Australia sets regulations for driverless vehicle systems

Road traffic authorities in Australia have received the regulations they must comply with to roll out intelligent transport systems (ITS)

ITS support driverless vehicles by enabling vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-person, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. Today’s regulations mark a key milestone towards mass rollout of driverless vehicles in Australia.

"ITS are expected to make roads smarter, safer, and cleaner through the use of communications technologies," says ACMA acting chair James Cameron. "The new Class Licence will facilitate the rollout of the latest transportation communications technology, putting Australia on par with other nations adopting ITS."

The 5.9GHz band has been made available for ITS usage in Australia as part of the Radiocommunications (Intelligent Transport Systems) Class Licence 2017 regulations.

An ITS station can be operated by a party with a Class License on the condition that it’s operated on a frequency, or within a range of frequencies, greater than 5855 MHz and not greater than 5925 MHz.

The power output must not exceed a maximum EIRP of 23 dBm/MHz and it cannot be operated within 70kms of the Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory. The station must also comply with ETSI Standard EN 302 571.

A key goal of the new regulations is to bring Australia in line with other major vehicle markets such as the United States and European Union. This regulatory alignment will aid with research and development, and the eventual rollout of driverless vehicles.

"Harmonising Australia's ITS arrangements with wider global developments means Australian motorists are more likely to enjoy the benefits of connected vehicles as they become available," ACMA said in a statement.

What are your thoughts on Australia’s new driverless vehicle regulations? Let us know in the comments.

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Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing

Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing

Huawei special interest group will research potential for next-generation connectivity applications on the factory floor. 

Telecoms equipment giant Huawei, alongside several industry partners, has set up a Wireless Connected Factory Special Interest Group (SIG) to conduct research and promote applications of 5G communication technologies in industrial IoT (IIoT).

The members of the group include ABB, Efort, Bosch, Beckhoff, Hikrobot, Geely, KUKA, and Shenyang Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Sciences. The first SIG group meeting has been held, with guidance provided by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

According to Huawei, flexible manufacturing based on smart machines will help redefine future production lines, with next-generation machines featuring plug-and-play technology. These are growing increasingly flexible in terms of their range of functions and can be adjusted to suit different types of production.

Such machines need dynamic, high-performance communications networks, the company says, and wireless technologies can help to reduce network construction and maintenance costs, while also boosting the productivity and safety of workers.

Read more: IIoT adoption increases, but projects still early-stage, says Bsquare

5G’s potential in manufacturing

The manufacturing industry holds significant potential for IoT applications. According to analysis conducted by Huawei Wireless X Labs, connections in this sector worldwide will reach 12.5 billion by 2020, with factory networks accounting for $ 50 billion of the potential market.

At the start of 2017, X Labs targeted wireless robotics as one of its main focuses in its research into wireless use cases. Since then, X Labs and its partners have decided upon the Wireless Connected Factory SIG’s four research priorities: cloud-based programmable logic controllers (PLC); wireless industrial cameras; wireless controlled automated guided vehicles (AGV); and industrial wearables.

“Huawei hopes that SIGs such as those set up by X Labs can discover and inspire many more 5G use cases and promote 5G technologies’ application in future smart manufacturing,” said Ying Weimin, president of Huawei Wireless R&D. “Such efforts will contribute to the rise of connected factories. Huawei will work diligently alongside its partners to stimulate further growth and innovation.”

Read more: Huawei IoT strategy fuses platform, connections, ecosystem

The post Huawei sets up Connected Factory group to push 5G in manufacturing appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

What Sets Breakthrough Strategies Apart

Strategy advice has taken a rather negative tone of late. Consultants and scholars alike seem obsessed with eradicating bias and error in human judgment and decision-making. A virtual cottage industry has emerged to offer advice how to do that, often pushing managers to replace flawed human judgment with big data analytics and various computational tools. Given this abysmal view of human judgment, it’s no wonder that some authors have suggested that algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) should play a greater role in strategic decisions.

No doubt bias and error are important concerns in strategic decision-making. Yet it seems quite a stretch to suggest that the original strategies developed by people like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Starbucks’ Howard Schultz, or even Walmart’s Sam Walton had much to do with error-free calculations based on big data. Their strategies, like most breakthrough strategies, emerged in settings with remarkably little data to process and little basis for calculation — situations in which the paths to value creation were highly uncertain and evidence was sparse. We are highly skeptical that debiasing decision-making, eradicating errors, or ceding strategy to AI will improve strategizing, let alone lead to breakthrough strategies.

What Do You See?

Composing valuable strategies requires seeing the world in new and unique ways. It requires asking novel questions that prompt fresh insight. Even the most sophisticated, deep-learning-enhanced computers or algorithms simply cannot generate such an outlook.

