85 billion a year. So the farm economy is in pretty tough shape and it’s really impacting agriculture uniformly.Q: How will the (newly signed) 2018 Farm Bill effect things?A: You know it was just a completely different environment in 2014 when we were writing the farm bill. We were looking at $5 corn, and soybeans were well over $11 a bushel. When we really started this process, American Farm Bureau had a farm bill working group for the last two years. When we started this farm income was low commodity prices were low. So I think that one of the things that it did more than anything is really energized the grassroots members across the country to think about this farm bill and think about ways we can make it work better. I think the challenge in this low price environment was that the Congressional Budget Office, the baseline for agricultural spending, we just didn’t have a lot of money to make a lot of major changes. So this farm bill more than anything it’s just an evolution of the 2014 Farm Bill. Some tweaks around the edges. We did get some major improvements for dairy and for cotton but there’s just not enough money to come in and really elevate and enhance the support provided by ARC and PLC some of those title one programs.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

Hacker Poll: What Is Your Favorite MapReduce Language for Hadoop?

first_imgGrowing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Related Posts klint finley How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Why You Love Online Quizzescenter_img 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#Big Data#hack#Polls If you work with Hadoop, or want to, check out Antonio Piccolboni’s overview of eight MapReduce languages. Piccolboni explores each language in search of a language that provides both concise syntax and the power to run both the “‘inside’ of map reduce, that is the code for the mapper and the reducer, as well as the ‘outside’, the logic that decides which map reduce jobs to run.” He also looked to whether he could write MapReduce programs that require multiple MapReduce jobs ” including the case of a data dependent number and type of jobs.”He decided Rhipe, which integrates R with Hadoop, was the closest to what he was looking for. However, one notable absence from his overview is Wukong, which brings Ruby to Hadoop. (Though I’m not sure whether this would meet his requirements).Which language do you prefer for creating MapReduce jobs, and why?last_img read more

