Verizon-Cisco collaboration advances autonomous vehicle tech

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.— Cisco and Verizon collaborated on a successful proof of concept demo in Las Vegas, showing that cellular and mobile edge compute (MEC) technology can enable autonomous driving solutions without the use of costly physical Roadside Units to extend radio signals.

The result paves a simpler and more efficient route to powering applications such as autonomous/unmanned last-mile delivery bots and robotaxis in cities like Las Vegas, where public MEC technologies exist. Additionally, cities and roadway operators could create safer roads with C-V2X applications including pedestrian protection, emergency and transit vehicle pre-emption, on and off-ramp protection (e.g., when a loaded truck needs autonomous guidance to merge or brake safely), and potentially others that involve vehicles approaching intersections with traffic signals.

Proof of concept

Autonomous features in connected vehicles have always relied on roadside radios to extend the signals vehicles use for low-latency communication with each other and surrounding connected infrastructure. The Cisco and Verizon test proved that Verizon’s LTE network and public 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, together with Cisco Catalyst IR1101 routers in connected infrastructure, can meet the latency thresholds required for autonomous driving applications – replacing the costly roadside radios previously required to meet those needs.

By using LTE and edge compute to virtualize the role of the Roadside Units, C-V2X communications proved to be more streamlined – likely to result in improved efficiency and cost effectiveness for municipalities, infrastructure providers, and application developers working with autonomous vehicles. (C-V2X refers to a vehicle’s ability to communicate with other vehicles and connected infrastructure surrounding it.)

The result demonstrates that connected and autonomous vehicle applications can be deployed today using LTE networks, mobile edge compute, and in-vehicle interfaces deployed by OEMs. These capabilities could lead to safer, less congested roads with current connected and autonomous vehicles, with scalability for future applications hosted at the edge and using LTE and 5G connectivity.

Connected transportation – powered by cellular

Improving communication between vehicles and their surrounding infrastructure is essential for creating safer roadways and enabling the autonomous future of driving. Intersections must be securely connected and equipped with compute to allow applications at the edge to communicate and inform split-second decision making.

“This test is a huge milestone in proving that the future of connectivity for IoT applications can be powered by cellular,” said Krishna Iyer, Director of Systems Architecture, Verizon. “We’re marking the strength of mobile edge compute platforms for connected transportation innovation with much more streamlined architecture. Together with Cisco technologies, we’re setting the foundation potentially to realize a ubiquitous IoT in the connected and autonomous future of driving.”

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot progress without reliable communication between vehicles and their surrounding environments,” said Mark Knellinger, Lead Transportation Solutions Architect, Cisco. “This is huge for roadway operators in that it relieves them of the massive expense of deploying and operating a dedicated V2X environment.”

— by Matt Conte, Verizon

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CTA Announces Return to Las Vegas for CES 2022

CES Will Convene Tech Industry In-Person and Digitally 

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced  CES® 2022, the world’s most influential technology event, will return to Las Vegas next year. Following a successful all-digital CES 2021 , CTA will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, giving a global audience access to major brands and startups, as well as the world’s most-influential leaders and industry advocates. CES heads back to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022.

Some 1000 companies have committed to showcasing their most innovative technologies in Las Vegas and companies are continuing to sign up. Attendees can expect to see global brands including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Companies including Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space are planning to make a Las Vegas debut in 2022. Eureka Park will return with startups representing countries around the world, including large delegations from France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Korea.

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas – home to CES for more than 40 years – and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

BDPA and NSBE executives with HBCU professors during CES 2019 ©2019 bdpatoday

Digital audiences will also experience the spirit of the live event in Las Vegas. The CES anchor desk, which debuted at CES 2021, will travel to Las Vegas and connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event. New content will also be added once CES departs Las Vegas, enabling attendees and exhibitors to continue connecting and exploring.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about returning to a live event in Las Vegas,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA. “Global brands and startups have shared that plans are already well underway and are committed to sharing the magic of an in-person CES with even more people from around the world.”

CTA will be reviewing guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state and local guidelines. CTA will be following applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with its audiences.

About CES: 
CES® is the most influential tech event in the world – the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. This is where the world’s biggest brands do business and meet new partners, and the sharpest innovators hit the stage. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, CES features every aspect of the tech sector. CES 2022 will take place in Las Vegas, and digitally, Jan. 5-8, 2022.  Learn more at CES.tech and follow CES on social.

