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Ford SafeCap, will help the driver not fall asleep at the wheel

Being a trucker means driving huge distances on demanding deadlines. And one of the biggest dangers in trucking is the threat of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. To celebrate 60 years of truck production in Brazil, Ford decided to try to help the problem by creating a hat that tracks head movements and alerts drivers in danger of snoozing.

Working with Sao Paulo-based office of creative agency GTB, the company developed the Ford SafeCap. After conducting research identifying which head movements were associated with the job and which indicated lack of attention and fatigue, the companies developed software to tell the difference and outfitted the trucker cap with sensors and a gyroscope to warn the driver with sound, light, and vibration.

It’s an obvious brand-building exercise that may or may not find a bigger life as an actual product, and Ford is no stranger to marketing projects that go beyond a one-off concept. Earlier this year in Spain, the company unveiled a smart crib that mimicked a car’s motion and sensory experience to help babies fall asleep, and the response was so strong it became an available option for car buyers. The company is hoping the SafeCap will experience a similar reception. Since the hat was unveiled at South America’s largest truck show, a GTB spokesperson says they’ve received thousands of requests asking how and where to buy the product.

“SafeCap, which began as a local market project, continues to grow as we see potential around the world,” says Oswaldo Ramos, Ford’s head of sales, marketing and service in Brazil. “After we conclude our Brazilian tests, the goal is to share with other countries.”

But the project is far from finished. The company is hoping that by talking about SafeCap, they’ll be able to find more innovative partners to refine the product.

“We are working to scale this product,” says Ramos. “And would appreciate any insights or suggestions from partners around the world regarding how to make the SafeCap more effective and efficient.”

Read more: https://www.fastcompany.com/40490733/ford-just-made-a-trucker-hat-that-uses-technology-to-save-truckers-lives?partner=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=rss+fastcompany&utm_content=rss

(Укр) Системи відеоспостереження Teswell – новий рівень безпеки на траспорті

Sorry, this entry is only available in Ukrainian and Russian.

Project Loon balloons restored cellular communication after the hurricane

When Hurricanes Maria and Irma tore through Puerto Rico last month, Alphabet’s X lab was quick to answer the call, gaining approval to launch its Project Loon balloons over the storm-ravaged island to provide residents with emergency internet service. Following a successful launch, the balloons have now been switched on and are already providing hard hit parts of the population with connectivity.

Project Loon is a bold plan cooked up in Google’s secretive research X lab and revealed to the world in 2013. The solar-powered balloons carry communications equipment and form networks in the stratosphere, beaming internet connectivity to people on the ground below.

Now under the control of Google’s parent company Alphabet, the venture has made some real progress in the last few years. The team has put them to the test in New Zealand and Brazil, and has also signed agreements with Sri Lanka and Indonesia to deploy them in those countries, too.

But Puerto Rico presented a new challenge for Project Loon’s balloons. As project head Alastair Westgarth notes in a blog post, the team has never deployed a fleet of Project Balloons from scratch in such little time. It launched small fleets of balloons from its base in Nevada, which floated on down to Puerto Rico some 3,000 miles away (4,800 km).

Project Loon is working with AT&T on the initiative, and it says with its help the hardest hit parts of the island are now being provided with emergency internet service. This amounts to activities like sending text messages and accessing basic information, like status reports on the availability of basic goods and services, for people with LTE-enabled phones.

Project Loon is a bold plan cooked up in X lab
This is also the first time Project Loon is testing out its new machine learning software, which relies on navigational algorithms to send clusters of balloons to areas in need where they surf stratospheric winds to hold their position. This is hoped to reduce the number of balloons needed to get the service up and running and make things cheaper overall.

The team notes that the Project Loon balloons are still very much an experimental technology and in a way, it is learning as it goes. As it gets a better handle on the changing winds over Puerto Rico, it is hopeful of keeping its balloons afloat for as long as they are needed.

Source: https://newatlas.com/project-loon-balloons-puerto-rico/51854/

Token’s smart ring will rule all your passwords, payments and physical access

The ring has long been the shape of wearable dreams. Logbar tried it as an all-in-one device that would be the gesture-controlling center of your digital world; Nimb used it as a subtle panic alert device; Ringly has mastered the sleek form-meets-function subtleties of a good wearable.

