Weekly News Update 15.03-22.03

A news highlight about what’s new with the tech industry, smart cities and smart mobility this past week.

Innovative sensors help Barcelona residents lower noise levels

Fab lab, a research and innovation centre, created low-cost centres which allowed Barcelona citizens to track noise levels, proving their severity to the council who then proceeded to implement some changes. Read more here.

Elon Musk has a new job title: “Technoking of Tesla”

Although Elon Musk will remain the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla, he has changed his title to “Technoking of Tesla.” Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer also has a new title: Master of Coin. Read more here.

Ericsson’s smart factory receives the “Global Lighthouse” award

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has given the “Global “Lighthouse” award to Ericsson’s 5G smart factory, located in Lewisville, Texas. Read more here.

Emburse acquires Roadmap

Emburse, an LA-based firm specialising in expense management and accounts payable automation solutions, has acquired Amsterdam’s Roadmap, a corporate travel solution. Read more here.

Grand opening of Ford’s and University of Michigan’s Robotics Building

Ford partnered up with the Univerity of Michigan on robotics research and mobility research and held the grand opening of their new building, the $75 million, 134,000 square-foot University of Michigan Ford Motor Co. Robotics Building. Read more here.

New Applied tools use AI to spot mistakes on chips

A new semiconductor manufacturing technology from Applied Materials uses artificial intelligence to inspect chips for any faults on possible trouble spots. Read more here.

Launch of new app aimed at protecting women

With SafeUp, a free new app launched in Tel Aviv, women who are in distress can share their live locations with a picked out list of contacts and even connect with audio or video to guardians (women volunteers) who are closest in proximity.  Read more here. 

Amazon Care telemedicine to expand across the US

Amazon announced that they will be expanding their virtual healthcare, Amazon Care, to non-Amazon employees starting in Washington and then further expanding nationwide. Read more here.

Microsoft acquires The Marsden Group

The multinational technology company Microsoft has announced they are acquiring The Marsden Group, a technology company specialising in complex industrial environments.  Read more here.

Starbucks uses technology to help blind and low-vision customers

In the United States, Starbucks is implementing an innovative technological solution, Aira, to help blind and low-vision customers navigate their stores. Read more here.

Scientists grow human tear glands in a laboratory

Dutch scientists are growing tear glands that are capable of crying, which will serve as models from studying human tear glands and the way they produce tears in order to better understand and treat eye conditions and cancers. Read more here.

Second-generation Google Nest Hub has a new sleep tracking feature

The new second-generation Google Nest Hub introduces Sleep Sensing, a sleep tracking feature that monitors sleep using miniature radar instead of wearables or cameras.  Read more here.

Apple Maps are now showing COVID-19 vaccination locations

Apple Maps has been updated with VaccineFinder locations enabling users to find vaccination locations near them and have access to the site’s operating hours, contact information and a website link to schedule an appointment. Read more here.

Scientists warn air pollution is rising to pre-pandemic levels

The European Space Agency reported that with lockdown restrictions loosening, satellites note air pollutions rising back to pre-COVID levels. Read more here.

UAE will test drones for producing rainfall

The United Arab Emirates are about to test drones that will fly into clouds and give them an electric shock in order to produce rain. Read more here.

Sonoma County tests new AI technology to fight wildfires

Sonoma County, California is testing fire-spotting cameras that use artificial intelligence to detect wildfire activity and then immediately alerting authorities. Read more here.

Amsterdam’s Startupbootcamp launches Startupbootcamp: Sustainability

Startupbootcamp, an Amsterdam-based network aiming to help startups scale internationally, is going live with their second IPO and launching Startupbootcamp: Sustainability aimed at accelerating 30 sustainable startups to reach the UN’s sustainable development goals. Read more here.

Allen Institute for AI is taking over Vulcan’s environmental big-data portfolio

Vulcan Inc., the holding company Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen created before his passing, is moving his environmental big-data project portfolio to the Allen Institute for AI. Read more here.

Google Chrome has a new feature: Live Captioning

Google has introduced a new feature on its web browser Google Chrome called Live Captioning which will transcribe any audio or video being played through the browser, from podcasts to phone calls, into on-screen words. Read more here.

India’s government might make GPS tracking mandatory for all cars

Instead of relying on toll booths, the government in India may begin collecting tolls by using GPS on cars, tracking every route cars take in real-time. Read more here.

Microsoft’s Presenter Coach can help people practice presentations

Microsoft’s Powerpoint is bringing Microsoft’s Presenter Coach to desktop and mobile versions of the app. It’s a virtual service that gives feedback on presentation pace, body language, pitch, use of filler phrases like “um” and more. Read more here.

Klaudia Żychowska

Klaudia Żychowska is a Polish native who grew up in Chicago. After completing a Bachelor’s Degree in English with a double concentration in Creative Writing and Professional Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, she decided to move back to Poland to reconnect with her roots. She is fascinated by smart cities and innovative technologies and is responsible for content strategy at NaviParking.

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