Amazon will staff up its UK warehouses and customer service centres for the holidays with 19,000 temporary employees, said John Tagawa, vice president of UK operations. Other companies are gearing up for a bigger online retail holiday season, including Royal Mail and Argos, which will hire 19,000 and up to 9,000 seasonal employees, respectively.
Siemens is partnering with both NXP Semiconductors and Cohda Wireless to access technology including for field tests of vehicle-to-infrastructure communications in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria. Siemens plans to use NXP radio chipsets and Cohda hardware and software to deploy roadside intelligent transportation systems to alert drivers to speed limits, construction and road hazards.
Ford is working with scientists at Russia's St. Petersburg State Polytechnic to find a reliable vehicle communications solution for overloaded urban networks and nonexistent rural ones. The teams are using telematics systems developed for space robot communications to develop a prototype that will provide enhanced communications for connected cars.
Auto manufacturers and tech firms are racing to debut their driverless vehicles, but with different ideas of what they'll look like and how they'll function, writes Dawn Chmielewski. Nissan autonomous vehicle research head Maarten Sierhuis said at a Code/Mobile discussion that autonomous cars will allow drivers to take the wheel under certain circumstances. Qualcomm's Chris Borroni-Bird, discussed the obstacles carmakers will face with autonomous technology.
Digitizing stock-keeping unit catalogs should be a priority for B2B distributors and manufacturers looking to stay competitive and keep customers happy, Liz Duggan writes. She advises a six-step process that includes scrubbing data, prioritizing products and testing.
Vehicle manufacturers need to assume liability in cases where their autonomous cars are involved in accidents, said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Volvo has joined Mercedes-Benz and Google in saying it will take responsibility for accidents in which its driverless cars are at fault. "If you are not ready to make such a statement then you shouldn't try to develop an autonomous drive system," Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said.
Traffic safety group Transportation Alternatives said the New York Department of Transportation's plans to add bike lanes to 19 blocks of Sixth Avenue in New York City is not enough to protect the growing number of cyclists in the city and called for protected bike lanes the full length of Fifth and Sixth Avenues. "It's just irresponsible to have so many cyclists on a main thoroughfare with no protection whatsoever," said TA Executive Director Paul Steely White.
Former North Carolina Industrial Commission Administrator Walt Gray has taken the post of chief deputy secretary with the state's Department of Transportation. Gray replaces Nick Tennyson, who assumed the position of state transportation secretary in August.
The ITS World Congress this week showcased new connected, electric and autonomous vehicle transportation technology. Topics included connected and electric bikes and motorcycles, autonomous personal and transit vehicles, new navigation software, wearable safety technology, advanced driver assistance system design and vehicle-to-everything communications.
Rolls-Royce will ramp up its plans for manufacturing plants in Singapore and Malaysia to bring the company closer to its fastest-growing client base and to provide backup for its British plants. The company also will increase the proportion of engines that is outsourced to suppliers to about 80% from 70%.
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