China making unmanned car to ‘help driver sleep’

Updated 23 January 2013
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China making unmanned car to ‘help driver sleep’

BEIJING: The Chinese army is developing an unmanned road vehicle, official military media reported Wednesday, adding it could be put to civilian use to reduce fatigue at the wheel and allow drivers to “sleep in peace.”
The Fierce Lion 3 is fitted with a sophisticated computer which can track nearby traffic, along with radar, video cameras and satellite navigation, enabling it to overtake and make other maneuvers safely, the report said.
The car — which looks like a standard sports utility vehicle, with cameras added — completed a 114 kilometer (71 mile) test drive in 85 minutes, reaching speeds of 105 kph, according to the PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army.
The exercise was described as being on a “highway” and the vehicle overtook slower-moving traffic 33 times, it added, saying that on occasion it refrained from overtaking because it would be dangerous.
“Researchers did nothing but set the vehicle’s destination coordinates,” said the newspaper.
At present military use of remote-controlled vehicles is most prominent in Pakistan, where American officials believe US drone strikes are a vital weapon in the war against Islamist militants.
Several Western automakers are researching driverless cars.
The PLA Daily said of the Chinese car: “The vehicle can effectively reduce driver fatigue when used for civilian purposes. When the driver is tired, it can enter the unmanned state to allow him to sleep in peace.”


Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

Updated 17 April 2018
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Japan to trial ‘world’s first urine test’ to spot cancer

  • Previous research has shown a new blood test has potential to detect eight different kinds of tumors before they spread
  • The research starts in April and will run until September

TOKYO: A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world’s first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.
Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.
It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.
“If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organization for a blood test,” he said.
It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.
“That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children” who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.
Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise toward detecting eight different kinds of tumors before they spread elsewhere in the body.
Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.
For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.
The Hitachi technology centers around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a “biomarker” — a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.
The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.
The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.
“We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities,” Odaira said.