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Category Archives: Transportation

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Lyft Says There Will Always Be A Need For Human Drivers

Tyler Lee August 15, 2017

Just like many other companies, Lyft has recently expressed their interest in self-driving cars, with plans to develop their own fleet in the future. Clearly with self-driving cars, the need for an actual human driver is no longer there, or is there? According to Lyft’s director of product, Taggart Matthiesen, there is.

Speaking in the latest episode of Recode Decode, Matthiesen stated that there will be pretty much always a need for human drivers. “Drivers have always been part of our family, they have been core to our service. As far as I’m concerned, they will continue to be that.” He claims that even if they’re not necessarily driving, they can help to provide other services.

For example, “If I need to go to the doctor’s office and my leg is in a cast and I can’t drive, we have a service for that. If you get into the world of autonomous, we may need someone in that vehicle to help that person. There are things we’re doing beyond getting a passenger from point A to point B, additional services that we as a company can look at.”

That being said, we expect that it will probably be a while before we start seeing autonomous cars become a mainstay on roads. The technology is still being worked on as we speak, not to mention there are also various regulations and laws that need to be addressed before it becomes road legal.

Lyft Says There Will Always Be A Need For Human Drivers , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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10 Minute Song Of Silence Is In The Top 50 Of Apple’s iTunes Charts

Tyler Lee August 11, 2017

2016 Honda Accord with Apple CarPlay®

Most of the time the songs we store on our phones are usually songs we want to hear. However when plugging our phones into our cars, most of the time it usually ends up playing the very first song at the top of the list based on alphabetical order, which means that it is possible that some of your favorite songs could be ruined by incessantly repeating it.

However this problem might have been solved by a certain Samir Mezrahi who recently uploaded a 10 minute track onto iTunes (via AppleInsider) dubbed “A a a a a Very Good Song” that basically gives users 10 minutes worth of silence (9 minutes 58 seconds to be exact) so that they can select their own playlist before the song starts blasting in their car.

hey I released a blank song that will play 1st so that *one* song won’t play every time u plug ur phone into ur car https://t.co/FL83YUOOcz

— #1 samir (@samir) August 9, 2017

It might seem silly but apparently it is a highly-appreciated track because it appears to have broken into the iTunes Top 50 charts, and has actually beaten out more popular artists. The track costs $0.99 which isn’t too bad of a price to pay for a workaround. We’re not sure if Apple plans to remove the track, but given that Apple does take a cut from iTunes sales, it is an interesting conundrum.

This is actually not the first time silent songs have been used to game the system. For example a few years ago, a band uploaded an album consisting of silent songs onto Spotify and managed to rake in $20,000 in “royalties” before the album was pulled from the music streaming platform.

10 Minute Song Of Silence Is In The Top 50 Of Apple’s iTunes Charts , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Alibaba Wants To Sell Cars From A Vending Machine

Adnan Farooqui August 10, 2017

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba wants to get into the vending machine game. However, the company isn’t planning on installing just another vending machine to sell chips and soda from. Alibaba actually wants to build a giant vending machine which it will use to sell luxury cars to customers in China.

Selling cars from vending machines isn’t a new idea. Carvana has been doing something similar in the United States. It’s an online used car dealer that opened a three bay car vending machine in Atlanta, Georgia back in November 2013.

Singapore-based Autobahn Motors set up the world’s tallest car vending machine in the country earlier this year. It’s a 15 story tower that’s filled with luxury cars such as Ferraris, Porsches, BMWs, and Bentleys.

Alibaba’s vision is to make buying cars as easy as buying a can of soda. It’s going to develop a tall structure that will be filled with luxury cars. Customers will have to download the vending machine’s app on their phone if they want to buy a car.

Then it’s just a matter of selecting the car they want. If their credit score on Alibaba’s Sesame Credit system is good enough, they can immediately make the 10 percent initial payment and watch as their car is brought down automatically and placed before them so that they can drive it away. The customers have to make monthly payments to pay off the balance on the car.

Alibaba aims to launch its car vending machine in China at some point later this year.

Alibaba Wants To Sell Cars From A Vending Machine , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Uber Launches In-App Chat Functionality

Adnan Farooqui August 10, 2017


Uber has decided to simplify the pickup experience for riders and drivers so it has added a much-needed feature to its app. Previously, riders either received a text from an unknown number which was usually their driver or the driver ended up honking like crazy outside the pickup location. There will be no need to do or bear any of that now because Uber has added an in-app messaging feature to its app.

Riders can text their en route driver by going to the Uber feed and tapping on “contact” followed by “chat.” Chats received by the driver will be read aloud to them so as to minimize distraction when they’re behind the wheel.

Drivers can easily acknowledge that they have received the message by tapping on the app once to send a “thumbs up.” Read and delivery receipts are baked into the feature so riders and drivers will know when their messages have been seen by the other party.

This feature also means that drivers and riders no longer have to share their phone number with one another. They can simply get in touch if need be using the built-in messaging functionality inside the Uber app.

Uber will be rolling out in-app messaging to both riders and drivers globally over the coming weeks.

