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Nevada Approves Autonomous Driving Tests

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the first production vehicle with an autonomous driving license. The announcement comes as the Consumer Electronics Show continues in Las Vegas, Nevada. Three production E-Class vehicles have been approved to drive autonomously on Nevada roads.

“Nevada is proud to serve as the location where Daimler, an international automotive leader, can explore and test the possibilities of its cutting-edge autonomous vehicle,” said Governor Brian Sandoval.

Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker to be awarded this type of privilege.

“The fact that Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first vehicle manufacturer to be awarded such a licence shows that we are a step ahead when it comes to autonomous driving,” said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

E-class test vehicles are equipped with advanced hardware and software to make autonomous driving possible, including additional sensors, modified steering, and an enhanced Electronic Stability Program. However, the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is already equipped this way and only slight software modifications are needed for testing.

“The new E-Class is, therefore, another big step to the fully automated vehicle,” Prof. Weber said.

Nevada’s desert roads, landscape, and traffic volume are an ideal proving ground for autonomous driving. The tests are permitted on all roads in Nevada and during daily traffic. Specially trained drivers are required to be in the vehicles and The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles maintains there must be a second passenger on test drives. The vehicles are denoted by a red licence plate.

Nevada passed regulations with regard to autonomous driving in 2011 and two self-driving Daimler trucks have been operating on public roads there since May. The state is looking to help pioneer the autonomous driving movement.

“By collaborating with revolutionary, sustainable, and creative endeavours, Nevada is working to be at the forefront of emerging, innovative technologies,” Governor Sandoval said.

  1. Last week at the CES, I had an opportunity to talk RADAR to several individuals. While waiting to get a coffee, I started a conversation with an older engineer from Brooklyn who was an innovator and who was much smarter than me. He was quite impressed though with the fact that I taught graduate engineering at Brooklyn Poly. Anyway, we both agreed quickly that if all cars on the streets had radar, cancer rates would increase dramatically, especially in the cities. The fact that it takes many years for cancer to develop will mean that by the time we figure out what the hell is going on, many people and children will be affected.

    There was another individual that I talked to who was definitely an expert in radar design. Again, we both quickly agreed that the police is rapidly replacing radar guns with lidar speed guns due to the high incidence of skin cancer rates among officers who use radar on a regular basis. My new friend also did not even want to think about the consequences on the general public if all cars had radar that was always on. I saw one prototype at the CES with NO FEWER THAN FIVE RADAR MICROWAVE GENERATORS.

    The primary sensor for autonomous driving is radar. If you take radar away, autonomous driving will not be possible. Somehow, the automobile manufacturers have brainwashed themselves and others into thinking that if they can prevent half of driving fatalities with autonomous vehicles and radar then this would justify any ill effects of radar. More than half of driving fatalities are due to substance abuse and distracted driving. There are better ways of saving 25,000 lives a year by preventing drunk and distracted driving than by giving cancer to millions as a consequence of supersaturating our streets with microwaves. You don’t use chemo on a small infection, and yet the auto industry thinks that will be cool.

    I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I did work as a principal engineer in a world class consulting firm. I worked on many projects that were in the $$billions. I do have a clue about what I am talking about. If anyone asked me to design four nuclear power plants with at least four reactors each (Fukushima I had six) in a high risk seismic zone that was also prone to tsunamis, I would tell them that they were out of their mind….and yet thousands of engineers and scientists thought that would be cool. The fact that nothing was done about these 18 very high risk nuclear reactors in Japan after the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 just shows that thousands of engineers can be clueless about human safety, but not me. Now, the thousands of engineers want to supersaturate our streets with radar. Fortunately, there are many more engineers like me who will stop them, and we will stop them.

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