Supply Chain


First self-driving train launches on London Thameslink route

The Guardian - Business

Passengers have been carried across London by the first self-driving train on a mainline railway in the UK. Govia Thameslink Railway promised that it would not spell the beginning of the end for drivers, who remain responsible for safety and can take control of the train at any time. Automated operation using a new digital signalling system will allow many more trains to pass through the congested tracks between St Pancras and Blackfriars in central London, giving space for an additional 60,000 passengers to commute at peak hours daily. After almost 18 months of testing, the first commuter train in automatic operation was Monday's 9.46am Thameslink service from Peterborough to Horsham. Shortly after 11.08am, the driver, Howard Weir, pressed the yellow button in the cab that allowed the train's computer to do the driving between St Pancras and Blackfriars.


Siri, Alexa and That Google Gal Will Get You Only So Far

NYT > Technology

Mike Chen was working on a health care start-up, he and his colleagues had one of those light bulb moments regarding digital assistance. "There should be something where you can just text it, and it just, like, does it for you," he said. Three years later, his remote personal-assistant company, Magic, has employees in the United States and the Philippines. Its promise is bold: to do "anything" for customers who send requests over text or email, Mr. Chen said, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Fin, another new virtual personal-assistant company, is the brainchild of Sam Lessin and Andrew Kortina, a founder of the popular mobile payment service Venmo.



Drone Company Wants to Launch at Casselton Airport

US News and World Report US and World News

Elbit wants to lease hanger space for the large drone it flies, and install equipment it needs to fly it. The FAA requires a chase plane to provide visual supervision when the drone flies. Lease costs are still being negotiated.


IBM Launches Watson Assistant To Help Developers Build Conversational User Experiences

Forbes Europe

At the THINK 2018 conference, IBM announced Watson Assistant, a new addition to its cognitive computing platform. This service enables developers to build digital assistants that can interact through conversational user experience. Watson Assistant is not entirely new to developers familiar with IBM Cloud. It's an enhancement to an existing service called Conversation. In its improved version, the API supports newer conversational flow combined with natural language understanding.


Uber Suspends Self-Driving Tests After Pedestrian Is Killed In Arizona

NPR Technology

Uber on Monday suspended its self-driving tests after a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber in Tempe, Ariz. Uber on Monday suspended its self-driving tests after a pedestrian was killed by an autonomous Uber in Tempe, Ariz. A self-driving car operated by Uber struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday night. The incident could be the first pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle. The car was in autonomous mode but had a human riding along to take control of the vehicle if necessary, according to the Tempe Police Department.


Ford, Once a Leader in the S.U.V. Race, Aims to Catch Up

NYT > Business Day

Earlier this decade, as the economy and auto sales rebounded, Ford executives were quick to note consumers' waning preference for midsize cars and growing attraction to S.U.V.s and lighter, more fuel-efficient versions called crossovers. But Ford was slow to introduce new variations and redesign existing models, while General Motors and Fiat Chrysler's Jeep brand zoomed ahead. The push toward S.U.V.s signals a shift in emphasis for Ford. Before Mr. Hackett's arrival last May, the company had focused much of its long-term strategy on self-driving cars, and had vowed to have a car with no steering wheel in mass-production by 2021. Ford is pressing on with self-driving vehicles, but executives barely mentioned them as part of the new vehicle strategy they presented on Thursday.


NVIDIAVoice: A Crash Course in Deep Learning

Forbes Europe

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is solving problems that seemed well beyond our reach just a few years back. Using deep learning, the fastest growing segment of AI, computers are now able to learn and recognize patterns from data that were considered too complex for expert written software. Today, deep learning is transforming every industry, including automotive, healthcare, retail and financial services. Enterprises, and their leaders, looking to get started should first get familiar with the fundamentals of deep learning, and as well as understand the current challenges and how to address them. This crash course provides a starting point, as well as practical guidance on next steps.


Russia calls poisoning accusations by Britain 'nonsense'

Los Angeles Times

British Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia's involvement is "highly likely," and she gave the country a deadline of midnight Tuesday to explain its actions in the case. She is reviewing a range of economic and diplomatic measures in retaliation for the assault with what she identified as the military-grade nerve agent Novichok.


Three Ways AI Can Help Build Customer Relationships

Forbes Europe

Instead of simply prompting "dial one to speak with a sales associate," a chatbot can direct potential customers and extract details in less time and with greater insight, all while allowing the user to communicate naturally, on their own terms. Working alongside human employees, conversational chatbots can serve as front-line engagement tools that help drive customer interactions and funnel prospects to the appropriate channel where a human resource can truly add value.