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
iPad Air, iPad Mini 2019 Models With Apple Pencil Support Launched Starting at Rs. 34,900
Apple is bringing back the iPad Air to further expand the iPad line-up. The Cupertino, California-based company on Monday unveiled the new 10.5-inch iPad Air as well as an upgraded iPad mini model that will succeed the company’s existing iPad mini 4. The company has ditched the numbers from the branding and is simply calling the new models as the new iPad Air and the new iPad mini respectively. According to the Cupertino-based company, the new iPad models packs the A12 Bionic chip, an advanced Retina display, and support for Apple Pencil. The iPad (2018) and both iPad Pro models will continue to be available, however the iPad mini 4 seems to have been axed.
iPad Air (2019) and iPad mini (2019) price in India
iPad Air (2019) price starts at $499 for the Wi-Fi only model, whereas the Wi-Fi + Cellular model will retail starting $629. The iPad mini starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi only model and the Wi-Fi + Cellular model will be sold starting at $529. In India, the Wi-Fi only iPad Air has been priced starting at Rs. 44,900 and the Wi-Fi + Cellular version of iPad Air will retail at Rs. 55,900.
The iPad mini pricing starts at Rs. 34,900 for the Wi-Fi only model and at Rs. 45,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both iPad Air and iPad mini will be offered in silver, space grey, and gold colours in 64GB and 256GB storage configurations.
Apple says the new iPad Air and iPad mini models are now available for orders in 27 countries via Apple.com and Apple Store app. Some of the major markets that are getting the upgraded iPad models are US, UK, Germany, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Italy, and Japan. The new iPad models will be reaching to India “soon”, though the company yet to reveal a specific release date.
iPad Air (2019) and iPad mini (2019) specifications
In terms of the specifications, the iPad Air (2019) packs a 10.5-inch LED-backlit Retina display with 1668×2224 pixels resolution. It is powered by A12 Bionic chip, which is also present in the company’s iPhone XS ? 98,199 and iPhone XS Max ? 108,424 smartphones. For imaging, the company has included an 8-megapixel f/2.4 rear camera on the tablet with five-elements lens, but there is no flash. There is a 7-megapixel front shooter as well on the device with Retina flash support.
On the connectivity front, the iPad Air packs Wi-Fi 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 5.0, and optional LTE support. Face ID is not present, but the company has include Touch ID support.
On the other hand, new iPad mini includes a 7.9-inch LED-backlit Retina display with 1536×2048 pixels resolution. Rest of the specifications of the device seem to identical to the iPad Air.
Apple claims that iPad Air (2019) delivers a 70 percent boost in the performance and twice in graphics capabilities when compared to the iPad (2018).
Apple iPad mini (2019) is powered by A12 Bionic SoC
The company says the Apple Pencil (First Generation, which is compatible with the original iPad Pro models and the iPad 2018) will be sold separately for $99 (Rs. 8,500 in India). The Smart Keyboard for the iPad Air will be offered at $159 (Rs. 13,900 in India). Additionally, Apple will also sell Polyurethane Smart Covers for both iPad Air and iPad mini, which will retail at $39 (Rs. 3500 in India) for iPad mini and at $49 (Rs. 3700 in India) for iPad Air in charcoal grey, white, pink sand and a new papaya, with additional Leather Smart Covers available for iPad Air in black, saddle brown, midnight blue, and red at $69.
Pune-based firm developing software to operate world’s largest ground telescope in Hawaii
A Pune-based IT firm is developing software for the world’s largest ground-based telescope, the Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT), which is likely to come up on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
The telescope is being constructed jointly by India, US, China, Japan and Canada and is likely to become operational in the mid-2020s. India is building the telescope’s complex optical structure, called the Segment Support Assembly (SSA), which will comprise 492 hexagonal mirror segments, collectively forming the primary mirror.
An eight-member team at the IT firm, ThoughtWorks, is designing three different software — Common Software Services (CSS), Data Management Services(DMS) and Executive Software (ES) — to deal with the control systems to manoeuvre the telescope and manage the big data that will be generated once it becomes operational.
Santosh Mahale, one of the co-heads of ThoughtWorks’ Engineering for Research (E4R) initiative, told The Indian Express, “While the telescope is set for commissioning in a few years, the challenge is in developing software that will remain relevant in the future, too. We are focusing on designing software that will have automatic documentation and coding systems.”
The Big Island of Hawaii is shaken by a powerful tremor, a day after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano.
According to Gunjan Shukla, co-head for the E4R initiative, the IT industry in India is ready to take on such mega projects.
“Indian companies have grown and matured. Companies here are at par with their global counterparts in designing and innovating top-class software and hardware,” said Shukla, who has been in the industry for two-and-a-half decades.
The team is also working on a project in the field of radioastronomy.
Recently, they signed up to develop software meant for data analysis of MeerKAT, a radio telescope that will come up in South Africa. This telescope will be a precursor version of the world’s largest proposed radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which is coming up in South Africa and Australia.
Mahale, however, dismissed the idea that ThoughtWorks was more keen on astronomy-related projects, saying it was “purely coincidental”.
While the company is expected to hand over all its software for TMT by 2021, the team has nearly completed developing CSS, the design for DMS is ready and work on ES will commence this year.
?I Am Proud Of Sara Ali Khan says Sharmila Tago
Actress Sharmila Tagore graced the Hello Hall Of Fame Awards 2019 here in Mumbai. During her media interaction the veteran actress praised her granddaughter Sara Ali Khan for polite, humble and savvy. Sharmila Tagore was honoured with a lifetime achievement award. The veteran actress is wearing a simple floral mint green sari and a pink satin blouse paired with diamond jewellery that compliments the entire look perfectly. Talking about her kids and grandkids taking her legacy forward, Sharmila said, “I am very happy and thank god for it, and it makes a really very happy.
I am so impressed with Sara Ali Khan and all her interviews, more than her films; of course, she is a wonderful actress, but her interviews show how humble, polite and savvy, she is and I am very proud of her” Sharmila Tagore was one the most leading and sought after actress in her time, she was noted for her ground-breaking roles and stellar performance.
When asked about having a biopic made after her life, she said, “When the time comes, I am sure people will make a film on me, they are hardcore business people and they know what sells and what doesn’t, so the person with money matters a lot, so when they think that our story is important and the audience would like it, then they will make it”When asked about Sara Ali Khan playing her on-screen, Sharmila added,
“She very much looks like her mother and wonderful actress like her mother, so yes, why not” Further adding Sharmila said anyone from industry can play her role, she said, “I have no idea, today we have such brilliant actors, it is a wonderful time for the film industry, and we have beautiful female and male actors, so I think anybody can do the role”
Sharmila Tagore’s granddaughter Sara Ali Khan is the daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh. She made her debut with Kedarnath and later worked in Simmba, both the films did well at the box-office.
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