Web traffic from Chrome’s article recommendations increased 2,100% in 2017

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Over a year ago, Google added article recommendations to the New Tab Page on Chrome for Android. Even though it cluttered up the once-clean page, it has quickly become a major source of traffic for many websites. According to NiemanLab, traffic from Chrome’s New Tab Page increased a whopping 2,100% last year.

The data comes from Chartbeat, a content intelligence company often used as an alternative to Google Analytics.

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Web traffic from Chrome’s article recommendations increased 2,100% in 2017 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Smart city hotspots: FLIR manages traffic using thermal imaging

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Thermal imaging company FLIR Systems has launched a traffic sensor designed to connect vehicles to smart city infrastructures. The thermal system will provide a line of communication for the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) market.

FLIR’s thermal cameras are often used to detect heat signatures from the air. For example, the company has a partnership with Chinese drone giant DJI to provide thermal imaging in support of precision agriculture, solar panel inspection, and search and rescue operations, among other applications.

FLIR’s V2X-enabled traffic sensor is a step towards embedding that data into urban infrastructures in a way that improves the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.

Read more: Councils partner with Telensa on smart city programmes

FLIR’s V2X Technology

According to FLIR, its V2X imaging technology will be one voice in the digital conversation between cars, other road users, and smart-city traffic infrastructures of the future.

FLIR traffic management using thermal imagingThe aim is to make roads safer. FLIR’s ThermiCam V2X (pictured) could support a real-time collision avoidance system that accounts for the movements of all road users, said the company. It can be mounted onto existing traffic signals to read the heat signatures of vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists at intersections.

The plan is for vehicles to transmit their speed and direction data over short distances. That information will be combined with FLIR’s ThermiCam V2X, which will communicate the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.

All of this data could help to warn drivers about dangerous situations before it is too late, or be incorporated into the actions of driverless systems.

Read more: Uber halts self-driving car tests after pedestrian is killed

Read more: GE to provide Enel with software for monitoring power plant assets

FLIR’s thermal traffic management solution

Aside from preventing crashes, FLIR’s ThermiCam V2X can gather enough information to prioritise traffic signalling at busy intersections, making way for emergency vehicles or improving the general traffic flow.

“As car manufacturers design V2X technology into future vehicles, FLIR is being deployed today to ensure cities are ready for their arrival,” said James Cannon, President and CEO of FLIR.

“By detecting pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles in real time, while also enabling communication between vehicles and traffic infrastructure, FLIR ThermiCam V2X will play a critical role in improving the movement and safety of the world’s roads.”

The price to pay for V2X communications

As of yet, FLIR has not provided any details on how its V2X technology will be secured. Clearly, any move to connect the previously unconnected opens the doors to cybersecurity risks.

ABI Research last year estimated that roadways will account for the majority of cybersecurity spending in the transport sector, with $ 5 billion expected to be invested by 2022.

At the time, research director at ABI, Michela Menting, pointed out that, “While the transportation sector places heavy reliance on functional safety and physical security, the cyber protection of connected operational technologies is currently inadequate and will require some significant work.”

“Transport stakeholders will have to implement digital security if they want to successfully realise the efficiencies and cost savings that connected OT promises to deliver.”

FLIR will demonstrate the ThermiCam V2X sensor at Intertraffic 2018 in Amsterdam.

Read more: Battery breakthrough puts superfast-charging electric vehicles on road

Internet of Business says

The death this week of 49 year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was struck by an autonomous Uber car in Tempe, Arizona, reveals that smart transport, driverless vehicles, and smart city programmes are ultimately all about people, not technology. That said, any innovative system that improves the safety of our roads for all users is welcome.

Read more: Gartner: Four strategies to make smart cities work for citizens

The post Smart city hotspots: FLIR manages traffic using thermal imaging appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Now your Audi can read Washington DC’s traffic lights

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The idea that your car can understand traffic light patterns still seems far-fetched as we’re still trying to grapple with limited self-driving technology. But Audi has been gradually releasing its Traffic Light Information system around the US over the last couple of years, and it’s finally reached the nation’s capital.

