Anheuser Busch orders 40 Tesla Semi trucks

Your beer could soon be delivered in a Tesla.

Brewer Anheuser-Busch _ which owns Budweiser and other brands _ has placed an order for 40 all-electric Tesla Semis.

Anheuser-Busch says it’s one of the largest orders Tesla has received for the truck, but Tesla isn’t confirming.

Tesla Inc. unveiled the Semi last month. Production will begin in 2019. Customers can put down a $5,000 deposit to reserve one.

Anheuser-Busch says the Tesla Semis would be part of a 750-truck U.S. fleet that transports products from breweries to wholesalers. The trucks will help the Belgium-based company meet its goal of reducing global carbon emissions by 30 per cent in 2025.

Tesla won’t say how many companies have put down deposits. But Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and midwest retailer Meijer Inc. are among those that have placed orders.

 

Insurance-Canada.ca announces highlights of its 2018 Insurance Technology Conference

Source: Insurance-Canada.ca

For its 16thAnnual Technology Conference (ICTC 2018) Insurance-Canada.ca is focusing on the opportunities and challenges provided by new technology in use by Canadian insurers and brokers.

Artificial Intelligence is becoming a reality for Canadian insurance. Since the origin of electronic computing, “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has been a goal for programmers and fodder for science fiction. These two groups are now coming together as reality emerges. AI and its counterparts – machine learning and advanced analytics – are coming into play in insurance companies and larger brokerages. Early implementations are demonstrating the use of AI in claims settlements, providing more accurate insurance product pricing and allowing customers ease of access to a variety of coverages.

From the buyers’ perspective, insurers and brokers are finding that Customer Experience is a critical success factor for attracting consumers while utilizing advanced technologies. Kanetix Ltd will discuss some of the challenges for customer-facing insurance providers as they optimize the customer experience, and techniques – including AI – to better address human behaviours.

Other sessions at ICTC 2018 will cover a larger landscape.  Experts from the analyst, insurer and technology supplier communities are preparing sessions focused on Blockchain, IoT (Internet of Things) and Digital insurance technologies. These include:

  • New risks and developing insurance products
  • De-risking strategies through climate adaptation
  • The impact of autonomous vehicles on the automotive insurance product
  • Customer experience technologies on the business of insurance.

Taking a user’s angle on the insurance industry and its technologies, David Coletto, CEO at Abacus Data, will provide the keynote address. Based on more than seven years of research, Coletto’s presentation will describe the context around all the technologies, and will offer a Canadian perspective on generational change (Millennials and Gen Z) and the disruptive forces at work in both consumer and insurance markets.

The 2018 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference, entitled Insurance Vectors in Play, will be held on February 27-28, 2018 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.  Details on the location, agenda, and registration can be found here. (www.insurance-canada.ca/ictc)

Main Attractions at L.A. Auto Show

The floor at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show will look a lot like America’s roads: full of SUVs.

Hyundai and Nissan will debut new small SUVs at the show, while Subaru will take the wraps off its new three-row SUV, the Ascent. Jeep will show a new version of its rough-and-tumble Wrangler, while Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln and Porsche will debut more refined models.

A combination of low gas prices, growing millennial families and a host of new models is fueling the SUV boom. As of October, overall U.S. vehicle sales were down 2 per cent compared to the same period last year, but SUV sales were up 6 per cent, according to Autodata Corp.

The L.A. show will also have plenty of eco-friendly models in a nod to California buyers, who purchase a higher percentage of hybrids and electrics than the U.S. as a whole thanks to state tax credits and other incentives. Land Rover will debut its first-ever plug-in gas-electric hybrid, while Volkswagen will show its upcoming family of electric vehicles. Porsche will also have a plug-in hybrid.

Here are some of the vehicles being unveiled at the show, which opens to the public on Friday, December 1, 2017.

LINCOLN NAUTILUS

Lincoln’s midsize MKX SUV gets a new name, Nautilus, in an effort to separate itself from the alphanumeric luxury crowd. It also gets its first refresh since it went on sale in 2015. The 2019 Nautilus swaps its V6 engine for two turbocharged four-cylinder choices: a 2.0-litre that puts out 245 horsepower or a 2.7-litre with 335 horsepower. The Nautilus adopts Lincoln’s signature mesh grille. It also has a suite of new safety technologies, including a system that keeps the SUV centred in its lane and an evasive manoeuvring system that can automatically steer the vehicle around obstacles. The 2019 Nautilus goes on sale in the spring.

CHEVROLET CORVETTE ZR1 CONVERTIBLE

The fastest, most powerful version of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Corvette gets its first drop-top in nearly a half-century. Chevrolet says the convertible won’t hurt the 755-horsepower car’s performance much. It’s only 60 pounds heavier than the standard coupe and still will have a top speed of over 200 miles per hour. The only changes for the convertible are the structure for the car’s folding top and repositioned seat belt mounts. The 2019 ZR1 made its debut earlier this month in Dubai. The ZR1 last had a convertible in its original model year in 1970. The coupe starts at $119,995 including shipping, while the convertible starts at $123,995. They’ll hit showrooms this spring.

INFINITI QX50

Infiniti’s midsize, five-seat SUV gets a complete overhaul, starting with a rigid but lightweight new underbody made from high-strength steel. The 2019 QX50 sits up higher than the outgoing model and has a beefier, more confident look. Under the hood is what Infiniti says is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder automatically adjusts the pistons’ performance to optimize power or fuel efficiency. Infiniti says the engine delivers 268 horsepower and 27 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a 35 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the outgoing QX50. The new QX50 also boasts Infiniti’s ProPilot driver assistance system that can automatically control braking and speed and keep the SUV within its lane. The QX50 goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018.

