Opening Day bodes promise

first_imgBy the time you are reading this, March Madness will officially be in the books and college basketball will have a new champion after capturing America’s attention for the past few weeks. If you’re like me, and you’re wondering what you’re going to do with your life now that the tournament is over, don’t worry because Monday officially kicked off the 2015 baseball season.The USC baseball team has experienced success so far this season, and here’s to hoping the Dodgers can experience similar success and finally make it deep into the playoffs. Whether you’re a Dodger fan or not, America’s favorite pastime is back, and there are so many teams to look out for this season.At the bottom of my list of teams to watch is the Houston Astros. I admit that the only reason the ‘Stros even made the list is because of my personal ties to the team, but things are looking up for them this season, and maybe they won’t finish dead last this year. The recent move to the American League has been anything but easy for Houston, but they’ve added some depth to the bullpen and defense. Second baseman Jose Altuve returns and looks to carry last season’s offensive success into 2015. By putting this team on my list, I mean that they might hit a .500 record this year.Another team that has been somewhat quiet lately — by their standards, of course — is the New York Yankees. The Yankees are a veteran team that will now be without a captain. The team’s age raises a lot of concerns regarding injury, especially in the pitching rotation. Probably the biggest headline for the Yankees is the return of Alex Rodriguez from a yearlong suspension. I don’t think the Yankees will be a huge threat this season, but they are the Yankees and could definitely prove me wrong.The Detroit Tigers enter 2015 on the hunt for their              fifth-straight AL Central title. The pitching rotation has taken a blow due to injuries. Even Justin Verlander will be hampered due to a strained tricep. Though the pitching rotation has suffered some blows, the offense should remain strong enough to give the Tigers a chance at the playoffs.The Pittsburgh Pirates have emerged in the past couple seasons as playoff contenders and look to continue their playoff streak this season. They don’t have quite the potential that they had last season, but if they can successfully overcome injuries they could make a run for the postseason.The San Diego Padres are definitely a team on the rise, especially after the offseason they had. They added former Dodgers star Matt Kemp on the offense, and closer Craig Kimbrel from the Atlanta Braves. They have to compete in a tough NL West Division against the Dodgers and Giants, but if their offseason additions pan out, they could make a run for the NL West title.The Los Angeles Angels are a force to be reckoned with, even if they have to play without Josh Hamilton. The combination of reigning American League MVP Mike Trout and Albert Pujols should more than make up for Hamilton’s absence. Their offense will be enough to carry whatever their defense lacks.The Angels’ crosstown rivals, the Dodgers, look to reclaim their NL West title. The          one-two punch of NL MVP and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke lead the pitching rotation. Behind them is explosive outfielder Yasiel Puig and new addition Joc Pederson, along with shortstop Jimmy Rollins.Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals aren’t going anywhere and seem to be Kershaw’s achilles’ heel. The Cardinals have a dominant offense headlined by Jason Heyward and a bullpen led by Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals have made a strong postseason showing the past few seasons and could finally make the push to the World Series this season.A record 115 players begin the season on the disabled list, and unfortunately for the reigning champions, Hunter Pence is one of the 115. Their rotation behind Madison Bumgarner is aging quickly, but no one thought the Giants would make it deep into the postseason last year, and they took home the title.Yesterday was day one of a long season, and as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen.Regan Estes is a sophomore majoring in public relations and Spanish. She is also the sports editor of  the Daily Trojan. Her column “Wild Wild Westes,” runs on Tuesdays.last_img read more

Watch This Parade of 55 Autonomous Cars Set a World Record

first_img Scientists Discover (And Climb) World’s Tallest Tropical TreeThe World’s Longest Dragon Boat Is a Sight to Behold Stay on target Will China win the race to a future of self-driving vehicles? Only time will tell, but when it comes to parades of autonomous cars, they have already won.A total of 55 self-driving cars built by Changan Automobile at a test track in Chongqing, China, set a record for the “largest parade of autonomous cars,” according to Guinness World Records.The record attempt was made in November 2018.AdChoices广告Traveling at 18.6 mph (30 km/h), the parade of red Changan vehicles took 9 minutes and 7 seconds to complete two-mile distance, with each car separated by no more than two vehicle lengths.“The drivers who participated in the test had no contact with the autopilot system at all,” Yang Guo, autonomous car engineer at Changan Automobile, told Guinness World Records.The carmaker originally planned to have 56 vehicles for the record attempt, but one safety driver was disqualified for briefly taking back control of the vehicle.For the attempt, Changan engineers altered the vehicles’ sensors to improve the car’s ability detect lane boundaries and the position of the car in front of them.The cars also drove closer together than in normal road conditions. This was done by reducing the cars’ object and event detection, and response in their dynamic driving task framework from 5 percent to 1 percent, because the controlled parade on a quieter test track has fewer variables than in normal road conditions.Changan is hoping the world record amplifies the company’s commitment to technology.“The artificial intelligence and new energy of automobiles is a very important trend in the future development of automobiles,” saidChangan Automobile’s Executive Vice President Tan Benhong. “As the world’s first brand to break this record, we will make more efforts in the field of intelligence.”More on Geek.com:Fully Driverless Grocery Deliveries Have Arrived in ArizonaAutonomous Bar Will Drive Up and Mix You DrinksThese AI Wheelchairs Can Detect Movement and Watch for Obstacleslast_img read more