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MWC 2019: NEC develops 5G baseband radio units

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(Image: NEC)

NEC Corporation has announced developing radio units for 5G base stations, with the small, low-power units “ideal for 5G conditions”.

Its products will fulfil the 5G requirements for a large number of small-coverage base station devices, the company said, amid the expected increase in traffic across the new mobile networks.

“NEC aims to drive the global expansion of 5G by contributing to ecosystems in radio access networks via interoperability testing between multiple vendors’ equipment that is compliant with O-RAN fronthaul specifications,” SVP of NEC Corporation Nozomu Watanabe explained.

The units work across the 3.7GHz, 4.5GHz, and 28GHz spectrum bands, therefore covering both sub-6GHz and millimetre-wave (mmWave) 5G deployments.

NEC is demonstrating its base station radio units during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Barcelona, after last month partnering with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo to use 5G to live stream 8K footage into a train.

“8K ultra-high-definition live video featuring a steam locomotive train was transmitted from a 5G base station installed along a railroad to a 5G mobile station located inside a running SL train and put on an 8K display,” NEC said in January about the test conducted in November.

The test also streamed 4K content to passengers’ 4G handsets via Wi-Fi from a 5G station on the train.

The NEC base stations used supported the 4.5GHz and 28GHz bands, with the test forming part of a Japanese government project to examine the outdoor use of 5G systems with average speeds of between 4Gbps and 8Gbps.

NEC had inked a 5G equipment supply deal with NTT DoCoMo in May 2018, with the Japanese telecommunications carrier planning to launch its new mobile network in 2020, after the two undertook verification experiments on 5G wireless technologies earlier that year.

Under the deal, NEC is providing control units for 5G base stations as well as using software upgrades to ensure NTT DoCoMo’s existing base stations and telco equipment are compatible with 5G.

In October, NEC also announced a 5G partnership with Samsung.

“The partnership brings together the best-in-class technology and expertise in 5G, merging NEC and Samsung’s leadership in 5G and IT solutions,” the companies said at the time.

“It also provides mobile carriers with flexible 5G solutions that are localised for each region with customised services to meet mobile carriers’ demands efficiently.”

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The NTSB is probing another fatal Tesla crash

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Over the years, there have been multiple accidents involving Tesla vehicles that were allegedly operating on Autopilot at the time. Autopilot is Tesla’s semi-autonomous driver assistance tech. To use Autopilot, drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel, but some owners have found ways to defeat that system.

Recently police in Coral Gables, Florida, were called to the scene of an accident involving a Tesla Model 3. The accident occurred on Monday evening of this week and happened in a residential area. According to police, the vehicle was using the Autopilot system at the time of the accident.

After the Model 3 crashed, its battery packs caught fire, and the two deceased occupants were badly burned. The bodies were damaged enough that they haven’t been positively identified at this time. The fatal accident occurred when the Model 3 impacted a tree. After that impact, there was a fire.

The NTSB has confirmed that it has sent three investigators to the area to look into the cause of the fire. This accident isn’t the first allegedly involving Tesla’s Autopilot system that NTSB has investigated. Previously, the NTSB also investigated an accident involving a Tesla that happened in Texas in April.

In that particular accident, police believe no one was in the driver’s seat. Some Tesla owners have discovered how to activate autopilot without being in the driver’s seat. In August, the NHTSA opened a formal probe into Tesla automobiles and its Autopilot driver assistance system after 11 crashes involving Autopilot-equipped vehicles and police and fire vehicles. There have been 11 crashes involving Tesla’s that have led to the death of occupants since 2016. Whether or not autopilot is at fault is unknown.

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Chevrolet Bolt production stoppage extended until mid-October

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GM has announced that it will extend its production stoppage for the Bolt electric vehicle through at least mid-October. The announcement marks an extension of its production stoppage announced in late August due to a massive battery recall for the electric vehicle. The defective battery packs have caused 12 fires.

Most recently, a Bolt caught fire in the owner’s garage, destroying the vehicle, damaging the home, and causing damage to another vehicle stored in the garage at the time. GM has confirmed that Bolt production at the Orion Assembly plant will not commence until at least October 15. The massive battery recall has already cost around $2 billion, and GM says it will recover most of that money from battery supplier LG.

Chevrolet’s latest production stoppage for the Bolt comes in the middle of a massive chip shortage that has forced production on other vehicle assembly lines to stop. Sales and production of the Bolt won’t begin until the automaker has a confirmed fix for the battery issues.

An investigation laid the blame on misaligned robots at the battery assembly factory. According to that report, the misaligned robots caused a torn anode tab placing it closer to the cathode leading to short-circuiting and fires. After another fire that happened this month, GM issued a new warning to owners of the small electric vehicle.

The new warning tells Bolt owners to keep their vehicles at least 50 feet away from homes, offices, and other vehicles. Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that any owner who heeds the warning and parks 50 feet away from homes or offices would be able to charge their vehicle, essentially making them useless until a fix is available. Defective battery packs have led to three injuries and multiple fires.

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2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L gets over 75 factory Mopar accessories

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As if configuring a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L is not confusing enough, Mopar has released over 75 factory-backed accessories for Jeep’s first-ever seven-seat SUV. The highlights include new 21-inch Mopar-specific five-spoke wheels with a Jeep center cap and integrated side steps that install cleanly without drilling holes in your precious Grand Cherokee L.

“The all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee L presents a great opportunity for customization and personalization, said Mark Bosanac, North America Vice President, Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care. “ The side steps mentioned above are made of black galvanized stainless steel with a chrome overlay, perfectly matching the premium vibe of the Grand Cherokee L. In addition, the powder-coated finish ensures durable protection against friction, bumps, and UV rays.

The 21-inch Granite Crystal wheels start at $500 each, while the side steps are $750. Other notable accessories include a roof-mount cargo basket ($350) with a 150-pound maximum load capacity, roof-rack crossbars ($300) that allows attachment of all Mopar roof carriers, and a $200 watersport carrier and bike carrier (sold separately) to accommodate kayaks, surfboards, and a bicycle.

Mopar’s rear-seat entertainment system ($1,625) has a roof-mounted DVD player and a 10-inch screen with two Bluetooth headphones to entertain the kids on long journeys. If you have pets, Mopar has a $190 collapsible kennel with a carrying handle. “Across the entire Jeep Grand Cherokee L lineup, we offer 75 factory-backed, quality-tested accessories,” added Bosanac.

Least to say, you won’t be running out of options when buying a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L. The standard powerplant is a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 293 horsepower, 260 pound-feet of torque, and up to 6,200 pounds of towing. You can have this engine in 2WD or 4WD, and both have an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

However, you can have a 5.7-liter V8 in the Jeep Grand Cherokee L Limited, Overland, and Summit 4×4. Pumping out 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, V8-equipped Grand Cherokee L models have a maximum 7,200-pound towing capacity.

If you choose all-wheel-drive, you have three drivetrains to think about: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II. Also, the cabin is configurable with six or seven seats. The 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L has base prices at$38,690, while the range-topping Summit and Summit Reserve trims are $58,690 and $66,985, respectively.

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