About Consumer Technology Association: 
As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the most influential tech event in the world. Find CTA at CTA.tech. Follow CTA  @CTAtech.

— Source and cover photo credit: CTA


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GM’s Gerald Johnson recognized as 2021’s Black Engineer of the Year

By : Lango Deen

DETROIT, MI (U.S. Black Engineer) — The 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA), held Thursday, Feb. 11 through Saturday, Feb. 13, was an all-digital event. The year’s conference theme was “Stand Up. Step Up. Make a Change,” a call to social justice action. Participants in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields had access to 24 hours of events, award shows, and entertainment.

An iconic line up of stars, including jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright, singer Parris Lane, and Detroit’s DJ Smooth, headlined performances featuring music that celebrated 500 years of African American culture, the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Blacks in the U.S. military and federal service.

BEYA’s 35th annual STEM conference offered career development seminars, presentations, and workshops led by 150 influential speakers, managers, directors, recruiters, decision-makers, and college administrators. Discussions focused on navigating health care during COVID-19, the economy, diversity, equity, and inclusion in workplaces.

High-profile companies at the Technology Recognition event feat. Modern-Day Leaders and Science Spectrum Trailblazers event included Amazon, The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Raytheon Technologies, and Walmart Global Tech.

During the specially produced 35th Annual BEYA Gala, the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year Award went to Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing.  He was recognized for his commitment to mentoring, promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and leading General Motors’ (GM) efforts to support the United States during the pandemic.

Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing

Johnson, the first African American to lead manufacturing at General Motors, heads GM’s global manufacturing operations, manufacturing engineering, and labor relations organizations. He is a member of the GM Senior Leadership Team and reports to Mary Barra, chairman, and CEO of General Motors Company. “Gerald’s passion for the business, strong leadership skills, and extensive manufacturing and labor experience will help in our efforts to continue to transform the company, supporting both the core business and future of mobility,” said Barra. Johnson is the third GM employee to be named Black Engineer of the Year after Alicia Boler Davis in 2018 and Ed Welburn, the sixth design chief in GM’s history, in 2015.  Boler Davis and Welburn both made comments during the live-streamed ceremony.

One of the BEYA gala highlights included Mrs. Lynn Gerald Johnson serenading her husband with a song that the family holds dear. During his acceptance speech. Johnson stressed the importance of hard work, family, faith, and community.

Bruce T Crawford, retired Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, 2020 Black Engineer of the Year, and former chief information officer, United States Army, beamed in for the prestigious black-tie “Passing the Torch” ceremony with his wife to congratulate the 2021 winner of the award.

Visit Career Communications Group’s YouTube channel to view.

In addition to General Motors, there were award ceremony remarks from captains of industry, head of federal agencies and military commanders from the Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Engineer Research and Development Center,  AT&T, Bell Textron Inc., The Boeing Company, Clemson University,  Collins Aerospace, Corning Incorporated,  Corteva Agriscience, Exelon Utilities, Ford Motor Company, General Dynamics Information Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, Leidos, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The MITRE Corporation, NASA Langley Research Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Office of Naval Research, Raytheon Technologies, Sandia National Laboratories,   Spirit AeroSystems, U.S. Army,  United States Air Force,  University of the District of Columbia, University of Houston, Mission and Installation Contracting Command, and Walmart.

Read the 2021 winner profiles in US Black Engineer‘s digital magazine.

At this year’s 16th annual Stars and Stripes Recognition event, part of the 2021 Black Engineer of the Year STEM conference, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff served as keynote speakers and presenters for awards uniformed and federal Black scientists and engineers. Top brass at Stars and Stripes included General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James C. McConville, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. The Military Tribute Hall compiled memorable Black achievements in the United States military.

The BEYA World Digital Platform showcased the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Village, which featured the all-digital HBCU Engineering Deans Recognition program, the HBCU Homecoming event, and interactions with engineering deans from ABET-accredited schools at 15 HBCUs. They graduate most of America’s Black engineers.

The digital platform was also a place for job seekers. More than 100 booths were staffed by staffing specialists, corporate recruiters, and talent management professionals offering job interviews, internships, co-ops, and other positions.

The BEYA Pre-College Program featured young people’s activities to diverse STEM opportunities.  Students, alumni, parents, and supporters of K-12 organizations focused on STEM.

