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The Maserati MC20 gives Android Automotive OS its fastest ride yet

The dashboard of Maserati’s MC20 supercar may be minimalistic, but it’s not lacking tech, giving Android Automotive OS its fastest ride so far. Announced this week, the new MC20 is the automaker’s opportunity to hit reboot on its range, with a focus on being more distinct from other vehicles from its FCA owners.

It’s also a chance to get to grips with some cutting-edge technology. While the exterior of the MC20 has unsurprisingly garnered the most attention so far, along with the 202+ mph performance promised from its new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine, some of the biggest improvements are in the cabin.

Current Maserati models, it’s fair to say, have leaned pretty heavily on the Fiat Chrysler parts bins. Whether it’s switchgear familiar from the 300 or Pacifica, or the lightly-reskinned infotainment system of the Dodge Challenger, though the outside may be distinguished the interior tech can often feel underwhelming. It’s a criticism Maserati simply won’t face for the MC20.

The dashboard is pared back and focused. A wide-aspect digital display for the driver’s gauges; a touchscreen suspended in the center for infotainment. Key controls are mounted on the steering wheel, minimizing the movements involved in accessing things like Launch Mode. The rest are in the center tunnel, simple rotary knobs and big buttons that won’t distract from the road ahead.

It’s a clean look that masks a lot of complexity. The MC20 runs Android Automotive OS, Google’s version of Android intended to run natively on vehicles rather than be simply projected from a connected smartphone. The new Maserati won’t be the first car to launch with the platform – that’ll be the Polestar 2 EV, with Volvo, Audi, and GM also signed up to use Android Automotive themselves – but the MC20 will undoubtedly be the fastest to offer it.

Importantly, it doesn’t look like what we’ve already experienced in the Polestar 2. The MIA, or Maserati Intelligent Assistant, is fully personalized to match the automaker’s own aesthetic, with both of the 10.25-inch screens having consistent interfaces.

Hooking up with Google, though, opens the door to functionality that many supercars miss out on. It’s a cruel truth of the auto industry that, while performance vehicles might have the speed and handling to drop jaws, their infotainment and tech setups often just lead to rolling eyes. Building a cohesive and powerful software experience – along with all the apps and services that go along with that – is no small undertaking, especially when you’re a near-boutique producer of six-figure coupes.

In time, there’s the potential for the MC20 driver to benefit from their more humdrum distant cousins, too. One of the strengths of Google’s platform is its ability to gather anonymized data from each vehicle, feeding back live updates on things like traffic conditions, weather, and even the state of the road surface. That data can potentially be pooled and served up to all Android Automotive OS-based cars. In short, you might not know another MC20 owner, but you could still benefit from iced-up road warnings from the Polestar or Volvo around you.

Few will get to experience the MC20, much less own one. A $210k+ price tag will see to that. Still, with Maserati promising a whole range reinvention – including the fully-electric new GranTurismo and GranCabrio coming soon, alongside an all-electric MC20 too – there’s a good chance that the big improvements this supercar cabin showcases will trickle down to more attainable cars too.

[Updated to reflect the absence of Google software/services in the MC20’s version of Android Automotive OS]

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Audi Gives Its R8 Supercar Laser Vision

Audi gives its R8 supercar laser vision

There’s little that can’t be improved with lasers, and Audi’s 2023 R8 V10 plus exclusive is no different, the first car in the US to bear laser headlights. Set to be revealed at the LA Auto Show 2024 in just a couple of weeks time, the V10 coupe is the first of the automaker’s production cars to incorporate laser light technology for the US market; it’ll be exceedingly rare, too, coming in a short-run edition of just 25. Does it make a difference? We can tell you that it certainly does, having had the opportunity to test a 2023 R8 V10 plus under some interesting circumstances – on the track in the dead of night.

The 2023 R8 V10 plus exclusive edition will come to the United States through the company’s Audi exclusive program, effectively the automaker’s bespoke arm which customizes production cars for well-heeled clientele. In this particular case, it’s finished in Quantum Gray with the Titanium Black-optic exterior package, and rolls with a Carbon sideblade with Solar Orange stripe. The tires have a 20-inch 10-spoke-Y design in high-gloss anthracite, and the steering wheel has its own Signal Orange 12 o’clock marker.

It’s not the only interior change. Audi exclusive finishes the full leather seating in Black/Signal Orange, while the door sills are also trimmed in leather, not to mention illuminated with custom “one of 25” logos in carbon matte. The luggage compartment is trimmed in Alcantara, as are the rear panel and rear shelf. There’s even an Alcantara headliner, with diamond-stitching.

The 25 drivers are cosseted in fixed-backrest racing shell seats. On the outside, as well as Audi carbon ceramic brakes, there’s a carbon fiber rear diffuser and front lip spoiler. The exterior mirror housings and fixed rear wing spoiler match too. But what we’re most interested in, of course, is the lights.

