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Ford Takes on Tesla With Hands-Free Driving for Electric Mustang – Financial Post

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(Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. plans to install a hands-free driving system on its electric Mustang Mach-E model coming later this year as it attempts to muscle in on the high-tech turf now dominated by Tesla Inc.

The carmaker’s system won’t be operational until the second half of 2021, but buyers of the first Mach-E models rolling off the line in Mexico later this year can opt for hardware that will enable it. The software that brings the Active Drive Assist feature to life must be purchased separately when it becomes available late next year, the company said.

The automaker is taking on Tesla’s Autopilot and Detroit rival General Motor Co.’s Super Cruise. Both allow highway drivers to take their hands off the wheel, though they’re expected to keep their eyes focused on the road. Ford touted its technology as more advanced since it uses multiple infrared cameras trained on the driver to monitor eye movement — even through sunglasses.

Read more: Tesla Can’t Perfect Autopilot Without a Few Deadly Crashes

That’s critical because drivers with hands-free systems are easily distracted but must remain alert enough to grab the wheel at a moment’s notice, Darren Palmer, Ford’s global director of battery electric vehicles, told reporters in a June 17 briefing.

“Our research has shown us that after something like seven minutes of the car driving itself, humans will start to trust the system and consider doing other tasks, maybe texting or looking around,” he said. “No cars on sale are autonomous.”

Ford said the technology will work on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in the U.S. and Canada. It didn’t provide pricing for the optional Mach-E hardware and software.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Bloomberg.com

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Google says Fitbit deal is ‘about devices, not data’ after committing to EU pledge – 9to5Google

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Google today offered a pledge that it would not use Fitbit data for advertising if its acquisition went through. This reportedly addresses a big European demand before approving the Google-Fitbit deal.

In a statement to Reuters, Google said it would “work with the European Commission on an approach that safeguards consumers’ expectations that Fitbit device data won’t be used for advertising.”

A binding pledge emerged last week as a way for Google to avoid an extended, four-month long investigation by European antitrust regulators. When the deal was first announced in November, Google already said “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.” Furthermore, existing users will be given the option to “review, move, or delete their data.”

Today was the deadline for such a commitment, with the EU expected to make a decision as soon as next week on its preliminary review of the $2.1 billion acquisition that would see Fitbit join Google’s hardware division. Europe has surveyed competitors about whether the purchase would harm the marketplace, and how Fitbit could benefit Google’s up-and-coming Health division.

Google also said today that the Fitbit “deal is about devices, not data.” A literal reading reveals the company’s desire to make and have a portfolio of smart watches and fitness trackers. It currently does not have a significant presence in the consumer health space, or a first-party wearables brand that people are familiar with.

After the deal closes, Google could move forward with adding Assistant to the Fitbit Versa 2. We already spotted work on that integration last month, and it would be a way to quickly reflect the new ownership. It also provides a new surface for the smart assistant on many existing devices.

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OnePlus Nord to come in dark grey and include ultrawide selfie cam – MobileSyrup

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OnePlus has shared that the hotly anticipated OnePlus Nord is going to have a 105-degree front camera to make taking group selfies a breeze.

Alongside that news, the OnePlus Twitter account shared a picture of the handset in a dark grey colour scheme. The image has a ‘#01’ on it, and the tweet says people can enter for a chance to win one of the first 10 OnePlus Nords to be released.

It’s unclear if regular consumers will have the option to buy this colour or if it’s exclusive to the first 10.  Since the phone isn’t coming to Canada, it’s highly unlikely that Canadians will be able to get their hands on this stealthy version of the phone.

It’s also exciting to see OnePlus pack a wide-angle camera into the front of the display alongside a regular selfie shooter. Many phones such as the Pixel 4 and the iPhone 11 have been using wide-angle lenses to help people up their selfie game, so it’s nice to see OnePlus follow suit.

Leaks have been speculating that one of the selfie cameras will be 8-megapixels, while the other will be 32-megapixels. If I had to guess, the 8-megapixel lens will be the ultra-wide, and the other camera will be the primary lens used for video chatting and taking pictures, but there’s no concrete evidence yet.

OnePlus seems to be releasing small bits of information via the Nord Instagram account, so stay tuned to that channel until July 21st to get all the new information the company is sharing.

Source: OnePlus

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Apple's iPhone 12 won't be available until October: analyst – MobileSyrup

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In a new research note, analysts from Wedbush say that Apple will go ahead with a September launch event for the iPhone 12 series, but that the smartphone likely won’t be available to purchase until October.

Several Apple leakers and analysts have predicted that the 2020 iPhone’s release will be delayed by at least a few weeks due to supply chain complications brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Further, Wedbush purposes a few scenarios. First, Apple could drop all 2020 iPhone models at the same time but with very limited availability and a lengthy delivery delay.

Second, it says Apple could adopt a strategy similar to the iPhone X and XR. In the case of the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus launched first, followed by the X a few weeks later. The company did the same thing with the release of the iPhone XR following the initial release of the iPhone XS.

The firm goes on to state the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in minimal quantities following its September reveal.

Lastly, there’s a possibility Apple could delay the entire keynote until October so that there is more availability of all iPhone 12 models.

Previous rumours indicate Apple has plans to launch several 2020 iPhones, including 5.4-inch and 5.1-inch iPhone 12 models and a Pro version available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes.

Other reported features include a more squared-off design similar to recent iPad Pro models, a new faster 5nm A-series processor and 5G connectivity.

Source: 9to5Mac

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