Apple Still working on Ambitious Self Driving Car Project

 

Apple Advances on Self Driving Car

What was once human fantasy may soon become the norm. Self-driving cars are becoming increasingly common to see on the roads nowadays. And as they hit the streets in growing numbers, one company is making efforts to ensure driverless vehicles do so in style and with as less trouble as possible.

Last year, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook dismissed reports saying the company was building its own self-driving cars, claiming instead that his firm was working on “autonomous systems” that will power a range of different products. However, it has since become clear that Apple is indeed working on an autonomous vehicle of some sorts under the name “project Titan.”

A Cleantechnica piece claims that Apple’s self-driving car project is still in the works. The California-based company is said to have brought more people on the self-driving car project, including a Waymo engineer, Jaime Waydo. Apple also hired another notable personality in the person of John Gianandrea, a former Google executive and AI expert.

Ambition

The emergence of Tesla, Waymo, Uber and Google’s ambition to push the limits of innovation to deliver maximum comfort for passengers has led to breakthroughs in the quest for self-driving cars. Recent events suggest Apple hopes to join the train by manufacturing a driverless vehicle of its own.

If Mr. Cook’s earlier submissions are any indication, then Apple will stop at nothing until it has realized its goals. The CEO had stated that Apple’s then new self-driving technology was the “…mother of all AI projects,” which is “is something that’s incredibly exciting for us.”

Considering it’s a big rich company with a vast amount of resources and influence, there’s little to suggest that Apple’s Project Titan will be anything other than a success. The organization has all it takes to lay its hands on the right technology and attract the best brains to help speed up the project.

Steady Progress

It is not yet clear what form Apple’s self-driving car initiative would take. For now, however, it appears that the company’s autonomous driving team will concentrate their efforts on building self-driving employee shuttles in collaboration with Volkswagen, according to The Verge.

The tech giant settled for Volkswagen after talks regarding partnerships with Mercedes-Benz and BMW ended, per New York Times. It would be recalled that Apple obtained permits to test self-driving vehicles in California in furtherance of its driverless car ambition sometime in 2017.

The Drive reported that the company’s fleet of self-driving cars registered with the California Department of Motor Vehicles has grown to 55 cars. This makes Apple the company with the second largest fleet of autonomous vehicles in California after General Motor’s Cruise.

It may not be there yet, but Apple seems to be making continued progress with its self-driving car project.

 

 

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How to Deal With Emergency Situations Abroad Like a Pro

Travel Safe Travel Well

Who doesn’t love going on holiday? It’s a chance to get away from the routine of everyday life, unwind and relax, have new adventures and work on that tan. Planning your trip is a happy, exciting time, so the last thing on your mind is something going wrong.

Unfortunately in today’s world, terror attacks are on the rise giving us a stark reminder that anything can happen at any time. In addition to these types of dangers, you also have to think about the possibility of crime, falling ill and natural disasters.

While you can’t know if these things will happen to you, a little planning helps you be prepared if the worst happens, so you can cope like a pro.

Being a Victim of Crime

Having your money or passport stolen can be a nightmare when abroad. Unfortunately, tourists stand out and are targeted. If this happens to you, report it to the local police with as much information as possible. Depending on where you are, you may get a crime number to use with your insurance providers when making a claim. The next step is to contact the local embassy who can get you an emergency passport and advise on other situations.

If you are traveling with others, you have the safety net of borrowing cash and clothes from them. Traveling alone is a bit more challenging if you have everything taken. Your best bet is to always have a backup credit card or an alternative to have cash wired to you from a relative or a friend.

Don’t make yourself stand out by wearing shiny, expensive jewelry. Take care of your belongings at all times and don’t wander off, leaving your bag unattended. Make sure you have a picture of your passport stored on your smartphone. A smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 can be used to translate a foreign language by using one of the handy translator apps.

A Terror Attack Happens

The chances of this happening are slim, but with the rise of extremism around the world, these situations are happening more frequently. If this happens in an area you are traveling in, stay alert to updates on the news and focus on staying calm.