Now along comes Token, with a pre-sale launching today for its biometric-based wearable ring that can make payments, power up a computer and part doors — all with a wave of one magic finger.

The company’s first eponymous product is a chunky looking ring that’s integrated with MasterCard, Microsoft, Visa, HID, FitPay and the FIDO Alliance.

Token’s ring uses a combination of fingerprinting (there’s a fingerprint sensor at the base of the ring) and an optical proximity sensor to ensure that a user’s credentials can’t be accessed by a third party. Using an app (available for iOS and Android), Tokenites can pair the ring and their biometric information with anything from their credit cards to their car keys.

The ring has long been the shape of wearable dreams. Logbar tried it as an all-in-one device that would be the gesture-controlling center of your digital world; Nimb used it as a subtle panic alert device; Ringly has mastered the sleek form-meets-function subtleties of a good wearable.

Now along comes Token, with a pre-sale launching today for its biometric-based wearable ring that can make payments, power up a computer and part doors — all with a wave of one magic finger.

The company’s first eponymous product is a chunky looking ring that’s integrated with MasterCard, Microsoft, Visa, HID, FitPay and the FIDO Alliance.

Token’s ring uses a combination of fingerprinting (there’s a fingerprint sensor at the base of the ring) and an optical proximity sensor to ensure that a user’s credentials can’t be accessed by a third party. Using an app (available for iOS and Android), Tokenites can pair the ring and their biometric information with anything from their credit cards to their car keys.

The sterling silver Token ring only works when it’s worn by a user, who verifies their identity with a fingerprint scan in the morning and then with a series of gestures throughout the day. Any time the ring is removed, Token’s proximity sensors lock credentials and will only reactivate them when the fingerprint of the original user is detected, the company said.

The company’s claim is that the ring is a more functional and frictionless solution to verifying one’s identity than remembering the host of passwords that are required to mediate daily life.

The ring pairs with most credit cards, its own electronic lock, many car ignition systems, passwords, transit cards and even corporate access cards, according to a statement.

On its own the ring costs $249. Paired with the Token locking system the package is $349, which is the same as pairing Token with the ignition unlocking mechanism. A package including the lock and the ignition detection hardware sells for $399.

The ring is available in three finishes, with the black and rose gold finish tacking an additional $50 onto the retail price of the ring.

Every ring has a battery that should last for two weeks before recharging; an inductive charger is included with the purchase. The rings are also waterproof up to 50 meters. Credentials are stored on an EAL5+ secure element and all rings are compatible with Bluetooth and NFC.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/token-has-made-one-ring-to-rule-all-your-passwords-payments-and-physical-access/

Amazon hatents drone that will recharge an electric car

Amazon has come up with a patent for a drone that would be summoned by an electric car driver who needs a charge and can’t get to a charger. It would also add convenience because you could charge without having to stop the car and wait an hour or so. The idea is sort of like a plane that refuels another plan while flying.

Once summoned, the drone would approach the vehicle, wirelessly communicate, and match speed. Then some type of apparatus would protrude from the top of the vehicle so that the drone could dock and provide the necessary “juice”. There’s a whole lot more to the idea, which you can read by clicking the link at the bottom of this page, but that’s the basic idea.

Now, here’s the issues. A typical drone wouldn’t have the ability to “carry” very much energy. Batteries surely aren’t lightweight. In order to provide any reasonable amount of range, it would have to lift huge batteries, meaning it would be a significantly large drone with mammoth electric motors. These type of vehicles aren’t very efficient in the first place, so the added weight would surely diminish airtime. The further it has to fly, the more power would be depleted.

Possibly (and hopefully), there will come a day when something like this could be viable. However, with current technology, it might be good for a few emergency miles to get you to the next charging station.

The patent was filed way back in 2014 and just approved this month

Read more: https://insideevs.com/amazon-patents-drone-charge-electric-car/

NEW GPS CHIPS FOR SMARTPHONES TO PROVIDE THE ACCURACY OF POSITIONS UP TO 30 SM

At the ION GNSS+ conference in Portland, Broadcom announced that it is sampling the first mass-market chip that can take advantage of a new breed of global navigation satellite signals and will give the next generation of smartphones 30-centimeter accuracy instead of today’s 5 meters. Even better, the chip works in a city’s concrete canyons, and it consumes half the power of today’s generation of chips. The chip, the BCM47755, has been included in the design of some smartphones slated for release in 2018, but Broadcom would not reveal which.

