Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

Google introduces its first prototype of a completely driverless vehicle.

The prototype accommodates for two passengers and is missing quite a few of the features you’d expect to see in a standard car. With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals, the car comes fully equipped with special software and sensors that feed information into an onboard computer, which then drives the car.

The story and video are very vague about a lot of important details, such as how much programing was necessary for the vehicle to do the specific test drives shown as well as how the passengers tell the vehicle where to go. Nonetheless, as a prototype this vehicle is quite intriguing.


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  • Sayomara

    So is there no manual control? I’m reminded of the story of how the first fighter jets didn’t have guns because people assumed there would be no high speed Dog fights, it didn’t quite work out that way.

    Even the best auto pilot which is what this basically is. You still need he option if limited more than a traditional car to take over when things don’t go as planed.

  • wodun

    “With no need for a steering wheel, mirrors or braking and accelerating pedals”

    Why wouldn’t they put mirrors in? People like to look around without turning around.

  • Pzatchok

    No manual control?
    Count me out.

    Plus its ugly as hell. Looks like one of those kids riding toys.

  • joe

    These are not really meant for the open road, they as I understand it are for testing and gated community’s with a top speed of twenty five miles per hour, I could not see them being used for any kind of a commute beyond 5 miles, let alone a congested urban setting, the University of Michigan is building a testing facility that has a number of challenges for autonomous vehicles, with what looks like a second test track area at Willow Run airport where the b-25 plant was, I would imagine that there are more track test facilitys in other state also being built for this next step in urban planning. As for my interest, I would never use this mode of transportation, but I understand that it will have its applications.

  • Recall the movie ‘The Right Stuff’ where the Mercury astronauts are looking at the prototype capsule. People like to be in control of their machines.

  • joe

    I found a different side to the autonomous car that I had not thought of at The Truth About Cars, whereby the author of this piece has questions about software that would try to minimize an accident at a cost, just another viewpoint.

  • Ron

    B-24 plant.

  • joe

    My bad, thankyou.

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