Tech in Asia — South Korean startup accelerator SparkLabs and Hanjin, the “chaebol” conglomerate that operates Korean Air, have launched a government-supported innovation center in Incheon. It completes South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s plan to build 17 such facilities across the country to promote domestic entrepreneurship.
Digi Times — Total automotive semiconductor revenues in China reached US$5.6 billion in 2014, and revenues are expected to grow nearly 11% year over year in 2015 to reach US$6.2 billion, according to IHS. Semiconductors used in automotive powertrains, infotainment and body-convenience electronic systems are the primary drivers of revenue growth, said IHS.
MIS Asia — China Telecom Corporation (China Telecom) has partnered Gemalto to develop a proof-of-concept for subscription management in connected cars. According to market research firm Gfk, there is an increasing demand for connected cars with advanced telematics, navigation, and safety features in China. Nearly three quarters of the Chinese consumers also claimed that they would be willing to pay more for an “Ultra Safe” car than just a self-driving car.
Based on Huawei’s “4.5G” LTE service for machine to machine communications (LTE-M), the carrier has rolled out a trial mode of what it refers to as “Smart Parking”, and claims it to be the first commercial application of commercial LTE-based cellular IoT. Smart Parking is intended to help ease traffic and parking congestion in dense urban areas with intelligent sensors across the city. Drivers can search for available parking bay using a mobile app, and has been trialled in Shanghai.
Want China Times — China’s leading smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, has had nine patents related to its new smart vehicle venture published recently through China’s national patent system. The company has clarified that is aiming to develop the “internet of vehicles” but will not itself manufacture the vehicles, reports Beijing-based news agency Caixin Online.
MIS Asia — Toyota, Nissan and Honda today announced they will increase efforts to produce more hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and said they will work together to build more fueling stations to support them. The three Japanese automakers agreed on key details regarding a new joint support project for the development of hydrogen fueling station infrastructure in Japan. The companies pledged up to $90,000 per station to cover construction and operating costs.
IT News — Travellers on the new Sydney-Haneda Qantas flights are likely to receive a glimpse of the future upon landing as the Tokyo-based airport begins a major project to put robots in all passenger terminals. Haneda’s operator, Japan Airport Terminal Co (JAT), yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Cyberdyne, the Japanese university spinout best known for its exoskeletal suit HAL.
The Star — Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of the holding company of India’s Tata conglomerate, has bought a stake in online taxi-hailing firm Ola, the company said. Tata, a respected business leader who was the chairman of salt-to-software Tata Sons for more than two decades, has previously invested in start-ups ranging from online retailer Snapdeal to Chinese phone maker Xiaomi.
Times of India — NEW DELHI: Starting Tuesday, people can see traffic information for 12 new cities, including Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhopal, on Google Maps, a company statement here said. The other cities for which the facility would now be available are Coimbatore, Lucknow, Surat, Indore, Ludhiana, Visakhapatnam, Nagpur, Kochi and Madurai.
IT News —- Transport for NSW will hand NEC $134 million over the next five years to take over its end user computing functions, iTnews can reveal. Last November the agency confirmed it had officially signed IBM as the data centre partner for its massive next-generation infrastructure services (NGIS) overhaul in a $99 million deal due to last five years.
BENGALURU: Tata Consultancy Services and International Business Machines have emerged as frontrunners in the race to win Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo’s IT outsourcing contract, worth about $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter. As part of the deal, which is expected to stretch over three to five years, Volvo will outsource its IT business unit, they said, adding that HP and Infosys are among the other firms being evaluated. Volvo may give out business worth at least $100 million a year as part of this deal, they said, requesting anonymity.
China’s passenger railway transportation system is continuously upgrading its wireless network. Its most recent project is aimed at converting passenger stations into smart stations with high-performance wireless Internet access using state-of-the-art communications technology. Ruckus Wireless Inc. is currently working with Smartac Group China Holdings Limited (Smartac) to build smart WiFi networks that will cover more than 300 passenger stations for three major railroad systems in China—Beijing, Guangzhou, and Lanzhou. The new system will provide comprehensive, real-time passenger data for railway station operators.
Australia’s Customs and Border Protection will install 92 facial recognition terminals in international airports as part of an $18 million deal with Portuguese smart-gate manufacturer Vision-Box. The contract represents a switching of smart-gate vendors for Customs – Vision-Box rival Morpho had been the provider of choice to date for the agency. Morpho delivered around 61 electronic gates at arrival terminals as part of a $53 million agreement with the border security agency that is due to continue out to 2019.
Qantas has begun the process of transitioning its entire website to the Amazon Web Services cloud, CTO Chris Taylor revealed this morning at Sydney’s AWS Summit. The airline began exploring cloud computing as a platform for Qantas.com – which takes up to a million bookings every day – more than a year ago. Taylor said the shift has now begun in earnest after he became “absolutely confident” that it would not fail once it was deployed.
Qantas will hold its first-ever weekend coding event next month, in which app developers will use public flight and travel data to come up with solutions to travelling problems. Fifty developers will hack it out in Qantas’ centre of service excellence facility in Alexandria, Sydney, between May 30 and 31 at the airline’s Codeshare event. The developers will be given access to flight and travel data to build apps.
NEW DELHI: Starting today, several Delhi Metro commuters would be able to download new free apps from an application, which would also offer them redeemable points for recharging their smart cards. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered into a tie-up with ‘Offer World’, an application for Android users, that in turn will reward users, who will download apps available in its kitty.
Foxconn Electronics has signed a strategic agreement with China-based Internet service provider Tencent Holdings and luxury auto dealer China Harmony Auto Holding for tapping the Internet-connected smart electric vehicle market. However, the companies did not reveal much detail of the cooperation project. The coalition efforts will draw on Foxconn’s manufacturing expertise, Tencent’s Internet platform and China Harmony Auto’s dealership networks, according to industry sources.
The federal government is attempting to expand the amount and type of biometric data it collects on Australian citizens and foreigners – including minors – at the country’s airports through new legislation. The Coalition Government had initially attempted to include an expansion to biometric data collection in its ‘foreign fighters’ bill last year. It was knocked back by the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill, which said the collection of additional types of biometric data should by covered under entirely new legislation given the sensitive nature of the information involved.
More than 100,000 people have been fooled by a fake Qantas Facebook page offering free first-class flights. The like-farming scam promises free first class flights in return for liking and sharing an image of what purports to be a complimentary invitation to the airline’s first class lounge. The post claims the reward is a celebration of the airline’s achievement in seating more than three million passengers since the start of January this year.
Baidu is preparing to launch an autonomous car this year. The internet search giant has been working on a variety of innovative ideas including smart bikes, augmented glasses and other hardware centric ideas in the past two years. Launching the car this year would be an interesting proposition, considering China has not regulated autonomous cars and most automotive companies are holding off on making a car until 2020.