GPS and other global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs), such as Europe’s Galileo, Japan’s QZSS, and Russia’s Glonass, allow a receiver to determine its position by calculating its distance from three or more satellites. All GNSS satellites—even the oldest generation still in use—broadcast a message called the L1 signal, which includes the satellite’s location, the time, and an identifying signature pattern. A newer generation broadcasts a more complex signal called L5 at a different frequency in addition to the legacy L1 signal. The receiver essentially uses these signals to fix its distance from each satellite based on how long it takes the signal to go from satellite to receiver.

Broadcom’s receiver first locks onto the satellite with the L1 signal and then refines its calculated position with L5. The latter is superior, especially in cities, because it is much less prone to distortions from multipath reflections than L1.

In a city, the satellite’s signals reach the receiver both directly and by bouncing off of one or more buildings. The direct signal and any reflections arrive at slightly different times, and if they overlap, they add up to form a sort of signal blob. The receiver is looking for the peak of that blob to fix the time of arrival. But the messier the blob, the less accurate that fix, and the less accurate the final calculated position will be.

However, L5 signals are so brief that the reflections are unlikely to overlap with the direct signal. The receiver chip can simply ignore any signal after the first one it receives, which is the direct path. The Broadcom chip also uses information in the phase of the carrier signal to further improve accuracy.

Though there are advanced systems that use L5 on the market now, these are generally for industrial purposes, such as oil and gas exploration. Broadcom’s BCM47755 is the first mass-market chip that uses both L1 and L5.

Why is this only happening now? “Up to now there haven’t been enough L5 satellites in orbit,” says Manuel del Castillo, associate director of GNSS product marketing at Broadcom. At this point, there are about 30 such satellites in orbit, counting a set that only flies over Japan and Australia. Even in a city’s “narrow window of sky you can see six or seven, which is pretty good,” Del Castillo says. “So now is the right moment to launch.”

Read more: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/design/superaccurate-gps-chips-coming-to-smartphones-in-2018

GPS-darts confirmed its effectiveness

Police in Lucas County, Ohio, were able to safely track a suspect’s car after a deputy shot a GPS-enabled dart onto the suspect’s vehicle as he fled the scene. “They were able to track him with GPS and other jurisdictions got involved and they knew his location and speed and were able to get in front of him and get stop sticks out and stop him,” said Captain Matt Lettke.

The GPS darts are part of the Star Chase System, which mounts to the grille of a police cruiser. Instead of following a suspect on what could be a high-speed chase, the dart sticks to the outside of a suspect’s vehicle, allowing police to track its whereabouts. Lucas County Police reportedly have five such units in use, and the town sheriff is hoping to add more now that it has been successfully demonstrated.

Read more: https://www.autoblog.com/2017/09/28/gps-dart-police-star-chase-system-video/

(Укр) Попит на нові вантажівки в Україні виріс в півтора рази

Sorry, this entry is only available in Ukrainian and Russian.

Scania was hit with an 880 million euro fine for taking part in a price fixing cartel

Swedish truckmaker Scania was hit with an 880 million euro fine by the EU on Wednesday for taking part in a 14-year price fixing cartel, boosting the total fine for the firms involved to a record 3.8 billion euros.

The European Commission said Scania, owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, colluded with five others in the industry as they fixed vehicle prices to enable them to pass the costs of required environmental improvements on to customers to avoid hurting their own profits.

In July, Volkswagen’s MAN, Daimler, Volvo, Iveco and DAF admitted to taking part in the cartel in return for a 10 percent cut in their fines, with the combined penalty coming to 2.9 billion euros. Scania did not settle.

Scania said on Wednesday it would challenge the Commission’s decision in court.

 “We have not entered an agreement on price fixing with other manufacturers, nor have we delayed the introduction of new more efficient engines,” the company said.

Scania’s fine is the second highest for a company involved in a cartel after Daimler’s 1 billion euro penalty. MAN escaped a fine as it blew the whistle on the cartel.

The companies made more than nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe.

“Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other – also on environmental improvements,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The previous highest penalty for a cartel was 1.41 billion euros handed out to TV and computer monitor tube makers in 2012.

The Commission said its investigation did not reveal any links between the truckmakers cartel and allegations of carmakers cheating on emissions control testing.

