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New Book Explores What Being a Man Means in 2020

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Destin Gerek The Evolved Masculine
The Evolved Masculine (Photo: PR Newswire)

Written by Destin Gerek, an internationally recognized expert on masculinity and male sexuality, The Evolved Masculine helps men navigate perilous times.

In the decade that just ended, once-powerful men such as Roger Ailes, Harvey Weinstein and the late Jeffrey Epstein toppled from their lofty positions after the toxic way they treated women became public. At the same time, women spoke out and continued to make inroads into politics and other traditionally male preserves.

Destin Gerek: The Evolved Masculine

And while this may be unsettling for some men, it is a good thing, notes Destin Gerek, an internationally recognized expert on masculinity, male sexuality and male empowerment. As he points out in his new book, The Evolved Masculine: Be The Man The World Needs & The One She Craves (Archetypal Publishing), “We are living in a time in which notions of masculinity and femininity and the roles of men and women are being questioned and have become more fluid than ever before. … Increasingly powerful women have necessitated men to rethink their own role: These radical changes have become increasingly uncomfortable for us as men. They have forced us to look within, reassess our own outdated programming, and evolve our understanding of masculinity and what it means to be a man.”

Gerek’s book aims to fill that void even as it chronicles his own transformative search for the answers to what is masculinity, what is the beauty and good in it, and what qualities and values it adds to men’s lives.

Gerek has been featured in Entrepreneur, Details, the Associated Press, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and on Showtime and Playboy Radio, among others.

In an interview, he can discuss:

  • What does it mean to be a good man in 2020?
  • Why does he say that recreating the world to allow for women and the feminine to flourish doesn’t need to be at the expense of men?
  • How can men cope with the confusing and conflicting messages that surround them?
  • What did he learn from creating his Erotic Rockstar avatar than led him to a seemingly endless stream of lovers in over two dozen countries?
  • How can men unleash their sexuality without becoming “one of those guys” women despise?
  • What are some of the concepts he promotes that challenge what we have been taught to believe?

Praise for The Evolved Masculine

“Destin Gerek is THE most informed and skillful educator of conscious masculinity today. During a daunting era for the modern man, he fearlessly leads them out of confusion and into clarity, power, and purpose. His wisdom is the guidance every man should have if he wants to play a bigger game.” – Eva Clay, LCSW, clinical sexologist and founder of the Institute of Intimacy Arts

“This book takes real risks. Destin plumbs the depths of his own story (and psyche) to offer a path to any person ready for reinvention. … The Evolved Masculine turns the idea of authenticity on its head, and arrives, surprisingly, at a place of vulnerable and authentic being for men.” – Boysen Hodgson communications director, ManKind Project USA

“I could hardly put it down. … I feel greater understanding and compassion for men as a result of reading The Evolved Masculine.”– KC Baker, founder, WomanSpeak, Inc.

About the Author

Destin Gerek is a globally recognized leading voice in masculinity, sexuality, and personal empowerment. He is founder and CEO of The Evolved Masculine, a pioneering coaching and training company for men and an international speaker and hosts a podcast by the same name.

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CES 2020: Toyota to Build Prototype City of the Future

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Woven City
Toyota reveals plans to build a prototype “city” of the future called Woven City, a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells (Photo: PR Newswire)

Today at CES, Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype “city” of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Toyota reveals plans to build a prototype “city” of the future called Woven City, a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Toyota reveals plans to build a prototype “city” of the future called Woven City, a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Envisioned as a “living laboratory,” the Woven City will serve as a home to full- time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment.

“Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the city’s infrastructure. With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology… in both the virtual and the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate with other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come work on their own projects in this one-of-a-kind, real-world incubator.

“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all,” said Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation.

For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). His team at BIG have designed many high-profile projects: from 2 World Trade Center in New York and Lego House in Denmark, to Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters.

“A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities. Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life. With the breadth of technologies and industries that we have been able to access and collaborate with from the Toyota ecosystem of companies, we believe we have a unique opportunity to explore new forms of urbanity with the Woven City that could pave new paths for other cities to explore,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG.

