On Dec. 1, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes” that the company is in the R&D stage of developing a drone delivery system called Amazon PrimeAir. The drones would theoretically deliver packages of up to 5 pounds directly to people’s doorsteps in as little as 30 minutes after purchase.
"While various companies are developing self-driving-car technology, Google’s is the most advanced. Once a driver activates the autonomous mode, the vehicle’s drive-by-wire system transfers control of the brake, gas, and steering to an onboard computer. The vehicle’s roof-mounted lidar (or light detection and ranging) unit probes 360 degrees with 64 laser beams, taking more than a million measurements per second. This data forms a high-resolution map (accurate to about 11 cm) of the car’s surroundings. Prebuilt navigation maps indicate static infrastructure, such as telephone poles, crosswalks, and traffic lights, which enables software to quickly identify moving objects, like pedestrians and cyclists. These targets are clustered together and tracked so that algorithms can process the traffic situation and plot a path safely through it."