Lyft partners with Google's Waymo to launch self-driving cars and challenge Uber

The Independent - Tech

US ride services company Lyft and Google parent Alphabet's self-driving car unit Waymo have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber. Lyft, the No. 2 US ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving car service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places". Neither offered many details of the agreement, which was reported earlier by The New York Times. The car industry and technology companies are racing to develop self-driving technology, which they expect in a number of years will transform transportation, cutting costs of ride services and changing the way people buy and use cars. Uber is the biggest US ride service by volume and has been developing self-driving technology, which it sees as a key to its future, as it expands its ride service with human drivers.

Southern rail dispute reflects workers' growing fears about rise of automation

The Guardian

Trains with a guard become driver-only trains, which then become driverless trains. That's the fear underlying Aslef's dispute with Southern railways and accounts for the rearguard action to prevent further job losses across the rail industry. There is also scorn for Southern's management, which has attacked drivers' basic terms and conditions, and there is anger at transport secretary Chris Grayling's anti-union stance. But, at its heart, the dispute is over the status and even the very existence of the job of train driver, which has been around for nigh on 200 years. Like most people, train drivers will have read the screaming headlines warning of a robot revolution that spells the end for millions of jobs.

Seafaring drones are navigating Norway's fjords


Established as a partnership between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Center for Autonomous Marine Operations (NTNU AMOS) and the Norwegian government, the site includes part of Trondheim Harbor and has already been used to test everything from navigation and collision avoidance systems to operational safety and risk management projects. The technologies developed in Trondheim are expected to revolutionize the shipping industry as human crews are no longer needed to literally man the ship. "As far as we know, there are no such test sites of this kind in the world so the Norwegian Coastal Authorities are taking the lead in a changing maritime world," Kongsberg Seatex President Gard Ueland said when the site opened. "We will also see technology that has the potential to enable fully autonomous cargo vessels. Much of this will come from Trondheim, thanks to the unmatched maritime expertise here and our autonomous vehicles test bed."

Cloud computing: Now as vital as power, transport and fresh water?


An introduction to cloud computing from IaaS and PaaS to hybrid, public and private cloud. Cloud computing, search engines, and the services that underpin the internet are to be considered to be part of the UK's vital infrastructure, alongside clean water and power, under new rules aimed at boosting cybersecurity. Under the European Union's Network and Information Systems (NIS) directive, businesses that provide essential services will have to make sure their security is good enough to protect their network and information systems from attack, as well as having to notify the relevant authorities of serious incidents. The regulations apply to critical national infrastructure -- those basic services without which society will gradually grind to a halt. These include healthcare, airlines, airports and air traffic control, ports, local and national rail networks, and road transport authorities.

Is Facebook Building An Autonomous Car?


Today at the Frankfurt motor show, one of the biggest and most prestigious motor shows in the world, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, spoke before German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Now what is Facebook and most importantly, Sheryl Sandberg doing at an automotive industry event? The obvious answer that comes to mind when one relates Facebook and the car industry is the billions of advertising dollars the industry spends on marketing and advertising. However, that does not seem to be Facebook's game plan, as highlighted by Sheryl and shown at their pavilion. Facebook seems to have a strategy of leveraging its capabilities in social marketing, AR & VR and interestingly, who would have thought of it, leveraging its advanced AI and deep learning capabilities to support the development of autonomous vehicles.