Design of the City

The masterplan of the city includes the designations for street usage into three types: for faster vehicles only, for a mix of lower speed, personal mobility and pedestrians, and for a park-like promenade for pedestrians only. These three street types weave together to form an organic grid pattern to help accelerate the testing of autonomy.

The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics.

Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively.

To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail.

Both neighborhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.

Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2,000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves.

The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.

Interested in partnering with Toyota on the development of Woven City? Visit: woven-city.global

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Volkswagen Goes Electric, Are you Missing Out?

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Volkswagen Goes Electric

Volkswagen plans to be the leader of electric cars by 2025.

They announced a new vision called TOGETHER 2025+, which promises electric cars and a digital network by 2025. Their stated goal is to make automobiles that are “clean, quiet, intelligent, and safe.” And ultimately be “part of the solution when it comes to climate and environmental protection.”

This massive project tells us a lot about the future of the auto industry.

What Are Electric Cars?

As their name suggests, electric cars are automobiles that run on electricity, rather than gasoline. They use an electric motor, which is powered by rechargeable batteries.

Some cars use both sources of power, which are called hybrids.

To manufacture electric cars, Volkswagen will have to repurpose their factories, implement new technologies, and use different designs.

Emissions-Cheating Scandal

A few factors prompted Volkswagen to take this direction, but their emissions-cheating scandal was probably the biggest influence.

In 2015, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Volkswagen of creating cars that cheated emission standards.

Specifically, Volkswagen created software that detected when their cars were analyzed by emissions testing. The software would enable emission controls to “pass” the testing.

But during normal driving conditions, the software would shut off. This gave cars more power and fuel economy, but resulted in more pollution than the law allowed.

Since then, Volkswagen admitted to installing the software in about 11 million cars and publicly apologized for the practice. However, the day after the news broke, their stock price declined 20%, then fell another 17% the following day.

In 2017, Volkswagen pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties. A week later, executives were charged.

In response to their scandal, Volkswagen changed their logo to a white variation on June 5, 2019. In a TV commercial, Volkswagen acknowledged their mistake and announced their launch into electric vehicles.

Their PR strategy is to demonstrate a dramatic change for the good, using the tagline “In the darkness, we found the light.”

Volkswagen’s Announces the I.D. Series

In 2016, brand chief Herbert Diess said, “By 2025, we plan to sell 1 million electric cars per year, and by then we also want to be the global market leader in electromobility. Going forward, our electric cars will be the hallmark of Volkswagen.”

Volkswagen announced their plans to launch a generation of electric cars beginning in 2020. They call this series of cars the I.D. family. This line of cars will reinvent their previous vehicles as electric versions.

The first models, debuting in 2020, will be the I.D. and the I.D. Crozz. In 2021, the ID. Roomzz model will be released, which will be a zero-emission SUV.

By 2022, the public can buy the I.D. Buzz, the I.D. Buzz Cargo, and the I.D. Vizzion. However, some models will be restricted to Europe. In addition to cars, Volkswagen also plans to create a charging network.

In a press release on August 8, 2019, Volkswagen announced plans to install 4,000 charging stations at their German sites by 2025. Beyond Germany, Volkswagen Group is working to provide over 36,000 charging points throughout Europe. The project cost is estimated at 250 million Euros.

The Future of Volkswagen

Analysts believe it’s only a matter of time before automakers ditch petrol cars in favor of electric cars, which many consider the next technological step for the auto industry. However, there are still challenges companies like Volkswagen face.

As mentioned earlier, electric cars require charging stations. Not only does Volkswagen have to create a new generation of cars, but they also have to update infrastructure. To make electric cars a reality, drivers need a network of charging points.

Nevertheless, Volkswagen is moving forward with their initiative. With auto giants like Volkswagen going electric, it’s only a matter of time before other car companies follow suit.

As the world demands higher environmental standards, companies are responding with greener initiatives. Volkswagen’s TOGETHER 2025+ project indicates that electric cars will be commonplace in the future.

