Traffic crashes 💥 Picky eating 🥗 Fire recall 🔥!

Technology News

Deep learning helps predict traffic crashes before they happen

Scientists have developed a deep learning model that predicts very high-resolution crash risk maps. Fed on a combination of historical crash data, road maps, satellite imagery, and GPS traces, the risk maps describe the expected number of crashes over a period of time in the future. “Our model can generalize from one city to another by combining multiple clues from seemingly unrelated data sources. This is a step toward general AI because our model can predict crash maps in uncharted territories.” Even if a high-risk area has no recorded crashes, it can still be identified as high-risk, just based on its traffic patterns and topology. 

Germany Unveils the World’s First Fully Automated Train in Hamburg

Siemens and German rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) have revealed the world’s first driverless, fully automated train in the city of Hamburg. Siemens describes the new train as more efficient due to the use of artificial intelligence (AI), which helps the train stick to schedule and meet increased travel demand more efficiently than a human driver. Four of the trains will go into operation in northern Hamburg’s S-Bahn rapid urban rail network and they will start carrying passengers in December. The automated trains can carry “up to 30 percent more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and save more than 30 percent energy.”

Science News

Beyond childhood: Picky eating in college students

Self-identified picky eaters ate significantly less fiber and vegetables and reported greater levels of social phobia than non-picky eaters, according to a new study. In addition to social phobia, picky eating was associated with overall and situational distress and lower quality of life. The challenges of picky eaters included finding acceptable food, not eating, other people they were eating with, and excessive meal planning. Interestingly, some benefits of picky eating reported by participants resembled versions of reported challenges. For example, participants from the same sample viewed eating in restaurants as a challenge and a benefit.

Gorillas can tell human voices apart

A new study is the first to show that gorillas are able to recognize familiar human voices based on their relationship with the speaker. The researchers found that captive gorillas responded negatively when they heard the voices of people they didn’t know or with whom they’d had negative interactions. Their reaction indicates that the apes likely recognized who the voices belonged to and possibly the nature of their relationship with those individuals. “One of the first things we saw was something that also happens in the wild: If there’s any sound that seems threatening or unfamiliar, they stopped what they were doing and focused their attention on it.”

Business News

LG to pay GM $1.9 billion to cover cost of Bolt recall for battery fires

General Motors will be getting $1.9 billion from its battery supplier LG to cover most of the cost of the expensive recall of the Chevrolet Bolt after a series of fires. GM is recalling 143,000 Bolts, which represents most of the Bolts sold since the electric car debuted in 2016. The estimated $2 billion cost works out to about $14,000 per recalled vehicle, making it one of the most expensive recalls ever on a per-vehicle basis. “Our engineering and manufacturing teams continue to collaborate to accelerate production of new battery modules and we expect to begin repairing customer vehicles this month.”

Macron unveils 30-bln euro plan for innovation and industrial revival

France wants to be a leader in green hydrogen by 2030 and build low-carbon planes and small nuclear reactors as part of a 30 billion euro ($35 billion) investment plan. President Emmanuel Macron said the road map, dubbed “France 2030”, would ensure France decarbonises its industry and brings innovation and production in key areas, from cars and biomedicine to semi-conductors, closer to home by the end of the decade. France would by 2030 build a low-carbon plane, a small modular reactor as well as two megafactories for the production of green hydrogen. It would also produce large numbers of electric vehicles.

Miscellaneous News

France to ban plastic packaging for most fruit and vegetables from January 2022

France will ban plastic packaging for nearly all fruit and vegetables from January 2022 in a bid to reduce plastic waste. Implementing a February 2020 law, the government published a list of about 30 fruits and vegetables that will have to be sold without plastic packaging from Jan. 1. The list includes leeks, aubergines and round tomatoes as well as apples, bananas and oranges. “We use an outrageous amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. The circular economy law aims at cutting back the use of throwaway plastic and boost its substitution by other materials or reusable and recyclable packaging.”

Brazil’s Bolsonaro accused of ‘crimes against humanity’ at ICC

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was accused of “crimes against humanity” at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his alleged role in the destruction of the Amazon, the first case seeking to explicitly link deforestation to loss of life. They asked for legal proceedings against Bolsonaro and his administration for actions “directly connected to the negative impacts of climate change around the world”. The complaint accuses the Brazilian leader of waging a widespread campaign resulting in the murder of environmental defenders and of endangering the global population through emissions caused by deforestation.

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