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Aptiv takes its self-driving car ambitions (and tech) to China

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 in Aptiv, Automation, Automotive, automotive industry, boston, China, Co-founder, Delphi, Emerging-Technologies, Karl Iagnemma, Las Vegas, Lyft, manufacturing, NuTonomy, pittsburgh, president, Robotics, self driving cars, shanghai, Singapore, transport, Transportation, United States | 0 comments

Aptiv, the U.S. auto supplier and self-driving software company, is opening an autonomous mobility center in Shanghai to focus on the development and eventual deployment of its technology on public roads.

The expansion marks the fifth market where Aptiv has set up R&D, testing or operational facilities. Aptiv has autonomous driving operations in Boston, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and Singapore. But China is perhaps its most ambitious endeavor yet.

Aptiv has never had any AV operations in China, but it does have a long history in the country including manufacturing and engineering facilities. The company, in its earlier forms as Delphi and Delco has been in China since 1993 — experience that will be invaluable as it tries to bring its autonomous vehicle efforts into a new market, Aptiv Autonomous Mobility President Karl Iagnemma told TechCrunch in a recent interview.

“The long-term opportunity in China is off the charts,” Iagnemma said, noting a recent McKinsey study that claims the country will host two-thirds of the world’s autonomous driven miles by 2040 and be trillion-dollar mobility service opportunity.

“For Aptiv, it’s always been a question of not ‘if’, but when we’re going to enter the Chinese market,” he added.

Aptiv will have self-driving cars testing on public roads by the second half of 2019.

“Our experience in other markets has shown that in this industry, you learn by doing,” Iagnemma explained.

And it’s remark that Iagnemma can stand by. Iagnemma is the co-founder of self-driving car startup nuTonomy, one of the first to launch a robotaxi service in 2016 in Singapore that the public—along with human safety drivers — could use.

NuTonomy was acquired by Delphi in 2017 for $450 million. NuTonomy became part of Aptiv after its spinoff from Delphi was complete.

Aptiv is also in discussions with potential partners for mapping and commercial deployment of Aptiv’s vehicles in China.

Some of those partnerships will likely mimic the types of relationships Aptiv has created here in the U.S., notably with Lyft . Aptiv’s self-driving vehicles operate on Lyft’s ride-hailing platform in Las Vegas and have provided more than 40,000 paid autonomous rides in Las Vegas via the Lyft app.

Aptiv will also have to create new kinds of partnerships unlike those it has in the U.S. due to restrictions and rules in China around data collection, intellectual property and creating high resolution map data.

Source: The Tech Crunch

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Audi’s new V2I feature helps drivers hit every green light

Posted by on Feb 19, 2019 in Audi, Automotive, Cars, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, traffic, traffic light, transport, Transportation, Volkswagen Group | 0 comments

Audi has added a new feature to the vehicle-to-infrastructure technology embedded in its newer models that’s designed to help drivers catch every green light.

The tech, called GLOSA, or Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory, is part of the automaker’s built-in traffic light-reading technology. And Audi says it’s the first automaker to include this GLOSA feature in its cars.

It all began in 2016 when Audi launched Traffic Light Information, a system that enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in certain cities and metropolitan areas across the United States. 

It was rather limited at the time, but in principle, the car would receive information from the sensor on a traffic light (via a 4G LTE hot spot) and be able to tell the driver how long before it turned from red to green. 

GLOSA builds on this by advising drivers what speed they should drive to catch a green light. The system is able to do this by combining traffic signal information and the current position of a vehicle, as well as other important data such as the distance to stop, the area’s speed limit and signal timing plans.

It then displays a speed recommendation intended to help drivers pass traffic lights on green. The end goal is to slash the number of stops at red lights and, in turn, the amount of time stuck in traffic. This helps reduce emissions and boosts fuel savings. For the average American driver, nearly 300 hours a year are spent behind the wheel, according to AAA.

Today, there are more than 4,700 intersections that support the “time to green” feature as well as this GLOSA function in 13 metro areas that include Dallas, Denver, Gainesville, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia.

The feature is still somewhat limited, despite the expansion to more cities. Traffic Light Information is an Audi connect PRIME feature (a paid subscription) that is only available on select 2017, 2018 and newer models.

Audi says it intends to roll out more V2I-capable features in the future and could include integration with the vehicle’s start/stop function — which would reduce emissions — optimized navigation routing and other predictive services.

