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Ford’s New Self-Driving Car Features Baidu “Hal 9000” Technology

Daniel Chase

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The Phantom Jam

You’re driving down a major highway, not a car in sight, and today might be the day you have the fabled “reasonable commute.” You woke up twenty minutes earlier than usual just to give yourself a time cushion, made sure you had plenty of gas the night before and set out to start your workday off on the good foot. 

Out of nowhere it happens…Traffic rears its ugly head and cars start to slow down. Keeping your cool, you turn on a podcast about hydroponics in second-world countries, and then traffic stops altogether. Waze doesn’t say there’s any obstruction on the road, and yet, your commute is delayed 7 minutes. Suddenly, the traffic patterns change and you’re back to traveling at typical highway speeds. So what just happened? 

Traffic experts refer to this phenomena as “phantom traffic jams.” If every car traveled at the exact same speed, changed lanes in perfectly syncopated patterns, these jams would not be a problem, but as any driver knows, no one on the road is consistent. 

“These traffic waves arise from a small perturbation in a uniform traffic flow, like a bump in the road, or driver braking after a moment of inattention. These phantom jams arise in the absence of any obstacles,” says Benjamin Seibold, a mathematician at Temple University. He goes onto explain that the small “perturbations” that occur: one car braking slightly, and the ones behind it brake more to avoid a collision, creates the traffic-inducing chain reaction. 

While many engineers believe roads can be better designed to alleviate the obstacles that drivers fail to react to in time, thus causing phantom jams, the more innovative approach, according to Seibold will come in the form of self-driving cars. 

The Autonomous Automotive Industry 

In an effort to reduce traffic and improve the efficiency of transportation options for commuters and civilians alike, top carmakers and tech companies are placing their faith and resources into driverless car technology. On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company (F) and Baidu (BIDU), the Chinese internet company announced their plans to team up to develop autonomous-driving vehicles, in hopes of taking advantage of a potentially major disruption to the day-to-day of the automotive industry. 

Ford’s (F) decades of automobile manufacturing coupled with Baidu’s (BIDU) “technological know-how and understanding of China” indicates possible technological breakthroughs just beyond the horizon, according to CNN. The US automaker has already retrofitted some of its vehicles with Apollo, Baidu’s (BIDU) self-driving technology and the two companies will begin testing the new franken-tech “on open roads in Beijing that are specially designated for [autonomous vehicle] testing. 

Ford (F) and Baidu (BIDU) are not the only companies aware of the potential that driverless technology presents. Earlier this year, in August, Waymo, the self-driving sector of Google’s parent company, Alphabet (GOOG), set up shop in Shanghai. The new business was suspiciously named “Huimo Business Consulting,” according to a business registration filing uncovered by CNN. 

In response to a very real future where all cars on the road may not have humans behind the wheel, China released a set of national guidelines for companies looking to get their self-driving vehicles on the road. 

According to the regulation, issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, test vehicles must be able to “switch between self-driving and conventional driving in order to ensure the test driver can quickly take over in case of a malfunction.” 

These malfunctions can be life or death for passengers traveling in autonomous vehicles. Back in March, Tesla (TSLA) faced significant public backlash after one of their Model X SUV vehicles crashed into a highway center divider and exploded, taking the life of the driver in the process. Tesla (TSLA) admitted that the cause of the crash was a malfunction in their “Autopilot system.” 

The Tesla (TSLA) incident presents a very real danger for automotive consumers as well as industry investors concerned with how safe self-driving vehicles really are. Even if experts say that a computer is much less likely to make a mistake resulting in a car accident, it is impossible to account for every potential outcome. In other words, no self-driving car will be crash-proof. 

Bringing up serious sky-net vibes, humans are slowly being replaced by technology. 

Soon enough, we’ll be able to use a ride-hailing app like Uber to call for a ride home after a long night, and when the 2014 Toyota (TM) Corolla shows up, there will be no driver to ask the classic, “so how’s your night been going? 

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Energy

Saudi’s Minister Has No Plans To Boost Oil Production After Iran Oil Waivers End

Jon Phillip

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oil and gas news

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Energy minister Khalid al-Falih said that there was no need to immediately increase oil output. This followed the ending of waivers granted by the US to Iranian crude oil buyers. He added that Saudi Arabia will only respond to increase oil output if there is an increase in demand.

