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Self-Driving Cars Are Going to Change Our Habits

Self-Driving Cars Are Going to Change Our Habits

The Information Age has brought us many incredible tech advancements, and Google has always been at the forefront. Back in 2001, we first saw Google Images, and had access to millions of photos in one place. In 2004 Gmail launched giving us one of the all time greatest email platforms. Fast forward almost a decade to May of 2012 and something unimaginable surfaced.

The Self-Driving Phenomenon

With significant advancements in robotics and algorithmic thinking, Google has successfully done what was previously believed to be impossible. In May of 2012, Google retrofitted a Toyota Prius with self-driving technology and it legally drove itself for the first time in Nevada. In a modern story of sci-fi turned reality, the self-driving car finally exists.

Aspects of Change

Google plans to change the world with this idea. Think of all the ways in which a person currently commutes. The days of bus travel, paying for expensive taxi rides, and even driving yourself will soon be over. Furthermore, safety in all forms of travel will be greatly increased as human error is taken out of the picture.

The safety risks behind text or talking on your phone while driving are a real issue. In a recent study by AT&T, it was discovered that on average 70% of drivers regularly use their smartphones while operating a vehicle. The world is addicted to their phones, but once driving yourself becomes obsolete, this will be acceptable and safe. One could even start working remotely while being chauffeured autonomously.

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The Science Behind Self-Driving Tech

Google stated that it expects to commercialize their groundbreaking line of automobiles soon; mainstream public use is expected to start between 2017 and 2020. A main concern for most people when introduced with the idea of automated travel is safety. Are these cars actually consistently safe? Short answer: yes, definitely!
Google X, the special team behind the driverless car uses intricate algorithms and in-depth Google Maps technology to keep passengers safe. Recently, a Google customized Audi Q5 SUV completed a legendary 3400 mile solo road trip from coast to coast. The driverless Audi made 99% of the trip on its own, with a remote driver only taking over for a particularly confusing 50 mile stretch of roadway.

google-driverless-car-explained

    Explanation of Google’s electric driverless car via 9to5 Google

    The driverless car by Google is a technological wonder. It uses radars and other sensors that are strategically placed on the front and back, as well as near the wheels. The driverless car features a rotating radar on the top, known as a Lidar (light detection and ranging). Lidars analyze pulses of light, which helps the car identify lane markings and the edges of roadways.

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    All self-driving cars use cameras in the front and rear. These are crucially important and look for street lights to change, identify traffic patterns and variables, and help share the road, keeping cyclists in mind.

    Even the construction of the car’s body itself was created to allow for zero sensor ‘blind spots’. The rounded shape gives the car a near 360 degree view of its surroundings. As far as the interior goes, it is designed solely for passengers, and is spacious and comfortable for a two seat automobile.

    Ironically enough, the biggest limitations for Google’s autonomous vehicles are human drivers! Of the few accidents accounted for in Google’s monthly self-driving report, the vast majority have been due to uncontrollable, outside factors: mainly other careless drivers.

    The Famous Self-Driving Models

    Three of Google’s driverless cars stand out as face of this unique travel concept. The Mercedes F 015 being the most notable and futuristic looking.

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    merc

      The Mercedes F 015, check out this video for a more in depth view.

      prototype-early-2014

        Google’s 2014 self-driving prototype

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        lexus RX450h

          The driverless Lexus RX 450h

          For some additional information on this new technological wonder, check out another article I wrote about self-driving cars.

          Featured photo credit: Self-driving car on the road / Google via google.com

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          Robert Parmer

          Freelance Writer

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          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

          Joe’s Goals

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            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

            Daytum

              Daytum

              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

              Excel or Numbers

                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                Evernote

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                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                  Access or Bento

                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                    Conclusion

                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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