Next-gen sensors for autonomous cars

There are three strategies for implementing advanced safety features that will lead to full autonomy: add still more sensors; reduce the number of sensors by combining functions; use advanced processing to make use of sensor data.

Here’s a look at how vendors and tier 1s are doing all of them.

Sensors: Powerful, Cheap and Multipurpose

Mobile Payments Still in Hype Cycle

mobilepayMobile commerce was definitely up over the 2014 holiday shopping season — and for many sites, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. (Although I think that tablets, which are used more like laptops, which have replaced desktops, are muddying the stats.)

But, despite all the attention Apple Pay got, few used mobile payments to buy stuff.

Mobile Payments MIA in Black Friday Frenzy

Why Virtual Reality on the Web Is Important (and cool)

VR demo at Mozilla HQ
VR demo at Mozilla HQ

Seems like virtual reality is about to blow up. Mozilla and Google plan to implement browser APIs that will let VR developers make their virtual worlds accessible via the browser. Users still will need headsets, however.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Web — Maybe for Real This Time

Postcard from Detroit

detroitI’m a big fan of the Motor City. If I wasn’t so settled in Berkeley, I’d definitely move there. I occasionally do some lifestyle/culture writing and this was a fun piece.

I didn’t choose the title; Detroit is much cooler than Oakland.

The photo is by Jesse Welter, who leads photo expeditions all over the city.

Facebook’s Google Ambitions

Last week, Facebook reported Q3 earnings. Revenue exceeds analysts expectations, stock falls, blah blah blah. What was interesting about the call was how much like Google Facebook is sounding, not least of which is its ambition to catalog, well, not all the world’s knowledge, but all the world’s Facebook content — which is coming close to equaling the size of Google’s index.

Facebook Touts Search in Q3 Earnings

Can You Hack a Connected Car?

Security is lagging behind tech when it comes to highly computerized automobiles. Chris Valasek, director of vehicle security research at IOActive, and security expert Charlie Miller recently released a research paper titled “A Survey of Remote Automotive Attack Surfaces” that details all the different fronts on which automotive systems could be hacked. I talked to him about whether there’s really a problem and how bad it could be.

Can You Hack It?

How to cover an automotive tech conference

car and moneyProviding same-day coverage of conferences keeps me focused and thinking, as I try to make connections between what different speakers say and identify trending topics. I recently wrote same-day wrap-ups of FC Business Intelligence’s Insurance Telematics USA conference. (Insurance telematics, also known as usage-based insurance or UBI)┬árefers to the various hardware and software applications that let insurers get an accurate view of customers’ driving behavior.)

Day One: Data, Data Everywhere as UBI Becomes Ubiquitous

Day Two: What UBI Do People Really Want?

Another new content paradigm: the meta-site

Burt's Bees Content Ad
Burt’s Bees Content Ad

You could think of as one giant, in-house version of Outbrain. The newly launched site pulls the top content from a network of owned and partner sites, then mixes in native ad content. Other sites in the network act as farm teams for TotallyHer, which is what gets promoted by site owner Evolve Media. Hmmmm.

TotallyHer Launches as Native-Only Site for Brands.