The standard LED lights you’d find on a regular R8 are still present, but now they’re combined with a supplementary laser system which kicks in at speeds above 40 mph. Each headlight gets with one laser module consisting of four laser diodes: all four diodes run together, blasting out a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. That blue laser is converted by a phosphor converter, turning it into a “very bright and pure white light.”

SlashGear also had the opportunity be one of the first to test-drive the 2023 R8 back in July of last year. Even without the addition of lasers it’s an impressive beast, with Audi claiming a 3.2 second 0-62 mph run courtesy of the coupe’s 610 HP. Audi quattro all-wheel drive helps keep it on the road, with dynamic suspension and – exclusive to the V10 plus – a special Performance mode.

If you’re tempted by the laser upgrade, R8 V10 plus exclusive kicks off at $229,200 excluding destination and other charges. No word on when Audi might bring laser headlamp technology to other cars in its line-up at this point.

Android The Most Popular Mobile Os? Not Quite

The Android army is celebrating the latest figures from Nielsen that show the Android mobile operating system is top dog. But Android fans might want to hold off on the balloon drop. Google’s Android isn’t really top of the heap just yet.

Nielsen’s recent findings say 32 percent of new smartphone owners between February and August favored Android over BlackBerry devices and the iPhone. Those are impressive numbers to be sure, but Android’s popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and several factors could still derail – or at least slow down – Android’s recent success.

Android Invasion Not Complete

New smartphone shoppers may be upgrading or adopting Android, but overall the Google smartphone platform is still well behind BlackBerry and iPhone. Nielsen’s numbers show that Android accounts for 19 percent of all U.S. smartphone users, while Research in Motion’s Blackberry claims 31 percent and Apple’s iPhone is close behind with 28 percent.

Of course, in both of Nielsen’s smartphone charts it’s hard to ignore that fast-rising line indicating Android’s growing market share. Between January and August, Android went from 8 percent overall U.S. market share to 19 percent, according to Nielsen. The iPhone, meanwhile, has basically stagnated hanging around 28-29 percent. RIM’s Blackberry has dropped off from a recent high of 37 percent of U.S. smartphone users in January to 31 percent in August.

Carriers and Loyalty

There is also an argument to be made about carrier availability. Android devices are available on all four major carriers, while the iPhone remains only on AT&T. Considering the high popularity of the iPhone since its launch in 2007, you could argue that most people who were going to buy an AT&T iPhone have already done so.

In fact, there is some evidence to suggest this is exactly the case. A survey by the market analyst firm Piper Jaffray during the iPhone 4 launch weekend found that 77 percent of people in line for the new handset were AT&T customers looking to upgrade. Then in August, Nielsen reported that 90 percent of iPhone users in the U.S. said their next smartphone purchase would be another iPhone.

With such a high degree of iPhone users being repeat customers, the numbers suggest Apple needs to expand to other carriers if it wants to expand its reach among U.S. smartphone users. That may happen sooner than later, as current rumors suggest the iPhone may be expanding to other U.S. carriers as early as January.

It should also be noted that Nielsen’s August report said Android loyalty was high at 71 percent; however, Nielsen also found that 21 percent of Android owners would switch to the iPhone for their next smartphone purchase.

The Smartphone Wars Continue

Android’s conquest of the U.S. may also slow down in the coming months thanks to a variety of new players coming to the smartphone market. Microsoft is set to unveil the first round of Windows Phone 7 devices on Monday, and IDC smartphone analyst Ramon Llamas predicts Phone 7 will become a major smartphone brand.

Despite some early bad impressions, most critics like what they see from Phone 7 even though it will sacrifice some basic functionality such as copy-and-paste similar to the first iteration of the iPhone.

A dark horse candidate that could offer some surprises could be Hewlett-Packard’s recently acquired WebOS. My PC World colleague Tony Bradley recently said HP’s new WebOS 2.0 could make the company “another strong player” in the smartphone and tablet markets. HP is planning on releasing new WebOS smartphones in early 2011, according to Reuters.

Beyond Microsoft and HP, Research in Motion recently launched an updated smartphone OS, Blackberry 6, although it’s not clear if the new software will help RIM regain lost ground. If it’s a hit, RIM may also place its new PlayBook tablet OS on future handsets, according to Bloomberg.

Perhaps an even longer shot–at least for the U.S. market–would be success for Nokia’s new Symbian^3 platform. Nokia is the world’s largest feature phone and smartphone manufacturer, but has been steadily losing ground to Apple, RIM and Android. Despite its worldwide dominance, however, Nokia is not a major player in the U.S.

Android may be growing faster than anyone else, but with a slew of new devices coming to market and users remaining loyal to the iPhone, Android’s assimilation of U.S. smartphone users is far from complete.