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Tesla’s New AutoPilot is Insane

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Tesla's New AutoPilot

With self-driving cars upon us, the future is now.

Tesla Inc. is leading the way with innovative technologies in the automotive industry. For years, they’ve been developing Autopilot, which is a fascinating invention that causes both hope and fear for car drivers.

Get everything you need to know right here.

What is Autopilot?

Tesla’s Autopilot is an advanced system that empowers a car to drive itself. On its own, Autopilot can stay centered in lane, change lanes, maintain distance from the next car, self-park, and summon the car from a parking spot or garage.

Tesla’s Autopilot is an example of full self-driving (FSD), which is sometimes called a driverless car or an autonomous car. Autopilot combines both hardware and software to make this possible.

Here’s a demonstration of Autopilot. Legally, there must be a person in the driver’s seat when Autopilot is on, but the person is not driving.

How Autopilot Works

Under the Federal Aviation Administration, pilots must monitor an aircraft that is on autopilot at all times. In a similar vein, Tesla mandates that drivers must monitor a car on Autopilot at all times.

Tesla equips their cars with radar coverage, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors, which give the system a 360-degree view around the vehicle. The software then uses this equipment to discern surroundings.

The equipment is able to distinguish other vehicles, road signs, obstacles, and lane markings. This system can even detect other cars and pedestrians through fog, dust, and heavy rain. The hardware processes this information at 200 frames per second.

With this constant influx of information, the software is programmed to make the proper moves and adjust speed to the surroundings.

Anytime a new software update is released, a car with Autopilot receives the update wirelessly.

A Brief History of Autopilot

Autopilot has developed over the years in a series of updates and adjustments to both their software and hardware. This section will touch on some of the notable advancements of Autopilot.

In 2013, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “Autopilot is a good thing to have in planes, and we should have it in cars.” The theory was simple: if we use autopilot on planes, we can and should use it on cars.

In late 2014, Tesla offered customers Autopilot for the first time. The Model S and Model X came with a tech package upgrade: a windshield-mounted camera, frontside radar, and sensors on the front and back bumpers.

Together this was known as Autopilot, which offered semi-autonomous driving. Tesla refers to this tech package as Hardware 1. This allowed drivers to do limited hands-free driving.

In October 2015, Tesla customers experienced the next step in Autopilot development with the release of software enabling Autopilot, which was packaged with Tesla’s version 7.0. This added a few features.

However, Tesla later released version 7.1, which removed a few features in 7.0. Tesla announced this was an effort to discourage risky behaviors. Version 7.1 did add a remote parking feature, which could be used without a driver in the vehicle.

In August 2016, Tesla announced Autopilot 8.0, which made a significant shift in software. Instead of using cameras as the primary sensor, Autopilot would now use radar. A November update added two notable safety features:

  • Autopilot requires the driver to touch the wheel more often.
  • Whenever Autopilot is activated, there is now a more noticeable indication that it’s engaged.

In November 2016, Autopilot had been used to drive over 300 million miles.

On October 19, 2016, Tesla announced that all their cars would now be made with full self-driving. Their vehicles would now come with better computing and sensing equipment, which they call Hardware Version 2 (HW2).

This allowed Autopilot to change lanes without needing driver input, transition between freeways, and exit a highway near the driver’s destination.

In February 2017, Autopilot became available for HW2 cars. They included auto-steering on local roads and divided highways, as well as adaptive cruise control. In June of the same year, version 8.1 arrived, which added the features of parallel parking and full-speed breaking.

Later updates made riders smoother by making acceleration and deceleration less jerky.

In July 2017, Hardware Version 2.5 was released. And as of 2019, Tesla continues to evolve Autopilot with developing Hardware Version 3.

Public opinions on Autopilot

As with all new technologies, many questions have been raised over the years by industry experts and concerned citizens.

Some have voiced concerns over the legality of full self-driving. Many question if Tesla drivers using Autopilot are even driving legally. Autopilot seemingly conflicts with the current best practices in driving, such as keeping both hands on the wheel or keeping one foot on a pedal.

