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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Baidu announces Apollo Enterprise, its new platform for mass-produced autonomous vehicles

Baidu made several big announcements about Apollo, its open-source autonomous vehicle technology platform, today at CES. The first is the launch of Apollo Enterprise for vehicles that will be put into mass production. The company claims that Apollo is already used by 130 partners around the world. One of its newest partners, Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motors, plans to deploy level 3 autonomous vehicles by 2021.

Apollo Enterprise’s main product lines will include solutions for highway autonomous driving; autonomous valet parking; fully autonomous mini-buses; an intelligent map data service platform; and DuerOS (Baidu’s voice assistant) for cars.

Baidu also released Apollo 3.5, the latest version of its platform, which now supports “complex urban and suburban driving environments.” Apollo 3.5 is already used by customers including Udelv, an autonomous delivery van startup that recently partnered with Walmart to test grocery deliveries. Baidu says up to 100 self-driving vehicles based on Apollo 3.5 will be deployed in the San Francisco Bay Area and other regions in the United States.

In China, Baidu plans to launch 100 robo-taxis that will cover 130 miles of city roads in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province. The robo-taxis will use Baidu’s V2X (i.e. vehicle-to-everything) technology, to enable them to communicate with road infrastructure, like traffic lights.


Source: TechCrunch

Citizen scientists spot unusual planet in habitable 'Goldilocks zone' – CNET

With help from NASA’s Kepler, amateurs spot K2-288Bb, an exoplanet that algorithms missed, and it might be in just the right spot to host alien life.
Source: CNET

Verizon and T-Mobile bash AT&T over 'fake 5G' – CNET

Will the real 5G service please stand up?
Source: CNET

Go-Jek’s Southeast Asia expansion runs into a roadblock in the Philippines

Southeast Asian ride-hailing challenger Go-Jek has expanded into three new markets as it bids to expand beyond its native Indonesia, but it is having major issues getting into a fourth.

The company — which rivals Grab, is valued at over $6 billion and is backed by the likes of Google and Tencent — this week suffered a blow in the Philippines where the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) denied its application to operate in the country, as Rappler reports.

The issue is pretty simple: Go-Jek’s Philippines-based business — an entity called Velox Technology Philippines — is majority owned by an overseas business. (Go-Jek’s own Singapore-based Velox South-East Asia Holdings.) That violates local law which stipulates that at least 60 percent of a company should be owned by Philippines individuals or entities.

That’s a pretty major roadblock which, for now, Go-Jek doesn’t appear to have much chance adhering to without major structural change. It remains unclear how the company failed to foresee this issue, but that’s another matter altogether.

“We continue to engage positively with the LTFRB and other government agencies, as we seek to provide a much needed transport solution for the people of the Philippines,” was all Go-Jek would say when asked for comment from TechCrunch .

Meanwhile, Grab, which bought out Uber’s local business last year, claims it is compliant. A Grab spokesperson said the company’s business in the Philippines is “majority local owned.”

The company declined to provide more details, including the identity of Grab’s Philippines-based owner.

Previously, Philippines law allowed ride-hailing services to operate as ‘telecommunications services’ but that changed last year.

This week’s ruling is a blow for Go-Jek, which has moved into Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore over the last six months following a protracted $1.5 billion funding round secured last year. Go-Jek is edging close to finalizing a new investment of $2 billion which TechCrunch understands will be used to offer additional services and expand its presence in those three expansion markets.

Grab, meanwhile, has raised over $2 billion from its ongoing Series H round which the company intends to extend to $5 billion, as TechCrunch reported last month. That’s primarily motivated by an impending investment from SoftBank’s Vision Fund but TechCrunch understands that Grab is keen to raise a significant war chest as part of its battle with Go-Jek.


Source: TechCrunch

CES 2019: Newton's Meter is an AI-powered safety button – CNET

It can detect when you fall, and you can use it as a call for help button in case of an emergency.
Source: CNET

Kangaroo rounds out their simple security system at CES 2019 – CNET

The startup has expanded beyond motion sensors to keep better watch over your home.
Source: CNET

Hypervsn unleashes your inner Tony Stark with holographic images at CES 2019 video – CNET

This tech at CES 2019 is perfect for showing off, but it could have practical implications too.
Source: CNET

CES 2019: Mycroft's privacy-minded smart speaker wants to be your Alexa alternative – CNET

The open-source virtual assistant promises never to collect your data, and has a new touchscreen smart speaker to call home.
Source: CNET

Meituan partners with Nvidia, Valeo and Icona for its autonomous delivery platform

Meituan Dianping, China’s largest on-demand food delivery company, announced today at CES that it has signed three new major partners for the development of its autonomous delivery open platform. They are Nvidia, Italian automotive design company Icona, and French automotive supplier Valeo.

This is the first time Meituan Dianping, which went public four months ago in Hong Kong, has attended CES, where it exhibited its Meituan Autonomous Delivery (MAD) platform. Valeo will provide engines and sensors for MAD’s autonomous delivery vehicles and Nvidia’s technology will be used in its research and development and trial operations, while Icona will serve as a design partner for robots and vehicles.

Launched last July in Beijing, after a four-month trial, MAD’s partners already include Uditech, Segway-GX, iDriverPlus, and Roadster. As an open platform, MAD’s partners have beeen able to work on their own autonomous delivery vehicles. As TechNode notes, however, most orders still rely on a human delivery driver for at least part of the journey. For example, autonomous vehicles, including drones and low- or high-speed delivery vehicles, might gather orders from different restaurants and bring them to a pick-up point for the driver, or collect multiple orders and complete deliveries in an office park or university.

In a statement, Meituan senior vice president Wang Puzhong said “With the surging demand for food deliveries in China, Meituan is leveraging its platform and scale advantages to apply autonomous delivery technologies in its operations. We would like to work together with our partners to integrate resources from all parties to drive the large-scale and commercial application of autonomous delivery in China and around the world.”

As it develops, MAD might give Meituan Dianping an edge over its main rival, Alibaba’s Ele.me, which began drone deliveries last year that it claimks will dramatically lower its delivery costs by only requiring drivers for 15 percent of the route.

Meituan Dianping said it is now conducting trial operations of autonomous delivery in “a dozen locations in China,” including Shougang Park and Raffles City in Beijing, Xiong’an New Area in Hebei, and Shenzhen’s Lenovo Building. In addition to food delivery, Meituan Dianping is China’s largest e-commerce platform for in-store dining and also owns bike-sharing platform Mobike. It says it had 382.3 million annual transacting users and 5.5 million annual active merchants as of the end of Q3 2018 and operates in 2,800 cities and counties in China.


Source: TechCrunch

CES 2019: Sunflower Labs wants to use drones to keep your mansion safe – CNET

These garden lights sense motion and vibration, then send a drone to check out suspicious activity.
Source: CNET

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