The Decision Not To Increase Output Based On Market Fundamentals

The minister said that his decision was based on oil market fundamentals rather than prices and that they still remain focused on stabilizing the global oil market.  Speaking in Riyadh, Falih said that despite the rising of inventories as a result of sanctions on Iran and the situation in Venezuela it was not necessary to have an immediate response to increase oil output.

Last year the US granted Iranian oil buyers exemptions from sanctions but it has tightened the line by deciding not to renew them.  Saudi Arabia intends to remain within its OPEC production limit as well as be intent to its customers. More so those under waivers and those that have seen their waivers withdrawn. 

The minister said that they are not going to pre-empt the same and increase their output. Oil production number for May are set. It had little variations from previous months. Furthermore, crude oil allocations for June will be decided next month.

Oil Prices Have Been Increasing Since November

Since November, Oil prices have increased. This follows the announcement by the US that all waivers on imports of Iranian oil will not be renewed to put pressure on buyers to stop buying oil, from Iran. This ends up tightening global oil supply. 

On Wednesday, Brent Crude futures dropped to trade at $74.18 per barrel. This followed a statement from the International Energy Agency. This indicates that markets are adequately supplied and global production is stable.

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Reviving The Lost Interest In The Gold Mines: McEwen

Joe Samuel

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gold mining stocks to buy

From the viewpoint of a mining executive, a loss in interest in gold mines is being assessed. After dabbling in other activities in the mining sector, firms and companies must switch back to their core activity of finding new gold mines. What could this mean for mining stocks?

Rob McEwen, CEO and Chairman of McEwen Mining (MUX) says, the first few months of the year has brought and encouraged the attention and interest of the investors in the mining of precious metals sector. But, now it is extremely important to bring up some new discoveries and execute some exploration plans in order to give consistency to the investors’ attention.

New Opportunity For Mining Stocks?

He remarks that a new zeal is required to bring enthusiasm to the investors. The current market is in need of some extraordinary news. He even said that there is no lack of money in this sector and that investors just need to work upon it and create shareholder values.

Chairman McEwen commented as the prices of the gold is consistently falling since3-4 months causing damage to the mining sector. Companies like June Gold Futures and VanEck Vectors Gold Minors ETF last traded at $1,273.50/ounce, and $20.92/share respectively and the former went down 0.32% while the latter faced 0.29% fall on the day.

According to McEwen, a few companies are working in this direction to revive the interest in these mines. These companies are Kirkland Lake Gold (its record production) & Great Bear Resources (its active program of exploration) are mentioned by him in this regard.

McEwen, as per his plans, is heading for extensive drilling plans in North America. He introduced that his company is going to invest $17 million at Black Fox Property’s (North Ontario) exploration plans and $5 million at Gold Bar Mine (Nevada).

McEwen believes that such resources are full of potential and can create peerless mines in the world.

McEwen planned for the aforementioned two plans as the world saw a degradation in the production at Gold Bar due to massive snowfall at Nevada. And also, the production at Black Fox was affected as the contactor-run crushing plant was shut down for 6 weeks in February.

Growth Is The Focus

But McEwen is definite to complete its target no matter what. He said the company will fulfill its 2019 target of gold production of 205,000 ounces. In the first 3 months of 2019, he claimed the gold production of 36,166 ounces. This is 18% more than the gold production in the first 3 months of 2018.

McEwen gave a positive statement saying that price and the interest of investor will be gained back soon once the gold mines receive adequate attention. He says that the mining sector is facing a lacuna of sentiments of investors.

He even said that the importance of gold mines could be seen as unlike investors, Central Bank is showing stability in hiking the bank’s gold reserve and continuing to see it as an international currency. So, it is still important for those investors who are seeking protection for their investments.

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Stock Price Top Trending Articles On Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jon Phillip

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New Tech, Strong Management & A Cutting Edge Product

One company that could stand alone in a multi-billion dollar industry seeing incredible growth in 2019. Click Here For Full Report

The United States To Lead The 5G Connectivity Race

In the contemporary world, every succeeding decade talks about the arrival of a new G. And the recent generation of the internet which has covered the front page of several magazines is the 5G. According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, there is cutthroat competition between the United States and China. See For Yourself, Here.

This Stock is Providing Potential for Huge Opportunity within the Health Care Industry

The most recent global report from the United Nations states that by  2030 the global population will reach 8.6 billion [1]. This predicted growth in global population presents many potential problems. Some of these problems are obvious; shelter, food etc…What about Healthcare? Click Here To See One Company Taking Direct Aim At Disrupting This Market


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