But where does the uniqueness and novelty so essential to innovative strategic thinking come from? It comes from contrarian, perhaps even “distorted,” perceptions and beliefs about reality and the “facts” that surround us. We think that venture capitalist and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel gets it roughly right when he asks prospective entrepreneurs to tell him something they believe is true that nobody agrees with them about. If everyone believes the same thing — or if everyone uses the same variables, information, and computational tools — the logical result is computational consistency, shared conclusions, and me-too strategies. Thus, while renowned behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman and his coauthors Andrew M. Rosenfield, Linnea Gandhi, and Tom Blaser argued in a 2016 Harvard Business Review article that it is problematic that professionals “often make decisions that deviate significantly from those of their peers,” it is this seeming pathology that provides the underlying raw material — the essential ingredient — for valuable strategies. In setting strategy, deviation in judgment is a feature, not a bug.

Examples abound. In the mid-1970s, computers were used for large-scale industrial and office applications. A mass-market personal computer was a reality few envisioned to be feasible, and any number of facts, surveys, expert opinions, and data could corroborate that conclusion. Yet despite the evidence and widespread agreement, Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, somehow believed otherwise. Similar narratives could be told about Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines or Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. All three entrepreneurs ignored current evidence to pursue a future reality that only they and perhaps a handful of others envisioned.

It is tempting to believe that the right evidence and the right analysis will yield the right strategy. But just as customer surveys seldom lead to breakthrough products that capture the imagination of customers and markets, substantive strategy-making requires that we see well beyond the available data. As Polaroid Corp. founder Edwin H. Land once noted, “every significant invention … must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it.” The story is no different for managers seeking to advance valuable new functional strategies — supply chain solutions, product development ideas, or marketing strategies. Paths to substantive value creation emerge from those capable of envisioning a reality that others simply can’t imagine.

We view the strategist’s task as akin to an inkblot test, where participants are presented with highly ambiguous evidence and signals that afford many possible realities, but offer no single correct answer. With such tests, the very same evidence — an ambiguous picture or set of marks — can be interpreted correctly in many different ways. Indeed, Jobs and the rest of the nascent computer industry all had the same data. But in the words of an old Apple slogan, Jobs did indeed see and “think different.” Valuable strategizing demands this novel perception — an ability to see in ambiguous cues and data what others can’t see. Strategic thinking is fueled by the novelty of our observation, not its consistency. The object of strategic thinking is not to ensure that we all observe the same information and derive the same conclusion. It is precisely the opposite: If your desire is to be a value creator, you must aspire to see what others cannot.

Strategy as Theory

This is not to say that we believe strategic thinking sits outside the realm of logic, science, and experimentation. Quite the contrary: We argue that strategic thinkers engage in an exercise that parallels that of scientists. Like scientists, they start with a significant problem to solve, and then use this problem as a prompt to compose a theory — in this case a theory of value creation. This theory then becomes their unique perspective and point of view about the opportunity they see.

One role of a theory is to shape sight and perception, to enable seeing — often from simple observations — what was previously unnoticed. As Albert Einstein observed, “whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use.” Through a novel business theory, you see value in choices, in combinations, and in purchases that others cannot. And most importantly, like theories in science, your theory of value should lead to hypotheses and experiments that help realize opportunities unseen by others.

Of course, whether you are an entrepreneur, a corporate strategist, or a mid-level manager, generating the value you envision typically demands convincing others of the merits of your theory. Convincing others to believe in your envisioned reality over theirs is no small task. In 2009, the founders of Airbnb Inc. pitched their now-famous idea to the venture capitalist Fred Wilson and his firm Union Square Ventures, known for its prescient investments in entrepreneurial growth companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Kickstarter. Airbnb needed an infusion of cash, but Wilson and his partners were tremendously skeptical — and with good reason. After all, why would anyone want to stay with strangers while traveling? Why would individuals agree to rent their homes to complete strangers? And how on earth would a small startup — without any experience in the industry — take on large established players and brands in the sophisticated hotel market? Given these concerns, Wilson’s company passed on the investment opportunity. The rest, of course, is history. In 2017, Airbnb claimed more than three million listings in 65,000 cities in 191 countries.

Only with hindsight is it easy to see the value in Airbnb. After all, Wilson’s company’s decision was entirely consistent with the facts at the time. But selling a theory like Airbnb’s takes more than selling facts. It is instead about selling assumptions and logic — convincing those whose resources you need that your assumptions and logic are reasonable and compelling. It is about selling a series of if-then statements. For the Airbnb founders, those entailed convincing investors that if they could solve a number of key problems — including secure payment, efficient matching of those seeking accommodations with those renting homes, and development of a mechanism to generate reputation and trust between the two parties — then the business would thrive. Of course, Airbnb could point to eBay Inc. and Amazon as examples of partial solutions to the trust problem. But fundamentally, the path to gaining others’ support and resources depended on selling their theory through a compelling logical narrative.