Source: The Tech Crunch

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Mass shooting at Madden Championship Series event in Florida leaves several dead

Posted by on Aug 26, 2018 in Electronic Arts, Florida, Las Vegas, madden nfl, player, steven, TC, twitch | 0 comments

At least eleven people have been shot and four people were killed in a mass shooting attack at a livestream event debuting the new “Madden NFL 19” game at an arcade in Jacksonville, Fla., according to local news reports.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s office confirmed on Twitter that one suspect was dead at the scene and the police were still investigating.

“We just finished clearing The Landing of potential witnesses and victims there,” said Sheriff Mike Williams in a statement broadcast on Facebook Live. “We have no outstanding suspects,” Williams said. “We have one suspect in this case. He is deceased at the scene.”

According to a report in The Los Angeles Timesthe shooter was a player who had lost during the competition and then shot other attendees at the event before killing himself.

The event was live-streamed on Twitch and there are multiple audio streams that broadcast the sounds of the shooting live.

Multiple participants in the event took to Twitter to describe the scene.

The sheriff’s office confirmed via tweet that there witnesses to the shooting were hiding in locked areas in the shopping area where the event — and shooting — occurred.

“This is a horrible situation and our deepest sympathies go out to all involved,” said Electronic Arts in a statement about the shooting.

In a direct message to The Los Angeles Times, one witness, Steven “Steveyj” Javaruski, said that the gunman had targeted “a few” people  and shot at least five before shooting himself.

The event was a Madden tournament with about 250 people in attendance. It was intended to be a competition that would select attendees for a final tournament in Las Vegas.

This story will be updated with additional information

Source: The Tech Crunch

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TrustToken opens its dollar-backed cryptocurrency to accredited investors

Posted by on Jul 9, 2018 in Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency, economy, financial services, ggv capital, jump capital, Las Vegas, money, Real Estate, TC, TrustToken | 2 comments

Pitching a dollar-pegged token that offers cryptocurrency speculators a way to move their investments across volatile exchanges, TrustToken (the first public investment from a16z crypto) is now looking for public investments from accredited investors on CoinList.

The company’s first token is TrueUSD, a stablecoin that is redeemable one-to-one for U.S. dollars. In its first four months of trading, the speculative investors that are looking for some sort of island of security have boosted the coin’s market price to more than $85 million.

There’s a $61 million hard cap on the token allocated over three tranches at $0.12, $0.14 and $0.16 per trust token.

Other investors in TrustToken’s initial $20 million pre-sale include BlockTower Capital, Danhua Capital, GGV Capital, Jump Capital and other undisclosed investors.

As it expands its investor base to include accredited investors, the TrueUSD currency is also expanding its reach, with an agreement between the company and HitBTC to list the stablecoin as a quote currency. The TrueUSD coin can be used as a stalking horse to secure investments in Ethereum, Bitcoin, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Monero, 0x and NEO, according to a statement from the company.

Every TrueUSD token is redeemable one-for-one with U.S. dollars, which the company’s founders think should open the door for more institutional investment (or speculation depending on your point of view) into the market.

Using TrueUSD’s system, dollars are held in the escrow accounts of multiple trust companies rather than in a bank account. Those accounts are verified by an independent third party that issues monthly reports on the amount of dollars held in collateral.

A buyer of TrueUSD needs to pass a know your customer and AML check and then can send dollars to one of TrueUSD’s trust company partners. Once that transaction is verified, the TrueUSD smart contract issues tokens on a one-to-one ratio before sending the tokens to a buyer. The company uses Prime Trust, a Las Vegas-based company for its financial services.

Once tokens are delivered to a wallet, those tokens can be transferred or used as payment to buy other cryptocurrencies.

“The users of this space are really the traders,” says TrustToken co-founder and chief executive Danny An. “They want a native crypto asset that’s stable. They want to be able to hedge against volatility.”

An said the company does have a broader vision than just helping traders secure speculative assets so they can come up with even more arcane financial instruments. “For the entire crypto-economy to work, a lot of people believe that a stablecoin or multiple stablecoins need to be created,” An said.

TrustToken makes money whenever its coins are minted or burned, An says. “Whenever USD is involved we take a small cut,” which is 10 basis points per transaction, he said.

Ultimately, TrustToken (like other alt-coins) wants to tokenize all real-world assets. And one of the most attractive markets for An and his co-founders is real estate. “There is $200 trillion dollars of real estate that is offline,” said An. Tokenizing those assets would create more wealth in the world overall, he said. “Assets that are not liquid are not as valuable as assets that are liquid,” An said.

It’s a far cry from the work that An and his co-founders Rafael Cosman and Stephen Kade were doing at Kernel — a company that was developing technologies to create neural interfaces between humans and machines.

“The problem with Kernel or Google Brain [where the team also spent time] was that the timelines were very long,” An said. 

Source: The Tech Crunch

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