Self driving city, Apple earnings, Toshiba scandal - The Wrap

IDG News Service | Jul 28, 2015

On The Wrap this week there's a surprise in Apple earnings, pocket dialers beware and a fake town is built for autonomous cars.

Pocket dialers beware and a fake city is designed for driverless cars.

When Apple detailed its earnings this quarter there was an unusual misstep; the company sold fewer iPhones than it had forecast and Apple shares took a hit. Net profit though surged by 38 percent to nearly 11 billion which was ahead of estimates. CEO Tim Cook was happy with the quarter, but didn't mention much about the Apple Watch other than that it had a great start.
Toshiba executives have stepped down following a 1 billion dollar accounting scandal. A committee revealed that the execs padded the companies operating profit for 6 years. The amount includes 35 million dollars in incorrect earnings. The current and former presidents took responsibility for the fraud, which is one of the biggest accounting scandals in Japan in years.
A US court ruled against a pocket dialer, saying that someone shouldn't expect any overheard conversation to be considered private. The chairman of a US airport accidentally called the secretary for the CEO of the airport and allegedly discussed how the CEO would be replaced. The court said the pocket dialer should have locked his phone or used an app to prevent the phone call.

In focus this week we take you Mcity, a fake town specifically designed to test driverless cars and futuristic automotive technology. Developed by the University of Michigan the 32 acre facility in Ann Arbor has many obstacles and challenges of a real town--buildings, curbs, roads without lane markings and traffic signals. There are even street signs defaced with graffiti. It's all to give the vehicles a real world test. Mcity will be an important stepping stone to fully autonomous cars. Being able to have a space where the technology can be tested without damaging real property or worse running someone over will help companies improve autonomy. In addition to testing various levels of automotive automation, the city will also test vehicle to vehicle communication. Michigan seems like a natural fit for Mcity, which is home to all the major US car manufacturers in addition to 375 automotive research centers. Google has been testing driverless cars on the roads of California in a much more restricted environment and those cars only go 25 miles per hour. The Michigan facility will allow cars to drive faster and do more dangerous maneuvers that wouldn't be possible on public roads. And it's that difficult kind of driving that companies will need to perfect before driverless cars will be safe enough for public streets. Mcity cost about 10 million dollars to build and it's open for use by any organization. I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap