Technology Bulletin

    • Spotify Is Working on Its Own Voice Assistant
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • (Source: Tech Times) "Spotify is reportedly working on developing its own voice assistant for the mobile app. The wake word "Hey Spotify" rese... View More
      (Source: Tech Times) "Spotify is reportedly working on developing its own voice assistant for the mobile app. The wake word "Hey Spotify" resembles that of Google. As far as the smartphone is concerned, Google's own voice assistant already provides accessibility to Spotify, so we believe it is not going to be that useful until and unless Spotify brings something really great in its assistant." - Abhilash Kumar Key Takeaways: The feature can be very useful with Spotify's first automotive hardware "Car Thing" where users can access the playlist handsfree while driving.  The move indicates Spotify's long-term plan to create its own ecosystem, along with its own voice assistant, music streaming and hopefully some smart hardware.
    • Broadcom Lawsuit Blames Your Netflix Habit for a D...
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • (Source: Engadget) "Broadcom is suing Netflix for patent infringement related to data transfer and video playback. Part of Broadcom's revenue comes ... View More
      (Source: Engadget) "Broadcom is suing Netflix for patent infringement related to data transfer and video playback. Part of Broadcom's revenue comes from chipset sales for cable set-top box, that is estimated to decline due to the emergence of online streaming services like Netflix. This lawsuit may not produce the desired results for Broadcom as similar cases against TV companies in the US were ruled against Broadcom." - Shobhit Srivastava Key Takeaways: -  Chipset sales of Broadcom are challenged by the increasing popularity of online streaming services.  The lawsuit may be viewed by investors as a measure to cut some losses.  Broadcom still needs to chalk down a long-term plan to tackle the evolving ecosystem.
    • Libra Association Members Migrate to Rival Project...
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • (Source: Altcoin Buzz) "Libra started with 28 members in the Libra association. With the increasing regularity and controversies, it faced a sharp decli... View More
      (Source: Altcoin Buzz) "Libra started with 28 members in the Libra association. With the increasing regularity and controversies, it faced a sharp decline in this number. This led to members leaving the association for the rival project named Celo Dollar. Both Celo and Libra, are designed to be stable. However, reserves of Celo are backed by other digital currencies, whereas Libra is backed with fiat money." - Arushi Chawla Key Takeaways: Libra challenging the US Dollar, whereas Celo acting as an alternate, creates issues for Libra, which has resulted in members switching sides.  In addition to it, by backing Celo, some of Libra’s remaining members essentially hedge their bets.
    • FCC Gives T-Mobile Extra Spectrum to Cope With Dem...
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • (Source: Engadget) "FCC has provided T-Mobile access to extra 600 MHz spectrum from Dish and Comcast for the next 60 days as the company saw demand incr... View More
      (Source: Engadget) "FCC has provided T-Mobile access to extra 600 MHz spectrum from Dish and Comcast for the next 60 days as the company saw demand increase due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As the country prepares to fight back the virus, the number of people working from home is increasing the strain on data networks across the US." - Shobhit Srivastava Key Takeaways: In response to "social distancing" by the users, operators will require to be prepared for increased data usage.  We may see more such requests to FCC by other operators as well. 
    • KaiOS Partners With Mozilla
    • Mar 17, 2020
    • (Source: KaiOS Tech) "Mozilla has partnered with KaiOS to support to its operating system. A version of Gecko (the engine that powers Mozilla Firefox) i... View More
      (Source: KaiOS Tech) "Mozilla has partnered with KaiOS to support to its operating system. A version of Gecko (the engine that powers Mozilla Firefox) is currently used by KaiOS to render the web on their devices. This partnership will help ensure that KaiOS remains a secure web platform by bringing their version of Gecko up to date, and keeping it updated with the latest features, web site compatibility, and security fixes." - Varun Mishra Key Takeaways: -  Firefox has been facing tough competition in the web browser space, especially from Google Chrome.  The partnership gives an opportunity for Mozilla Firefox to become the preferred web browser on the KaiOS platform, similar to Chrome on Android.  The partnership would help Mozilla reach on over a 100 million installed base of devices running on the KaiOS platform.
    • BorgWarner Completes the Acquisition of Delphi Tec...
