LG X power2 With 4500mAh Battery Launched Ahead of MWC 2017

Ahead of MWC 2017, LG has decided to unveil a mid-ranger X power2. The smartphone will be available sometime in March in Latin America first, followed by US, Asia, Europe and other regions. Pricing of the LG X power2 will vary depending on region. While the device sports mediocre specs and design, the big highlight of the smartphone is its huge battery. This latest entrant is targeted especially for multi-taskers and heavy app users.

LG X power2 With 4500mAh Battery Launched Ahead of MWC 2017

While exact pricing and availability is still not known, LG has released key specifications of the X power2. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) In-cell Touch Display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core processor. It offers 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, with the option to expand further with the help of a microSD card (up to 2TB).

Talking about the camera, the LG X power2 sports a 13-megapixel rear sensor with LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front camera with soft-light LED flash for better selfies. The other big highlight is that the smartphone runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The device will be made available in Black Titan, Shiny Titan, Shiny Gold, and Shiny Blue colour variants.

As mentioned, the big highlight is the 4500mAh battery that is claimed to operate for an entire weekend without recharging. A fully charged LG X power2 is said to playback videos continuously for approximately 15 hours, provide navigational directions for about 14 hours or surf the Web for around 18 hours. Furthermore, it supports fast charging, and the company claims that one hour of charging can fill up almost 50 percent of the battery on the smartphone.

The LG X power2 weighs 164 grams, and measures 154.7×78.1×8.4mm. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0, USB OTG, and gyroscope sensor. LG is also gearing up to launch the LG G6 flagship smartphone at Barcelona on February 26. The device is expected to come with Google Assistant integration, a large display, and a dual camera setup at the back. A lot is riding on this smartphone as LG looks to make up for its abysmal figures last year, due to the failure of the modular LG G5.

New WhatsApp Status Feature Starts Rolling Out to Users Worldwide

Within days of announcing its revamped ‘Status’ feature, WhatsApp has rolled it out to users worldwide; it was available only in Europe when it was announced. The new WhatsApp Status feature is available on iPhone, as well as Android and Windows devices, and users in India have also received the new WhatsApp Status.

New WhatsApp Status Feature Starts Rolling Out to Users Worldwide

What is WhatsApp Status?
The new WhatsApp Status feature is the Facebook-owned company’s new way to engage people on its instant messaging platform, and this will be replacing the old text form of status. With the new revamped Status feature, WhatsApp users can now change their status to a short video or photos.

“We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp’s 8th birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature,” wrote Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, in an announcement blog post earlier this week.

What can we set as WhatsApp Status?
With the new WhatsApp Status feature, users will be allowed to share photos and videos with friends and contacts on the app. WhatsApp confirms that similar to chats, the status updates are also end-to-end encrypted. The Status messages you put will disappear after 24 hours.

“Starting today, iPhone, Android and Windows users can send photos, videos and GIFs through Status to share special moments throughout their day with friends and family,” said WhatsApp in a press statement.
whatsapp status whatsapp

WhatsApp Product Manager Randall Sarafa had earlier this week told Gadgets 360 that the new WhatsApp Status combines three existing features – broadcast lists, media sharing, and, of course, Status.

Who can see my WhatsApp Status?
Much like the Last Seen option, you can tweak who can see your new WhatsApp Status, the three options are My contacts, My contacts except, and Only share with. By default, WhatsApp Status updates created by you are visible to all contacts. Users who change their status with an image or video, will be also shown the view count on the app. Tap the eye icon at the bottom of any Status update and you can view a list of contacts who saw the update. The feature, however, will need you to enable Read Receipts. When Read Receipts is disabled, WhatsApp notes, “Can’t see views because you disabled Read Receipts in Settings > Account > Privacy.”

What else is new with the WhatsApp Status rollout?
The rollout also sees the addition of the Camera tab on the left, symbolised with a camera symbol. It’s here that users can easily shoot photos or record videos to use as Status updates, or, share regularly with their contacts.

