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Tech review: Waymo's self-driving cars take Manhattan

Waymo's self-driving cars are challenging the streets of

Waymo's self-driving cars are challenging the streets of Manhattan. Credit: Newsday/Waymo

After testing self-driving car technology in several cities — primarily warm, dry and flat terrains in Arizona and California — Waymo is looking to the mean streets of Manhattan for a tougher test. The company, owned by Google parent Alphabet, is using specially equipped cars with sensors to map New York City’s roads. The cars began their mapping journey on roads south of Central Park and through the Financial District last week. The vehicles, which can be driven autonomously, will be manually driven for the tests. Waymo says mapping Manhattan’s "busy traffic and unique geometric features" will help it evaluate how its self-driving technology performs in wet, cold and crowded conditions.

Games shoot for nostalgia audience

The just-released "Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy" is already one of the year's hottest video games. And it is also a reflection of one of gaming’s hottest trends: going retro. Nielsen, which tracks the video game industry, says "remasters, remakes and reboots" of games like Grand Theft Auto (first released in 1997) appeal to gamers seeking nostalgia and to others "who hadn’t even been born when the originals were released."

E-cigs benefits doubted

The theory that e-cigarettes might help smokers permanently quit regular cigarettes could be up in smoke. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said e-cigarettes might "have the potential" to help smokers quit regular cigarettes. But a new University of California San Diego study found that smokers who switched to e-cigarettes increased their risk of going back to smoking compared with those who quit cold turkey.

Remote work to expand even more

Nearly 41 million Americans expect to be working remotely by 2026, signaling a permanent shift in the workplace and a greater use of freelancers by companies, according to a survey of hiring managers by Upwork. Before the pandemic, about 20 million Americans worked remotely. Meanwhile, data from Statista shows there will be 86.5 million freelancers by 2027, making up 50% of the total workforce.


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