Career Communications Group (CCG) holds its annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference during Black History Month. The annual observance, which begins each year on Feb.1 and ends on the last day of February, celebrates 500 years of African American history culture and their history. Each year, the BEYA STEM Conference coincides with the national celebration of inspiration.

The 2022 BEYA STEM Conference will be hosted in Washington D.C. Information can be found at http://www.beya.org.

National BDPA’s Greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore chapters are co-hosts for BDPA Members attending annual BEYA events. Join, renew, or update membership profiles at BDPA.org for special VIP or all-access invitations.

— Photo credits: GM, CCG, and U.S. Black Engineer Magazine

An “Ecological Paradise”: Tesla Gigafactory Austin is now Official

AUSTIN, TX (BDPA Austin) — “We’re going to make it a factory that is going to be stunning; it’s right on the Colorado River. So we’re actually going to have to have a boardwalk over you, hiking, biking trail. It’s going to basically be an ecological paradise,” Elon Musk announced during the company’s earnings call this week.

tesla-model-x-rear-three-quarter-with-doors-openTesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and renewable energy generation and storage systems. At the heart of these products are batteries. Tesla has seen enormous demand for energy products and electric vehicles. Today, there are more than 350,000 Tesla vehicles on the roads worldwide, and we’ve installed over 1 GWh of energy storage across the globe.

The Gigafactory was born out of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support Tesla’s projected demand. In mid-2018, battery production at Gigafactory 1 reached an annualized rate of roughly 20 GWh, making it the highest-volume battery plant in the world. Tesla currently produces more batteries in terms of kWh than all other carmakers combined. With the Gigafactory ramping up production, Tesla’s cost of battery cells will significantly decline through economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof.

tesla_powerpack

Powerpack (shown above) integrates batteries, power electronics, thermal management and controls into a turnkey solution that’s easy to install for businesses and utilities.   Photo credits: Tesla

The Gigafactory is designed to be a net-zero energy factory upon completion. It will not consume any fossil fuels – there is no natural gas piped to the site nor are there permanent diesel generators being used to provide power. Emergency backup is fed from various electric sources, including renewable energy and storage products.

— Source: Tesla, Inc.

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Amazon is acquiring Zoox for $1.2 billion to help bring their vision of autonomous ride-hailing to reality

FOSTER CITY, CAAmazon has signed an agreement to acquire Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles from the ground up. Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will continue to lead the team as they innovate and drive towards their mission.

Zoox is a forward-thinking team that is pioneering the future of ride-hailing by designing autonomous technology from the ground up with passengers front-of-mind. Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will continue to lead Zoox as a standalone business as they innovate and drive towards their mission.

“Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO, Worldwide Consumer. “Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”

“This acquisition solidifies Zoox’s impact on the autonomous driving industry,” said Aicha Evans, CEO of Zoox. “We have made great strides with our purpose-built approach to safe, autonomous mobility, and our exceptionally talented team working every day to realize that vision. We now have an even greater opportunity to realize a fully autonomous future.”

zoox-tech

“Since Zoox’s inception six years ago, we have been singularly focused on our ground-up approach to autonomous mobility,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO. “Amazon’s support will markedly accelerate our path to delivering safe, clean, and enjoyable transportation to the world.”

Zoox started in 2014 with the vision of purpose-built, zero-emissions vehicles designed for autonomous ride-hailing, along with an end-to-end autonomy software stack. Zoox’s ground-up vehicle focuses on the ride-hailing customer, with tightly integrated features designed to provide a revolutionary passenger experience. Zoox’s approach to invention provides flexibility and the means to iterate rapidly to continuously deliver a superior experience for customers.

Completion of this transaction is subject to review and customary closing conditions.

― Source and courtesy photos: Zoox/The SiliconReview

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HSCC Season Opens with HBCU Festival and Auto Show

Discover new cyber and technical careers in Air and Space.

WASHINGTON—This week, Industry welcomed the ‘Class of 2024’ to a new decade of unlimited opportunities to explore technical and innovative careers. The National Capital Region hosted the 18th annual HBCU Festival, The Washington Auto Show®, and the annual High School Coding Competition (HSCC) season opener.

hscc19-team_commentsThe HSCC kick-off was powered by America’s 2019 National Coding Champions, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPAdc.org). Their journey to BDPACon20 in Atlanta is underway, as a new decade brings with it increased regional participation welcoming JROTC units, HSCC teams from Baltimore, the District, Northern Virginia, and Central Maryland, and new collegiate chapters.

hbcufest_asbc2020aIndustry’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU) pipelines continue to grow with inclusive programs, impact investments, and support for annual HBCU Festivals. The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation (ASBC) hosted their 18th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities College Festival at the Gaylord National Resort Convention Center this Saturday where scholarships and acceptance letters were awarded on site during the festival!