However, Vestager said several carmakers were currently cooperating with the regulator in an unrelated case following complaints about meetings between VW, Porsche, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler to discuss suppliers, prices and standards, which may be illegal.

“We have received leniency applications, so we have started to look into it as a matter of priority. One of the important things is that it’s an alleged cartel, so we don’t know,” she told a news conference.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/legal-eu-scania-cartel/vws-truckmaker-scania-fined-880-mln-euros-for-price-fixing-idUSKCN1C229A

Top 5 Businesses that Need GPS

It has become obvious to businesses in Ireland that Global Positioning System (GPS) and location-sharing is changing the way we do business.Let’s explore just how geo-spatial services such as those offered by companies such as Turtler GPS Ltd can help the top 5 industries in Ireland.

 Tourism Industry. Ireland is a tourist destination. Huge numbers of international tourists flock to the Land of the Leprechaun every year. Businesses in this sphere compete to attract the mobile hordes of travelers. They have a better chance of doing so with location sharing.

They can increase their sales numbers by sharing their offerings on location-sharing services and public online maps such as those offered by Google or Turtler GPS Ltd.

Visitors wanting to get the real feel of Ireland could access these location sharing services on their smartphone or tablet, and instantly see a number of attractive offerings near their location and detailed directions of how to get there.

Not all Irish pub owners really want their locations flooded with Yankee tourists. But those pubs that don’t mind an odd American accented complement or two can attract more tourists by using location-sharing services: They can promote pub events like music, quiz nights, or happy hour to anybody nearby.

Nearby tourists will know exactly what each pub has to offer… and if that offering looks good, guess where they will wind up?

  Agricultural Industry. Ireland is traditional a farming nation, and is celebrated for its beef and dairy products. How can location-sharing and GPS tracking devices benefit this industry.

Physical metal fences may soon be a thing of the past.

Cows can be tracked using GPS devices, so that farmers know where their herd is at all times. The devices, which are fixed to the cow’s collar where the cowbell usually goes, give beeps, buzzes and small shocks to push and prod cattle in the direction they should be herding.

If a cow walks out of its geo-fenced area… small electric shock. If it goes in the right direction, light beep or buzz, or soothing sound as a reward.

Farmers worldwide can save billions of dollars by using virtual fences rather than steel fences.

Fisheries Industry.It seems only fitting that an island nation would exploit the seas as one of its major resources. Fishing and fisheries have long been a staple in the Irish economy.

Because fish spoils fast, and locational information makes fleet management more efficient, GPS tracking would be extremely important to this industry.

Fishing fleets can rally improve their catch by simply knowing where to send vessels and when… they can save on fuel costs and increase profit.

And if a fisherman ever goes overboard, he is much more likely to be rescued and get home safely if he has a GPS tracker in his pocket.

  Medicine and Drugs Industry. One of Ireland’s biggest sectors, medicines and drugs are a product that must be tracked accurately on every leg of their transportation logistics network, because losing a truckload of cholesterol medicine or heart pills could bankrupt a company.

Containers often get delayed in transit. They get sent to the wrong warehouse, or sit in the wrong port due to human error. If one of those containers is packed full of a medical supply that can spoil over time, say some biological agent that is time sensitive… that shipment could be useless by time the mistake is discovered and corrected.

The loss in a case like that could be in the range of millions of euros.

The way to make sure this never happens is to have GPS tracking devices in all shipments. The extra cost of buying trackers and signing up for location-sharing services is nothing compared to the losses that would be incurred if a shipment went missing or got spoiled due to delays caused by human error.

  Sporting Events.Ireland’s most popular sports are all amateur, with Gaelic football being the biggest.

Services that teams and managers can use to share locations and location-based information would be really useful for popular amateur sports.

Being an amateur sport, there is not the gigantic sums of money for advertising like there are in other pro sports. Location-sharing, however, is a cost effective way to spread information about the events and other promotions to people nearby, say, in a given city.

Events could be targeted, so that people entering sporting goods stores receive information about an up coming game.

Marketing campaigns using this technology would cost a fraction of the money spent on the huge TV and print ad campaigns in pro sports/

Read more:  http://www.gpsdaily.com/reports/Top_5_Businesses_in_Ireland_that_Need_GPS_Tracking_and_Location_Sharing_999.html