Alphabet

Waymo Open Dataset Challenges make a game out of driverless car sensors

Waymo Open Dataset Challenges make a game out of driverless car sensors

Waymo has thrown open its latest self-driving car data set, inviting autonomous vehicle researchers to take part in a set of competitions based on the plentiful data gathered by its driverless fleet. The Waymo Open Dataset Challenges comes as the Google spin-off adds 800 new segments to its multi-sensor dataset, and it could come as a good distraction if you're stuck at home because of coronavirus self-isolation.

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Verily COVID-19 website will screen eligible testing candidates

Verily COVID-19 website will screen eligible testing candidates

Staying at home and social distancing are good measures to prevent further spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus but it is only a stopgap measure. One important weapon against the disease is actually knowing who is infected to be able to give them proper care and stop the virus from contaminating others. Resources for testing, both kits and healthcare workers carrying out the procedures, are spread thin. To help at least whittle down potential candidates to eligible recipients, Alphabet's Verily subsidiary is launching an online tool to help screen for high-risk individuals in San Francisco.

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After Trump’s big coronavirus test promise, here’s what Google is actually doing

After Trump’s big coronavirus test promise, here’s what Google is actually doing

Exactly what Google is doing during the coronavirus pandemic - and what, contrary to the announcements made by US President Trump on Friday, it isn't - has been detailed by CEO Sundar Pichai. Late last week, alongside Vice President Mike Pence, Trump insisted that Google had tasked 1,700 engineers with building a triaging website for America's response to COVID-19, which would assess individual cases and then direct them to tests and screening.

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Waymo raises $2.25b from outside investors for its self-driving efforts

Waymo raises $2.25b from outside investors for its self-driving efforts

Waymo has announced the fruits of its first external investment funding round, revealing that it raised $2.25 billion from investors that include AutoNation and Andreessen Horowitz. The company says this investment follows a number of big milestones, including driving its vehicles on more than 20 million miles of public roads on top of another 10 billion miles in simulation.

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Makani and its energy kites are parting ways with Alphabet

Makani and its energy kites are parting ways with Alphabet

Google, and now parent company Alphabet, is often known for a place where dreams are made. The flip side of that coin is that it is also sometimes a place where those dreams are buried. Notorious for axing even expensive projects, Google and Alphabet regularly shut down things that no longer seem viable, especially from a commercial perspective. The latest to be given that treatment is wind power company Makani but, fortunately, the story doesn't end on a completely sad note.

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Google Fiber will no longer offer TV service to new customers

Google Fiber will no longer offer TV service to new customers

You can find almost everything on the Internet, be it through the regular Web or through Internet-based content delivery services, a.k.a. streaming. These days, even TV shows can be accessed over the Internet, giving more traditional over the air and cable TV service providers reason so be worried. Fortunately for them, they have one less competition now, sort of. Google Fiber has just announced it is axing its traditional TV service from its bundle but only it strongly believes people don't need traditional TV anyway.

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Waymo and UPS team to deliver packages with self-driving vans

Waymo and UPS team to deliver packages with self-driving vans

Autonomous car company Waymo has announced a new partnership with the delivery company UPS. This is said to be 'a first-of-its-kind deal' involving Waymo Driver, the company's self-driving car tech. As part of this deal, Waymo Driver will help UPS deliver packages in Chrysler Pacifica vans, though the deliveries will be limited to just the UPS hub in Tempe, Arizona, as well as the Metro Phoenix region.

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Verily Study Watch irregular heartbeat detection clears FDA

Verily Study Watch irregular heartbeat detection clears FDA

Detecting irregular heartbeats, a.k.a. atrial fibrillation or AFib, has become a hot thing in the wearable tech market thanks to the Apple Watch. Now almost everyone wants to have that feature, too, including Withings and Suunto. It might only take a matter of time for Google, who recently purchased Fitbit, to follow suit but, for now, its Alphabet sibling Verily has gotten a head start now that its Study Watch has gotten the FDA clearance for its Irregular Pulse Monitor for detecting AFib.

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Waymo self-driving taxi service app finally arrives on iOS

Waymo self-driving taxi service app finally arrives on iOS

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving tech company, has officially launched a mobile app on iOS, making it possible for residents in Phoenix to directly hail one of the company's autonomous taxis. The app for iPhone joins the Android version Waymo launched on the Google Play Store earlier this year. The move hints at the eventual large-scale launch of the Waymo One robotaxi service.

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Google, Alphabet founders step down, Pichai now CEO of both companies

Google, Alphabet founders step down, Pichai now CEO of both companies

Before today, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were CEO and President of Alphabet - now that job goes to the CEO of Google. There will be no President role for Alphabet (for the moment, at least), and Pichai will be CEO of both Google and Alphabet. As Page and Brin said in a letter today, "While it has been a tremendous privilege to be deeply involved in the day-to-day management of the company for so long, we believe it’s time to assume the role of proud parents - offering advice and love, but not daily nagging!"

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Loon will bring the Internet to Amazon Rainforest Region from the skies

Loon will bring the Internet to Amazon Rainforest Region from the skies

Google launched Project Loon back in 2013 to experiment with the idea of bringing Internet connectivity, specifically 4G LTE to normally inaccessible areas using high-altitude balloons. Now a company in its own right under the Alphabet family, Loon LCC is now in a position to do more than just test flights. It can now sign deals with local telcos to actually bring those plans to fruition, like what it will be doing in Peru to bring 4G Internet speeds remote regions in the country.

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Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

Alphabet’s X wants to make robots that can learn to do mundane tasks

There has been a lot of attention paid on AI and robotics these days but the majority of those focus on either very specialized tasks or, on the other extreme, theoretical algorithms. The robots of today are still a far cry from the robots of fiction that exist not just to build cars or drive them but also to help humans in their everyday lives. To that end, Google's sibling company X has started an Everyday Robot Project to design, build, and train robots that can learn to do the messy stuff that comes as second nature to humans.

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