Mazda to implement self-driving technology in all cars by 2025
Testing the technology in l...
Japanese automotive giant Mazda has unveiled plans to put autonomous driving technology into all of its car models by 2025.
Testing the technology in line with Mazda's Co-Pilot Concept scheme will begin in 2020, whilst the system will become a standard feature five years later for all models.
The project has been boosted by the collaboration in the Toyota-Mazda deal which will see the two companies build and open a $1.6bn factory in the US.
As part of the deal, Toyota Motors is buying a 5% stake in their rival, whilst the new factory will boast state-of-the-art equipment, industrial IoT capabilities and produce 300,000 cars - both self-driving and manually driven - annually for both companies.
This is despite reputable Mazda executive Nobuhiro Yamamoto - who oversaw the development of the MX5 model - saying autonomous cars have "no purpose" in a 2016 interview with motoring.com.au.
Yamamoto also argued that car companies are merely battling to be the first to produce a fully autonomous vehicle for marketing purposes as opposed to benefitting the industry.
"Right now, it’s like they are competing against each other for this type of technology just for the sake it - we need to clarify why," commented Yamamoto in the interview.
The engineer did recognise the potential advantages of self-driving cars, saying that benefits to ageing populations and reducing congestion would be a positive step.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.