Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Smart Phone Like Features for Mahindra’s New EV e2oPlus

By Manu Sharma
India’s pioneer in Electric Vehicles (EV), Mahindra & Mahindra is looking for a bigger play in this segment with the launch of the e2oPlus. The company have loaded e2oPlus with features like a modern-day smartphone that can be powered remotely.
A smartphone app provides information of the car’s status on the battery charge, and even sends a reminder for its various functions. One can remotely lock and unlock the car, start and stop charging, turn the car on and off, switch the air conditioning on and off and even set a schedule using the smartphone app.
Talking to this media, Dharmendra Mishra, Vice President, Head Sales, Marketing and Consumer Care of Mahindra Electric says, “e2o has been designed looking at the present technology lifestyle the youth are used to and so to meet their requirements have packed the car with all modern features.”
Infact, to reduce noise and air pollution in major cities across India, the government is aggressively planning to roll out over 50 lakh electric and hybrid vehicles on Indian roads in the next three years. Mahindra Electric is the only company to roll out pure EV cars in India and has sold about 1.350 cars in Bengaluru, its major market in India.
At the core of the e2oPlus is a collection of connected features that have been developed to make the car both easier and more enjoyable to drive and maintain. Whether it’s remote diagnostics through telematics monitors the e2o on a daily basis giving instant diagnosis of any existing or impending problems or even planning a route, checking the health of the car or remotely cooling the car, the e2oPlus seamlessly integrates technologies to offer functionality and is aptly designed for easy urban computing.

The EV is certainly set to “Redefine the Future of Mobility” as Arvind Mathew, CEO of Mahindra Electric puts it. E2o, the 4-door variant is equipped with a GPS enabled navigation system and an on-board computer that warns you about the car's driving range. The touch-screen monitor is easy to use and very responsive. “The e2oPlus is one of the more advanced cars on Indian roads, with smartphone-controlled features, GPS navigation system and a dashboard-mounted touchscreen, keyless entry, start/stop button, and regenerative braking,” he adds.

The e2oPlus also gets an SOS feature called revive which is being carried over from the e2o that gives you an additional range of 7-10 km if your battery power dips below 10 per cent. This can be activated by a touch of a button or by using
the e2oPlus app on your smart phone besides the mobile app also hosts other features like switching on/off the car's air conditioning, advance infotainment system and even locking/unlocking the car has also made the car smarter.
There are other ingenious technologies that have been incorporated in the e2o such as Sun2Car, and regenerative braking system that further boost the car's range. The Sun2Car, for instance, allows people to charge the e2o using solar energy while it's parked. The regenerative braking technology puts energy back into the car’s batteries and charges them every time the brake is applied or the accelerator is not pressed.
Mahindra e2o is manufactured through processes that do not pollute from the design stage in India's first Platinum certified automobile plant. The facility itself is naturally lit and ventilated, uses LED lights, recycles, gets 35 percent of its power from solar panels and is claimed to be 60-70 percent more efficient than a conventional facility.


The car has a lithium-ion battery pack that takes five hours for a full charge  and fast charging takes about 90 minutes. On a full charge, the car can travel for upto 140 km and can achieve a speed of 85 km/hr. Powered by the latest electric drive technology, the e2o can effortlessly cruise through the city traffic.
The car is priced between Rs 6.73 lakh and Rs 9.51 lakh (ex-showroom Bengaluru). The e2oPlus has four variants - P2, P4, P6, and P8. The P4 is priced at Rs 6.73 lakh, P6 at Rs 7.31 lakh and P8 at Rs 9.51 lakh (ex-showroom Bengaluru). However, the company did not disclose the price of its P2 variant, which it said is for fleet owners.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Schneider Electric Bets Very Big on Future of Automation in India

Schneider Electric, the global automation specialist and a leader in energy efficiency, is set to increase its industrial automation footprint in India. Catering to increased demand across various sectors, the company expects to launch as many as 365 products and solutions this year, many of them focusing on increasing the value they provide to their process automation customers. Schneider Electric emerged as a major player in the global process automation market in 2014 following its acquisition of Invensys Plc. It is now eyeing an even bigger market presence in India.

