Tag Archive: Transportation

After years toiling away in secret on its car project, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has for the first time laid out exactly what the company is up to in the automotive market: It’s concentrating on self-driving technology.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on June 5. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

“We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects,” Cook said in his most detailed comments to date on Apple’s plans in the car space. “It’s probably one of the most difficult A.I. projects actually to work on.”

The prospect of self-driving cars has seen a slew of technology companies push into the auto industry, which is estimated to be worth $6.7 trillion (roughly Rs. 431,29,903 crores) by 2030, according to McKinsey & Co. Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit has signed partnerships with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Lyft Inc. to develop the technology. And carmakers from BMW AG to General Motors Co. have opened sizable Silicon Valley offices and dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire autonomous vehicle startups.

Apple had initially been seeking to build its own car, before recalibrating those ambitions last year to prioritise the underlying technology for autonomous driving, Bloomberg News reported. The iPhone maker had hired more than 1,000 engineers to work on Project Titan, as the car team is known internally, after it started in 2014.

Ballooning costs and headcount led to Apple veteran Bob Mansfield being given the reins of the team in 2016. Cook has never before openly outlined Apple’s plans, though public filings have surfaced in recent months that provided snapshots of Apple’s efforts.

The iPhone maker secured a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April to test three self-driving sports-utility vehicles, photos of which emerged several weeks later. A half-dozen vehicles had been surreptitiously testing the autonomous technology on public roads in and around the San Francisco Bay area for at least a year, according to someone familiar with Project Titan. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on how long the company has been conducting road tests.


In December, Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity, penned a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealing the company’s interest in automotive technology. It became public when it was published on a federal website. In the letter, Kenner wrote about the company’s excitement surrounding the potential for automated systems in fields like transportation.

“There is a major disruption looming there,” Cook said on Bloomberg Television, citing self-driving technology, electric vehicles and ride-hailing. “You’ve got kind of three vectors of change happening generally in the same time frame.”

Cook was also bullish about the prospects for electric vehicles, a market which last week helped Tesla Inc. become the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker by market capitalisation, even as it ranks well outside the top 10 by unit sales.

“It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station,” Cook said.

Apple invested $1 billion last year in Didi Chuxing, the biggest Chinese ride-hailing service. The announcement came soon after Mansfield took over Project Titan and set about cutting hundreds of engineers. Whereas Apple had initially been building its own car, Mansfield scrapped those plans in favor of building an autonomous driving system. The company will make a decision on whether to proceed with the push later this year, the people said at the time.

In the interview on Bloomberg Television, Cook was hesitant to disclose whether Apple will ultimately manufacture its own car. “We’ll see where it takes us,” Cook said. “We’re not really saying from a product point of view what we will do.”



Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Uber has unarguably made life easier for many. But the taxi-aggregator service’s customer support remains far from being perfect. The good news is, the company is finally trying to fix this aspect of the ride experience, it appears. Uber has begun improving its in-app support feature to resolve customer responses faster and more efficiently.



Uber is killing its boilerplate and not-as-effective email support system. The company has started to upgrade the Help menu in Uber’s app which will facilitate faster and more efficient resolution of cancellation fees, missed items, and complaints about driver and other issues, reports TechInsider, citing executives at the company. A bunch of things such as cancellation and refund requests that don’t require human interaction will be handled by the system, whereas other things will be taken care of by representatives of Uber.

The help menu in the app will soon get the ability to message customer support directly, check detailed history with receipts, as well as an option to quickly report an issue. “The old system added a bunch of friction to actually getting to the classification of the issue and ultimately the right response,” Michael York, Uber’s head of “customer obsession,” told the publication.

While revealing these upcoming features, York noted the issues Uber and its customers are facing with the existing system. He noted that if a passenger doesn’t report an issue with the company immediately, the company would not have much idea about a specific ride.

The company has begun phasing out the email support system, though it might take sometime before you get the in-app support. Uber says it is beginning the process in the United States and will move to other countries later.

Separately, Uber is now allowing third-party websites and apps to bring their branding and functionality to Uber ride experience. The company says that developers that utilise deeplinks or Ride Reminders will now be able to engage with users more efficiently. Uber has already partnered with a number of big players including Zomato and American Airlines.

The idea is to make two apps work together and enhance the user experience. For instance, let’s say you’re on your way to an airport, you will be able to order in-flight Wi-Fi data package before reaching there. Uber gives another example, “Zomato lets you request a ride from a restaurant’s page in their app. Now they are taking this a step further and will let you easily check out the menu before you arrive.”


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)