There's a lot going on this week including the Ontario-wide election for the new Premiere, and many people don't realize you don't need a voter card to vote. It's always important to vote, no matter who you're voting before and if you don't like the choices, voters can decline their card. In other news, Singapore built a whole city just to test out self-driving buses to explore how they operate and how to regulate them, which is a great step forward for the public transportation sector. Plus, thanks to the US, Mexico is facing a huge gun crisis that's only posed to get worse.
In a race to be the first to deploy driverless public transportation, Singapore has built a mini town that will help it test regulations for self-driving vehicles. The complex has interceptions, traffic lights, bus stops and pedestrian crossings along with features like a hill to see how vehicles perform when they can't see what's ahead of them.
The biggest advantage of this test site is that information provided by companies building driverless buses will help it understand how to safely allow the buses on public streets. It will allow the government to draft regulations and, given the nation's small size, test out the technology in all types of environments.
Currently there are ten companies testing vehicles at the Nanyang Technological University site, and two buses from Volvo will join them next year. There are 360-degree cameras spread out throughout the test site which, coupled with information from the vehicles, will let the government evaluate when and how they are ready for deployment.
There's only one gun shop in Mexico and to enter it, customers must undergo months of background checks, including six documents, and then be frisked by uniformed soldiers. The Mexican Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, but stipulates that federal law "will determine the cases, conditions, requirements and places" of owning a gun.
The store sells an average of 38 guns each day, but approximately 580 are smuggled from the US into Mexico each day. This weird paradox is relevant given the country's increasing level of gun violence, claiming more than 100,000 lives in the last decade. Since reporting began in 1997, last year was the worst one on record.
In the US, the appetite for guns plays a big role in the Mexican gun crisis: around 70 percent of guns recovered in Mexico were sold in legal shops in the US. There are 67,000 authorized gun dealers in the United States, but when dealing with private sellers, buyers don't have to present ID or submit to a background check.
Number of the week
One of the largest online genealogy sites, Heritage, had a security breach that affected emails and hashed passwords of 92 million users, raising concerns about the data the company collects. The website lets users create family trees, search historical records and find possible relatives, and also operates MyHeritage DNA, a genetic testing service that allows people to have their genetic information analyzed.
In a statement, the company said there's "no reason to believe" other data had been taken without authorization, and that family trees and genetic data are stored in other systems with "added layers of security."
The breach was found after a researcher found a file on a private server containing emails and hashed passwords of every user who had signed up for the service before October 26, 2017.
In case you missed it
- Mercedes-Benz is testing out a car subscription service in Nashville and Philadelphia, with pricing ranging from $1,095 to $2,995 USD per month which will be called the Mercedes-Benz Collection. The monthly payment will cover all required fees under one payment and subscribers can choose from 30 different models and swap them as often as they'd like.
- Netflix is spending a lot more on original projects than other media, with 85 percent going to original programming. The company will have 1,000 originals by the end of 2018, with 90 percent of customers regularly watching original programs.
- Tencent is working with the Chinese gov. to introduce an electric boarding pass, smoothing travel between Hong Kong, Macau and Guangdong. The proposal will see the WeChat app link multiple documents together to make an E-ID card, instead of the physical special permits that are currently required.
- MiWay customers in Mississauga were only 82 percent satisfied with the bus service, according to a new research study. These findings come while more service is being added to the Transitway and last parts of the 5-year plan are being implemented.