Daimler gets green light for autonomous car testing in China

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Beijing skyline. Image: rongyiquan/Shutterstock 

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Daimler and China strike a crucial autonomous car testing deal, while the IoT cybersecurity market is set to boom.

In internet of things (IoT) news this week, an exciting funding announcement in Limerick will see the city take part in a five-year EU smart cities scheme.

Horizon 2020’s +CityxChange project will provide €6.5m to Limerick for the development of energy-positive demonstration projects.

Other European cities involved include Trondheim in Norway and Sestao in Spain. Smart meters, new energy sources such as hydrokinetic power, and citizen participation will create a more innovative, cleaner urban space.

China opens up its roads to Daimler for autonomous vehicle tests

Daimler, the company behind the luxury Mercedes car brand, has been awarded a Level 4 permit for highly automated driving in Beijing after extensive closed-course testing. Several automakers have been given licences by China this year, including Shanghai’s SAIC Motor Corp and tech giant Baidu, but Daimler is the first international firm to receive one.

Daimler also added technical applications from Baidu’s Apollo platform to its Mercedes-Benz test vehicles. The two companies have deepened their relationship, particularly in terms of R&D focused on safety in autonomous driving. As the first non-Chinese firm to gain permission to test in the country, Daimler is primed to develop an early understanding of local technical trends to gain a head start.

IoT cybersecurity market set to balloon by 2023

While IoT provides us with convenience, efficiency and innovative products, the security status of IoT devices has rarely left the headlines, for all the wrong reasons. According to Juniper Research, the cybersecurity solutions market specifically for IoT is set to reach more than $6bn globally in five years.

Research author Stefan Sorrell said: “The interconnected nature of the IoT means that even innocuous devices like the connected fridge can become a threat. Vendors see that risk as low, while little has been done from a regulatory perspective to protect consumers.”

The rise of edge-computing services will also present some security issues for manufacturers, which will in turn drive industry spend. An increased attack surface created by edge computing was cited as one of the biggest risks.

AT&T says customer demand drove its NB-IoT launch in Mexico and the US

US mobile carrier AT&T said that its decision to roll out a narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network was influenced by a burgeoning demand from its users. The network will be introduced over the next two years to complement its existing LTE-M low-power wide-area network (LPWAN).

This will offer customers a smorgasbord of IoT options in areas such as home security, utilities and electronics. Companies in this area were seeking to connect assets that didn’t necessarily need super-fast connection speeds and were often located deep inside buildings. NB-IoT suits these circumstances better as its wavelengths are superior in terms of penetrating walls. While some towers will be able to update software to support NB-IoT, physical upgrades may be required for other locations.

Beijing skyline. Image: rongyiquan/Shutterstock 

Ellen Tannam is a writer covering all manner of business and tech subjects

editorial@siliconrepublic.com