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Lenovo Thinkstation P620 Gives Amd Threadripper Pro Its First Workstation Win

Lenovo ThinkStation P620 gives AMD Threadripper PRO its first workstation win

Lenovo has revealed the first workstation to use AMD’s Threadripper PRO, with the ThinkStation P620 promising easier deployment of the potent pro chips. Offering up to 64 cores from a single CPU, the ThinkStation P620 slots in-between Lenovo’s existing single-slot P520 and dual-slot P720 machines, though the AMD filling in this Intel sandwich could make some users consider a change.

For a start, it’s the only 64 core, 128-thread workstation that you’ll be able to buy, at least for the moment. That means up to 4.0 GHz core speeds or up to 64 cores overall, CPU depending, pairing the Threadripper PRO with AMD’s 2023 Premium Chipset BXB-B.

In short, you’re looking at a surprisingly compact powerhouse. The CPU supports up to 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0 bandwidth – though the P620 doesn’t use all 128 in this chassis – and 8-channel memory for up to 1TB of DDR4, 3200 MHz memory across eight DIMM slots. Storage is up to 4TB of M.2 PCIe SSD and up to 16TB of 3.5-inch SATA 7,200rpm drives. There’s support for RAID 0/1 for M.2, and 0/1/5/10 for SATA. Lenovo fits a 1,000W PSU.

On the graphics side, there’s support for up to two NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 or four Quadro RTX 4000 cards. That can power up to sixteen displays in total, with up to a 96GB frame buffer.

Lenovo has included 10GB ethernet on the motherboard, to free up a PCIe slot. That’s important, since – with twice the transfer speeds per PCIe lane of the old standard – you’ll want to make the most of those PCIe Gen 4.0 slots.

Compared to Intel workstations, AMD and Lenovo are making some big promises. Pitting the P620 against a dual-core Intel-based workstation with two CPUs, the 64-core Threadripper PRO 3995X can apparently deliver 20-percent more performance. Usable graphics performance should be higher when paired with high-end GPUs, too.

While the media and entertainment audience are expected to be interested – with Epic Games already said to be onboard – Lenovo expects to see interest from a number of different verticals. That includes finance and insurance, the energy/oil/gas industry, AI and software development, and more. Basically, anybody who doesn’t want to necessarily have to choose between high core counts or high clock speeds.

Lenovo packages it all into a familiar chassis. The 33 liter tower is basically that of the P520, with the same basic cooling system: that means air cooling alone, rather than liquid-cooling. AMD and Lenovo worked together on a custom heat-sink for the Threadripper, along with channel cooling in the chassis. That way it can avoid the liquid-cooling requirement that the high-end Threadrippers demand on the consumer side.

You get two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports on the front, along with a mic/headphone combo jack. On the back, there are four USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A, two PS/2, a 10 Gigabit ethernet, audio line-in, audio line-out, and microphone in. Inside, there’s an Intel PCIe WiFi card with Bluetooth.

A slim optical drive, 15-in-1 media card reader, and front-accessible storage enclosure are also available. There’s space for up to six total drives, and up to 4 internal storage bays.

If you’re interested, there’s a wait involved. Lenovo may be announcing the ThinkStation P620 today, but the workstation won’t actually ship until the end of September. Pricing will start at $4,599.

Android Features That Are Yet To Come On Iphone

Android Features That Are Yet To Come On iPhone USB Access & File Manager

Accessing your files and folders is easy when it comes to Android. All you need to do is connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable. You can copy, move and perform other file operations with ease.

However, on iOS devices, it is different when you connect it to your computer. As you can only check camera contents.

However, you can access all files on Android with the help of the file manager. Also, you can perform all the file operations such as copying a file, moving a file, deleting a file on your Android. There are many File managers available on the Play Store.

This makes a device simple and easy to use, which is missing on the iPhone.

Rise To Wake Versus Glance

Then comes this feature on Android, where you can turn the phone’s display on with a simple glance. You can check time, date, notifications and more, awesome isn’t it?

This feature is quite new and available with flagship phones. You can also disable the feature in case you don’t want it.

Though both of the platforms make accessibility better but glancing on the screen is better than picking a phone to turn on the display.

Multiple Users

If you have Android 5.0 or above, then you can allow another user to access their information, apps, without messing up the main user account and settings.

Also, you can hand over your phone to anyone which the hesitation of other people accessing personal information, by using Guest Mode. With this mode, a guest user can perform simple functions without your alerting anything on the primary account.

This is what Android can do, but when it comes to the iPhone, there is no such thing as a secondary account or guest mode. As iPhone is not meant for multiple users. However, on iPad, it could be useful to have multiple user accounts.

