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New Age Of Technology: Self-Driving Cars

New Age Of Technology: Self-Driving Cars

We sure do hear a lot about Google and its self-driving cars lately. What seemed like an idea for a sci-fi movie just a decade ago is rapidly moving on to become reality – and it doesn’t really matter what one thinks about it. We live in the age of technology, with progress in this field moving at breakneck speeds. What seemed impossible twenty (or even ten) years ago is an integral part of our lives today. It is quite certain that ten years from now we are going to laugh at how tame our suggestions about the future were.

However, although there is a lot of talk about self-driving cars, I found that I (as well as most of my acquaintances) actually now very little about them, except for the fact that they are, well, cars that somehow drive themselves. I decided to remedy that and read up a little on the subject.

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The self-driving car is an extremely ambitious project by Google, aimed at changing the way we perceive individual transportation in the future. Seeing that the absolute majority of traffic-related accidents and deaths stem from human mistakes, Google intends to create cars that would eliminate this threat and allow everybody to be independent in their movements irrespective of age, physical condition, or ability to drive. People who previously were forced to stay in one place or be dependent on others for their transportation (elderly, visually impaired, children, etc.) would be able to drive wherever they wanted –  easily, quickly, and more importantly, completely safely. All that is necessary is to input a location and press a button, the rest is done by the car itself.

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Very well, but how exactly is it done? What is inside this car that you are supposed to entrust your life to? The car is equipped with sensors capable of detecting all kinds of objects at considerable distance, allowing the AI controlling the car to navigate streets while safely avoiding collisions. Of course, Google cars are currently in the prototype stage , but they do exist and have been undergoing extensive road-testing for quite a while already. By now, their cars have covered almost 1.5 million miles, with only a handful of minor accidents. The vehicle at fault was usually a manually-driven car they collided with. Nevertheless, Google publishes all the traffic incidents and claims they are going to be used as learning experience in further perfection of their AI.

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Google cars are not the first attempt at creating a self-driving car – not by a long shot. Actually, the first autonomous vehicles date back to the 1980s; however, they never left the prototype stage and their introduction was never attempted at such a large scale. Furthermore, knowing Google’s reputation, it is probably safe to assume that in the very foreseeable future we may encounter real self-driving cars moving along our streets en masse that won’t actually be that unbelievable a sight.

One thing is for certain; we live in the age of rapidly changing lifestyle paradigms. Those who are skeptical about self-driving cars today should think about the mobile revolution. It brought to us the world in which the majority of people are connected to the Internet around the clock by means of portable devices, which can be used as anything from phones to personal workout assistants. This would’ve seemed preposterous or incredibly far-fetched just a couple of decades ago; however, today’s smartphones, apps, and constant online status are absolutely natural conditions of life for the vast majority of people. It is very likely that the same fate awaits self-driving cars. The best thing we can do is adapt to these changes.

Featured photo credit: flickr.com via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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