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.
The bigger they get, the harder they stall. Such appears to be the case for Uber, the app-based transportation service, as it falls under increased scrutiny from government regulators across the globe. In Japan, where bureaucracy can run deeper than the Mariana Trench, it should come as no surprise that the government’s transport ministry has moved to suspend Everyone’s Uber – a free ridesharing pilot program that launched last month in Fukuoka.
The Victorian government will soon start accepting applications from providers interested in operating the state’s smartcard public transport ticketing system Myki. Myki was introduced as a replacement for Metcard in the Melbourne metropolitan area and paper tickets for V/Line commuter services when the contract for the ticketing solution was first awarded in 2005.
Australia’s aviation services body Airservices Australia has partnered with mobile satellite comms provider Inmarsat and two local airlines to trial improved flight tracking services on commercial flights. Airservices started working with Inmarsat, Qantas and Virgin last month to develop the operational concept for the trial, which uses Inmarsat’s automatic dependant surveillance – contract (ADS-C) satellite-based positioning and messaging technology on flights within Australia’s oceanic regions.
Jakarta’s public bus operator TransJakarta will develop a mobile app for people to track the arrival times of buses at bus stops. The app will allow people to track the location of bus drivers and estimate when buses will arrive at the bus stops, said Steve Kosasih, CEO of TransJakarta. The city will work with the makers of a popular delivery tracking app, Go-Jek, and will use the same system for the bus app. Go-Jek allows people to track the location of their deliveries through the GPS on the drivers’ smartphones.
Singapore is setting aside space to test autonomous vehicles (AV) on public roads and has set rules for how this technology can be tested safely. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and industrial estate planner JTC Corporation have selected a 6-km route in the One-North business park where applicants will be able to “test their vehicles’ navigation controls in a real-world environment”.