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New BMW 3-series ushers in autonomous future

The new BMW 3-series is not meant to be an autonomous car, but it is so close, ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK discovers.

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It is made possible by a Driving Assist package that incorporates the following, as supplied by BMW:

  • A camera-based systems Lane Departure Warning and approach control and person warning with light city braking function.
  • The Lane Departure Warning detects lane markings and alerts the driver to an unintentional lane change at speeds above approx. 70 km/h by means of vibrations in the steering wheel. The warning is not activated if the lane change is deliberate, that is, when the indicator has been activated.
  • Whereas the Approach control warning with light city braking function detects vehicles, the Person warning with light city braking function reacts to pedestrians. If a vehicle ahead brakes suddenly, the new BMW 3 Series responds immediately when the Approach control warning is activated.
  • The system operates in steps. A warning symbol is first displayed, then the symbol begins flashing and an acoustic warning is emitted, and finally, the brakes are lightly applied (when travelling at speeds under 60 km/h).
  • The warning operates at speeds between 10 and 60 km/h and emits a single-level warning in the event of acute danger. If the system warns of a potential collision, the brakes are simultaneously preconditioned for a faster response. In the event of an emergency, the system applies the brakes. This function can be limited by darkness and fog.
  • Active cruise control with Stop&Go function, including radar-based Approach control warning with full deceleration function and braking, offers the option of greater comfort and safety in traffic jams. The system maintains a speed preselected by the driver, as well as the distance to the driver ahead. The vehicle takes over accelerating and braking and keeps the predetermined distance to the car ahead even in slow-moving traffic and down to a stand-still in traffic jams.
  • If the car approaches the vehicle ahead of it, or if another vehicle enters the lane, the system precisely adjusts the speed to take the other vehicle into account. It can be activated at speeds of up to 210 km/h.
  • The Stop&Go function not only automatically regulates speed down to a standstill, but it also automatically accelerates back up to the desired speed within a limited time frame as soon as traffic flow allows.
  • If a vehicle ahead brakes suddenly, the BMW responds immediately when the Approach control warning is activated. The system operates in phases. A warning symbol is first displayed, then the symbol begins to flash and an acoustic warning is sounded, and finally, the brakes are applied sharply.
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Google announces its ‘Netflix for gaming’

The new gaming platform, Stadia, promises high-definition gaming on TVs, computers, and mobile devices, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Google has announced that it has moved into the gaming space, and it focuses on two big aspects of gaming: streaming of games for gamers, which will allow gamers to game anywhere with a fast, low-latency Internet connection; and audiences that watch gamers in-game.

This is a big move in making gaming accessible to more gamers, as it reduces hardware costs, by utilising the benefits of low-latency cloud computing. This will be achieved by using a globally connected network of Google data centres. Gamers who stream games are most likely already using a high-speed, low-latency Internet connection, so access to the Stadia platform will be an added expense.

Through the Stadia platform, gamers will be able to access a large library of games at all times, with no installation time, on virtually any screen. Scaling of hardware like CPU, GPU, memory, and storage is also possible, as one would for cloud server resources.

Google will be leveraging its other platforms, like YouTube, with Stadia streaming. It claims that 200-million people are watching game-related content daily on YouTube. This allows, for example, Stadia players to jump in with other Stadia players – no downloads, no updates, no patches, and no installs.

For console players, Google has designed a custom controller.

The controller was designed to establish a direct connection from the Stadia controller to Google’s data centre through Wi-Fi for the best possible gaming performance. The controller also includes a button for instant capture, saving, and sharing gameplay in 4K resolution. It sports a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone, as many Google products do, for voice control. 

The device is expected to be released later this year, pending FCC approval.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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