    • Mar 10, 2020
    • (Source: BorgWarner) "The US car component supplier, BorgWarner acquires Delphi Technologies for US$3.3 billion in an all-stock transaction. This deal w... View More
      (Source: BorgWarner) "The US car component supplier, BorgWarner acquires Delphi Technologies for US$3.3 billion in an all-stock transaction. This deal will help BorgWarner to focus more on thermal management solution products in passenger hybrid and electric vehicles. The expertise of Delphi Technologies in clean power electronics products will also help to develop better-electrified propulsion system in commercial vehicles and target aftermarket solutions." - Aman Madhok Key Takeaways: The collaboration of two large companies will help in reducing the cost of electrified products, thus reducing the cost of electric vehicles in future.  In 2019, BorgWarner invested in Romeo Power to develop packs. These investments are indicating that BorgWarner is slowly transitioning to electrified mobility. BorgWarner will maintain leading position in power electronics market in Automotive segment with better scalability on production and improved efficiency.
    • Geneva Motor Show Cancelled Over COVID19 Fear
    • Mar 10, 2020
    • (Source: The Verge) "In the interest of public health and safety, next week's Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled amidst fears of COVID-19. Switzer... View More
      (Source: The Verge) "In the interest of public health and safety, next week's Geneva Motor Show has been cancelled amidst fears of COVID-19. Switzerland's Federal Office of Public Health has announced banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people through at least March 15, looking to restrict the spread of the virus. The Geneva Motor Show was set to take place between March 6 and March 8, 2020. Ultimately, it is a health issue and not worth the risk." - Vinay Piparsania Highlights: The global car show is the second major European business event to be cancelled because of Coronavirus. The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the annual tech summit in Barcelona was called off earlier this month. Being declared "force majeure", the cancellation will be a significant loss for the auto manufacturers that invested in their participation at the annual European motor show. 
    • DHL to Stop Production of StreetScooter Electric V...
    • Mar 10, 2020
    • (Source: Electrive) "StreetScooter, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group is going to stop production of electric commercial vans. It will now focus o... View More
      (Source: Electrive) "StreetScooter, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group is going to stop production of electric commercial vans. It will now focus on operating existing electric vehicles and purchasing new vehicles from other automakers from next year. After carrying losses for the past six years, production of StreetScooter van wasn’t financially viable for DHL. Even in 2019, it suffered a loss of US$110 million." - Aman Madhok Highlights: StreetScooter was once considered as a competitor of Volkswagen and Daimler in the electric commercial vehicle market.  The company had no intention to enter the commercial vehicle market. It was only producing vehicles for its own fleet. The faulty business strategy, the straight decline of light-duty trucks in Europe and increasing competition with the emergence of Rivian, forced DHL to take this decision. 
    • Continental Posts $1.3B Net Loss for 2019 as Car D...
    • Mar 10, 2020
    • (Source: Automotive News) "Continental needs to catch up with automakers like the GM, and quickly take some drastic restructuring to sustain in the prev... View More
      (Source: Automotive News) "Continental needs to catch up with automakers like the GM, and quickly take some drastic restructuring to sustain in the prevailing tough conditions. The already weakened automotive demand is expected to be further impacted by the spread of Coronavirus. The company operates 50 factories and R&D units in China." - Aman Madhok Highlights: 2019 sales remained flat at €44.4 billion while adjusted EBITA declined to 7.4% from 9.3% in 2018. The company is expecting sales in 2020 to remain flat as well, and global automotive production to fall between 2-5%. In November 2019, Continental announced to cut around 5,000 jobs by 2028. The company said it will announce further measures to fight the slowdown in May 2020.
    • Self-Driving Car Companies Complain California Tes...
    • Mar 10, 2020
    • (Source: Reuters) "With California authorities requiring companies testing self-driving vehicles on public roads to report "disengagements"&nb... View More
      (Source: Reuters) "With California authorities requiring companies testing self-driving vehicles on public roads to report "disengagements" — i.e. when a human driver takes manual control from a self-driving system - General Motors and Aurora are stating that “disengagements” is not an accurate measure on their technical progress or failure." - Vinay Piparsania Highlights: The issue is being raised with the possibility of their vehicle launches being impacted and affecting their profitability.  As of now, clear and specific definition of what constitutes a disengagement, without the reference of a broader set of data points, is absent. The disengagement metric could draw unfair comparisons and conclusions on the companies' self-driving technology development.

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