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Tesla Autopilot Was Speeding When it Crashed

Tesla's Autopilot was speeding; Lockheed's Symphony changes IED tune; and a hybrid nanomaterial cleans your filthy water.

Hybrid Nanomaterial Cleans Your Filthy Water

Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a hybrid nanomaterial to transform dirty water into drinking water.

The team has developed a new technique that combines bacteria-produced cellulose and graphene oxide to form a bi-layered biofoam.

The pristine nanocellulose at the bottom acts like a sponge and draws water up to the graphene oxide. Light radiates on the graphene oxide layer where the evaporation occurs, and the resulting fresh water can be collected from the top of the sheet.

The way they make this is actually pretty cool. When they culture the bacteria for the cellulose, they add graphene oxide flakes into the medium, so it gets embedded as the bacteria produces the cellulose. When it’s time to begin the pristine nanocellulose layer, they simply remove the nano flakes from the medium.

The new biofoam is extremely light and inexpensive to make, which makes it a viable tool for water purification and desalination as long as you have ample sunlight.

Symphony Plays a Different Kind of Tune

According to Lockheed Martin, U.S. adversaries are using technology to turn the most commonplace devices into explosives.

With this in mind, the U.S. Navy approved Symphony Block 40, Lockheed Martin’s counter-improvised explosive device system.  The Symphony Block 40 is an open architecture system developed to address new and emerging threats, for example it can simultaneously jam multiple electronic signals that are used to trigger a radio-controlled IED.

The jammer is a small, vehicle-mounted system that provides continuous coverage across the entire threat spectrum.

The product line is the only counter-IED systems of its kind approved by the U.S. government for foreign military sale to allied, coalition and partner nations. And more than 4,500 systems are currently in the field today. 

Work on the Symphony line of products is done in Florida, Virginia, and New York, under an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract with the U.S. Navy.

Tesla Autopilot Was Speeding at Time of Crash

Two days ago, the NTSB released its preliminary report on the Tesla Model S accident in Florida that claimed the life of 40-year-old Ohio resident Joshua Brown.

While the preliminary report doesn't analyze the data or state a probable cause, it said that system performance data downloaded from the car showed that the Tesla Model S was traveling at 74 mph just before the impact, 9 mph above the posted speed limit.

The data also clarified that Brown was using Tesla’s Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer - commonly referred to as Autopilot. The car was also equipped with automatic emergency braking that is designed to prevent or avoid frontal collisions.

According to the Verge, some autonomous driving experts have criticized Tesla for prematurely introducing the Autopilot feature. One Volvo engineer said the system "gives you the impression that it's doing more than it is."

The team of NTSB investigators used 3D laser scanning technology to document the crash location, the damaged trailer and the damaged car. This will be combined with performance data from the car’s multiple electronic systems, and while no timeline has been established, final reports are generally published 12 months after the release of a preliminary report.

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