Audi said Wednesday it’s expanding its Traffic Light Information system to Washington, DC, making it the seventh US area to accept the technology. In short, the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) system on some 2017 and 2018 Audi models can receive information from a centralized traffic light management system on how much time before a red light turns to green through the car’s built-in 4G LTE hotspot.

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Waze update adds new ETA screen showing traffic forecasts & more

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Popular third-party navigation app Waze has been updated with some notable interface tweaks today. The update brings the app to version 4.35 and features a redesigned ETA screen, making it easier to see traffic information before you leave…

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Toot toot: 6 top tips to tremendous traffic in 2018

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I’ve found in my entrepreneurial efforts, and when I’ve consulted and mentored other companies, that a great product or service will only take you so far. Without the right marketing tools in place to back it up, that great idea will likely go overlooked and forgotten, no matter how fresh or exciting an idea it might be. Unsurprisingly, one of the best ways to get great results for your startup is taking steps to improve your web traffic. But how? While quickly growing your web traffic may seem like a challenging task, it’s essential for entrepreneurs who are serious about…

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Ride-Hailing Services Aimed at Cutting Traffic Are Having the Opposite Effect

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft were supposed to make our streets less congested, but studies suggest that they’re having the opposite effect.

A report published by the UCDavis Institute of Transportation Studies in October 2017, which surveyed over 4,000 adults in seven U.S. cities, found that after rolling out one of the two services public transport usage dropped by six percent. More worryingly, the study found that between 49 and 61 percent of journeys made using the likes of Uber and Lyft would have been made on foot, on a bike, on public transport, or not made at all, if those services weren’t available.

This observation was echoed by a new study carried out by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, which surveyed 944 ride-hailing passengers in the Boston metro area. Here, 12 percent said that if ride-hailing services weren’t available, they would have walked or cycled, and 42 percent said they would have used public transport.

This stands in stark contrast to comments made by Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick in 2015, when he said “we envision a world where there’s no more traffic in Boston in five years.”  According to a report from the Boston Business Journal, he reiterated his point saying that if every car in the city was an Uber, the road network would be way more efficient. The company’s big plan for the future revolves around a self-driving fleet, which they claim could potentially prevent traffic jams.

If once there were hopes that ride-hailing services would work alongside public transport, they seem to have been quashed. “Ride sharing is pulling from and not complementing public transportation,” said Alison Felix, an author of the MAPC report, in an interview with AP News.

But this development doesn’t come as a surprise, not for everyone. Over a year ago, in an article for The Guardian, a senior fellow at the New Cities Foundation Greg Lindsay wrote that Uber was looking to “disrupt the bus.”  If ride-hailing services are going to continue to play a major role in our travel plans, public transport might pay the price.

The post Ride-Hailing Services Aimed at Cutting Traffic Are Having the Opposite Effect appeared first on Futurism.

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Vodafone to trial drone air traffic control system

Telecoms giant Vodafone has announced trials of an air traffic control system for drones. The company is using its 4G mobile network and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to help prevent accidents, and avoid illegal incursions. 

Figuring out how to integrate drones into commercial and civilian airspace is a technical challenge that is being tackled on both sides of the Atlantic. In December, the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a report outlining the views of various industry stakeholders on how to track and identify flying robots. In Europe, similar discussions are underway.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is currently developing a framework to regulate the operation of drones as part of its U-Space initiative.

Read more: MIT’s NanoMap helps drones to navigate safely at high speed

Vodafone’s radio positioning system

Vodafone claims that it has developed “the world’s first Radio Positioning System (RPS) for drones”. The system relies on a 4G modem and SIM embedded within each drone. The result allows authorities to track and identify each drone in real time.

Vodafone says that the 4G-enabled system allows for beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) control by the operator, which greatly reduces the risk of accidental incursions when operators lose sight of their drones.

Geofencing technology can also be applied to force drones to land automatically or return to the operator if they stray too close to airports, prisons, or major events.

However, both BLOS flight and geofencing are already enabled and enforced, respectively, by drone-industry leader, DJI.