WhatsApp Status Inspired by Snapchat Stories
The new WhatsApp Status no doubt take cues from Snapchat’s Stories, and is being seen as the company’s first attempt to move away from the traditional messaging app that is being followed. The revamped Status also looks inspired by Facebook’s change of profile and cover pictures that notifies other users. WhatsApp Status however brings a more personal touch to the Status change as friends and families on the messaging app will be notified about the new status but you will receive replies privately. On Facebook and Instagram replies are, however, visible to everyone.

Halo Wars 2 review

It’s taken a long time for Microsoft to make another Halo Wars. The original came out eight years ago and there’s been a small contingent of fans who have been calling for a sequel ever since. A new game is finally here and everything that made the original good is still there. Unfortunately, the problems of the original are all there, too.

The game starts with the Spirit of Fire, your ship from the first game, coming out of a 28-year-long drift in hypersleep in orbit around a strange space station. There’s a human signal coming from the surface but your outdated ship isn’t able to decode it. Clearly, the war has moved on without you. The first Halo Wars was set before the events of the original Halo game, while this new one is the opposite bookend, taking place after everything that happened in Halo 1 through 5.

A scouting party lands on the planet and fast butts heads with Atriox, a Brute who fought the covenant and created a faction of alien outcasts called The Banished. He and his forces will be your main enemy of this new game and trying to get back to Earth is your mission.


It’s surprising how well Halo fits the tropes of real-time strategy games. It’s always been a series of starkly different factions and as the FPS series has continued Bungie and 343 Industries have introduced a ton of units that cover a full spread of tactical niches.

Little has to be created for Halo Wars 2 – it is instead plucked from the franchise’s lore.

The humans have different types of infantry, light vehicles, heavy vehicles, aircraft and super weapons that are all familiar to fans. Similarly, The Banished have the counter versions of most these units already. Little has to be created for Halo Wars 2 – it is instead plucked from the franchise’s lore.

This is one of the reasons why Halo Wars can be a joy to play. While it seems natural to see Halo’s world from a first-person perspective, the real power of the genre shift in Halo Wars is that it pulls that camera into the sky and shows all that sumptuous color and lively action splayed out below. For fans of the series, you get to see all the familiar units from a new perspective. Every now and then I’d find myself zooming in on the action, marvelling at what was basically a living Halo toy set.

Where the game starts to fall down is its control scheme. Initially, we were taken with how well Creative Assembly has adapted the fine motor controls of mouse and keyboard to a gamepad. You can shoot about the battlefield, spinning the camera, selecting individual units, groups of units, issue special orders, dive into build queues, and everything you need to control an RTS. It really is impressive. But, there is a clumsiness to it that only became apparent when we were under pressure and rushed. Precisely when you don’t want things to go wrong.

Under pressure

One level saw us defending an island from a multi-pronged assault. There were three points of attack – Banished infantry were coming in from the south, aircraft from the west, and anti-tank vehicles from the north. It was a simple problem of commanding three forces that countered the attackers, anti-personnel, anti-aircraft, and anti-tank infantry.

We had the troops in place but still needed to hop between the different skirmishes to order troops to defend themselves. The enemy AI had a nasty habit of shooting at our team just far enough away that they wouldn’t defend themselves automatically. If we were not paying attention we could lose a whole group of defenders without them firing a shot in return. The easiest way to select them was to hover the screen over the group of defenders and tap the right shoulder button, which selects all the units in view, and press X over the enemy to make them engage.

As the mission wore on and there would start being incursions from all three routes at once we’d be darting between the sites tapping the shoulder button, targeting our defense, and scrolling the camera to the next defense site and doing the same.

In the rush of the action it was frustratingly easy to tap the shoulder button twice. Once selects the units on screen, twice selects all your units across the map. Meaning, if you make the mistake of selecting all and then targeting the enemy, all your carefully positioned soldiers up sticks and move across the map to fight one group of attackers. Separating out this mass of troops once they’ve mingled is a fiddly task, especially when you’ve three separate groups of enemy troops marching on your HQ.

