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Some Experts Express Skepticism About Talks Between North and South Korea; A Water Reserve in UAE Desert; Are Driverless Cars Safe?

Aired January 18, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Welcome to the show.

With the 2018 Winter Olympics just over three weeks away in Pyeongchang, South Korea, more cooperation has been announced between that country and

its rival North Korea. But some experts and international leaders are skeptical about the progress being made between the two countries.

We`ve reported on the high level talks between North and South Korea that suddenly resumed earlier this month. We`ve reported on the North Korean

delegation of athletes, musicians and media that are headed to the South.

And South Korea just announced that its athletes and those from North Korea will march together at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony and that

they`ll do that under one unified flag. This has happened before in a number of sports events, including the 2006 Winter Olympics. North and

South Korea are also planning activities together, cultural events, and a unified women`s ice hockey team to compete at this year`s games.

But while some observers say this is the most significant improvement in Korean relations in years, North Korea has said it`s not going to end its

nuclear and missile programs, which the international community considers illegal. A Japanese government official says he believes North Korea is

using the talks to buy time so that it can continue its weapons programs. What leaders from around the world are waiting to find out is whether the

progress that North and South Korea make before the Olympics continues after the games, or if tensions on the Korean peninsula will worsen once



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia.

Which of these countries borders both the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman?

United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Bahrain or Saudi Arabia?

Of these countries, only the United Arab Emirates borders both bodies of water though the country itself is mostly desert.



SUBTITLE: This desert may look empty, but it`s actually home to the largest desalinated water reserve in the world.

The UAE unveiled the 5.6 billion gallon reservoir on Monday.

The reservoir connects to 315 underground wells.

It has enough water to supply one million people with 47 gallons of water each every day for three months.

Construction began on the $435 million project in 2010. In 2015,they began pumping water into the reservoir.

It reached capacity in December of 2017.

The water is pumped from a coastal plant into the Liwa Desert.

It often rains less than 10 cm per year in the UAE, so large supply of freshwater could come in handy.


AZUZ: Tailgating yesterday`s report on the economic impact that driverless cars could have, we`re now focusing on their safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says autonomous vehicles could reduce or even eliminate deaths from car crashes. They potentially remove human

error from the roads. But the self-driving technology that current exists has been involved in dozens of accidents, including one that killed the

operator. And experts say that because self-driving cars are essentially computers, they`re prone to the same problems computers have. But what

would their record be live when everything works as it should?


REPORTER: Here were go in our first ride in an autonomous vehicle, it`s just me and the car and the robot.

Everything we do from here on out is going to be the autonomous vehicle taking full control.

While we were driving across this campus just now, a child ran in front of the car, and as promised, the autonomous vehicle did its job, it stopped.

One-point-two-five million, that`s the number of people who died in auto accidents every year worldwide. In the United States, more than 40,000

people were killed in accidents in 2016, six percent more than the previous year.


than all plane crashes. And we never really talked about it. I`m on the mission. When I was 18 years old, I lost my best friend in traffic

accident, due to a split second bad decision.

And I feel it was just such a waste. And as a technologist, I felt I`m going to fix this. I actually believe with only self-driving cars, there

will be no accidents.

Cars don`t text, they`re not distracted, they`re not drunk, they pay attention all the time, they`re so much better than people.

REPORTER: That`s the goal, but how do we get there? For answers, I went to Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google`s parent company in Silicon

Valley, where engineers are building technology that has clocked more than 4 million miles of autonomous driving.

Jaime Waydo is the lead systems engineer who came to Waymo after putting a rover on Mars for NASA. She also co-wrote Waymo`s playbook on autonomous

driving safety.

JAIME WAYDO, LEAD SYSTEM ENGINEER FOR WAYMO: We have layers of safety around the vehicle. We have radars that can see the speed of things, so we

know if they`re moving or static objects. We have lasers Lidars that paint a 3D image of the world.

They can see a football helmet two football fields away and they can see 360 degrees around the cars and all of that allows us to see things and see

them very far away and see them at high resolution to make all of those decisions and understanding about our world. So, you can see the things

playing out in front of you and you can slow down and respond safely.

REPORTER: Before I left, I had to ask, what`s more difficult, getting driverless cars here on earth or putting a rover on Mars?

WAYDO: It`s self-driving cars by far.

REPORTER: So, when are we going to know that these cars are safe enough to drive? I asked a lawyer who`s an expert on that very question.

BRYANT WALKER SMITH, EXPERT ON THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF AUTONOMOUS DRIVING: This is one of the very tough questions and not just how safe is safe

enough, but how do we know that the vehicle is that safe?

REPORTER: How do we know? Will we know?

SMITH: We don`t and we`re not sure.

I think that there will be a lot of new issues that automation creates, but ultimately, we are ill-served by today`s transportation system. We talk

about the car traditionally as being the symbol of freedom. You`re not free if you`re dead.

REPORTER: This is the part that really freaks people out. If my car is the one doing the driving, how can I trust it not to kill me or someone I

love? In a bad situation, will the car choose one person over the other?

It`s a question philosophers called the trolley problem. Picture this: a trolley car is heading down a track toward a family of five that are stuck.

You can save them by pulling a lever and changing the course of the train. But there`s one man stuck on the other track. Is it more ethical to let

the family die or sacrifice the one man so they can be safe? What would a car driven by a computer do?

DREW BAGNEL, CO-FOUNDER OF AURORA DRIVERLESS CAR COMPANY: It`s not that the trolley problem is impossible to come up, it`s not. But an error has

been made if that were ever to occur. If you`re ever in a situation where you`re faced with a trolley problem, the car has made a much more serious

error. It should have been more conservative so that it was never faced with that situation.

REPORTER: In other words, we may be thinking about this all wrong.

DANNY SHAPIRO, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF AUTOMOTIVE AT NVIDIA: If you think about a computer playing chess, it`s moving many, many moves ahead, more moves

than you possibly could in analyzing. The computer is able to process this environment and anticipate much better than you could and operate with much

better accuracy than you can.

We`re able to track objects all around the car and detect them with super human levels of perception.

REPORTER: This, of course, all assumes that the car is in working order. But these cars are computers after all, and any computer can be hacked.


AZUZ: It would be kind of interesting to see how or if a self-driving car would react to this. You`re driving along, nice night, everything is fine

until this incredibly bright flash blazes up in a distance and the ground underneath your car shakes. Now, that`s unpredictable.

It was actually a meteor, according to NASA, a rock that entered earth`s atmosphere over Michigan, flared into a blazing fireball and caused a small

2.0 magnitude earthquake.

To those who saw it, it might have seemed like meteor. It blew up on social media, along its meteoric rise to fame. And while some were rocked

by the sight and the quake, others wished they`ve gotten mete-more of a better view. But mete-or not, there it was.

I`m Carl Azuz and that`s all the space we have on CNN 10.