Keep in mind that the most valuable theories often face the greatest resistance. In both the world of science and the world of entrepreneurship, stories abound of persistent scientists or entrepreneurs facing consistent rejection — until one day they don’t. Novel theories are consistently resisted. And you too will likely face similar resistance in selling your novel theories. But clarity of assumptions, persuasive logic, and persistence are key to breaking through this resistance.

Testing Theories

Of course, the ultimate test of any theory of value rests on whether the strategic experiments you undertake generate the value anticipated; but fortunately, successful theories do tend to share some common features.

First, valuable theories are novel. As discussed above, they are built around novel beliefs and often try to solve previously unrecognized problems. Think of Uber, Apple, Airbnb, eBay, Amazon, or Walmart. At their origin is some form of contrarian or divergent thinking.

Second, valuable theories are simple and clear. They indicate clearly what problems to solve and experiments to run. They also make it easier to spot solutions others have overlooked. Consider the famous 1979 visit of Steve Jobs to the Xerox PARC research center, where he observed many of the central technologies that today shape personal computers: the graphical user interface, bitmapped graphics, and networking technology. Jobs’ theory of value in personal computers focused on generating seamless and intuitive interactions between a user and a computer. Thus, when he walked into Xerox PARC and found technologies that were languishing there, he instantly recognized that they could solve problems framed by his theory. He later recalled one of the technologies he saw that day as the “best thing I’d ever seen in my life.”

Third, particularly valuable theories have broad and general application. They solve not one but a host of problems, and then continue to identify problems to solve. This happened with Apple. Jobs’ theory of seamless interaction between a user and a device has continued to direct Apple’s value-creating efforts, leading to a remarkable succession of devices that have included computers, music players, phones, tablets, and watches. Something similar also happened with The Walt Disney Co. In the 1920s and 1930s, Walt Disney began creating fantasy worlds and fantasy characters through animated film; then, once opportunities for licensing those characters started to emerge, Disney developed a broader theory of value, recognizing that these characters could be replicated and resold in other entertainment businesses, including books, music, character licensing, and later theme parks, hotels, and television. This theory has continued to fuel Disney’s strategic experiments for decades, prompting moves into retail stores, cruise ships, and Broadway shows. More recently, it prompted Disney to purchase Marvel Entertainment LLC and Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC and expand its content into superheroes and science fiction characters.

Getting Strategy Right

The human capacity for calculation is admittedly flawed and error-prone. Strategic decision-makers should do their best to avoid succumbing to any number of biases, including overconfidence, confirmation, and anchoring biases. But the cumulative negative effects of these biases pale in comparison to the capacity for enhanced strategic decision-making that can be provided by a well-crafted theory. Humans in general are endowed with a remarkable capacity to compose theories that facilitate novel perception, experimentation, and value creation. We believe strategic leaders should focus their efforts on positing theories, testing their underlying logic and assumptions, and crafting strategic actions and experiments. It is those activities — rather than computation or the avoidance of biases and errors — that lead to true breakthroughs.


MIT Sloan Management Review

The Silicon Valley Caravan: What Sets the Tech Upstarts Apart?

Recently, I had the good fortune to participate in a tour of San Francisco Bay Area technology companies, led by my colleague and coauthor on this piece, John Gallaugher, who over the past decade has run 25 such events. Our group visited a total of 24 companies, ranging from large, established technology giants to late- and mid-stage startups to various venture capital and finance companies.

Many executives experience similar types of company-sponsored learning experiences, and I had taken part in the same program four years ago. This return visit, however, showed me a perspective I didn’t see during that earlier visit. It was clear just how much things keep changing in Silicon Valley, particularly when compared to the rate of change at most established companies. If you visited most traditional businesses four years ago, they would likely be fairly recognizable when you returned today. In contrast, the Silicon Valley environment is noticeably different. This relative pace of change between West Coast tech companies and more traditional ones suggests a potentially ever-widening gap between digitally driven companies and the rest.

What’s different?

One notable shift was in the maturation and expansion of the current digital giants. In 2013, Facebook’s dominance was open to question — profits were down, its stock had spent a year below IPO price, and mobile revenue was nearly nonexistent. Today, Facebook’s revenues are up over 500%, with the bulk of them coming from mobile. The “move fast and break things” company has matured to “move fast with stable infrastructure.” And Google isn’t even “Google” anymore — it’s Alphabet, a company with a fast-growing cloud business, moonshot innovation from self-driving cars to life science, and a company-defining focus shift that pins its future to leadership in AI and machine learning.

