Google and Australia’s telecommunications carriers have unveiled their Google Pixel 3 pricing alongside pre-orders ahead of launch on October 18.
Buying the Pixel 3 outright from Google Store in Australia costs AU$1,199 for the 64GB model and AU$1,349 for the 128GB model, while the Pixel 3 XL costs AU$1,349 and AU$1,499 for the 64GB and 128GB model, respectively.
By contrast, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL start at $799 and $899, respectively, from Verizon and Google Store in the United States.
The Pixel 3 handset features a 5.5-inch screen while the XL model comes with a 6.3-inch display. Both devices are kitted out with a 12.2-megapixel rear-facing camera; two 8-megapixel front-facing cameras; 4GB of memory; Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor; stereo speakers that are 40 percent louder than previous iterations; and wireless charging.
The smartphone comes in three colours: Black, white, and “not pink”.
Read also: Pixel 3 vs iPhone XS or Galaxy Note 9: 5 reasons to go with Google’s phone
Including handset repayments, the minimum spend per month for the new handsets on each telco are:
MAXIMUM DATA INCLUSIONS
If you make your choices based on the highest possible data inclusions:
Under its new simplified plans, unveiled in July as part of the Telstra2022 strategy, the Pixel 3 handsets are available on 24-month plans that include a Google Home Mini at the following price points from Telstra:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$109 for 30GB data; AU$124 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$104 for 3GB data; AU$114 for 10GB data; AU$121 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$104 for 3GB data; AU$114 for 10GB data; AU$121 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$109 for 3GB data; AU$119 for 10GB data; AU$129 for 30GB data; AU$139 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
On Telstra’s mobile-leasing plans, the phones cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$84 for 3GB data; AU$94 for 10GB data; AU$99 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$111 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$94 for 3GB data; AU$104 for 10GB data; AU$111 for 30GB data; AU$119 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$99 for 3GB data; AU$109 for 10GB data; AU$119 for 30GB data; AU$129 for 120GB data; and AU$199 for unlimited data
The top-end plans also include Peace of Mind data and one 12-month Foxtel Now starter pack, along with international roaming data and calls to various destinations.
The Pixel 3 handsets are available at the following price points from Optus on 24-month contracts:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$64 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$88 for 4GB data; AU$100 for 20GB data; AU$110 for 50GB data; AU$125 for 200GB data; and AU$130 for 200GB data
On Optus’ mobile-leasing plans, the phones cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$58 for 4GB data; AU$65 for 20GB data; AU$85 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$68 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$68 for 4GB data; AU$80 for 20GB data; AU$90 for 50GB data; AU$105 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$78 for 4GB data; AU$90 for 20GB data; AU$100 for 50GB data; AU$115 for 200GB data; and AU$125 for 200GB data
All Optus plans include unlimited calls and texts; the top four plans include unlimited international calls and texts to 35 countries; and the top three include international roaming ranging between 2GB and 6GB.
Optus also pointed to its content holdings of the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League, along with National Geographic; data-free streaming of Spotify, Google Play Music, and iHeartRadio; and AU$5 per month data streaming across Netflix, Stan, and ABC iView.
Vodafone is offering the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL at the following pricing on its 12-month plans:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$134.91 for 4GB data; AU$144.91 for 20GB data; AU$159.91 for 60GB data; and AU$179.91 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$147.41 for 4GB data; AU$157.41 for 20GB data; AU$172.41 for 60GB data; and AU$192.41 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$147.41 for 4GB data; AU$157.41 for 20GB data; AU$172.41 for 60GB data; and AU$192.41 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$159.91 for 4GB data; AU$169.91 for 20GB data; AU$184.91 for 60GB data; and AU$204.91 for 150GB data
On its 24-month plans, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL cost:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$80.45 for 4GB data; AU$81.45 for 20GB data; AU$98.95 for 60GB data; and AU$118.95 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$87.70 for 4GB data; AU$97.70 for 20GB data; AU$106.70 for 60GB data; and AU$119.20 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$87.70 for 4GB data; AU$97.70 for 20GB data; AU$105.20 for 60GB data; and AU$119.20 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$97.45 for 4GB data; AU$107.45 for 20GB data; AU$120.45 for 60GB data; and AU$140.45 for 150GB data
Lastly, Vodafone is charging the following on its 36-month plans:
- Google Pixel 3 64GB: AU$65.30 for 4GB data; AU$69.30 for 20GB data; AU$85.80 for 60GB data; and AU$105.80 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 128GB: AU$69.97 for 4GB data; AU$79.97 for 20GB data; AU$90.97 for 60GB data; and AU$105.47 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 64GB: AU$69.97 for 4GB data; AU$79.97 for 20GB data; AU$89.97 for 60GB data; Aand AU$105.47 for 150GB data
- Google Pixel 3 XL 128GB: AU$76.63 for 4GB data; AU$86.63 for 20GB data; AU$100.13 for 60GB data; and AU$120.13 for 150GB data
Vodafone earlier this year also launched its mobile Pass add-ons that allow for unlimited non-metered use of a selection of sites at 1.5Mbps.
