Baidu Announces Largest Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service
Says Map Automation Rate is 96 Percent
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Baidu BIDU 0.00%↑ has announced that it plans to build the world’s largest autonomous ride-hailing service area in 2023. The company, which made the announcement at its Baidu Apollo Day autonomous driving event this week, says its high-precision map production now has reach a 96 percent automation rate.
This high Baidu Maps automation rate has raised eyebrows among industry experts as many mapping companies claim these types of levels—yet still employ thousands of map editors to keep humans in the loop.
In addition, the company said that it has integrated vehicle-side perception data and multi-source maps to generate online maps in real time. Baidu also announced that it has mapped more than 12 million kilometers of road networks in China, with accompanying data, to go with hundreds of millions of human drive-hours.
Since August 2022, Baidu says it has already rolled out fully driverless ride-hailing services in the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Wuhan. Its ride-hailing platform, Apollo Go, is available in 10 cities in China and has completed more than 474,000 rides, the company said.
“The generalization ability of Baidu's autonomous driving technology has progressed at a more advanced pace than expected. Now, the lead time to deploy autonomous driving technology in a new city is only 20 days,” said Jingkai Chen, Baidu's autonomous driving technology expert, in a statement.
AWS Announces New Device Location Feature
Amazon Web Services AMZN 0.00%↑ said its managed cloud service, AWS IoT Core, now features AWS IoT Core Device Location service that allows customers to track and manage IoT devices using their location data. As an example, the company said customers can now identify a IoT device’s location that needs maintenance.
Amazon contends that while GPS is the common standard to locate an IoT device, some battery- powered devices cannot be equipped with the satellite navigation system because of high-power consumption. Instead, cloud-assisted GNSS, Wi-Fi and cellular networks have become popular alternatives for IoT location data.
Such AWS partners include Semtech SMTC 0.00%↑, HERE Technologies and MaxMind who provide technology to the new AWS IoT Core Device Location service. These include cloud-assisted GNSS, Wi-Fi scan, cellular triangulation and reverse IP lookup techniques to determine geo-coordinates for a device, the company said.
AWS says customers can publish geo-coordinates to its AWS IoT Device Shadow to store the calculated location data. In addition, customers use the new Location Action feature from AWS IoT Core Rules Engine to route the geo-coordinates to Amazon Location Service, “where customers can add maps and points of interest, track resources, define geo-fencing models, and visualize device location information,” the company said.
HERE Technologies also said its HERE Workspace is being integrated with Amazon SageMaker, which allows users to map private facilities, businesses and logistics operations. “We believe that every smart enterprise will want its own private map, leveraging its own spatial data at scale,” says Giovanni Lanfranchi, HERE Technologies’ chief product and technology officer, in a statement.
For its part, Semtech also partnered with AWS to license LoRa Cloud GNSS geolocation navigation satellite system (GNSS) geolocation services to help the AWS global developer community to build asset tracking and monitoring solutions and connect IoT devices, the company said.
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Lockheed Martin Gets $744 Million GPS 3F Contract Option
Lockheed Martin LMT 0.00%↑ has been awarded a $744 million U.S. Space Force contract for three GPS 3F satellites. The contract option is part of a $7.2 billion 2018 procurement that calls for as many as 22 satellites.
The new GPS 3F satellites, space vehicles 18, 19 and 20, include advanced anti-jamming capabilities, search and rescue payload, an enhanced nuclear detection detonation system and better geolocation accuracy.
FrontierSI Signs LEO Satellite Agreement
In other satellite news, FrontierSI has signed an agreement with Geoscience Australia, Curtin University and the University of Newcastle to enhance Ginan (Geoscience Australia’s GNSS analysis center software). The company said new features will support low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites as an important component of Geoscience Australia’s Positioning Australia program.
The company said the agreement “complements ongoing Ginan Precise Orbit Determination (POD) development activities, focusing on the implementation of LEO satellite modelling and the orbit integrator/propagator capabilities needed to enable LEO GNSS data to be processed and high precision LEO satellite trajectories estimated and predicted.”
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👍 A Volunteer Project Used GPS To Detect a North Korean Missile Test. “GPS satellites could be used as a global monitoring system for detecting intercontinental ballistic missiles. The principle was demonstrated last week when researchers identified the atmospheric disturbances caused by North Korea’s largest intercontinental missile test yet in satellite data.”
🗺 Google Fixes Essential Google Maps Feature, Ironically by Removing Part of It. “The company announced earlier this year that the dashboard feature is going away, with the driving mode once again becoming a first-class citizen of Google Maps.