Uber Launches In-App Chat Functionality , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Tesla Quietly Upgrades Autopilot Hardware In Its Newer Cars

Tyler Lee August 9, 2017

If you have been holding off on buying a Tesla, now might be a good time to do so especially if you’re looking for an investment that you can keep for a while. This is because according to a report from Electrek, Tesla has quietly upgraded the autopilot hardware in its cars and will be shipping that new hardware with newer models.

According to Electrek’s source, there is a new onboard computer that comes with a secondary GPU to add more computing power. Tesla has since confirmed that they have upgraded the autopilot hardware for its newer models, but it seems that it isn’t as big a deal as you might think it is.

A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the upgrade and in a statement provided to Electrek, “The internal name HW 2.5 is an overstatement, and instead it should be called something more like HW 2.1. This hardware set has some added computing and wiring redundancy, which very slightly improves reliability, but it does not have an additional Pascal GPU.”

Tesla’s autopilot feature has been around for awhile now, although the company has stressed many times in the past that it is not a self-driving feature, but it seems more like a safety feature as it is said to help prevent accidents which we have seen it live up to the promise in several videos.

Tesla Quietly Upgrades Autopilot Hardware In Its Newer Cars , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Intel Developing Fleet Of 100 Fully Autonomous Cars

Adnan Farooqui August 9, 2017


Intel wants a piece of the autonomous car pie as well. After confirming that it has officially closed the acquisition of auto-visual company Mobileye, Intel has announced that it’s developing a fleet of 100 Level 4 fully autonomous cars which will be tested in the United States, Europe, and Israel. The very first Level 4 cars from this fleet will take to the roads for various tests later this year.

This is obviously going to be a costly endeavor. Intel has previously said that it’s going to spend more than $250 million over the next two years to develop autonomous cars.

Level 4 autonomy means that the cars will be able to take care of themselves in most driving situations. It’s a step down from Level 5 autonomy which covers complete automation in any and all conditions, but Level 4 itself will be a significant step forward.

Intel is obviously going to provide the chips and other components required to get the self-driving functions to work. It’s not a car manufacturer, though, so it’s going to have to work with another company to develop this fleet.

Intel has a partnership with BMW while Mobileye has previously worked with Audi. Intel is yet to confirm which car manufacturer is going to build its new self-driving cars.

The company is planning to get its self-driving car kit ready by 2019 so that it can start contracting it to car manufacturers who can build it inside their cars and provide advanced autonomous driving features to the masses.

Intel Developing Fleet Of 100 Fully Autonomous Cars , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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New Nissan Leaf May Be $5,000 Cheaper Than Tesla Model 3

Adnan Farooqui August 9, 2017


The Tesla Model 3 is the first mass-market electric car from Tesla but it’s not the only electric car on the market that costs under $40,000. The Chevrolet Bolt is a bona fide mass-market all-electric competitor. The new Nissan Leaf will be one too. According to a new report, it may actually be $5,000 cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 which starts at $35,000.

According to Autoblog, the 2018 Nissan Leaf is going to start at $29,990 for the base model. The entry-level model will have a 40kWh battery, though, which means that it will only provide a range of around 160 miles.

So the entry-level Leaf will be $5,000 cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 and will offer less range. The $35,000 entry-level Tesla Model 3 promises a range of 220 miles on a single charge.

It’s going to lag behind in performance numbers as well it seems. It’s reported that the Nissan Leaf will deliver 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Tesla hasn’t confirmed the numbers for the Model 3 as yet but previous reports suggest that it will tout 258 horsepower.

Nissan is reportedly going to offer expensive trim levels for the 2018 Leaf which include the $32,490 Leaf SV and the $36,200 Leaf SL. The SL may also feature Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technology.

None of this has been officially confirmed by Nissan as yet so take it with a grain of salt.

New Nissan Leaf May Be $5,000 Cheaper Than Tesla Model 3 , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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Uber Will Reportedly End Its Car-Leasing Business

Tyler Lee August 8, 2017

Image credit – Uber

While Uber might be known more for its ride hailing services, they also have a car-leasing business where they leased cars to drivers who might not have a car that’s suitable or eligible to be used with Uber’s services. Unfortunately it seems that the endeavor is actually costing the company more than they expected, so much so that they are thinking of shutting it down.

This is according to a report from CNBC who has heard from their sources that Uber is planning to shut down its car leasing business, or alternatively they could be thinking of selling it off, or maybe consolidate it to make it more efficient. A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that Uber is making losses as much as $9,000 per car, versus the $500 that they had initially predicted.

Assuming this is true, clearly this is not a very good business model. Should Uber decide to shut it down, it is said that 500 jobs out of the 15,000 could be affected by it. Interestingly enough Uber drivers have long complained about the high lease payments, but it seems that even what Uber charges isn’t enough to cover its losses, so really, it doesn’t seem like anyone is winning in this situation.

Uber has yet to officially respond to these reports so do take it with a grain of salt for now.

Uber Will Reportedly End Its Car-Leasing Business , original content from Ubergizmo. Read our Copyrights and terms of use.

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