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March 25, 2018

Are Self-Driving Cars Safe
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It seems like the stuff of science fiction- a robotic car that needs no human driver. That dream has come true. But is it a dream or a nightmare? Then, every day, accidental medicine poisoning sends over 100 youngsters to the emergency room. And some of them don’t survive. What can parents do to protect their children?
Episode Segments:
Are Roads Ready for Robotic Cars
A pedestrian fatality involving a driverless Uber car in Arizona has revived debate about whether autonomous vehicles are being put into use prematurely. Dr. Missy Cummings is a robotics expert who believes the technology is not ready for high speed or congested environments. She talked about the design challenges that must be overcome. She said the current system of voluntary safety testing is completely inadequate, and that greater government oversight is needed.
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Accidental Medicine Poisoning
Accidental medicine poisoning sends a child under 6 to the emergency room every nine minutes, and every 12 days, a child dies. Dr. Marceé White, MD, Board-Certified Pediatrician, Medical Advisor for Safe Kids Worldwide, Medical Director of the Children's National Mobile Health Program outlined most common poisoning scenarios and the steps that parents of small children must take to avoid a tragedy. .
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E-Cigarette Dangers
Lots of questions still linger about e-cigarettes, including just what users are breathing in when they vape. Ana María Rule, PhD, MHS, Assistant Scientist in Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health led a study that found that the vapors from a variety of devices contain potentially toxic levels of metals, including lead. She explained why teenagers are at a greater risk of the toxins in e-cigarettes than adults.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Mary Cummings
Professor Mary (Missy) Cummings is the director of HAL. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004.

A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the U.S. Navy's first female fighter pilots. She is currently an associate professor in the Duke University Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She is also an affiliate professor with the University of Washington’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department.

Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University