Smaller companies were also notably different. Many have adapted their business model significantly as the technological environment evolves. For example, mobile payments company Square Inc. has moved beyond credit card processing to provide an entire suite of small business tools . Likewise, WePay Inc. has shifted from a group payments model to a B2B, marketplace-focused model that helps platforms such as GoFundMe and Care.com process payments. Even companies that I’d written off as dead, such as gaming company Zynga Inc., are adopting a more disciplined and sustainable business model. This pivot led Zynga’s stock to rebound 50% in the past year.

What’s the same?

Other things, however, remained the same — specifically, the focus on the four core business elements of culture, structure, talent, and mindset. Certainly, both digital and non-digital companies focus on these aspects of business, but Silicon Valley companies appear more likely to point toward these factors as an important source of advantage. There was considerable variation in exactly how these aspects played out at each company, but it was these four non-digital aspects of the business that many digital companies highlighted as critical to their success.

Culture

Nearly all companies touted their culture as a key driver of the company’s mission. These cultures were often wildly divergent from one another — whether it be the gamers of Zynga, the sports fans of Fanatics.com, or the design culture of Airbnb — but each had a very clear identity, and most companies pointed toward this identity as an important part of accomplishing their mission. Specific aspects of the culture did not seem as important as its intentional development and central role.

Structure

A surprising number of companies also emphasized the importance of an organizational structure that is strategically aligned to their goals, even though, again, those structures often vary widely. Whether it was an emphasis on flat, decentralized teams at the secretive Palantir Technologies Inc., the trust cultivated through transparency at Facebook, or the unity provided by a single company-wide profit and loss statement at Apple, organizational structure was often identified as an important part of the company’s competitive advantage.

Talent

All of the companies we visited were relentlessly seeking new talent. While tech talent is certainly in demand, companies are also looking for workers who are simply engaged and eager to learn. Yet, even the best and most desirable companies in the world must take active steps to compete for the best employees. We’ve witnessed a migration of that talent away from Silicon Valley toward San Francisco over the past few years. In response, many companies moved to or established outposts in San Francisco, and most big Silicon Valley organizations now run Wi-Fi-enabled shuttles to bring talent from the city to their campuses.

Mindset

Perhaps the greatest difference between traditional companies and those in Silicon Valley, however, is how they view the future. As we drove away from the Facebook campus on the final day of our trip, the back of the sign welcoming us sported the logo of Sun Microsystems Inc., the one-time tech giant that previously occupied this location. Facebook keeps this old logo in place as an intentional reminder to its employees of how quickly things can change. With few exceptions, the companies we saw were relentlessly focused on digital disruption — even if it meant digitally disrupting themselves.

While established companies are waiting for evidence they might be disrupted by digital trends, Silicon Valley upstarts assume this is happening even if they don’t see immediate evidence of it. They use current business success to drive further growth, either in the form of dedicated innovation time and space or venture investment arms in startups. It was this view of the inevitability of future change that most clearly demonstrated the distinctive factor of Silicon Valley. These companies are willing and able to reinterpret their core identity and mission in response to changes in the digital environment.

Traditional companies can also adopt this mindset. For example, General Electric Co. has launched GE Ventures Inc. to support promising startups that are aligned with the strategic objectives of the company, meant to scout advances and partnerships, by providing them access to funding and GE expertise. As incumbents seek to operate in an increasingly digital competitive environment, this change-oriented mindset might be the most critical factor.


MIT Sloan Management Review

Orange sets up Spanish smart home security subscriber service

Orange has partnered with Tyco to launch a smartphone-based ‘smart security’ service, exclusive to Orange customers in Spain.

This service connects a user’s home to Tyco’s Monitoring Centre, ensures 24-hour connection with the police and monitoring by a team having high expertise, and guarantees a response when the alarm is triggered.

The security equipment comprises of a central panel, a motion sensor, a PIR Cam and a keypad, and door/window sensors (which allow users to create scenarios to protect their home). The central panel provides secure wireless connection with the sensors. Users can receive images /videos via fixed network as well. They can also add an IP video Camera with HD quality and use a remote control instead of the keypad. Using this service, users can monitor, receive alerts, and press the SOS button to seek help from the Monitoring Centre, or alert the police keeping in mind the strict protocols involved. The camera enables users to watch live or record the happenings in his/her house on-demand or based on pre-defined scenarios.

The equipment is installed over specific high-security connectivity protocols and surpasses any hacking attempts owing to continuous remote monitoring performed over it to ensure its proper functioning. The availability and quality of the service remains intact surviving communication disturbances, jamming or power cuts. Privacy of users is also safeguarded.

The set up can be availed at €29,95 /month (VAT included); additional motion detectors can be added for €2,99 /month (VAT included). The one-time charge for professional installation and service activation is €99. 

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