The transition started taking place earlier this month, with the dashboard being ditched in the favor of direct integration in Google Maps.”
😕 Navigation App Gets New Update That Makes Google Maps Look Ridiculous. Editor’s Note: Auto Evolution has it in for Google Maps with these crazy headlines.
😉 Keg Tracking With Konvoy – How the Beer Industry Got Buzzed on IoT. The firm’s tracking tech, based on Sigfox, will manage 165,000 kegs by the end of the year.
Connected and Autonomous Vehicles:
👌 Goggo Network and Mobileye Plan To Collaborate To Introduce Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles for Logistics in Europe. “Goggo Network to incorporate up to 40 autonomous vehicles with the Level 4 self-driving system Mobileye Drive MBLY 0.00%↑ for the delivery of goods in Spain and France.”
☹ Autonomous Trucking Software Upstart Embark Has Quietly Gone From $5B+ to Basically Worthless. “Embark is one of a number of startups focused on trucking automation that have either hit major roadblocks or ceased operations entirely.”
😒 Can a Circle of Salt Paralyze a Self-driving Car? “In 2017, artist James Bridle demonstrated how salt and an understanding of road markings could paralyze an autonomous vehicle by delivering conflicting messages. Two rings of salt around the vehicle, one in broken strips while the other is a block line, simultaneously tell it to go right ahead and not to cross. The result? Autonomous Trap 001.”
😮 Spoofing Lidar Could Blind Autonomous Vehicles to Obstacles. “A new research paper has demonstrated an adversarial method of tricking lidar sensors. The method uses a laser to selectively hide certain objects from being ‘seen’ by the lidar sensor.”
🛩 Senators Alarmed Over Potential Chinese Drone Spy Threat. “The recreational drones made by Chinese company DJI, which are designed with geofencing restrictions to keep them out of sensitive locations, are being manipulated by users with simple workarounds to fly over no-go zones around the nation’s capital.”
👌 MARSS Confronts Maritime Drone Threat With New Tracking System. “NiDAR CUAS Compact uses data captured from radar, IR cameras and radio frequency monitoring, and the company's NiDAR Core Hybrid Intelligence system to classify and determine what objects are threats and how best to respond. It can also track a threat back to its control source, company literature states.”
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Location Industry Briefs
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Beaconsmind Acquires Controlling Stake in FREDERIX Hotspot
Switzerland-based beaconsmind AG [MLBMD] has agreed to acquire a 51 percent controlling stake in FREDERIX Hotspot GmbH. As part of transaction, eKomi Holding GmbH, one of the key shareholders of FREDERIX Hotspot, will become a strategic shareholder in beaconsmind. Michael Ambros, founder and CEO will be appointed to the beaconsmind board. Founded in 2015, beaconsmind provides location-based marketing (LBM) software for retail chains through Bluetooth beacons that locate and identify customers.
Contact: Max Weiland, beaconsmind, 414438073-73, email@example.com, www.beaconsmind.com.
Garmin Wins BMW Supplier Award
Garmin’s GRMN 0.00%↑Automotive OEM group has been recognized by BMW Group with the 2022 Supplier Innovation Award in the customer experience category. The award highlighted Garmin’s contribution to the Theatre Screen, a private back-seat movie lounge experience introduced in the BMW 7 Series.
Contact: Krista Klaus, Garmin, (913) 397-8200, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wejo and Ford Team Up to Expand Insurance Offerings Across U.S.
Wejo Group Limited WEJO 0.00%↑ has expanding its U.S. insurance offering with Ford F 0.00%↑. Through connected vehicle data and insights, insurance providers will be able to understand driving behaviors, the company said. The offering, with customer consent, connects vehicle data to establish usage-based vehicle insurance policies that reward customers based on their driving behaviors. This data helps the vehicle insurance industry validate customer supplied details, identify and minimize insurance fraud, offer better pricing and reduce risks, the company said.
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RadioMobile Provides AVL System to Fire Department
RadioMobilehas announced that the Placer County (California) Fire Department (PCFD) has deployed the company’s IQ Flex mobile data communications system for automatic vehicle location (AVL) and resource tracking.
Contact: RadioMobile, https://radiomobile.com/iq-flex.
ATrack Rolls Out Asset Tracker
ATrack Technology has launched the AS500 long standby asset tracker that can operate independently for up to 10 years to manage high-value unpowered assets such as containers and heavy machinery, the company said.
The AS500 features GPS and GLONASS for real-time positioning, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth beacon technology for outdoor-indoor use.
Contact: Chloe Wang, Chloe.email@example.com, www.atrack.com.tw.
Senior Account Executive/Sales - The Americas. JAVAD GNSS.
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