At an additional AU$15 per month cost, Vodafone users can endlessly stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Stan; for AU$10 each month, users can stream music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, and SoundCloud; endless data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterst can be purchased for AU$10 a month; and the text elements of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, along with text and call parts of Viber, can be used at 1.5Mbps for AU$5 a month.
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Waymo recreated fatal crashes putting its software at the wheel – Here’s how it did
Waymo is tackling the safety issue of autonomous vehicles head-on, using simulations to replay fatal crashes but replacing the human driver involved with the Alphabet company’s software, to show what the Waymo Driver would’ve done differently. The research looked at every fatal accident recorded in Chandler, Arizona – where the Waymo One driverless car-hailing service currently operates – between 2008 and 2017.
“We excluded crashes that didn’t match situations that the Waymo Driver would face in the real world today, such as when crashes occurred outside of our current operating domain,” Trent Victor, Director of Safety Research and Best Practices at Waymo, explains. “Then, the data was used to carefully reconstruct each crash using best-practice methods. Once we had the reconstructions, we simulated how the Waymo Driver might have performed in each scenario.”
In total, there were 72 different simulations that the system needed to handle. In those where there were two cars involved, Waymo modeled each in two ways. First, where the Waymo Driver was in control of the “initiator” vehicle, which initiated the crash, and then again with it as the “responder” vehicle, which responds to the initiator’s actions. That took the total to 91 simulations.
The Waymo Driver avoided every crash as initiator – a total of 52 simulations – Waymo says. That was mainly down to the computer following the rules of the road that human drivers in the actual crashes did not, such as avoiding speeding, maintaining a gap with other traffic, and not running through red lights or failing to yield appropriately.
On the flip side, where the Waymo Driver was the responder, it managed to avoid 82-percent of the crashes in the simulations. According to Waymo’s Victor, “in the vast majority of events, it did so with smooth, consistent driving – without the need to brake hard or make an urgent evasive response.”
In a further 10-percent of the simulations, the Waymo Driver was able to take action to mitigate the crash’s severity. There, the driver was 1.3-15x less likely to sustain a serious injury, Waymo calculates.
Finally, in the remaining 8-percent of crashes simulated, the Waymo Driver was unable to mitigate or avoid the impact. They were all situations where a human-operated vehicle struck the back of a Waymo vehicle that was stationary or moving at a constant speed, this “giving the Waymo Driver little opportunity to respond,” Victor explains.
That is equally important, Waymo argues, because when they finally launch in any significant number, autonomous vehicles are going to have to coexist with human drivers on the road for some time to come. Those human drivers can’t be counted on to follow the same rules as stringently as Waymo’s software demands.
Waymo has released a paper, detailing its findings. Part of the challenge for assessing autonomous vehicles, it argues, is that high-severity collisions are thankfully relatively rare in the real world. As such, “evaluating effectiveness in these scenarios through public road driving alone is not practical given the gradual nature of ADS deployments.”
2022 Genesis G70 Launch Edition previews sport sedan refresh
Genesis has revealed the new 2022 G70 Launch Edition, the first of the refreshed versions of its compact sports sedan to land in the US, looking handsome with the automaker’s striking new design language. Announced last October, Genesis’ smallest sedan will debut initially in the form of the limited-production 2022 G70 Launch Edition, with only 500 expected to be offered.
