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Automotive

Eurobites: Orange & Ericsson Hitch Lift With PSA for 5G Connected Car Research

Also in today's EMEA regional roundup: Intel confirms HERE stake; Vodafone and Huawai achieve 1.35 Gbit/s in Romania over LTE; Ericsson does VR at CES; heads-up on smart hairbrushes.

  • Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) have joined forces with the France-based PSA automotive group to test 5G-based connected car technology. Initial testing will use LTE, which will evolve to LTE-V and 5G technology in due course. First defined applications include a system for notifying drivers of the approach of an emergency vehicle, presumably before the flashing lights hove into view. The PSA Group comprises the three automotive brands Peugeot, Citroën and DS. (See Ericsson, Orange, PSA Team on 5G Connected Cars.)

  • And on a not unrelated tack, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has confirmed that it wants in on the connected car game by taking a 15% stake in HERE, the mapping company that used to be a part of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) but is now owned by a consortium of German carmakers. In conjunction with the stake acquisition, the two companies have agreed to collaborate on research into a proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high-definition maps for automated driving. (See Intel to Buy a 15% Stake in HERE, Eurobites: Intel Seeks Stake in HERE and Eurobites: Nokia Seals HERE Sale.)

  • In Romania, Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. claim to have broken through the 1.35Gbit/s barrier over an LTE-based connection. The trial used a combination of MIMO, carrier aggregation and 256 QAM technologies. Vodafone hopes the breakthrough will help support its launch of a "Supernet 4G+" service, which the operator says will offer its customers a better mobile experience of HD video.

  • In other Huawei-related news, the Chinese giant has launched its Honor 6X budget smartphone in Europe, Ars Technica reports. The phone, which was launched in China in late 2016 and generated a fair bit of industry buzz, will retail for £225 (US$276) in the UK.

  • CES, the Vegas-based consumer electronics bunfight, officially kicks off tomorrow, and among those touting their wares will be Ericsson and Tactai, who are teaming up to demonstrate their new virtual reality interface. Among other things, the interface allows viewers to pause content playback, using hand gestures to touch, grab and interact with elements of the video within the virtual environment. (See Ericsson, Tactai Team on VR at CES 2017.)

  • Also manning a stand at CES will be Nokia subsidiary Withings, which has won a CES award for the (and no sniggering at the back, please) world's first "smart hairbrush." Apparently, the hairbrush, which has been developed with cosmetics giant L'Oréal, provides "beauty consumers with a data-driven way to better care for their hair," informing them if they've got split ends or whatever and recommending coping strategies.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

  • Mitch Wagner 1/4/2017 | 1:44:38 PM
    Skeptical I'm skeptical of that emergency vehicles app. Is an app really going to be better than lights and sirens?
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