Drone Don't Lest you think the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was joking when warning users not to fly drones without registering them—the regulator hit a Chicago drone photography firm with a $200,000 fine. That fine was a settlement agreement, dropped from the $1.9 million the FAA initially levied against SkyPan, a company that primarily shoots images for real estate developers. The company flew its drones over Chicago and New York between 2012 and 2014 without FAA permission, and without necessary equipment the regulator stated they needed. Now, SkyPan will spend the next 12 months helping the FAA make three public service announcements telling them, basically, don't do what we did.
Drone Protest The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's decision to adopt drones in their work drew ire of another kind—a small protest from Angelenos who are afraid the drone will be used to watch ordinary citizens instead. Protesters stopped adoption of drones by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2014, which the Los Angeles Times says remain unused.
Road Patent Amazon has patented a new way to make roads—specifically a design that can help autonomous cars know which way to drive and which lanes to use to actually enter a roadway. The "roadway management system," as the patent is described, would use information including how fast a car is traveling and what's around the vehicle among other details to send instructions on where to travel.
Self-Flier Airbus will test a self-driving, flying car by the end of 2017. While the company's CEO Tom Enders had announced plans to build an autonomous flying machine last year, a date for a working prototype had not been set. Enders is particularly intrigued by autonomous flying vehicles because infrastructure like roadways (ahem, Amazon) aren't needed. (Via Reuters)
Best AI Hub Amazon Echo has intrigued us for quite awhile—and let's be honest, millions others as well. So after spending some time with the device we're ready to make our assessment.