There are a number of missions in the campaign that demand you to manage multiple fronts in increasingly fraught situations and right up to the final level this was a problem for me, one that only got worse on the higher difficulty settings.

Another problem with the controls that came up throughout the campaign was abilities. Some of your troops have a special ability that can be activated with a tap of the Y button. For instance, warthogs can ram into enemies, spartans can hijack enemy vehicles, and marines can throw grenades.

There are a number of problems with this setup, though. For one, it doesn’t differentiate who should act. If you’re controlling multiple warthogs and you tap Y then they will all charge at the same target, expending all their charges when one would have done. These are abilities to be used in the heat of the moment so you don’t tend to have time to select individual warthogs to select which target you want to ram.

More annoying though is that most the times we pressed Y the game didn’t seem to detect it. We’d have to tap the button two or three times to make the unit act. This was frustrating for sure but there were times when it swung the outcome of a battle. The spartan hijack move is a really effective way of taking out an enemy vehicle. Say you have a wraith pouring plasma artillery down on your soldiers you can take it out of commission in a single hit by hijacking it. It can be a fast way of neutralising your opponent. But, if your spartan doesn’t act when you tell it to then it keeps torching your soldiers until you can make the spartan do what you’re telling it to.

Against all odds

You can work around these problems, especially on the lower difficulties, but it added an edge of frustration to every game.

We felt like we were being challenged by the controls not the game itself.

Every one of Halo Wars 2’s missions felt like one we’d played before.

A final problem we had with the campaign is how generic it felt. There aren’t nearly as many big budget RTS games as there were in the ‘90s and ‘00s so there is less drive to innovate, but every one of Halo Wars 2’s missions felt like one we’d played before.

There were missions where you’re defending a base until a timer runs out, missions where you’re capturing and holding territory to score points faster than your opponent, and missions where you don’t have a base and must free prisoners hidden across the map to replenish your forces. They were all fine to play but there was nothing in there that was surprising or that twisted the familiar objectives.

You need to look to multiplayer to see Creative Assemblies real innovation: Blitz Mode. This new game type welds together King of the Hill and a card game. All of Halo’s units and special general abilities appear in Blitz as cards that can be played to the field. So, instead of a base that churns out units, if you want to spawn a warthog you need to have one in your hand and enough energy to play it. Energy comes to you as a constant drip so you only need to wait long enough for it to accrue to play your more expensive cards. The aim of the game is to be the first to 200 points. You score points by holding the majority of the capture points on the map.

These simple systems bleed together to make a fast-paced cutthroat multiplayer game. Holding the points is all that matters because it doesn’t take long to amass 200 points, so you’ll see players racing to take the points with cheap units early in a game and try to swap them out with more powerful things as they can afford them. However, because you can’t afford to let the enemy score points there’s a lot of pressure to attack as soon they hold two or more points. So Blitz games are permeated by small tactical battles. There’s none of the turtling of deathmatch games with players sitting building up armies for half an hour before acting.

There’s also a level of strategy to how you build your deck, opting for cheap weak units or expensive powerful ones. Of course, if you’re playing in 2 v 2 or 3 v 3 games then you can build your deck to complement your allies, with one player making a cheap fast-moving deck while another has all the slow-to-build heavies that come in to secure a position after it’s been taken by the scouts.

There’s a lot of potential for strategy and tactical depth in Blitz that will hopefully reveal itself as soon as there are thousands of players battling each other.

LG G6 confirmed as 5.7-inch, QHD 18:9 monster with brand new UI

It’s official – the LG G6 will come with a 5.7-inch, QHD 18:9 display and a new Android overlay dubbed UX 6.0.