Read more: US Army grounds DJI drones over cyber vulnerabilities

Intervention and innovation

Most professional-level drones have a working range in excess of three miles, although regulations on both sides of the Atlantic forbid flights of that range without a waiver.

In theory, Vodafone’s 4G network could greatly extend that range. A recent trial in Spain saw the company fly a 1.3 metre wingspan, 2kg X-UAV along a 32km course near Seville. The drone transmitted a live HD video feed and flight data, including speed, RPS location, and GPS coordinates.

Notably, Vodafone’s system enables emergency remote intervention. This would give authorities the power to override a drone operator’s control should the aircraft be deemed a risk.

Vodafone Group CTO Johan Wibergh, said: “This groundbreaking innovation by Vodafone will help to ensure the skies stay safe as drones become ubiquitous, everywhere.”

Deputy director general of the European Commission, Matthew Baldwin, said: “The Commission supports all trials aimed at realising our U-space vision for safe commercial drone operations in the EU. There is a growing network of demonstrations and projects across the EU. We look forward to hearing the results of Vodafone’s work.”

Further trials of the technology are scheduled in Spain and Germany throughout 2018. The intention is for the company’s drone-tracking and safety technology to be available for commercial use from 2019.

Internet of Business says

Any concerted attempt to make our skies safer by integrating drones with traditional air traffic is welcome. Vodafone’s technology is bold, but innovation and implementation are very different things.

Chinese drone giant DJI has a massive hold over the hardware market for both commercial and ‘enthusiast’ drones, so any serious attempt at an unmanned aircraft tracking system will need to have DJI onboard, particularly if it requires modifications to the hardware (as Vodafone’s Sim-enabled solution does). On top of that, DJI already has its own technology for tracking and identifying drones: Aeroscope.

Vodafone’s plan to allow emergency intervention mid-flight is likely to concern many end users, even if our often-conservative airspace regulators may feel more comfortable with such a hands-on solution. However, until countries such as the US and the UK make greater efforts to integrate unmanned air traffic with traditional flight at both strategic and operational level, the market will be forced to invent its own piecemeal solutions.

In the UK, for example, the Aerospace Technology Institute is responsible for doling out government cash to the aerospace sector. There is currently no panel within the organisation dedicated to autonomous systems.

The post Vodafone to trial drone air traffic control system appeared first on Internet of Business.

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Google Maps for iOS Gains Quick-Access Traffic, Transit, and Local Info Tabs

Google has updated its iOS Maps app with three new quick-access options that Android users have had access to for over a year now. The new tabs sit across the bottom of the home screen and are called Explore, Driving, and Transit.

Swiping up on the shortcuts reveals further details. For example, in Explore users can find a description of the local area, dining choices, and options to search for gas stations, ATMs, convenience stores, drug stores, and other amenities.

The driving tab provides a traffic summary for the area, including information on possible delays that might add time onto a commute. This tab will also include current ETAs for the user’s home and work addresses if they are saved in the app’s settings. Finally, the transit tab offers estimated bus and train schedules at stations in the vicinity.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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Google Maps for iOS gains quick access tabs with info on nearby locations, traffic, and transit

Google Maps iOS explore tab

Apple Maps has definitely improved in the years since its launch, but many iOS users still rely on Google Maps to help them get around. Today Google announced a new feature for those folks.

Google is now rolling out a new section in Google Maps for iOS that’ll help you get more info about what’s around you. Swipe up from the bottom of the app and you’ll see three tabs — the explore tab, the driving tab, and the transit tab — that’ll help you do things like find a meal nearby or catch a bus.

This feature rolled out on Google Maps for Android last year, and it’s good to see it coming to iOS as well. With it, you can quickly find info about what’s around you, including restaurants and traffic, without having to tap on a bunch of places or change to a different part of Google Maps.

If you use Google Maps for iOS, keep an eye out for this feature the next time you load up the app.

Google Maps iOS traffic, transit tabs

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Google Maps for iOS adds easy access to traffic and transit info

Over a year ago, Google updated its Maps app for Android, making it easier for users to search for restaurants, check out nearby traffic and find public transit schedules. Today, that update is now available for iOS users. With the update, Google Map…
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