The annual Festival is dedicated to connecting high school students and parents to HBCUs, while helping more students enter college to ensure HBCUs meet enrollment goals.  Since 2003, the Festival has connected more than 35,000 students and parents to academic institutions. Many students are first-generation college students, and in some cases, institutions participating in the Festival are the only available choices for these budding scholars.

ASBC HBCU Festival 2020

The Washington Auto Show®, a world class event, continues to wow audiences this week with its cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles. Opening January 24 this year, the Auto Show will continue to emphasize and showcase the latest innovations in sustainable automotive technologies. As the largest show in Washington, D.C., their “Public Policy Show” features special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media.

IMG_7636

Students and BDPA Student Members interested in automotive careers, modeling and simulation, gamification (gaming), and next generation infrastructure opportunities are invited to participate in this year’s Earth Day Tech Summit next April co-hosted by National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org).

Source and photos BDPAdc

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Uber Technologies joins list of Silicon Valley firms with an IPO filing

SAN FRANCISCO — In a regulatory filing this week, Uber said it will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UBER.”

Uber Technologies has decided it will seek to sell close to $10 billion worth of stock in its initial public offering, and made public the registration of their offering. According to CNBC, an IPO of this size would make Uber one of the biggest technology IPOs of all time, and the largest since that of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding in 2014.

Uber seeks a valuation between $90 billion and $100 billion, influenced by recent poor performances of smaller rival Lyft’s shares following their IPO late last month. CNBC also stated investment bankers previously told Uber it could be worth as much as $120 billion.

— Photo credit: UBER
Sources: CNBC and SEC

 


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Domino’s® and Ford Begin Consumer Research of Pizza Delivery Using Driver-less Vehicles

ANN ARBOR, MI – Domino’s Pizza, the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, and Ford Motor Co. are launching an industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.

As part of the testing, researchers from both companies will investigate customer reactions to interacting with a self-driving vehicle as a part of their delivery experience. This research is important as both companies begin to examine and understand customers’ perspectives around the future of food delivery with self-driving vehicles.

“As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change,” said Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and CEO. “We pride ourselves on being technology leaders and are excited to help lead research into how self-driving vehicles may play a role in the future of pizza delivery. This is the first step in an ongoing process of testing that we plan to undertake with Ford.”

ford-dominxAs Ford builds out its business enabled by self-driving vehicles, conducting research with companies, like Domino’s, will be crucial to ensuring that the technology is applied in ways that enhance the customer experience. With a plan to begin production of self-driving vehicles in 2021, Ford is taking steps to design a business to meet the needs of both partner companies and their customers.

“As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles. “As a company focused on the customer experience, Domino’s shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people’s lives.”

Over the next several weeks, randomly-selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor will have the opportunity to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, which will be manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers. Customers who agree to participate will be able to track the delivery vehicle through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker®. They will also receive text messages as the self-driving vehicle approaches that will guide them on how to retrieve their pizza using a unique code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment™ inside the vehicle.

“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA. “The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience. For instance, how will customers react to coming outside to get their food? We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple. We need to understand if a customer’s experience is different if the car is parked in the driveway versus next to the curb. All of our testing research is focused on our goal to someday make deliveries with self-driving vehicles as seamless and customer-friendly as possible.”

Local partner Roush Enterprises fabricated the prototype vehicle’s pizza container, Domino’s Heatwave Compartment, based on its experience working with Domino’s on the DXP® delivery vehicle in 2015. Ford and Domino’s completed preliminary testing of the delivery process using the vehicle in self-driving mode at Mcity, the simulated urban environment on the University of Michigan’s campus. The city of Ann Arbor also has been supportive of the testing process.

“I’m delighted that Ann Arbor continues to be at the forefront of autonomous-vehicle research,” said Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. “While it’s pizza delivery today, my hope is that collaborations such as this will enable even more innovations tomorrow.”

— Source and photos: Ford Motor Co.

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