Default App Choices

When it comes to setting a default browser, Android takes the cookie in this category as well. Whenever you download a browser on Android, a prompt lets you set it as default for opening links. You can also set default apps for messaging app, phone app, keyboard, digital assistant and many more. Also, you can change them anytime you like.

Wherein on iPhone, you can download other browsers but are not given the option to set it as default. Similarly, you can’t set keyboard preferences as well.

Customize Your Home Screen

The customization is another aspect which iOS doesn’t have. In iOS, you can only change the place of icons and group them in folders to organize your home screen neatly. Wherein on Android, along with arranging and grouping icons, you can revamp the entire home screen by adding widgets.  Also, there are various Android launchers available in Google Play Store which changes the entire home screen layout.

So, these are some of the features which Android has and therefore make it more user-oriented then Apple. We are not saying iOS is not a worthy platform, but there are certain limitations to the user accessibility.

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Cloud Computing And Ai In The Automotive Industry

There are two ways to think about cloud computing in the context of the automobile sector. One component of the phrase is utilizing applications, data, and computing services to manage information, communication, and computing. To handle automotive features and data also refers to leveraging platforms like web-based apps and online digital services.

The latter describes using artificial intelligence to control certain automotive components and data. In terms of cloud computing, the automobile sector is a pioneer. Several automakers and IT companies leverage data to give comprehensive software solutions. Cloud-based collaboration, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are some of the latest technologies.

The automotive value chain, which includes manufacturing, design, supply chain, production, post-production, “driving assistance” and “driver risk assessment” systems, is successfully using AI. Additionally, AI has aggressively revolutionized aftermarket services like insurance and predictive maintenance.

Application of Cloud Computing in the Automotive Industry Connected Vehicle

Any automobile, truck, bus, or other vehicle linked to neighboring devices through the internet is considered a connected vehicle. There are many examples. These cars use the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and can connect to passengers’ devices, read and send vehicle data, and receive software updates.

The use of connected car technology improves driving by initiating crucial conversations and events. In other words, linked vehicle technology enables communication between automobiles, buses, trucks, and other vehicles so that vital information about mobility and safety may be shared.

Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles now frequently employ cloud computing for improved functioning. The development of autonomous vehicle technology might not have been conceivable without automotive cloud solutions.

Electric Cars

As the name implies, an electric vehicle (EV) uses electric motors rather than a fuel-dependent internal combustion engine to run on electric power. EVs are hence more ecologically friendly. Originally, these vehicles used nickel-metal hydride or lead-acid batteries; however, lithium-ion batteries, which are durable and have excellent energy retention capabilities, are currently used in most EVs.

Electric vehicles may share data with distant data centers thanks to cloud computing in automobiles to inform the driver of the road and weather conditions.

Application of Artificial Intelligence in the Automotive Industry Supply Chain

The auto industry may use predictive analytics driven by AI and many ML approaches. With the use of technology, they can quickly evaluate their component needs and predict future demand changes.

Production and Design

By using machine learning (ML) algorithms and AI-driven solutions, automakers may enhance various operations, including data classification for risk and vehicle damage appraisal. However, certain leaders in the automobile industry routinely integrate NLP, conversational interfaces, and computer vision techniques into their manufacturing processes.

Driver’s Assistance

The holistic driving experience may be enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI). By giving weather and traffic updates, suggesting the best routes, and enabling people to make purchases while driving, AI systems may direct drivers and ensure their safety.

Automobile Assurance

In the same way that drivers may use in-vehicle AI capabilities to gather accident information and complete claims, AI-powered systems can also help with filing insurance claims. This AI-powered system requires text production and processing, NLP, data analytics, and speech recognition.

Benefits of Cloud Computing and AI in the Automotive Industry

Improving Fuel Efficiency − AI has the potential to lower pollutants and increase fuel economy. Nissan is utilizing AI, for instance, to create a “smart” car that can change its engine power based on the road’s circumstances. The target is a 20% fuel usage reduction.

Complex Infrastructure − High-level activities in the automotive industry are both technically and non-technically complex. The auto sector necessitates scalability for business continuity and robust infrastructure support through high-level technical activities, analytics, and large dealer networks. You could occasionally need more space, resources, and time constraints when bringing ideas to life. Cloud platforms successfully address these.

Performance − AI has the potential to enhance vehicle performance. For instance, BMW is utilizing AI to create a system that can adjust engine power for various driving scenarios. Up to 5% more fuel efficiency is desired. Volkswagen is utilizing AI to create a system that detects auto parts manufacturing flaws. The aim is to reduce up to 30% and lower the cost of repairs.

Security − Due to service providers’ ongoing availability and monitoring, the cloud unquestionably provides a security benefit by significantly lowering the chance of malfunctions and breakdowns. Additionally, regular data backups guarantee that crucial data is not lost in the event of unexpected failures. Cloud professionals carry out regular system testing to adapt to shifting user expectations.

Conclusion

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