Technology Bulletin

    • Sony Launches S.Ride Taxi-Hailing Service in Tokyo...
    • Apr 23, 2019
    • "Sony has launched its S.Ride service (a Joint Venture) in Tokyo with a fleet size of over 10,000 cars. The LINE app had earlier launched a ride-hailing ap... View More
      "Sony has launched its S.Ride service (a Joint Venture) in Tokyo with a fleet size of over 10,000 cars. The LINE app had earlier launched a ride-hailing app which shut down last year. In Japan, UBER does not have a major presence currently and is exploring partnership options. If this succeeds, it could be an early indicator of the fact that behemoths can very easily launch successful services that are on par, or even better than competitors in their home country. Brand recognition and trust play a dominant role in customer choices." - Alex Mathew (Source: The Verge)
    • Softbank, Toyota and Denso Putting $1 Billion Towa...
    • Apr 23, 2019
    • "With its IPO around the corner, Uber is restructuring its loss-making Autonomous Technology Group(ATG). This is being done to avoid the tough questions on... View More
      "With its IPO around the corner, Uber is restructuring its loss-making Autonomous Technology Group(ATG). This is being done to avoid the tough questions on ATG dragging the broader company’s profitability down. As a targeted investment, ATG will answer to its board, made up of representatives from SoftBank and Toyota, with Uber maintaining majority control. Uber’s self-driving cars are valued at US$7.25 billion, based on the US$667 million investment from Toyota and Denso as well as SoftBank’s US$333 million investment. Hyped as the most anticipated IPO this year, Uber is clearly taking all efforts to raise its valuation in the weeks ahead." - Vinay Piparsania (Source: NY Times)
    • China Builds Site to Test Autonomous Vehicles
    • Apr 23, 2019
    • "China is catching up fast with other countries (like the US) with cities like Shenzhen and Beijing introducing laws for autonomous vehicle testing. The Na... View More
      "China is catching up fast with other countries (like the US) with cities like Shenzhen and Beijing introducing laws for autonomous vehicle testing. The National Development and Reform Commission in its three-year plan has put the development of smart vehicles as a national priority. Autonomous vehicles are also likely to benefit from ‘Made in China – 2025’ plan. Growing government support and evolving infrastructure would encourage partnerships and local start-ups to join big companies. International companies will also shift their base to China (to build local solutions given the huge potential) with a developing ecosystem and government support. Pony.ai and JingChi moved their headquarters from Silicon Valley to Guangzhou last year." - Aman Madhok (Source: BNN Bloomberg)
    • Tesla Pushes Forward on Autonomous Driving with a ...
    • Apr 23, 2019
    • "Tesla has unveiled a major development in the form of an in-house developed new AI chipset to power its FSD (Full Self-Driving) technology. Samsung is rep... View More
      "Tesla has unveiled a major development in the form of an in-house developed new AI chipset to power its FSD (Full Self-Driving) technology. Samsung is reportedly producing the new Tesla-designed chip in Austin, Texas. Tesla's FSD system will rely on a network of cameras as well as forward-facing radar and ultrasonic sensors to keep tabs on a vehicle's immediate surroundings. Major competitors are developing prototypes that employ LiDAR sensors as well as hyper-detailed 3D mapping, however, Tesla has not shown an interest towards such technologies. According to Tesla, its FSD system will be complete by the end of 2019 and claims it will be robust enough to not require driver attention by Q2 2020. However, we need to examine its attempt to jump directly to Level 5 autonomy with no geofencing, considering that Tesla has been involved in a few crashes while the company’s autopilot system was in use. Full autonomy still needs a lot of improvement in advanced software as well as hardware tools." - Liz Lee (Source: Yahoo News)
    • Uruguay, the First Country in LATAM to Launch 5G S...
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • "Antel, the state-owned operator from Uruguay, has teamed up with Nokia to commercially launch 5G services. The network was deployed using 28 GHz frequency... View More
      "Antel, the state-owned operator from Uruguay, has teamed up with Nokia to commercially launch 5G services. The network was deployed using 28 GHz frequency. 5G services will only be available in one spot each in two different states. The operator showcased low latency at the launch event. However, it did not announce any commercial plan or suitable devices. Although Antel and Nokia communicated it as a launch, in reality, it is barely a soft launch. As the network is in a high band, there aren’t any suitable devices in the market to access it yet. Uruguay and Nokia just needed to beat Chile and be the first market in LATAM to launch this new technology. Chile was the only market that has already announced it will launch 5G services, in the 700 MHz band, later in 2019. On the other hand, it is not surprising that Uruguay did it, as this small country has always been at the forefront of the technology in LATAM." - Tina Lu (Source: El Economista)
    • LG in Talks with Carriers to Delay 5G Phone Launch...
