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Japanese car manufacturer Honda starts Conversations with Google on Self-Driving Cars

Waymo, so far known as Google's self-driving car project, announced on December 13 that it would work as an independent company

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Technology Giant Google. Pixabay
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Tokyo, December 22, 2016: Japanese car manufacturer Honda has begun negotiations with Waymo, a Google subsidiary that builds self-driven vehicles, to collaborate on developing the technology further, the company said on Thursday.

Honda R&D (research and development subsidiary of Honda Motor Co) will integrate sensors and software developed by Waymo into its vehicles, which will join Waymo’s fleet currently being tested across four cities in the US, according to the company.

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Honda plans to introduce the vehicles with automated driving capabilities on highways around the year 2020 and hopes this technical collaboration will allow it “to explore a different technological approach to bring fully self-driving technology to the market”, Efe news reported.

The US collaboration will allow Honda an edge over its competitors Toyota and Nissan who are also developing the same technology.

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Waymo, so far known as Google’s self-driving car project, announced on December 13 that it would work as an independent company and has already spent years developing this technology that is touted as the future of the industry.

Waymo completed the first fully self-driven car ride in October 2015 on highways and public roads of Austin in the US and since then has covered a distance of 2 million miles of automated rides.

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The company is already collaborating with the Fiat Chrysler group for using self-driving technology in 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, ready to roll out on US roads in the next few months. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google to charge $40 per device to Android makers. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?