We already knew the LG G6 would have an unusual screen after sister company LG Display spilled the beans on the panel tech for the firm’s next smartphone last month, but the FullVision, 5.7-inch display with a QHD+ (2,880 x 1,440) resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio has now been confirmed by LG for the G6.

That’s not all though, as LG has also given us a sneak peek of what we can expect to see on screen, announcing that the G6 will run the manufacturer’s new UX 6.0 which focuses on advanced muti-tasking, an enhanced camera experience and a better way to enjoy games, films and applications.

Make sure you check out LG’s UX teaser video at the end of this article.

  • The secret story of how the LG G6 leaked online

Square thinking

Thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio, LG says it can divide the screen into two perfect squares. This will allow you to have two apps running side-by-side without negatively affecting the way they are displayed.

This will be useful within the camera app as well, allowing you to shoot in the popular 1:1 aspect ratio (favored by the likes of Instagram), while also being able to view your last shot on the other side of the screen.

LG says more and more app developers are making their applications for the 18:9 aspect ratio, but the reality is many are still favoring the 16:9 ratio which is the norm among smartphones.

Prospective G6 owners shouldn’t fear though, as LG says its new flagship “includes a feature that allows users to view existing 16:9 ratio content easily in 18:9 format.”

We’ll be reporting live from MWC 2017 in Barcelona at the end of the month to bring you all the latest news from the show – including everything you need to know about the LG G6 on February 26.

Keeping Track Of Sales

If you work in a company where inventory needs to be controlled so that you know what to order and what you have plenty of in the stock room, then consider inventory control software. There are programs that allow you to easily enter the number of items that you have on hand on the floor or in storage so that you can keep track of what needs to be ordered before the supplies get too low. One of the benefits of this type of software is that you will usually receive notices when the inventory gets low as you will enter into the system each time something is sold. There are some programs that can be linked to the point of sale system, keeping track of everything that is sold from the store automatically. This system offers a greater benefit because everything is tracked for you, allowing you to concentrate on running the business.

Image result for Keeping Track Of Sales

Even if you do have a system that will keep track of your inventory, it’s still important to manually count the items that you have on a regular basis, such as once a month, as electrical systems can make mistakes as well. Match the numbers with the system to ensure that they are the same. This will give you an idea as to what customers want, making it easy to order the items that are in high demand instead of wasting money on things that would probably sit on a shelf.

There are systems that will let you create lists based on the history of the sales in the company. Some of them can forecast what might be sold in the coming months based on sales in the past at the same time of the year. When you have completed a purchase order list, you can submit it electronically instead of mailing all of the paperwork or calling the warehouse to get an order shipped to the company. Most inventory systems will keep track of lost sales and special orders as well so that you can see if there is a trend in these departments before you place a large order that isn’t needed.

Three Tech-Based Strategies That Can Push Your Organization Forward

Technology is a wonderful thing, but only if you know how to implement it in ways that make your life more efficient. If you’re a business owner who wants to push your organization forward, it’s important to know that the use of tech-based strategies can empower you to obtain great results such as expedited daily operations, optimized conversion, and more. Refer to the tech-based strategies in this quick reference guide to begin moving your organization forward immediately:

Image result for Three Tech-Based Strategies That Can Push Your Organization Forward

  1. Purchase Goods Via Internet.

Shopping online is a wonderful tech-based technique you can deploy to push your organization forward. The reason this strategy is helpful results from the fact that it will enable you to save time that would have been spent travelling to a physical store, dealing with pushy salespeople, etc. In the event that your company makes use of pumps, pneumatics, or electrical equipment, you can attain them from online retailers such as MROStop. Visit the website today to get quote.

  1. Tap Into The Power Of Online Marketing.

Technological advancements have resulted in the rise of online shopping, and this is why you need to tap into the power of internet marketing. Doing so will enable you to sell more of your company’s products and services via internet. Some of the dynamic online marketing services that a digital firm might offer you include content marketing, online reputation management, social media optimization, search engine optimization, and responsive web design.

