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SoftBank goes with Ericsson and Nokia for 5G network

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Ericsson uses machine learning to automate SoftBank’s radio network in Japan
SoftBank and Ericsson are upgrading radio access networks using a machine learning algorithm that makes it possible for cell overlap and signal strength to be analysed.

Japanese telco SoftBank has announced it is teaming up with both Ericsson and Nokia for the roll out of its 5G network.

Both vendors have existing relationships with the telco.

Ericsson said in a statement that it would “reinforce” the telco’s LTE network while optimising its 5G network, as it provides its Ericsson Radio System to operate in SoftBank’s 3.9-4.0 GHz and 29.1-29.5 GHz spectrum bands.

The pair previously worked together to use machine learning to determine where to place cells to upgrade SoftBank’s network.

For Nokia, the Finnish equipment manufacturer said it would use its AirScale solution for SoftBank’s 5G radio access network.

“We are delighted to continue our long-term relationship with SoftBank and to be working with them as a trusted end to end partner at such an important milestone in the transformation to 5G,” Head of Nokia Japan John Harrington said.

In 2017, SoftBank signed a 5G partnership with Chinese vendor ZTE.

In its most recent earnings announcement, SoftBank Corporation, the telco part of the SoftBank Group conglomerate, earlier this month reported that sales increased by 4% and adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation rose 1% to ¥1.2 trillion. The telco now has 22 million mobile subscribers across its SoftBank, Y!mobile, and Line Mobile brands, and 5.9 million fibre subscribers.

On December 19, SoftBank Corporation listed onto the Tokyo Stock Exchange, which saw SoftBank Group’s indirect ownership fall from 99.99% to 66.5%.

On Monday, the Japanese government tightened the rules for foreign investment in tech and telco companies, with foreign investors needing Tokyo’s approval to take a stake over 10% in a local company.

Last week, SoftBank delayed the sale of new handsets from Huawei so that it could asses whether customers could safely use them.

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Ford reveals the Mustang Mach-E EV for police testing

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Ford has been building cars used by police departments and other law-enforcement agencies around the country for many years. In the past, its Mustang with the 5.0 liter V-8 and the Crown Victoria, among other Ford vehicles, were widely used as police cars. Many police agencies are pushing towards automobiles that get better fuel economy and pollute less.

To meet the demand for zero-emissions police vehicles, Ford has submitted the all-electric Mustang Mach-E for testing with the Michigan State Police. Ford is exploring fully electric vehicles built specifically for police as part of its $30 billion investment in electrification through the year 2025.

Ford is aiming to demonstrate that its electric vehicle can deliver impressive performance and operate on demanding police duty cycles. The all-electric police vehicle is based on the 2021 Mustang Mach-E. It will be part of the 2022 model year Police Evaluation performed by the Michigan State Police on September 18 and 20th.

Ford says that the pilot program is going to be used as a testing benchmark as it explores purpose-built electric police vehicles for the future. The automaker expects that demand for green zero missions police will continue to grow. Previously Ford revealed a Mach-E police car for the United Kingdom.

As regulations tighten for emissions around the world, many police departments and law-enforcement agencies will be forced to seek green patrol vehicles. One potential downside to an electric vehicle for police work is long charge times and short driving ranges in pursuit situations. However, despite its drawbacks, electric vehicles offer impressive performance. It would be no surprise to see the Mach-E police car record the best performance of all vehicles in the test.

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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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