Increasing its portfolio of products, solutions and services here will further enable it to address growing regional and country-wide demand in four key sectors – Power, Oil and Gas, Water and Waste Water (WWW) and Mining, Metals and Minerals (MMM).

Rajat Kishore, MD and VP, Process Automation, Schneider Electric Systems India Pvt Ltd said, “Acquiring Invensys and its portfolio of process automation, control and safety systems, as well as a fleet of measurement and instrumentation offerings, significantly strengthened our position in the industrial automation market. Today we offer a full portfolio of connected process automation products, control and safety platforms and a suite of software, analytics and apps that enable safer, more reliable, more efficient operations. We have smart products used for measuring, activating, and device-level monitoring and control; machine and process automation systems, services and solutions that provide monitoring, control and safety management; software applications that deliver more functionality to meet the needs of the specific operation, plant or enterprise; a suite of enterprise level services and applications that help customers realize true business value; and cloud offerings and industry-leading cybersecurity across the stack. No other company can bring that to bear for their customers.”

Schneider Electric expects to grow its position in the Indian Automation market in the wake of strong demand due to various Government initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and Smart City Mission which have Automation at their very core. Also, the company feels that Automation would be the key for India to become a global manufacturing hub as it would need innovation as well as consistency in quality and efficiency while keeping price competitive to compete globally.

Schneider Innovation at Every Level harnesses the power and promise of its Internet of Things-powered Ecostruxure architecture to reshape cities, transform industries and enrich lives through connected products, edge control, apps, analytics and services.

Kishore said, “Automation will be a high growth area in India. Despite the fact that Manufacturing contributes about 17% to India's GDP, there is still significant untapped potential when compared to global benchmarks. The manufacturing industry is undergoing tremendous change due to Urbanization, Industrialization and Digitization megatrends.. To add to this, even as energy demands are set to double in the next 40 years, CO2 emissions will have to be reduced by half to avoid irreversible damage to our planet. So we have to become three times more efficient. Automation will drive this efficiency improvement”.

Kishore further noted that as the world becomes more connected, more distributed and more efficient, with the number of connected devices expected to double in the next five years, it will spur demand for innovative technologies under the umbrella of Automation. “As a global, innovative, technology company, we are in a strong position to provide the integrated Industrial Automation, Software and energy management that will drive this change”, Kishore said.

A Partner for Half a Century: I Lakh Happy Indian Corolla Customers

Fifty years ago, on October 20, 1966, at a time when interest in cars was growing rapidly in Japan, Toyota unveiled the first-generation Corolla.

The Toyota Corolla is a five-passenger vehicle from Japan that is positioned as the “most accessible car” in the market. In the development of the Corolla, Toyota’s engineers have spent years bringing together the best of the company’s technologies to offer to the public. This car has been designed to become a main fixture across Japanese society. It is fitted with a powerful water-cooled inline-four engine boasting 1,077 cc and 60 horsepower which provides a level of performance, and a vehicle class that goes above and beyond. The Corolla is packed with new features where its acceleration exceeds that of European cars within the same vehicle class. The Corolla is truly a high-performance Japanese compact car.

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1937 with the overarching goal of helping to develop the Japanese auto industry. Three decades later, Corolla was born at a time of great interest in cars across Japan. The 80 Point Doctrine +α Concept underpinned the development of the Corolla. This design concept stipulates that the car has to achieve 80 points on a 100-point scale on average, and some +α (extra) features were necessary to give the vehicle additional appeal, which would help exceed customers’ expectations. Over the past five decades, even as the Corolla has evolved over 11 generations, Toyota has consistently applied this understanding to models sold in Japan and around the world.