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • "LG Electronics (LGE) has been in talks with South Korea's three mobile carriers, who want to delay the launch of LG’s first 5G smartphone to ens... View More
      "LG Electronics (LGE) has been in talks with South Korea's three mobile carriers, who want to delay the launch of LG’s first 5G smartphone to ensure more stable service. LGE had initially planned to launch V50 ThinQ in the Korean market on April 19, two weeks after Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G. Galaxy S10 5G users have complained about its slower-than-expected speed, limited coverage, and interoperability with the existing LTE network. Unlike the Galaxy S10 5G equipped with Samsung's 5G modem chip, V50 ThinQ is equipped with a Qualcomm chip. Telecom operators are trying to buy more time to test Qualcomm 5G chip. This can be viewed as a prudent measure by telecom operators. But for LGE, which has recently emphasized the recovery of confidence for their product, this could be seen as breaking the promise with their customers. There is no guarantee that the 5G service will be stabilized by delaying the launch. The problem is the communication network rather than the handset. LGE is likely to accept telecom operators' suggestion. It will allow Galaxy S10 5G the opportunity to gain more market share." - Minsoo Kang (Source: Yonhap News Agency)
    • Amazon's Big Answer to Apple's AirPods Could Arriv...
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • "Amazon will reportedly launch a pair of true wireless earbuds equipped with "Alexa", its AI assistant, in the second half of this year. It will ... View More
      "Amazon will reportedly launch a pair of true wireless earbuds equipped with "Alexa", its AI assistant, in the second half of this year. It will be interpreted as Amazon’s attempt at getting into the mobile industry and freeing Alexa from being used on stationary smart speakers. The device will get Alexa into the ears of more people. It is worth a try for Amazon and there seems to be many positive aspects to Amazon's entry. Alexa-equipped hearables could mark Amazon’s renewed steps into mobile hardware. If it has a sort of stylish hardware and advanced features, it could be a cheaper alternative to AirPods. It is apparent that access to Alexa could be more appealing for some people than access to Siri, as Alexa can be used to order goods from Amazon directly and Amazon's ecosystem is more open than Apple's. Amazon could also take aggressive markdowns including offering its new gadget in Prime deals and bundles for cheap during the Black Friday sales to increase market share." - Liz Lee (Source: Business Insider)
    • Apple to Use Its TSMC's Latest N7 Pro Process Tech...
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • "Apple is going to use TSMC’s N7 Pro process technology, based on the Taiwanese company’s 7nm process technology for system-on-chip (SoC) fabri... View More
      "Apple is going to use TSMC’s N7 Pro process technology, based on the Taiwanese company’s 7nm process technology for system-on-chip (SoC) fabrication. This will result in a more precise and miniaturized chip layout. But Apple will not be the first to use the 7nm process. HiSilicon keeping a competitive edge will be the first to use 7nm N7+ process for its Kirin 985 SoC. Huawei's HiSilicon is advancing in chipset technology rapidly. It was the first to launch a chipset with dedicated AI processor, beating Apple by just a few days. Huawei aims to take the pole position in the smartphone segment and is also focusing on vertically integrating components of its own. This will result in faster roll-out of smartphones with the Kirin 985 chipset before the September launch of the new iPhones." - Shobhit Srivastava
    • Google Cloud Announces New Regions in Seoul, South...
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • "Google announced two new regions for the Google Cloud Platform. One will be in Salt Lake City, Utah in the US and the other in Seoul, South Korea. Both ar... View More
      "Google announced two new regions for the Google Cloud Platform. One will be in Salt Lake City, Utah in the US and the other in Seoul, South Korea. Both are scheduled to launch in 2020. With the announcement from Google, the Korean cloud market is expected to grow from 2 trillion won (US$1.76 billion) to 3.4 trillion won (US$2.9 billion) by 2021. Government's deregulation on private cloud use by public institutions is another factor that enables the market to expand. Oracle announced that it will open its data center by the end of the year and this signals fierce competition with existing AWS and Microsoft in the Korean cloud market."- Sujeong Lim (Source: Data Center Dynamics)
    • America Is Losing the World's Biggest Manufacturin...
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • "Electric vehicles (EVs) will overwhelmingly drive the global auto industry growth over the next decade, reaching up to 30 million units by 2030. China is ... View More
      "Electric vehicles (EVs) will overwhelmingly drive the global auto industry growth over the next decade, reaching up to 30 million units by 2030. China is already dominating the emerging EV market with 40% of global production. The US currently produces only 20% of the world’s EVs. Further, the US market and production are not growing as quickly as China. The writer of this article suggests that the US Congress should be far more ambitious and provide consumer tax credits to encourage the sale of more affordable EVs in large numbers. The writer also suggests that the US Congress should also require all new federal government vehicles to be US-made EVs. Finally, the writer says the US must begin to produce more of the minerals that are crucial to EVs. It seems true that the US is recently losing the race on clean energy innovation, despite former President Barack Obama’s efforts to boost competitiveness in the sector. If the US really do not want to get left behind, it would better hurry up and look for creative strategies across the supply chain such as finding ways to efficiently develop a domestic supply of critical minerals for EVs." - Liz Lee (Source: Forbes)

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