New, Vented Crawl Spaces Should Be Illegal

first_imgFor new homes, vented crawl spaces should be illegal. That may seem harsh, considering the entrenchment of this common, code-compliant construction detail. I am on board for most local and common practices when they’re done right, but it’s tough denying that most building science research is condemning the classic vented crawl space in a humid climate. It’s time for this building practice to be outlawed for new construction.There are plenty of crawl spaces that seem to do fine, but even a dry crawl space can have negative effects on indoor air quality in the living spaces above. Most vented crawl spaces are not dry; they are building science disasters. Do you really think building a cave below your house is a good idea?There is danger in breathing air that comes from open earth. Radon is one of the most alarming forms of indoor-air pollution. While radon can be an issue for all foundation types, homes on slabs (stem walls or basements) offer more control over water and soil gases like radon than houses built over a crawl space. An unvented crawl space — or, better yet, no crawl spaceIn humid climates, vented crawl spaces don’t make sense because they increase moisture problems.In an unvented crawl space, plastic sheeting seals the ground and keeps most of the soil gases out of the air. But it’s easier said than done. RELATED ARTICLES Building Plans for Insualted and Conditioned Crawl Spaces Other possible arguments against slabsThere are a few other concerns raised about slabs. One of them is that slabs can cause joint and other orthopedic problems because they’re so hard. We have yet to see any research supporting this theory. There are studies suggesting that dogs might develop toenail problems, but that should apply to all hard surfaces, including tile and hardwood.I disagree that wood or wood-framed floors are significantly more forgiving. Modern, code-built floors have immeasurable deflection from normal foot traffic. The only finish where I notice a difference is rug or carpet with thick padding, which is among the worst material choices for those with indoor-air quality concerns. A better strategy for joint and related concerns are orthopedic insoles.Yes, slabs can be cold, but we include insulation under our slabs, making them close to the same temperature as the indoor air. This also reduces the chance of condensation and creates another redundant barrier to soil moisture and gases like radon. The plastic should be completely sealed to the walls, piers, and any other penetrations from the ground. In areas prone to groundwater during heavy rains, the crawl space grade should be sloped to a daylight drain. Crawl space walls should be insulated, while allowing access to some portion of the wall for termite inspection.Finally, unvented crawl spaces need some method of dehumidification or space conditioning, which adds to energy costs and maintenance needs.One of our arguments against crawl spaces is that cramped conditions leads to inferior work from all parties involved with the home: carpenters, plumbers, electricians, HVAC contractors, crawl space encapsulation workers, energy raters, the builder, and finally the homeowner. Show of hands: Who wants to go spelunking to ensure craftsmanship and maintenance?Proper unvented crawl space encapsulation is not cheap. Moisture and ongoing energy loads have big lifecycle costs. Building an Unvented Crawl Space What’s the Best Way to Insulate Crawl Space Walls? Vented Crawl Spaces and the Psychometric Chart Are Not FriendsGreen Basics: Crawl SpacesAll About Radoncenter_img CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Brian Knight is a builder and the owner of Springtime Homes in Asheville, North Carolina. Consider a basement or stem walls with slab insteadStem walls with slabs work anywhere that is suited for a crawl space. It’s better building science, because the building envelope is more defined.Moisture and soil gases like radon are big risks to indoor-air quality. Building researchers seemingly agree it’s easier to create a solid separation of the ground with a slab. This is largely due to the even bed of clean gravel and vapor barrier called for in good slab construction. Simple perforated drain pipes can do double duty as sub-slab drainage and passive radon mitigation systems. The taller the stem wall and more volume of clean gravel, the better the protection.Slabs are the most common foundation type in some areas of the country, but many people still object to them. I find that opinions against slabs mostly come from those uncomfortable with concrete work. The best argument against them: it’s hard to change plumbing. Changing or adding waste lines under slabs is most intensive, but usually not a problem as the house is likely undergoing major renovation anyway. The risks of flooding and high groundwaterFlooding problems, which are usually small plumbing leaks, are more quickly discovered with a slab. Subfloors and framing are more at risk of rot than concrete. Leaks getting past the slab drain harmlessly through the gravel. When a leak pools in a crawl space, it increases humidity, energy costs, and the risks of mildew and mold.Higher groundwater from a heavy rain is less of a risk with raised gravel drained to daylight. With a crawl space, it’s usually tougher to get positive drainage around the house. It’s also tougher to get daylight drains from under the house because of the sub-grade conditions.Crawl spaces contribute to higher humidity, mold, and mildew. They are also are tougher to remediate for radon and other soil gases, making them a poor choice for those concerned with indoor air quality. They also contribute to higher energy costs, which is not good for outdoor-air quality.If you’re still not convinced, at least be sure that your crawl space is properly encapsulated and unvented. That advice goes for existing homes, too.Eventually, vented crawlspaces will be an illegal building practice in new construction. This is why our company will not include them directly below living spaces. We will do unvented crawlspaces, but we think there are usually better options.last_img read more