Born in Japan in 1966, the Corolla is now being produced in 13 countries, and over 1.3 million units are sold annually in more than 150 countries. It takes 9 million cars to cover the earth's circumference once and hypothetically, if were to stack all the Corolla cars sold till date globally, then we would be taking 4.7 rounds across the circumference of the earth. With a record 44 million units sold globally to date, the Toyota Corolla has established itself as the world’s best-selling car of all-time.

During the last 50 years, customers from all around the world have come to share the same love for the Corolla; and the Corolla development team has consistently worked hard to meet and exceed their expectations. We would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the past 50 years of the Corolla, through stories told by those who have been part of the Corolla journey.

This special website features various aspects of the Corolla, including customer memories, the history of the vehicle, comments from those charged with developing the car and more. Content will be posted in stages, so please visit the site often!
Corolla 50th Anniversary Special Website

Overview of the Corolla 50th Anniversary Special Website
- Story: Corolla stories by customers from Japan and around the world
- History: Evolution of the Corolla since the first generation and their corresponding eras
- Message: Commentary by Chief Engineers of the Corolla
- Feature: Special content, including an AE86 Levin test-drive video and a commentary by a "Corolla geek"
- Gallery: Generations of the Corolla and key historical photos
- Link: URLs to news releases of the Corolla of each generation, as well as some Corolla related websites.

Commenting on this milestone, N Raja, Director and Senior Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd. said, “With its rich legacy and phenomenal success across the globe, the Toyota Corolla has set a benchmark & market leadership in India with 42% segment share. Well appreciated for its design innovation and time-tested quality engineering, the Corolla Altis has been doing consistently well ever since its launch in India and has won the hearts of over 1 lakh happy customers in India”.

LeEco Brings Boundary-Breaking Ecosystem Model to the U.S.

LeEco, global internet and ecosystem conglomerate has officially launched its disruptive ecosystem model in the U.S. Through this LeEco has broken the boundaries between screens to seamlessly deliver content and services on a wide array of connected smart devices – including smartphones, TVs, smart bikes, virtual reality and electric self-driving vehicles.

“We have created a new business model that will lead the next era of technology – the ecosystem era. We are disrupting several categories and changing the paradigm by breaking down barriers and boundaries between industries and screen stocreate a better experience and more value for both individuals and industries,” said YT Jia, Founder, Chairman and CEO of LeEco.  “I know the road ahead is long and arduous but life is about constantly exploring the unknown, and I believe that if you dare to dream what 99% believe is impossible you’ve earned the right at that 1% chance to be successful.”

Here’s what LeEco unveiled at the event in the U.S. -

Premium Devices with Disruptive Value: To provide an enhanced value for our users, LeEco hascreatedEcoPass that brings together various high-value benefits.

Ecophones: The next-generation of smartphones that put content front-and-center to deliver the ultimate entertainment experience.  With eui, the Le and LIVE apps offer a line-up of content including a dynamic preview display, and a 3x3 mosaic of streaming content. With eui, ecophone users can access LeView, a “minus one screen” experience that puts tailored content, customized to your viewing preferences, just one swipe away from the home screen.  With eui, content is always only one click away.LeEco will launch two ecophonesin the U.S. that will begin selling at www.lemall.com on Nov. 2

Le Pro3 is LeEco’s flagshipecophone that combines beautiful design, powerful performance and a unique way to consume content.  With a 5.5-inch screen and sleek design, the Le Pro3 features fine, brushed metal backing and a tough Corning Gorilla Glass screen with 2.5D curved edges for a smooth finish. The Le Pro3 sports premium audio features, including dual speakers, surround sound powered by Dolby Atmos and Continual Digital Lossless Audio (CDLA) technology. The Le Pro3 offers incredible, long-lasting performance thanks to a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and a category leading 4070mAh battery. The Le Pro3 also features a 16 MP rear-facing camera for vivid photos, panoramas and videos in 4K; and an 8 MP front-facing camera perfect for capturing selfies. The Le Pro3 comes in gold and gray, and will sell for $399. It also includes a 3-month free EcoPass membership.

