General Motors and Honda are teaming up on self-driving vehicle technology as big automakers and tech giants race to develop the next generation of personal transportation. Japan’s Honda Motor Co will invest $2.75 billion in the autonomous vehicle unit run by General Motors Co., called GM Cruise, which is considered a leader in the nascent industry.
The goal, the companies said, is to develop an autonomous vehicle that can be produced at a high volume and deployed globally. They will also explore commercial ways to use the Cruise network around the world. The partnership comes as the main players in the autonomous vehicle space shift their focus from developing the technology to figuring out how to make the systems safer and more affordable.
Teaming up is a way to add a layer of safety, with some groups using one company’s software to operate a vehicle and a partner’s software to act as a backup, said Sam Abuelsamid, Navigant Research analyst. “As companies move from the researcGMh phase into the production phase, there’s a lot of additional complexity that has to be added to those already complex systems,” he said.
Ride-hailing giant Uber announced in August a partnership with Toyota to develop autonomous vehicles months after one of its self-driving cars struck and killed a pedestrian crossing a dark street in Arizona. Other partnerships include BMW with Fiat Chrysler, chipmaker Intel and visual recognition software maker Mobileye; and German automaker Daimler AG with supplier Bosch to develop autonomous taxis.
GM has been widely viewed as being in second place in the autonomous vehicle race, with Google’s Waymo on top. Waymo plans to put autonomous vehicles on the road in a ride-sharing service in the Phoenix area before the end of this year, while GM has said it plans to roll out its fully-autonomous vehicles for passengers to use in 2019.
Waymo said in May that it would buy up to 62,000 more minivans from Fiat Chrysler to expand its ride-hailing venture. Waymo and Fiat Chrysler also said that they were discussing the use of Waymo technology in Fiat-Chrysler self-driving vehicles that would be sold to the public.
self-driving cars, Honda, Honda self-driving car, Honda GM partnership, GM self driving car, autonomous cars, self-driving vehicle GM has been widely viewed as being in second place in the autonomous vehicle race, with Google’s Waymo on top. (Image: AP)
Tesla is developing autonomous vehicles, but some analysts doubt that its system is on par with the rest of the industry, because it uses only cameras, ultrasonic sensors and a single radar — compared to dozens of sensors in competitors’ systems — and it doesn’t have enough memory bandwidth to process all the data, Abuelsamid said.
Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst with Autotrader, believes the partnership between GM and Honda is critical in the development of such advanced technology because it requires huge investments that have little promise of a quick payoff.
Honda will make an immediate investment of $750 million, and spend $2 billion over 12 years on the project. “Honda chose to collaborate with Cruise and General Motors based on their leadership in autonomous and electric vehicle technology and our shared vision of a zero-emissions and zero-collision world,” said Seiji Kuraishi, an executive vice president at Honda.
Honda and GM are already partnering on fuel cell vehicles and announced in June that they are developing batteries for electric vehicles, mainly for the North American market. In May, the Japanese tech firm investment firm SoftBank announced it was taking a 20 per cent stake in Cruise for $2.25 billion.
GM had said it planned to use the cash infusion to roll out a robotaxi service in at least one major city starting next year. SoftBank also owns big stakes in Uber as well as in India’s Ola ride service and Didi Chuxing, China’s top ride-hailing firm. Shares of Detroit-based GM were up 1 per cent in midday trading, while Honda’s stock was down 1 per cent
Vivo Y91 With Dual Rear Cameras, Dewdrop Notch Launched in India
Vivo has launched a new smartphone in India called the Vivo Y91 which features a dual camera, a dewdrop notch, and an eye-catching gradient design on the rear panel.
The new smartphone from the Chinese company is priced at Rs. 10,990 and takes on similarly priced offerings from brands like Xiaomi and Realme. The Vivo Y91 is claimed to deliver a superior photography experience with its AI-backed dual-rear cameras at a budget price point.
Vivo Y91 price in India
The Vivo Y91 price in India has been set at Rs. 10,990 in India and is now available for sale from the official Vivo India e-shop, Amazon India, and Paytm Mall. It will also be made available via offline retail partners. On the Vivo India site, tt comes bundled with a free Bluetooth earphone. Vivo is also offering an exchange offer (only for old Vivo smartphones), no-cost EMI, and 15-day replacement with the purchase of the new smartphone. The company is also touting Vivo Y91 launch offers such as Jio benefits worth Rs. 4,000 along with 3TB data. Airtle subscribers on the other hand will get instant cashback of Rs. 2,000 and 240GB of data. An additional Rs. 500 off on exchange was also detailed.
Vivo Y91 specifications
The Vivo Y91 features a 6.22-inch Halo FullView display with an HD+ resolution (720×1520) and 88.6 percent screen-to-body ratio with a dewdrop notch on top and minimal side-bezels. The new Vivo smartphone is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 SoC paired with a PowerVR GE8320 GPU and 2GB of RAM. In the imaging department, the Vivo Y91 features a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel (f/2.2 aperture) primary sensor and 2-megapixel (f/2.4) secondary sensor for capturing depth information, while on the front, there is an 8-megapixel (f/1.8) camera to handle selfies.