When you start looking for the right online advertising agency, make sure that you select a community of professionals who will also offer public relations services like crisis communications, product development, press releases, etc.

  1. Start Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.

In addition to tapping into the power of online marketing, make sure that you begin using CRM software. This software will expedite and optimize your company’s sales operations by putting customer-related data in one central, organized sphere. With this software, you’ll be able to enhance the lead generation process while also tracking the purchasing behavior of your current clients.

Start Using These Tech-Savvy Strategies Now!

Once you decide that you want your company to grow in a great way, make sure that you begin implementing tech-savvy strategies such as the ones listed above. By purchasing goods via internet, tapping into the power of online marketing, and starting to use CRM software, you’ll be able to make your company more prestigious, profitable, and progressive!

Reliance Jio Has 23 Percent Market Share, Second Only to Airtel: Truecaller Report

There is hardly any doubt that Reliance Jio has impacted Indian telecom industry in a substantial manner since its launch last year but latest data (July-December) from Truecaller communication app has revealed some interesting facts about the service offered by the Reliance Industries-owned telecom company. As per Truecaller’s TrueInsights 2016 Special report, Reliance Jio has managed to capture 23 percent of the Indian telecom market. Note that this is a measure of the number of users that have Truecaller installed, and thus it doesn’t necessarily represent the overall telecom market of India.


reliance jio users truecaller story Reliance Jio Users


As per other data shared in the Truecaller report, the median call duration registered by Reliance Jio users (less than 30 seconds) is the shortest among users of all major telecom players in the Indian market. Interestingly, Reliance Jio users are also making the most calls per user out of any of the operators, as pointed out in TrueInsights 2016 Special report. The data seemingly suggests that the Reliance Jio users might be facing call-drop issues with the telecom operator. “If overlaid with the average call duration, it does seem like the data points to some unintended usage patterns, such as Jio sims primarily being used for data or an increased amount of dropped calls and hence redials on the Jio network,” Truecaller said in its report.


reliance jio call duration median truecaller story Reliance Jio Median Call Duration


However, things seem brighter for Reliance Jio when we consider Internet data consumption. Citing another industry report, Truecaller said that Reliance Jio users have average data consumption three times higher than other telecom operators. This statistic is of course helped by the free data offered by the company as part of the Reliance Jio Welcome and Reliance Jio Happy New Year offers.

“42 percent of all Indians having 4G handsets are using Jio as the primary source for data connection. Only 17.54 percent of 4G users are using Airtel as primary data connection source, while Vodafone has a market share of at 12.26 percent and Idea has 11.50 percent share,” Truecaller said citing the same industry report.


reliance jio average calls user truecaller story Reliance Jio Average Calls Per User


As per the TrueInsights report, Vodafone and Idea enjoy the leading share in Delhi and Maharashtra respectively while Reliance Jio and Airtel have even share of usage across all regions. Vodafone users reported the longest median call duration while in terms of regions Kolkata users lead the category and Jammu and Kashmir fared worst, as per the data.

As you would expected, the information graphs provided by TrueInsights suggest that the median call duration, number of users, and the number of calls placed by each user, all increased considerably for Reliance Jio in last three months of 2016.

“Mobile Internet usage is expected to grow to over 500 million customers by the end of 2017 with a large portion of those picking Jio. As a result there’s already consolidation discussions among operators in India due to the increased competitive pressures,” Truecaller said in its report.

It will be interesting to see how these numbers for Reliance Jio will change (for better or worse) after the company’s promotion offers end and the standard pricing will be put into place.

A recent report by Truecaller for Q4 2016 revealed that Reliance Jio has become the second largest telecom player in India in terms of users, capturing more than 23 percent of the Indian market.

