Drivers of Volkswagens could soon forget about fender benders or lane drifting on the Autobahn — their cars will take care of those little problems.
The German automaker debuted a new "Temporary Autopilot" (TAP) program that can control the car semi-automatically at speeds up to 80 mph. It combines existing driver-assist functions found in many cars nowadays, like adaptive cruise control and side monitoring for safer lane-changing, with a radar system, laser scanner and ultrasonic sensors.
An autopilot system modeled after honeybee flight is faster and more accurate than gyroscope-based programs, according to a new study. By imitating how honeybees sense their surroundings, aircraft can quickly determine which way is up and complete complex aerobatic maneuvers.
1, 2: Gossamer Condor/Albatross
Paul MacCready becomes the "father of human-powered flight" when his 70-pound Gossamer Condor completes the first sustained, controlled human-powered flight. Two years later, his team flies the Gossamer Albatross, which has a 96-foot wingspan and is built mostly of plastic and carbon fiber, across the English Channel. That flight, made by cyclist Bryan Allen, takes a stately three hours to accomplish, though it covers only 23 miles.