The AI-backed cameras bring features such as smart beautification which detects attributes such as gender, skin tone, and external lighting to apply the requisite effects and deliver the best photos. Portrait mode, slow-motion capture and face unlock are also on the table, however, there is also fingerprint sensor on the back.
In the storage department, there is 32GB of inbuilt storage which can further be expanded via microSD card (up to 256GB).
The dual-SIM Vivo Y91 (Nano+Nano) has support for 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GLONASS, GPS, and Wi-Fi 2.4G, while a USB 2.0 port is there for charging and file transfer. The Vivo Y91 comes equipped with a 4,030mAh battery that is supported by a native smart power management system to conserve battery juice. The new smartphone tips the scale at 163.5 grams and measures 75.09 x 8.28 x 155.11mm. As for the color options, the Vivo Y91 comes in Ocean Blue and Starry Black shades with a gradient texture.
Lenovo’s Yoga A940’s desktop reminds of Microsoft’s Surface Studio
Lenovo has showcased a new Yoga A940 all-in-one desktop at the CES 2019 show in Las Vegas, and it clearly appears to be inspired from Microsoft’ giant Surface Studio desktop. Like the Microsoft all-in-one desktop, which aimed at creators and artists, the Yoga A940 is also focused on the same aspects.
The 27-inch 4K or QHD resolution IPS touchscreen display has a rotating hinge, which allows the display to tilt to 25-degrees drafting mode, and provides what Lenovo calls enough”flexibility and stability” for artists when drawing or sketching on the screen.
There’s also a Lenovo Precision Dial, similar to the Microsoft Surface Dial. The controller can be used by creators for “more precise selections and adjustments,” and there’s support for a digital pen as well.
The all-in-one desktop also has Lenovo’s Smart Assist AI-enabled features, a Dolby Vision-enabled 4K wide angle display and there are Dolby Atmos Speakers.
Insta360 updates their professional VR camera line with the Pro 2. Key new features include their Flowstate 9 axis stabilization, long range live monitoring with Farsight technology.
Coming to the dial, this can placed on either the left or right side of the Yoga A940, depending on user preference.
A user can scroll the dial to adjust features like brush stroke, tip size, opacity and flow rate on one hand. This Lenovo dial has been optimised for compatibility with popular applications like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
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There’s also a Lenovo Precision Dial, similar to the Microsoft Surface Dial.
Lenovo’s new desktop will be powered with up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon RX 560 discrete graphics.
The company is offering options of up to 32GB DDR4 RAM memory and up to 512GB PCIe SSD storage or there’s the option of going for 2TB SATA HDD storage.
The new Lenovo desktop will cost $2,349.99 and will be sold via the Lenovo US website and Best Buy starting April 2019. In comparison, the Microsoft Surface Studio costs nearly $3,999.
Jabra Evolve 65t Wireless Earbuds With Up to 15-Hour Battery Life Launched
Jabra has expanded its portfolio and launched the Evolve 65t in India. The wireless earbuds are touted to be the world’s first Unified Communications (UC) certified wireless earbuds, and they come with 4-microphone professional sound support. It offers up to 15 hours of battery life, and claims to block out background noise as well. The company says that these wireless earbuds are also the first to attain Skype for Business certification as well. The Jabra Evolve 65T supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri voice assistance, depending upon the operating system of the paired device.
The Jabra Evolve 65t is said to be available in India sometime this month, and be priced at Rs. 39,440. The earbuds work with two simultaneous devices at once – the smartphone and the laptop (via a separate Bluetooth adapter). It offers 5 hours battery life in single charge, and up to 15 hours battery life with the charging case. The earbuds take up to 2 hours to fully charge, the company claims. While it blocks surrounding noise, there’s also an option called HearThrough that allows for filtered ambient noise to pass through. The four microphones on board allow for high call quality with the frequency range from 100Hz to 10kHz, and the call and music experience can be customised in the Jabra Sound+ app for smartphone and Jabra Direct app for PCs and Laptops.
The Jabra Evolve 65t is IP55 certified which means that it can withstand low-pressure water jets from any direction. The company notes that you can use the right earbud on its own, while leaving the left earbud in the charging case. However, the left earbud cannot be used on its own. The ear tips come in three sizes – small, medium, and large, and connectivity options include Bluetooth v5.0 and wireless range of up to 10 metres. The Jabra Evolve 65t’s dimensions measure in at 27x30x22.5mm.
“With the Evolve range we have focused on empowering users to be productive at work. Whether your main place of work is a crowded, open office or a flexible environment, it is crucial that you have seamless connectivity and optimal concentration. With Evolve 65t, we now add a true wireless headset to the professional experience,” said Holger Reisinger, SVP Business Solutions at Jabra.