Where the old G70 had a squared-off fascia, this updated version is a lot softer in its angles. The bottom edge of the oversized shield-shaped front grille now comes to a point in the lower fascia, rather than being flat, while that lower grille section is more muscular and contoured.
It’s the headlamps, though, which are the biggest departure. They get Genesis’ new signature quad-LED element, with dual horizontal daytime running lamp lines on each side. It’s something we’ve seen the automaker put to good use on its larger sedans, and on SUVs like the new GV80.
Genesis says the new G70 is lower and wider at the front end, while the profile of the sedan is sharper, too. At the rear, the trunk lid has been smoothed out, with a more distinctive integrated spoiler. The taillamp clusters, meanwhile, have a more angular appearance, echoing the quad LED light signature at the front. Altogether it looks tidier and more focused than the outgoing car.
Inside, meanwhile, the changes are more subtle. The dashboard shape in general has been carried over, with dedicated HVAC control knobs, a physical transmission shifter, and a multifunction steering wheel. However there’s now a new 10.25-inch HD display atop the dashboard, replacing the old 8-inch version.
That gets the graphics from Genesis’ more recent models, a huge improvement compared to the Hyundai-donated software UI in the last-gen G70. There’s both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the driver gets an 8-inch HD digital gauge cluster flanked by analog dials.
As for what’s under the hood, don’t expect a departure from the existing engines. That includes the optional 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6, with 365 horsepower. The entry engine is a carry-over of the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, with 252 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic is likely to be standard; the six-speed manual gearbox Genesis once offered won’t be making an appearance.
Genesis will keep the options simple for the Launch Edition: it’ll only offer the sedan in Verbier White or Melbourne Grey matte paint. 19-inch black wheels will be standard, as will a red leather interior. Although you’ll be able to pick RWD or AWD, the G70 Launch Edition will only be offered with the more potent V6 engine, Car & Driver reports.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed, though the current G70 starts at just north of $37k. Reservations for the Launch Edition are open now, with the first cars set to arrive in the US come the spring.
GMC Hummer EV SUV reveal dated: Watch the electric pickup go sideways on ice
GMC will reveal its second Hummer EV variant in just a few weeks time, with the SUV version of the all-electric super truck promising an alternative body-style to the original pickup. The GMC Hummer EV SUV will be unveiled on April 3, the automaker confirmed today, though this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the new version.
Back in July 2020, in fact, GMC teased what we could expect from the SUV body. As you might expect, it’s the same bold lines and chunky styling from the front back to roughly the C-pillars.
However unlike the pickup’s roughly 5 foot long bed, the SUV will have an enclosed cargo area. That will allow for a spare wheel to be mounted on the tailgate. We’re still expecting to see removable roof panels, allowing most of the top of the electric truck to be opened up, though final cargo capacity will have to wait until the official reveal.
As for what’s underneath the sheet metal, there we’re unlikely to see GMC straying too far from the architecture of the Hummer EV pickup. Based on GM’s Ultium platform for electric vehicles, that includes up to three motors and 1,000 horsepower in total, depending on trim. Torque vectoring – where power is individually controlled in its delivery to each rear wheel – and a “CrabWalk” mode that allows the trunk to track diagonally at low speeds in off-road or tight parking lot conditions are also supported.
0-60 mph should come in around 3 seconds for the most potent Hummer EV, GMC has said, while range will be up to around 350 miles on a charge. 800V DC fast charging with support for up to 350 kW should mean 100 miles of range added in just 10 minutes.
While GMC is launching the pickup version with the limited-availability 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1 first, it has more affordable versions planned for 2022 and beyond. That’s likely to be the same strategy the automaker takes with the electric SUV, with premium pricing and a heavily constrained supply to begin with. Reservations for the SUV will open on April 3, GMC has said.
As for progress on the electric pickup, GMC says it has been undertaking winter testing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, making ample use of the snow and ice to see how the all-wheel drive holds up. That also includes testing of the electronic stability control and traction control.
Production of the 2022 Hummer EV pickup is expected to begin in the fall, GMC says, with initial deliveries before the end of the year.
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