HTC to Launch a Mobile VR Device That’s ‘Not a Phone Slapped Onto a Headset’

HTC has announced that it would look to boost virtual reality further with a new device that bridges the gap between its expensive Vive headset, and other reasonable mobile-only options like the Gear VR and the Google Daydream View. The new VR gadget will be a completely different product ‘that won’t require your phone to be slapped onto a headset’, HTC’s President of Global Sales, Chia-lin Chang, said in an interview. This new VR will be launched later in the year, as HTC looks to elevate its VR efforts further.

HTC to Launch a Mobile VR Device That's 'Not a Phone Slapped Onto a Headset'

At the HTC U series launch event in Singapore, Chang told CNET that HTC is looking at bringing a different kind of virtual reality gadget that you can use on the go. The device will not be as expensive as the Vive headset, making it possible to reach a wider audience. Just to recall, the HTC Vive costs $799 (roughly Rs. 54,000) in the United States

“We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR. Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset. It’d be a different thing. We’re a VR company, we’re going to have something,” Chang told the publication.

Chang confirmed that the gadget would roll out sometime before the end of the year, but refrained from giving any details about the VR gadget itself. At [CES 2017] http://gadgets.ndtv.com/tags/ces2017), HTC launched the ViveTracker and the ViveDeluxe Audio Strap accessories for Vive that help with object tracking, and offer a better experience with fewer cables and an easier to adjust fit.

HTC increased its focus on VR last year by separating its VR business into a wholly-owned subsidiary. HTC also announced a new consortium called VR Venture Capital Alliance to invest in VR research and development.

5 Fashion Mistakes You Should Resolve in 2017

There are plenty of fashion mistakes that are doing the rounds nowadays. Some men for example love wearing a brown belt when wearing black shoes, or wear sandals with corporate attire. Some are obvious errors but they need to be eliminated so that 2017 is a better fashion year for you.

As women of style, one should be looking out for these subtle but under-the-radar mistakes, which are easily overlooked. Try to avoid these in the future and uphold the right fashion trends wherever you go.

Here are the top five fashion mistakes that you should resolve in 2017:

  1. Wrong belt color with shoes


Men, who wear corporate shoes, always make the cardinal mistake of wearing the wrong colored belt with different shoes. The finish of the belt and also of the shoes need to match completely. Shiny shoes will go with shiny belts and not with the cotton ones. If you’re wearing the casual sneakers, a thick casual belt will do the trick. Get the rights belts for men and flaunt your fashion sense.

  1. Believing that tight clothes are the way to go

tight clothes

It is natural for men and women of certain ages to have some wobbly bits appearing in unwanted places. But to correct the body shape, do not go for skinny jeans or shirts since you’ll end up looking odder than usual, with your attire magnifying the problem to a higher degree. Invest in tailored clothes and some good fitted clothes, especially the ones from good brands like the Polo Association. Buy best fit clothes for women and look perfect in your body shape.

  1. Wearing too many gaudy dresses for attracting attention

gaudy colors

Some women deem that one can attract attention by wearing gaudy shirts and tops that are not paired exactly as they should be. Do you need a simple layering option? Get a floral stole or a floral scarf and then add color to the dimmest of tees, jumpers and even corporate wear. A blooming floral printed scarf can do the trick, to add cheer to the dull winter season.

  1. Not experimenting enough with hairstyles

hair experiment hair experiemtn1

Women sometimes forget to experiment with their hair, although they might tinker with attire, nails, eyes and even their neckline accessories. Carefree short hairdos are now the flavor of the season, instead of long locks, which will bring some playfulness in your look.Try the textured long bob if you are not sure, so you have a hairdo that is both edgy and feminine. Apply some kohl on both eyes, and get a lip shade that gives a better look to your lips. Try the Yves Rocher Nutri-Silky Treatment Shampoo for improving your hair texture too.