Earlier, in the demonstration video, the driver is doing neither.

Tesla spokesman Alexis Georgeson said there is “nothing in our autopilot system that is in conflict with current regulations.” She went on to clarify a misconception about Autopilot, saying:

“We’re not getting rid of the pilot. This is about releasing the driver from tedious tasks so they can focus and provide better input.”

Despite Tesla’s safety measures, some still ask if self-driving cars inherently promote irresponsible driving.

Another recurring debate revolves around fault in the case of an accident caused by full self-driving. If Autopilot makes a mistake and there is a car wreck, who is responsible?

Drivers are expected to monitor Autopilot, but this complicates investigations and court proceedings. At what point is a driver responsible vs. the program and can a company like Tesla be liable?

Individuals, manufacturers, and insurance companies will likely fight a lot in the following years to work out liability issues with self-driving cars.

Autopilot incidents

In the years developing and using Tesla’s Autopilot, there have been a few accidents and deaths recorded involving Autopilot. This article will note a few of the more recent incidents at the time of writing.

May 11, 2018 at South Jordan, Utah
During the evening, a Tesla Model S crashed into a fire truck that was stopped at a red light. Autopilot was engaged at the time and traveling at about 60 miles per hour during the time of impact. The Tesla driver survived with a broken foot.

According to witnesses, the Tesla car did not appear to avoid the impact or attempt to brake prior to the collision. Telemetry data revealed the driver did not touch the wheel 80 seconds preceding the crash and did not brake until milliseconds before impact.

The driver later admitted she was on her phone at the time. Police cited her for “failure to keep proper lookout.”

March 1, 2019 at Delray Beach, Florida
During the morning, a Tesla Model 3 hit a semi-truck on a highway and under rode the trailer. The driver did not survive. The dispatched investigators that analyzed the scene did not fault or cite the driver of the semi-truck.

Ten seconds prior to the collision, the Tesla driver activated Autopilot. And in May 2019, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that neither the Autopilot or the driver attempted evasive maneuver prior to impact.

Preliminary telemetry showed that the driver’s hands were not on the wheels for approximately 8 seconds leading up to the crash.

August 10, 2019 at Moscow, Russia
During the night, a Tesla Model 3 ran into a parked tow truck, then caught on fire. At the time, Autopilot was activated and was driving at the maximum speed limit (100 km/h).

Fortunately, the driver and his children exited the vehicle in time and escaped with survivable injuries. The driver had a broken leg and the children suffered bruising.

The driver claimed he was holding the wheel at the time of the crash, but was not paying attention.

Positive incidents with Autopilot

A noteworthy incident that puts a positive light on Autopilot occurred on July of 2016, in Washington D.C. While driving his Tesla Model X, Joshua Neally experienced pulmonary embolism, which made it impossible for him to drive.

Neally was able to drive most of the way to a hospital using Autopilot, which possibly saved his life.

On July 21, 2016, Elon Musk tweeted that Autopilot saved the life of a pedestrian in D.C., or at least prevented serious injury. The driver reported that a pedestrian stepped out in front of his vehicle while he was distracted. Autopilot instantly braked and prevented the car from hitting the pedestrian.

Musk confirmed this by looking at the vehicle’s logs.

The Future of Autopilot

Autopilot will unquestioningly impact greater society in the future. Tesla has repeatedly stated and demonstrated a commitment to developing a safe, legal, effective Autopilot system.

And they’re not the only ones interested in the technology. Google is also developing a self-driving car under their program Waymo.

While Tesla has made significant progress in recent years, it seems there are still technological and legal barriers they need to overcome.

Here’s Elon Musk on the future of Autopilot: “Full autonomy is really a software limitation. The hardware exists to create full autonomy. So it’s really about developing advanced narrow AI for the car to operate on.”

This astounding statement reveals how close we are to a world full of self-driving cars. The hardware already exists. We just have to write better software.

Are you ready for self-driving cars?

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