Prepare by having your local embassy’s numbers stored into your phone and written down. Know basic phrases in the local language or have a translator app stored on your phone. Sign up to receive travel alerts to your phone. Signing up to the smart traveler enrollment program will keep you in the know about any current situations where you are and could arrange evacuation assistance when needed.

You Become ill

Being ill when on holiday can be awful, but if you are prepared, you can minimize the stress. Make sure you have any repeat prescriptions you may need as finding the same in a foreign country can be hard or even impossible.

Purchase medical insurance before you travel and make sure you have copies of the policy and ID cards within easy reach. Research where local doctors are in the area you are staying in and check travel forums for any insight to their reputation. Make sure you have all the relevant travel vaccinations to protect you against any local diseases.

 

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How PPI Claims And Compensation Have Affected The UK Economy

 

Payment Protection Insurance

PPI, perhaps the most high profile scandal in British financial history, has naturally earned its notoriety over the past few years since the reveal in 2011 that millions of British consumers had been mis-sold the insurance. With billions of pounds worth of compensation being paid out since, it has had a catastrophic impact on the UK. In this article we’re going to evaluate that very influence as we take a look at how ppi claims and compensation have affected the UK economy.

PPI: The History

Before we assess the impact that PPI had on the UK, let us first give you a succinct insight into its history.

PPI otherwise known as Payment Protection Insurance was sold alongside credit cards, loans and other financial agreements as a failsafe should a borrower’s income ever fall, due to them either being dismissed from their job or becoming so seriously ill that they were no longer capable of repaying their loan.

The insurance became increasingly prominent throughout the 90s and into the new millennium as lenders discovered they could add lucrative commissions onto PPI policies. As more and more financial intuitions began to exploit the protective policy for financial gain, a series of civil cases began to be contested in court whereby consumers claimed that PPI’s were essentially ineffective.

This culminated in 2011, when the Financial Conduct Authority officially released a public order stating that millions of PPI policies had been mis-sold to consumers and that they were owed compensation as a result.

It is believed that between the years 1990 and 2010 that over 45 million consumers were mis-sold PPI.

What It Meant For Lenders

As you can imagine such a demand for compensation would have a disastrous impact on any industry and that’s without considering the fines and legal fees each of the UK’s banks and lenders would have incurred as a result of mis-selling PPI.

The most recent total supplied by the Financial Conduct Authority, reported that since January 2011 that £32.9 billion worth of compensation had been paid out to consumers. To put that figure in perspective, that is over triple the £8.77 billion it cost the public to pay for the 2012 London Olympics.

However PPI is still prominent today, having an significant effect on the lending industry with Britain’s most high profile banks, Lloyds, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Santander collectively setting aside a further £35 billion to cover the overall rising cost of compensation.

A Brief Boost

There is some evidence to suggest that PPI claims and compensation’s effect on the UK wasn’t wholly negative, in fact in the immediate aftermath it actually boosted the UK economy briefly.

In 2012, the country’s overall disposable income was at a low, amongst a rise in unemployment and the recession still looming over UK’s most prolific industries, many households were struggling to buy anything other than necessities.

However as bank’s began to compensate its consumers, household’s suddenly had an additional £2000 to spend on whatever they wanted. This impact was so significant that it actually led to the Independent Office for Budget Responsibility to up its estimate of real disposable household income by 0.5%.

A New Industry

Also the effect of PPI compensation has led to the creation of new jobs, specifically in the form of claim management companies.

Helping consumers to find out whether they are eligible for compensation or not, they hire customer service staff, complaint handlers, call centre executives and many more managerial positions.

Without the PPI scandal’s effect these businesses wouldn’t have been created and thousands of employees wouldn’t have been recruited. However as we approach the 29th August 2019, the PPI deadline, there is much uncertainty surrounding the security of these businesses and their worker’s positons.

There you have it, the exact effect PPI claims and compensation had on the UK economy. Damaging the lending industry, briefly boosting the economy and creating an entirely new industry, whether or not you consider its effect to be positive or negative you cannot debate that it has been vast.

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