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Asleep At The Wheel? The Limits Of Self-Driving Cars

The era of driverless cars is dawning. But are we really ready to just let our vehicles take over?

Self-driving cars may one day allow us to text at the wheel, but not just yet
Self-driving cars may one day allow us to text at the wheel, but not just yet
Christina Müller

MUNICH — Brake, start, drive, brake again. Above all, be careful not to drive into the car in front of you. Stop-and-go traffic is annoying and unproductive. But soon cars will drive by themselves. And that raises all kinds of new possibilities, like reading the newspaper, checking your emails, or having breakfast — all while respecting the road laws.

Not bad, right? This, apparently, is the future for passengers of self-driving cars. It all sounds very practical. And if you believe what car manufacturers are saying, it's not going to be much longer before this becomes a reality. But will self-driving cars really be as hands-free as all that?

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Geopolitics

Is Odessa Next? Putin Sees A Gateway To Moldova — And Chance For Revenge

After the fall of Mariupol, Vladimir Putin appears to have his eye on another iconic southern coastal city, with a strong identity and strategic location.

Odessa after a missile attack

Vincenzo Circosta/ZUMA
Anna Akage

Air strikes on the port city of Odessa have become more frequent over the past three weeks, most often hitting residential buildings, shopping malls, and critical infrastructure rather than military targets. The missiles arrive from naval vessels on the Black Sea and across the sea from the nearby Crimean coast, with the toll including multiple civilian deaths and a growing sense of panic. In Odessa, fears are rising that it could follow Mariupol as Vladimir Putin’s next principal target.

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Since the beginning of the war, more than half of the population — about 500,000 people — have left the city, even as others are flowing into Odessa from other war-torn regions in southern Ukraine, where the situation is even worse: people from Nikolayev, Kherson, Crimea, and even from Moldovan Transnistria.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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