Le S3 raises the stakes with best-in-category audio, processor, and front and back cameras.  Beautifully designed with an elegant, all-metal unibodyand a 5.5-inch screen, the Le S3 doesn’t cut any corners on what matters most.  Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, the Le S3 delivers unrivaled performance for its category.  It also over-delivers on the camera with a 16 MP main and an 8 MP selfie camera, which can be activated with the highly responsive and intelligent fingerprint scanner. The Le S3 combines the power of CDLA and Dolby Atmos with in-box Type-C CDLA earphones for the ultimate audio experience. The Le S3 is available in gold, gray and rose gold for $249, and includes a 3-month EcoPass membership.

EcoTVs: Ranging in screen sizes, LeEco’s TV’s are one of China’s leading smart TV brands, selling more than 7 million units over the past three years. The ultimate experience in home cinema, the uMax85 boasts a huge 85-inch display housed in a slim industrial design packed with superior technology features including industry-leading Full Array, 448 Active Local Dimming Zones, HDR, Dolby Vision, Fluid Motion 1920 Display Technology and Harmon Kardon Audio. The uMax85 will be available on Nov. 2 at www.lemall.com for $4,999 and comes with a 12-month free EcoPass membership.

The artfully designed Super4 X Series houses premium technology in an ultra-slim frame built from the finest-grade aluminum alloy materials and features an ultra-narrow bezel. Available in a range of screen sizes including 43, 55 and 65 inches.  These ecotvsfeature HDR, Harman Kardon speakers and 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage. The Super4 X Series ecotvs will be available on Nov. 2 at www.lemall.com

Stephen Hawking Opens New Artificial Intelligence Hub at Cambridge

Professor Stephen Hawking on Wednesday opened a new artificial intelligence research centre at Britain's Cambridge University.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) will delve into AI applications ranging from increasingly "smart" smartphones to robot surgeons and "Terminator" style military droids.

Funded by a £10 million (11.2 million-euro, $12.3-million) grant from the Leverhulme Trust, the centre's express aim is to ensure AI is used to benefit humanity.

Opening the new centre, Hawking said it was not possible to predict what might be achieved with AI.

"Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one -- industrialisation.

"And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed.

"In short, success in creating AI could the biggest event in the history of our civilisation," Hawking said.

The centre is a collaboration between the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Berkeley, California.

It will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines to work with industry representatives and policymakers on projects ranging from regulation of autonomous weapons to the implications of AI for democracy.

"AI is hugely exciting. Its practical applications can help us to tackle important social problems, as well as easing many tasks in everyday life," said Margaret Boden, a professor of cognitive sciences and consultant to the CFI.

The technology has led to major advances in "the sciences of mind and life", she said, but, misused, also "presents grave dangers".

"CFI aims to pre-empt these dangers, by guiding AI-development in human-friendly ways," she added.

Fears of robots freeing themselves from their creators have inspired a host of films and literature -- "2001: a Space Odyssey" to name but one.

Hawking warned technological developments also posed a risk to our civilisation.
"Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.

"It will bring disruption to our economy. And in the future, AI could develop a will of its own -- a will that is in conflict with ours," he said.

But catastrophic scenarios aside, the development of AI, which allows robots to execute almost all human tasks, directly threatens millions of jobs. So will AI, which has already conquered man in the game of chess, ultimately leave humans on the sidelines?

"We don't need to see AI as replacing us, but can see it as enhancing us: we will be able to make better decisions, on the basis of better evidence and better insights," said Stephen Cave, director of the centre.

"AI will help us to learn about ourselves and our environment -- and could, if managed well, be liberating."