Challenges to fully autonomous cars

first_img 1 thought on “Challenges to fully autonomous cars” Continue Reading Previous Self-driving vehicles — are we nearly there yet?Next The connected cellular IoT market is poised for exponential growth pyeatte says: On September 19, 2016, the U.S. Government issued the Federal Automated Vehicles Policy, marking a significant milestone in the progress of autonomous vehicles. Although this is a guidance document and does not contain official regulations, it is the first federal involvement in the United States. The federal government recognizes that the automation of vehicles has the potential to increase safety, improve mobility, save energy, and reduce pollution. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Transportation has set a goal to accelerate the revolution of highly automated vehicles (HAV). This is another example of a crucial step to overcoming red tape, as I discussed in my post about Moving autonomous driving into the fast lane .Will human drivers soon be a thing of the past? (Source: unsplash.com) Four levels of vehicle automation This migration from solely human-operated cars to completely autonomous ones is not a sudden leap, but is instead a gradual progression. So where exactly are we in this evolution process, and what can we expect to see in 2017?The automation of vehicles can be divided into four levels:No Automation: Vehicles that are fully controlled by the driver.Simple Mechanical Automation: Features like cruise control that automatically maintain a desired aspect of driving, thereby freeing the driver from that specific task.Smart Automation: Cars that incorporate smart sensors and machine vision technology to perform tasks like smart cruise control and lane keeping.Full Autonomous Driving: Cars that drive with zero passenger intervention, using multiple sensors, sensor fusion processing, and machine learning, all in conjunction with positioning technology.Taking a look at this classification, it’s clear that the first level of zero automation is practically extinct. Almost every new vehicle in the developed world has at least one automated feature, and most have many. The second level , mechanical automation, has been around for decades. Features of smart automation, the third level , are now commercially available, like adaptive cruise control and parking assist. But, this level is far from being fully exhausted. Features like traffic jam assist and self-parking are in very advanced stages of development and are being introduced on the roads today. The technological components that enable these tasks are ever developing; for example, artificial intelligence and smart sensors are continuing to improve these automated features. As this trend continues, smart automation will be more easily and quickly adopted into the mass market, and will soon become standard equipment in new cars.The fourth and last level is full autonomous driving. This is the pinnacle of the evolution and will have the largest societal impact in how people utilize transportation through shared mobility services. Many traditional automotive companies, such as General Motors, Ford, and Daimler, to name but a few, have joined the likes of Google, Baidu, and Uber in this revolution. You can see these test cars on the road today and even more locations are being used as test sites for autonomous vehicles, gradually incorporating them in general traffic.Self-driving Uber car (Source: Uber) Just a few days prior to the release of the federal policy document, Uber unleashed a fleet of autonomous vehicles for hire to the general public. The experimental pilot program includes four cars that are capable of navigating a certain part of Pittsburgh, which has been pre-mapped. In each car, two Uber engineers are in the driver and passenger seats ready to take control if there is a safety risk or other issue that requires intervention. According to reports, like this one from Reuters, such an intervention was necessary every few miles.Three main technological challenges that need to be addressed in 2017 Experiments like the Uber fleet in Pittsburgh show that fully autonomous vehicles are very close to fruition. In the foreseeable future, it’s likely that these vehicles will mainly be used for services, while car owners will see increasingly sophisticated level 3 HAVs. What are the challenges standing in the way of further enhancing level 3 and fully transitioning into level 4 automation?#1 Availability of intelligent vision sensors: One of the main challenges is the availability of intelligent vision sensors that can match and exceed human capacity for vision and analysis, and adequately respond to any situation that may occur on the road. These sensors must be able to detect signs, hazards, other vehicles, pedestrians, and more, and process this information to determine precisely how to react in real-time. But, the vision sensors aren’t only pointed outwards to the road…#2 Simple handoff from the automated function to the driver: In level 3 of smart automation, there is complexity in the handoff from the automated function to the driver. The solution for this is driver monitoring. This feature uses machine vision that can detect the state of the driver (e.g., alert or fatigued, paying attention or distracted) by analyzing facial expressions to ensure a safe handoff.#3: Cost-effectiveness: Even the most advanced imaging and vision technology won’t cut it if it’s not extremely low-power, small-die-size, and part of a cost-effective solution. To really penetrate the mass market and disrupt the transportation industry, the solution must be able to perform all of the above tasks with all their complexity, but still be efficient and flexible enough to adapt to future changes and innovations.Mass market applications enablers There are many challenges ahead before fully autonomous vehicles can become the main mode of transportation across the globe. Safety, ethics, psychology, and other profound fields will undoubtedly be involved in decision making and policy formulation, as the U.S. government made clear in its publication. In the meantime, huge steps are being made towards that goal.The main enablers of these steps are efficient vision and sensing solutions, low power, low-cost machine intelligence and positioning technology. As these components become more cost-effective and more available for mass market applications, we’ll be seeing more green lights for features that can make driving safer, more efficient and more convenient.Jeff VanWashenova is Director of Automotive Market Segment at CEVA. Jeff is utilizing his fifteen years of experience in the automotive industry to expand CEVA’s imaging and vision product line into a variety of automotive applications. He holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration from Michigan State University. October 12, 2016 at 8:35 pm “It will certainly be an evolutionary process and a bumpy (no pun intended) one for sure. One requirement will be communication between cars to resolve active right-of-way issues at 60mph and faster.” Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Automotive, Industry Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more