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Google’s self-driving car to hit public streets this summer

It looks like we are getting one step closer the release of a self-driving car. Google recently announced that their bubble-shaped self-driving cars will hit the streets of Mountain View, California, this summer. The cars will still have a steering wheel due to legal regulations. However, Google is planning to completely remove all controls as they have found that the human is a poor backup system for a failing computer. Even though advanced software is an enabler of autonomous driving, it is also the last challenge to overcome in the race towards a fully autonomous car. All necessary hardware in the form of radars, lasers and cameras are already sophisticated enough to monitor the traffic in all directions. This leaves the established car manufacturers in an awkward position given Google’s and Apples knowledge capital in software.

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Daimler has built the first licensed autonomous truck

The first license for a truck that can drive by itself has been launched in the United States. Congratulations Daimler!
There is in fact a driver however, and autonomous control is more like auto-pilot in airplanes for highway-like roads. The human driver takes control in more complex situations like road blocks or bad weather. A big advantage is that truck drivers can perform administrative tasks during the drive instead of actively steering the vehicle. BUT obviously the next step is no driver at all, self-driving trucks just got real!

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Spotify turns Starbucks baristas into DJs

Businesses all over the world spend a lot of money on appearance. Everything from having the right furniture to playing the right music is important. Spotify are now going after that market under the slogan “Soundtrack Your Brand”. On Monday it was announced that Starbucks signed a multiyear deal with Spotify. The deal extends to more than just licenses, as Spotify will be incorporated in Starbuck’s app, making it possible to involve both employees and customers in the creation of new playlists. If this turns into a major success for Starbucks we will likely see other stores and restaurants with the same ambitions and the competition for selling music to businesses will consequently harden.

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Location, location, location!

For many tech devices and services location is key, and correct navigation and location tracking can be a very strong competitive edge. Despite Apples soaring success in most tech and device fields location has been very dependent on other the solutions of other companies, including the big rival Google Maps. For the past few years Apple have been acquiring several start-ups and smaller firms in the field to build their own location and mapping technology. Uber also strongly depend on location and are in a similar sprint of acquisitions and development of their own technology. This will obviously also be a key technology for both Apple and Uber in their coming ventures in self-driving vehicles!

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