Juniper Networks and Telefónica collaborate over self-driving network

Juniper Networks and Telefónica are joining hands to develop the latter’s vision of a self-driving network.

The network will be the next iteration of Telefónica's Fusión Network – a platform built to drive digital transformation for its customers across Spain wherein Juniper will be a key partner. The project will help develop and implement new tools and processes in order to improve the quality of services, which are being offered to Telefónica customers.

The goal of the project is to evolve Telefónica's infrastructure into a self-analysing, self-discovering, self-configuring and, ultimately, self-correcting. This will allow detection and correction of network faults and anomalies way before services and the customer experience is impacted. Likewise, this approach will help to improve the rapid, reliable mitigation of cyberattacks. It is also likely to expedite the speed of business and result in lower operating costs alongside improvements in security, reliability and resilience.

Before making this a reality, Telefónica will test some of its tools which include Juniper Extension Toolkit for automation, Junos Telemetry Interface for analysis, and AI/Machine Learning, which will enable the network to suggest or even take actions appropriate to the demand and its state.

Additionally, a new study conducted by Thales has revealed security concerns UK consumers associate with connected devices, including cars. In the research, 1,000 consumers were surveyed across the US and the UK which showed that over half of Brits now own at least one internet-connected device, with wearable fitness trackers (24%), vehicles (18%) and smartwatches (16%) being the most common.

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Cyanogen switches gear from Android to self-driving cars

Cyanogen, once famous for Android ROMs, has switched gear and will now focus on the next big thing — self-driving cars.

If you’re tech-savvy (and you’re a reader of ours, so you obviously are…) then you’ve likely heard of Cyanogen. The company started its journey building custom Android ROMs for the many tinkerers on the Android platform.

A year ago, Cyanogen changed its name to Cyngn and discontinued building Android ROMs to focus on a “modular” OS which is easier for manufacturers to integrate (after all, the company has first-hand experience of what Android OEMs have to go through…)

Nothing ever seemed to come of the project, and it seems the company — like most of us — has come to concede that smartphones will remain dominated by iOS and Android. Like Microsoft, it seems that Cyngn is giving up on smartphone operating systems and looking to what’s next.

Axios found references and job listings on Cyngn’s website that point towards its new interest in developing self-driving technology. The job adverts reveal the company wants people able to create and run autonomous system software, as well as mapping and perception systems across facilities in Singapore and Palo Alto.

Unlike the smartphone market, there is no definitive leader in self-driving technology and it’s a ripe opportunity. Cyngn is certainly not alone, however, and will face some fierce competition from automotive titans and tech giants including Apple, Waymo, Comma.ai, NVIDIA, Drive.ai, and Nutonomy.

Nevertheless, we look forward to seeing what Cyngn can offer, and we’ll be sure to follow the company as they embark on their next journey. We’ll keep you updated.

What are your thoughts on the company’s move into self-driving technology? Let us know in the comments.

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NVIDIA to power smart cities and self-driving cars with latest updates

NVIDIA’s platform for building artificial intelligence-based smart cities ‘Metropolis’ has been adopted by Alibaba and Huawei, which now includes the NVIDIA DeepStream software development kit (SDK) in general availability.

Both the Chinese tech giants have joined more than 50 of the world’s leading organisations that are already using the platform.

Metropolis is an edge-to-cloud video platform that includes tools, technologies and support to build smarter, faster AI-powered applications for everything from traffic and parking management to law enforcement and city services.

As NVIDIA says, the company will take the advantage of more than one billion video cameras that will be installed in the cities by 2020, which will help solve multiple problems. The DeepStream SDK simplifies the development of scalable intelligent video analytics powered by deep learning for AI cities and hyperscale data centres. It can also be used by developers to process, understand and categorise video frames in real-time and meet the most demanding throughput and latency requirements.

The company is planning to bring in more of the world’s best AI firms with a new partner programme designed to expedite the development of new products on the Metropolis platform.