  1. Buying cheap shoes with plastic soles

plastic sole

Now those who buy cheap shoes are not sure what they are missing, because they make do with plastic soles and pointy toes that ruin your overall look. The style factor is lost since cheap soles destroy the fashionable you completely. The problem is not many people know, they are making a cardinal fashion sin by wearing cheap shoes with plastic soles continuously day in and out. They do not last many weeks since the soles burn through and there is a bad stench that comes out whenever you remove your foot from them. Whatever your attire, the shoes will make the wearers look and feel like peasants. Respect in this regard will not be received in any case. So stick with good shoes that promise better shelf life and the health of your feet too.


By doing away with the mistakes mentioned above in 2017, you will do a lot better with a fashion sense that will inspire others to follow suit. Find out the best fashion collection at Shoppers Stop.

Uber’s Self-Driving Fleet Takes On San Francisco

Uber on Wednesday rolled out a fleet of self-driving cars in San Francisco, the second U.S. city to participate in its pilot project. Pittsburgh was the first.

Riders who request an UberX — the lowest-priced Uber vehicle — will be matched with one of the self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs if one is available and if the customers are willing, according to Anthony Levandowski, head of Uber’s Advanced Technology Group. They can accommodate three passengers.

San Francisco “comes with its own nuances, including more bikes on the road, high traffic density and narrow lanes,” Levandowski noted.

San Francisco “is one of the most challenging cities for an autonomous car … because there are lots of obstacles, including cable cars, which are unique to the city,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Further, “the hills are particularly steep,” he pointed out.

“The buildings are close and high, blocking GPS signals and challenging GPS accuracy, and pedestrians generally don’t follow traffic signals or use crosswalks,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld. “There’s an argument that if you can handle San Francisco, you likely can handle any city in the United States.”

The self-driving Uber vehicles have drivers on board who can take control if need be.


Sensors and Such

Volvo built the vehicles and sold them to Uber, which added its own self-driving hardware and software.

They are developed on Volvo’s fully modular Scalable Product Architecture, which is used on the XC90 SUV, and on Volvo’s S90 and V90 premium vehicles.

The control apparatus is mounted on the vehicles’ roofs.

Uber’s technology consists of the sensor pod and the compute stack in the trunk — CPUs and GPUs in a blade architecture that allows easy swapping of failing parts, TechCrunch reported.

The cars reportedly have optical cameras, radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic detectors. Their iPad-based display lets users take a selfie and share the image from their ride.

Self-Driving Debate

Self-driving service vehicles “dramatically reduce the cost and increase the revenue” of operators, Enderle said, “because analytics can put the cars where the most demand is, they can be utilized 24×7, and they don’t require drivers — so you have vastly lower wages, benefits and insurance premiums.”

That said, the pilot project may engender opposition from cabbies and Uber drivers in San Francisco, who might “go out of their way to cause accidents with [the self-driving vehicles] to force the failure of these tests and preserve their jobs,” Enderle cautioned. “That has happened before.”

Flouting the Law

Uber began running its vehicles on San Francisco roads some weeks ago, but it has yet to obtain a permit from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, or register with the Department as required by law.

It doesn’t believe it needs a testing permit, Levandowski argued, because “we are not planning to operate any differently than in Pittsburgh, where our pilot has been running successfully for several months.”

Also, the rules “apply to cars that can drive without someone controlling or monitoring them,” he said, and Uber’s vehicles aren’t ready to do so yet.

“We have a permitting process in place to ensure public safety as this [self-driving] technology is being tested, said California DMV spokesperson Cristina Aguilar.

“Twenty manufacturers have already obtained permits,” she told TechNewsWorld, and “Uber shall do the same.”

The San Francisco city attorney “should immediately have police arrest Uber’s CEO for this flagrant violation of a law that’s intended to protect people’s safety,” said John Simpson, privacy project director at Consumer Watchdog.

A key reason for the DMV regulations is “to ensure that important data like crash and disengagement reports are filed and made public,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“Google had test vehicles on the roads long before they even told the DMV they were doing this,” Enderle pointed out. “Until you start manufacturing, prevention is left to law enforcement, which is currently ill-equipped to even identify a self-driving vehicle, let alone do something about it. “