Autonomous Cars

In the movie Back to the Future Part II, Michael J. Fox heads into 2015 where there are hover boards, automatic shoe fasteners, and interactive advertisements for movies. While some items from this movie have come to fruition such as the Cubs winning a World Series and a prototype for a hover board released, we are all still patiently waiting for the day when cars fly.3364_back-to-the-future-part-2_c61e

While flying cars may still be a way off dream, autonomous cars or self-driving vehicles may not be so far-fetched. I have been saying it for years that I believe the various aspects of a driverless car are being tested to ensure they are perfected before combining them into one vehicle. Think about the park assist that some cars have, or the lane assist, emergency stopping and collision detection, and even blind spot detection. All of these “smart car” options are only steps to the ultimate goal of a fully automated vehicle.

What I didn’t think about on our journey to automization, though, was how vehicles were going to be able to one day coordinate with each other. If all cars become autonomous, there would surely need to be a way for them to see or talk to each other in order to plan a route with ease. Detection once close to another vehicle would be too late for correcting a potentially traffic-y route, so knowing where other cars are heading could alleviate that if they were able to communicate. Well, according to Volkswagen, as early as 2019, pWLAN (Public Wireless LAN) technology which will allow vehicles to talk to one another wirelessly and within a certain distance range for such coordination purposes will be standard on their vehicles.

SAY WHAT? Just another piece in the puzzle toward autonomous cars!

Creating a PowerPoint “Movie”

I’m currently taking a class for my bachelor’s degree called Preparing for the Future (IDS 403). When I first signed up for it, I thought it was going to be something along the lines of personal goal setting and career path planning, but the moment I read the syllabus, I knew I had guessed way wrong.

This class has turned out to be all about technology and its influence on society, and vise versa. It is demonstrating the evolution of society and technology as two correlating factors throughout history while attempting to arm students with methods of addressing a societal problem and finding a solution through technology.IDS 403-T5272 – Wastewater Reuse Mod 6

It has been a demanding course with an extensive project broken into many “milestones”, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. Let me just say, though, I am so glad I am at the very least familiar with PowerPoint. Actually, I am a certified Microsoft Office Specialist in PowerPoint, but if I had never used PowerPoint or had very little knowledge before this class, I’m telling you right now, I wouldn’t be enjoying this course at all!

I have basically had to create a “movie” with PowerPoint using slides and voice narration. I am essentially giving a static presentation that I, luckily, don’t have to stand in front of anyone to give. I have also had to record a few video blogs which my husband would laugh and make faces at me while I was creating them, and I would in turn flick him off off-screen, but I digress.

After all this piecing together clips and voice narrating and formatting and optimizing, I have never had such respect for movie editors before in my life! Maybe this is a hidden piece to the Preparing for the Future curriculum; preparing us for lives as film editors!

Ehh. After watching and listening to my little movie, I think I will stick with my current day job..