With this in mind, ethics will be one of the key fields of research of the CFI. "It's about how to ensure intelligent artificial systems have goals aligned with human values" and ensure computers don't evolve spontaneously in "new, unwelcome directions", Cave said.

"Before we delegate decisions in important areas, we need to be very sure that the intelligence systems to which we are delegating are sufficiently trustworthy."


Dual Festive Bonanza at Orion Mall and Orion East this Deepawali

The Orion Shopping Festival is back, marking the beginning of the festive season inspectacular style. What’s more, this time it’s twice as exciting as both Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway and Orion East Mall celebrate this mega shopping festival, packed with superlative shopping experiences, fantastic prizes for shoppers and grand bumper prizes, all amidst festive gaiety and dazzling décor.

During the much-awaited Orion Shopping Festival, from October 1 to November 1, 2016, customers at Orion Mall, Brigade Gateway, who make purchases of Rs. 4,000 and above can participate in hourly, daily and weekly draws. At Orion East Mall, customers making purchases worth Rs.2,500 and above can participate in these draws. The bumper prize at both malls is a coveted Fiat Abarth Punto cars, while winners of the weekly prize can ride home on a TVS Apache bikes; at Orion East, there are also Apple iPhone 7 being given away during the weekly draws. The daily prizes are delectable Wonder chef hampers. That’s not all — shoppers can win gift vouchers in the hourly draws as well.

Speaking about the Orion Shopping Festival, Vishal Mirchandani, CEO- Retail and Commercial, Brigade Enterprises Ltd. says, “This is the fifth edition of the Orion Shopping Festival at Orion Mall, Brigade Gateway, and we’re also unveiling it at Orion East Mall. The Shopping Festival gets better with every year as you can see from the line-up of amazing prizes that we’re offering. Besides the fantastic shopping, we want to create a wonderful festive atmosphere for our customers.”

Brigade Gateway Campus lit up splendidly for the Deepawali seasons. Certainly, the festive decorations take the Orion Shopping Festival to another level for shoppers, it introduces a whole new festive shopping experience to customers at Orion East Mall, a destination that redefines the concept of the neighbourhood mall. Cutting edge innovation and fine aesthetics combine to create fantastic festive effect sat both malls – from huge lamps to sparkling elephants, Canopy lights cover the facades and light spark fountains scattered across the campus make for a beautiful sight. A gorgeous setting, great shopping and grand prizes – it’s the perfect way to herald the festive season. So, come join the celebrations. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

National Instruments Further Enhances LabView 2016; Holds NI Days in Bengaluru

National Instruments NI, a provider of platform-based testing systems that enable engineers and scientists, has further enhanced its LabView 2016 system design software. NI also held once again its NI Days in Bengaluru.
NI says it empowers engineers to simplify development and effectively integrate software from the ecosystem into their systems.
The latest version of LabView introduces new channel wires to simplify complex communication between parallel sections of code. Available on both desktop and real-time versions of LabView, the channel wire method helps improve code readability and reduces development time. 

An official from NI says: “The new channel wires in LabView 2016 enable us to develop applications even faster by making architectures that are more transferable across domains.

Latest version of LabView features 500+ new supported instruments, five new 64-bit add-ons, supports improved Python integration “With channel wires, we can set up sophisticated software architectural patterns that natively have multiple sources, without having to create and maintain considerable amounts of custom software in the background.” 

Much of the success that LabView users have had relies on the openness of both the product itself and the ecosystem that supports it. NI says LabView 2016 continues this trend with enhanced interoperability with Python and third-party devices. 

This openness, combined with several new enhancements, “helps users continue to improve productivity by streamlining code development and deployment”, says NI.

NI Days at Bengaluru
NI, the provider of systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, today successfully hosted the 13th edition of NIDays – an annual conference on graphical system design – in Bangalore. The event was attended by over 500 engineers, scientists, and experts from Industry and Academia who discussed the trends, opportunities and challenges that lie in the future of connected systems.

