New Self-Driving Car Mapping Unit Backed by Amazon and Microsoft

 

Amazon and Microsoft are two major companies that are yet to enter the arena of autonomous car development yet, but this could be set to change soon. Reuters have reported that according to sources, Here, a mapping company owned by a number of German automobile makers could soon be provided with cloud computing capabilities by the two IT giants. The companies that currently own Here, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes’ parent company Daimler all have their own self-driving developments in the works.

Amazon are also reported to be interested in becoming a major shareholder in Here, which would position them to be the prime provider of cloud computing solutions to them. When you consider that Here collects a huge amount of data via sensors mounted atop thousands of self-driving cars belonging to the company’s owner firms, this would be a great boon for making the most of it.

Here was previously owned by Nokia, but was acquired by the German firms in December last year for €2.8 billion. Since this acquisition, Here have continued to state that “have stressed since the acquisition in early December that they are open to additional investors from all industries.” As a result, a number of companies aside from Amazon and Microsoft want to be involved with Here, including Renault and Continental, which both have a stake in the automotive industry. Continental in particular told the wire service that a decision as to whether they would purchase a stake in Here would come imminently.

With high-resolution mapping being so crucial to proper operation of autonomous vehicles, it is no wonder that so many companies are clamouring for a part in one so open to partnerships. As Amazon and Microsoft show, it’s not just those developing the cars that want to be a part of this sector either, with the IT and data requirements to run such cars meaning that even other service providers have a role to play in this developing technology.

Nokia Finally Found Someone to Buy Their HERE Maps!

It has been a long search for the best buyer, but it seems that Nokia finally found somebody to buy and further develop their HERE Maps technology. As reported previously, it was thought that Microsoft will buy the HERE Maps technology, seeing that it wanted its mobile phone business. However, the recent change in the company led to believe that Microsoft may move away form the smartphone market.

Uber was interested in Nokia’s technology too, offering an outstanding $3 billion for it. But it looks like Nokia did not agree with what Uber had in mind for their technology, so they declined the deal after all. However, recently, there have been some rumours that some German vehicle maunufacturers were interested in the technology too.

Nokia declined to make any comments on the matter, but a new report surfaced and we finally know that the company is close to signing the deal with Audi, BMW and Daimler for $2.71 billion. This is less than what Uber offered, but Nokia did state that it would sell the HERE technology to someone who really has the means of improving it, didn’t they? Besides, the deal seems to be the best offer Nokia is going to get.

Besides, the German manufacturers want to use the high-definition real-time digital maps to help develop self-driving cars and automotive safety systems. On top of that, they also want other vehicle manufacturers to pitch in and help them with their plans. So as far as the details show, Nokia really hit their target on selling the technology for a lot of money and to a company, well companies, who have the means on improving it, don’t you think?

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information

Daimler Allows Employees to Delete all Incoming Emails When on Vacation

Car manufacturer Daimler are trying to make their employee’s holidays a little more stress-free. They’ve opted in the ability to remove the general “out of office reply” for a much simpler task – deleting every incoming email throughout the whole duration of their leave. The program is adequately named their “Mail On Holiday” option.

The New York Times reported:

“The program, called Mail on Holiday, politely informs senders that their messages were instantly deleted, but they can contact a designated alternate worker if necessary. The email blackout is optional for the company’s 100,000 workers, but “the response is basically 99 percent positive,” a Daimler spokesman, Oliver Wihofszki, told BBC Radio. “Everybody says, ‘That’s a real nice thing.'”

With some basic mail knowledge, you could do something similar yourself – just set a rule to send all incoming mail to your trash as it arrives in your inbox, shame if someone has something very important to contact you about however.

According to Daimler this is a bid to promote a healthier holiday lifestyle for their employees – removing any opportunity for them to look at their work emails whilst resting on holiday. As the incoming emails are removed, a simple return email will be sent to the sender letting them know they should remain contact after the holiday period has ended.

I wonder what will happen if two companies with the same policy have an email sent to one another. Does it just spit automatically generated out of office emails at one another for all eternity or is there some kind of failsafe put in place for this?

What do you think of this opt-in program? It’s a good idea for employee peace of mind and certainly will make day one back in the office run quite a lot smoother, but it begs the question – what if you miss something very important?

Image courtesy of Techsupport Pro