In addition, NVIDIA is also investing $ 52 million in a Chinese self-driving start-up JingChi, along with a group of investors led by Qiming Venutre.

JingChi uses NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 to develop its autonomous cars. The investment will allow the start-up to quickly scale up its R&D teams in Beijing and Sunnyvale, California, strengthen the deployment of a fully Level 4 autonomous driving test fleet in China by the end of 2017. The NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI platform is important for developing and deploying deep learning capabilities for the company, and other autonomous vehicle projects currently running across the world.

Jeff Herbst, NVIDIA’s vice president of Business Development, said: “AI is reshaping the transportation industry and startups in China and around the world are playing a big part in that. JingChi is making impressive progress on its vision for harnessing deep learning for autonomous driving and we’re dedicated to supporting their important work.”

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Trump administration continues hands-off approach to self-driving cars

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The Trump administration on Tuesday published the latest guidelines for self-driving cars, the first update since taking over from the Obama administration. The 36-page report, called Version 2.0 by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, continues the same hands-off approach to the emerging industry, with guidance being “entirely voluntary” with “no enforcement mechanism.”

Most of the questions raised in the guidance mimic what was found in the Obama report last year. These include questions on validation, cybersecurity, road tests, and hardware failures.

See Also: Who is responsible for autonomous car regulation?

The rather light report comes as a bill, called the SELF DRIVE Act, makes its way through the Senate. The House of Representatives has already passed the bill, which would transfer regulatory power to Congress and let thousands more self-driving cars test on public roads.

The report does make mention of state regulations, warning the states against setting up too many regulations. Most of the states that have a large self-driving presence have already partly legalized road tests or give major auto and tech companies a pass to test on roads.

A coalition of tech and auto companies, including Waymo, Uber, Ford, Volvo, and Lyft, praised the announcement in a statement:

“The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets is pleased to see the Trump Administration continuing the work to bring fully self-driving vehicles to U.S. roads. With more than 35,000 motor vehicle deaths in 2015, the potential safety benefits of fully self-driving technology are too important to delay.”

The report also said companies that integrate self-driving cars would receive preferential treatment in future infrastructure programs. President Trump has said there will be a $ 1 trillion infrastructure plan for the U.S., involving roads and bridges, but it has yet to be published.

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Drive.ai and Lyft partner to test self-driving cars in Bay Area

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Drive.ai and Lyft have announced a partnership to test self-driving cars in the San Francisco Bay Area. The trial will look into how Lyft can optimize the passenger experience, and expand Drive.ai’s technical capabilities with thousands of autonomous miles.

Lyft has made a few big self-driving announcements in the past few months, including a research partnership with nuTonomy and the launch of its own self-driving division.

See Also: Waymo could be a $ 70 billion business, says Morgan Stanley

“We’re committed to improving people’s lives with the world’s best transportation,” said Taggart Matthiesen, senior director of product of Lyft. “We’re thrilled to partner with Drive.ai to pilot self-driving cars in the Bay Area, and together help shape the future of transportation and ultimately the future of our communities.”

Drive.ai is looking to “develop a roadmap for broader commercialization” during the trial. The startup is currently building a retrofit kit, making the deployment of a self-driving system much cheaper for automakers or taxi services.

Still someone in driver’s seat

Like all tests in California, an engineer will be inside the Drive.ai vehicle at all times, to take over when necessary.

“Self-driving cars have the potential to save lives, reshape cities, and dramatically benefit the environment. Pilot programs like this are vital to build awareness and familiarity with autonomous vehicle technology, and Drive.ai is committed to working with great businesses like Lyft in order to do so,” said Drive.ai CEO Sameep Tandon.

Lyft has seen its market share rise over the past few months in the U.S., as Uber struggles to move past a series of setbacks. The second largest ride-sharing company holds between 20 and 30 percent of the market, peaking at 40 percent in San Francisco, according to data from The Information.

That growth in market share may have pushed Lyft to become more focused on self-driving. Before 2017, it looked likely that Lyft would work exclusively with General Motors, at one point the two companies even discussed an acquisition.

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