Can a Circle of Salt Paralyze a Self-Driving Car?

Autonomous vehicles are truly within the grasp of humankind. But the brain of a sci-fi geek can wonder whether it’ll bring an apocalyptic scene, where a troop of autonomous cars is pursuing human prey across a desolate landscape. Well, of course, it’s not going to happen, but luckily, if it did, there’s a strangely simple solution for that. And it involves nothing but salt!

The Salt Trap

Back in 2017, artist James Bridle demonstrated how an understanding of road markings using salt could paralyze a self-driving car midway by delivering confusing messages. You need to draw two circles of salt, one in a block line and the other in broken stripes. When the car comes to the middle of it, the markings will direct it to go right ahead and also not to cross, simultaneously. The result is the fabulous “Autonomous Trap 001.” Future models may be able to overcome this fun technological quirk, but it has surely raised a valid question about the possibility of the success of the trick. It’s astonishing to find out that there may be a simple way to manipulate the environment to disrupt the self-driving capacity of an autonomous car.

The Response

This salt circle trap has caught the attention of none other than Elon Musk, the Tesla boss and newly-appointed CEO of Twitter. As an avid enthusiast, Musk is known for dabbling in autonomous vehicles. Responding to the demonstration, he explained that the salt circle trick will probably be able to trap a Tesla car with the production Autopilot build. But he suspected that it won’t work its magic on the FSD models or the cars with Full Self-Driving capabilities. Musk further suggested that making a ring of traffic cones would be effective on the FSD cars. So, if you ever find yourself facing a murderous fleet of autonomous cars, all you need to do is just take your salt bags and traffic cones out! Easy-peasy, right?

Doctor Who Is About To Undergo a Huge Change Because of Its Disney+ Deal

As one of the longest-running shows in the world’s television history, Doctor Who has managed to build up a cult following over the decades. Though previously this all-Brits show was celebrated by British audiences only, the popularity of this sci-fi drama series has since crossed the border and has spread all over. Now, the show is reportedly going to take a giant leap to land on a streaming platform, catering to mainstream US audiences, and with a long overdue budget raise.

The Current Status of the Show

Fans of Doctor Who recently got a shocking surprise when Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor reverted to the fan-favorite 10th incarnation with David Tennant. After completing his reign in the show as arguably the best Doctor yet, Tennant is now back after 12 years to run the TARDIS once again for the 60th-anniversary celebration special episodes in 2023, along with a few other beloved familiar faces. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for another highly popular incarnation, the 11th Doctor Matt Smith. Nevertheless, it is already announced that Tennant will hand over his mantle to actor Ncuti Gatwa, the 15th incarnation of the Time Lord. This new chapter of Doctor Who is going to get a whole new look, thanks to a great new deal.

The Game-Changing Deal

BBC is going to partner with Disney+ to bring the new seasons of Doctor Who to the US. So, Ncuti Gatwa’s run in the show will kick off streamed on the OTT platform, catering to the US and broader international audiences. A significant budget increase is also a part of the deal. According to the latest news reports, the episodic allowance of the show may increase to a whopping $11.5 million from the current $1.1-$3.4 million per episode. Suffice it to say that Doctor Who is getting ready to better compete with other major titles on the platform and to draw a new and more mainstream streaming-savvy audience.