Tag: Florida

CES 2014: BMW shows off ‘drifting’ self-drive cars

BMW has shown off self-driving cars that can “drift” around bends and slalom between cones.

The modified 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe are able to hurtle round a racetrack and control a power slide without any driver intervention.

Using 360-degree radar, ultrasonic sensors and cameras, the cars sense and adapt to their surroundings.

BMW demonstrated its latest autonomous driving technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

It is just one of several car manufacturers experimenting with the technology – Japan’s Toyota has also been demonstrating its autonomous car at CES.

And Bosch, better known for its white goods and power tools, showed off its smartphone-controlled self-parking technology at the show.


With about 50,000 road fatalities in the US each year, carmakers are hoping sensor- and software-controlled cars could prove less accident-prone than cars driven by humans.


The driver isn’t touching the pedals or steering wheel as BMW’s self-driving car controls a power slide at race speeds

One 2013 study by the Eno Center for Transportation suggested that if 10% of cars on US roads were autonomous this could reduce fatalities by about 1,000.

A number of driver assistance technologies are already being incorporated into the latest cars, from lane-drifting warnings to self-parking.

Currently California, Florida and Nevada have licensed autonomous vehicles to be tested on their public roads, and Google’s fleet of 24 robot Lexus SUVs (sports utility vehicles) have clocked up about 500,000 miles of unassisted driving so far without any reported mishaps.

Autonomous vehicles are not yet allowed on European roads and we are still a long way from seeing driverless cars frequenting our streets and motorways.

But as the number of successful demonstrations grows, the cultural hurdles are probably greater than the technological ones.

George Zimmerman arrested for domestic violence


George Zimmerman was arrested on domestic violence charges Monday after pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, smashing a glass-topped table and pushing her out of her Seminole County home, deputies said.

Zimmerman is being held without bail at the Seminole County Jail, charged with aggravated assault with a weapon — a felony — domestic violence battery and criminal mischief.

Deputies received a call from 27-year-old Samantha Scheibe around 12:30 p.m. Monday, and when they responded to the home three minutes later, Zimmerman was there and was not

Zimmerman was arrested and booked, said Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.

Lemma said Scheibe told deputies that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her. He also broke a table, pushed her out of the home and barricaded the door with furniture.

Zimmerman offered no resistance when he was taken into custody, Lemma said. Scheibe did not suffer any injuries, he said.

“She was concerned for her safety, certainly from having the weapon pointed at her,” Lemma said.

According to an arrest report released late Monday, Scheibe called police after she and Zimmerman got into a “verbal dispute,” at her home on Topfield Court in western Seminole County. She asked Zimmerman to leave, and he “began packing his items, which included a shotgun and a AR assault rifle,” the report said.

When Scheibe told Zimmerman that she was calling the police, he pointed the shotgun at her “and asked her if she really wanted to do that,” according to the report.

Lemma said that if a judge decides to grant Zimmerman bond, the Sheriff’s Office has asked that he be placed on electronic monitoring.

“This is an additional step we ask for in every domestic violence case in Seminole County,” Lemma said.

Lemma said deputies are seeking a search warrant so they can gain entry into the home, where he said Zimmerman and Scheibe appear to have been living together for several months.

Zimmerman, 30, is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer who was acquitted in July on a charge that he murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

Since then, Zimmerman has had a string of run-ins with law enforcement. In September he was handcuffed byLake Mary police but released after his estranged wife, Shellie, and her father accused him of threatening them with a gun while they were moving her belongings out of a house the couple shared until Shellie Zimmerman filed for divorce.

Zimmerman had arrived at that scene with Scheibe, who was described a few days later as his girlfriend by Shellie Zimmerman’s attorney, Kelly Sims.

Last week, Lake Mary police officially closed that case, saying they had no solid evidence that Zimmerman had broken the law.

When they searched Zimmerman that afternoon, he had no gun, but he has a concealed weapons permit, and Scheibe told Lake Mary police that the couple was in lawful possession of guns that day in their vehicle.

All domestic violence suspects are held without bail in Seminole County until they make an initial appearance before a judge, who must decide whether there is enough evidence to support the arrest and whether the suspect should be granted bail.

Zimmerman will appear before a Seminole County judge Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Sanford and learn whether he will remain locked up.

Chris White, chief of operations for the State Attorney’s Office in Sanford, said he would likely ask that Zimmerman be barred from having access to guns, should a judge allow him to go free.

According to the police report from the incident in Lake Mary on Sept. 9, Scheibe “was visibly shaken” by that dispute, which resulted in Shellie Zimmerman’s father taking a punch to the nose and George Zimmerman tearing up his estranged wife’s iPad.

When questioned by police then, according to the report, she “stated she had no idea what was going on.” She answered only a few questions from officers that day and refused to give a written statement.

According to Linked In, a job networking website, Scheibe is a self-employed environmental services expert. Zimmerman has lived with her for several weeks, according to an associate of his family.

According to Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for defense attorney Mark O’Mara, “Mark O’Mara is not representing George Zimmerman in today’s matter,” won’t represent him in any other new criminal complaints and “as such, it is not appropriate for him to make any comment.”

Orlando Sentinel

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