At the seminar, NI India launched the latest version of its flagship product, LabVIEW 2016, with enhancements in acquiring, processing and managing data from remote data acquisition systems. NIDays offered 21 technical sessions and tutorials along with a wide range of products and application demonstrations. Speakers and exhibitors from various industries joined the event. The diverse set of panellists shared their ideas on trends in communication systems, embedded electronics, security and automated test systems that address the challenges and opportunities for the next generation of connected systems.

Addressing the media at the event, Jayaram Pillai, Managing Director – IndRAA, National Instruments, said, “Over the last 18 years in India, we have built a strong ecosystem of partners, proficient developers and successful customers and this ecosystem has enabled our customers to innovate. It’s inspiring to see the amount of innovation and true technological advancements at this year’s NIDays. The continuous dedication and leadership I’ve seen from the engineering community is awe-inspiring and I’m excited for the future of engineering.”

Commenting on the success of the event, Ajit Gokhale, Senior VP Global Marketing, National Instruments, said, "As the world becomes more and more connected, the immense amount of data available today provides the engineers and scientists with a wide variety of insights, but getting the right insight can be a challenge! We continue to help our customers stay ahead of the curve through our platform-based approach and cutting-edge technology advances in application areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or the development of 5G networks by creating tools that help engineers solve real world challenges, accurately, efficiently and rapidly.” 

NI’s tools have proven to be instrumental in the success of a lot of Indian customers and their applications. This year, NI added various new products to the list of these toolsaimed at accelerating the productivity of engineers and researchers working in the areas of IoT, 5G, industrial automation, etc. Some of these tools enable applications that previously seemed too ambitious because of their complexities.

The new range of products launched at the event includes:
·         High-performance PXI instrumentation for processing and sensing at the edge
·         MIMO Application Framework which provides wireless researchers with a fully open reference solution to accelerate 5G prototyping
·         Early access technology platform for TSN which delivers mechanisms to create distributed, synchronized, hard real-time systems over standard Ethernet
·         NI Hardware-in-the-Loop (HIL) Simulator which helps drive down the cost of test for customers
·         Software-centric NI PXI Digital Pattern Instrument used by semiconductor characterization and production test engineers to drive down the cost of their tests and ensure product quality

To accelerate engineering skills development in India, NI also hosted its annual Engineering Impact Awards 2016 aimed at recognizing the most innovative projects based on NI software and hardware and NIYANTRA awards 2016 recognizing the best graphical system design created by budding engineering students.

NI’s annual technical application contest – Engineering Impact Awards, enabled NI customers to showcase innovative projects based on NI software and hardware. The contest this year had a total of 40 teams and the winners got a chance to participate in the Global Engineering Impact Awards held in Austin annually during NIWeek.
This year, Captronics won in the 'Application of the Year' and 'NI Alliance Partner of the year' categories. They developed an application to determine the location of a bullet on a target system using NI cRIO. National Aerospace Laboratories won in the 'Systems Category' for their design and development of structural health monitoring system comprising of SyncVIEW, DiagnoseVIEW, QuickVIEW for aircraft composite structures. Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad won in the 'Academic Category' for developing a closed loop control of three phase inverter voltage using NI LabVIEW FPGA and cRIO.


In order to foster the spirit of innovation in engineering students and expose them to the essence of experiential education through a contest, NI hosted its annual student design contest NIYantra 2016. This contest, held over a period of six months, helped the undergraduate engineers design their project ideas and convert them into working models using NI hardware and software. 

This year, NIYantra 2016 witnessed submissions from more than 950+ teams, out of which 18 teams made it to the finals. The results of the competition were announced at NIDays 2016. Sri Eshwar College of Engineering won the NIYANTRA 2016 awards for creating an innovative path detector designed for visually challenged. Teams from Vivekanand Education Society's Institute Of Technology and K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering were the runners-up. The team from Kumaraguru College of Technology was also recognized for their efforts.