SUBARU ASCENT

Known for its small all-wheel-drive cars and SUVs, Subaru enters the big people-hauler market with the new Ascent. It’s got three rows of seats and can carry as many as eight people. Built in Lafayette, Indiana, the Ascent will be sold only in North America to satisfy its thirst for bigger vehicles. The all-wheel-drive Ascent is powered by a new 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Second-row captain’s chairs are optional on some versions. The price wasn’t released, but the Ascent will go on sale next summer.

 

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Young adults ‘putting themselves at fraud risk’ by sharing details online

Irish Examinar

Young adults’ willingness to share personal information with others online could be putting them at greater risk of fraud, a report warns.

While older people are often seen as less tech-savvy, potentially putting them at greater risk of fraud, UK bank NatWest found that less cautious behaviour among those aged 18 to 24 years old in particular could be making them vulnerable.

NatWest, which commissioned think tank Policy Network to look into financial fraud trends, found more than 80% of young adults in this age group are willing to share their email address online with their friends, and as many as 29% are willing to share their mother’s maiden name – a commonly used security question.

This contrasts with just 60% of over-55s willing to share their email address, and only 12% willing to share their mother’s maiden name.

The report was launched at a fraud summit being held by NatWest.

David Lowe, NatWest’s head of fraud prevention, said traditionally the view has been that older people are most at risk of financial fraud.

He said: “Whilst fraud is still prevalent in this age category, we are seeing an increasing trend in younger ’digital natives’ falling victim to online fraud.”

Matthew Laza, director at Policy Network, said: “We need to ensure that today’s school children don’t become another ’generation scammed’.

“As more and more of life moves online this is a real danger for the future.”

Research for this report involved a review of available data on fraud and scams, analysis of YouGov survey data, and interviews with fraud experts.

Source: www.irishexaminer.com

 

Government and business not keeping up with speed of technology

By David Hodges

THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO _ A new report suggests the speed of technological advances has become so rapid that it’s outpacing the rate at which large Canadian businesses and government institutions can adapt, with the number of jobs threatened by automation ranging from 35 to 42 per cent.

The co-authored report, by Deloitte and the Human Resources Professionals Association, calls upon policy-makers and business leaders to prepare Canadian workers for the disruption that artificial intelligence, machine learning and other technologies are having on the economy.

“The changes we are seeing are nothing less than historic and governments and educators need to take a skills-first, not a job-first approach,” said Scott Allinson, vice-president of public affairs at the HRPA.

“Technology just seems to be outpacing the current business model,” added Allinson, pointing to last week’s announcement by Sears Canada that the retailer was shutting down its 130 remaining stores, leaving about 12,000 employees without a job.

“We’ve seen with the brick-and-mortar stores that they’re not keeping up with the change of what people are looking for, thanks to technology.”

Reforming education to ensure Canadians enter the workforce with the future-proofed skills they need to succeed in a digital world are among the key recommendations in the joint report.

It says this would require re-examining how schools are organized, with greater emphasis placed on interdisciplinary work, mental agility, critical thinking, teamwork, relationship management, and the capacity to learn itself “in other words, coaching the integrated capabilities needed for the future instead of teaching individual subjects.”

With workers today needing to upgrade their capabilities constantly, the report also calls upon businesses to take a leadership role in promoting “future-proofed capabilities” by replacing static learning and development programs with dynamic, continuous learning opportunities.

Among the ways this could be achieved would include making learning available on-demand, 24/7 to all employees on any digital platform: computer, tablet or smartphone. Employers that don’t offer these off-site, virtual learning opportunities will find it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain top talent, the report says.

Another key recommendation is modernizing provincial labour laws and the social safety net to reflect the realities of the “gig economy” _ which has turned the traditional one job/one employee/one employer model on its head, with pioneers like Uber and Airbnb doing away with large, hierarchical organizational structures altogether.

The report says that since 1997, Canada’s contingent workforce has grown from 4.8 million to 6.1 million and now accounts for about one-third of all jobs and is likely to keep growing.

While Ontario has been debating reforms to raise the minimum wage and improve the labour market, Allinson says that policy-makers across the country need to design solutions that reflect both the opportunities and the challenges facing gig-economy workers as well as free-agent employees in traditional companies. This includes significant reform to the way Canadian public policy approaches retirement planning, income taxes and unemployment insurance.

“We need to get down to the urgent work of assessing not just how work will change in Canada but how Canadian workers should prepare,” said Allinson.

Will your job be automated? 70 per cent of Americans say no

By Christopher Rugaber

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON _ Most Americans believe their jobs are safe from the spread of automation and robotics, at least during their lifetimes, and only a handful says automation has cost them a job or loss of income.

Just 30 per cent of people surveyed say that it is at least somewhat likely that their own jobs will be done by computers or robots. Seventy per cent say it is not very or not at all likely.

Still, a survey by the Pew Research Center also found widespread anxiety about the general impact of technological change. Three-quarters of Americans say it is at least “somewhat realistic” that robots and computers will eventually perform most of the jobs currently done by people. Roughly the same proportion worry that such an outcome will have negative consequences, such as worsening inequality.

“The public expects a number of different jobs and occupations to be replaced by technology in the coming decades, but few think their own job is heading in that direction,” Aaron Smith, associate director at the Pew Research Center, said.

More than half of respondents expect that fast food workers, insurance claims processors and legal clerks will be mostly replaced by robots and computers during their lifetimes. Nearly two-thirds think that most retailers will be fully automated in 20 years, with little or no human interaction between customers and employers.

Americans’ relative optimism about their own jobs might be the more accurate assessment. Many recent expert analyses are finding less dramatic impacts from automation than studies from several years ago that suggested up to half of jobs could be automated.

A report last week, issued by the education company Pearson, Oxford University, and the Nesta Foundation found that just one in five workers are in occupations that will shrink by 2030.

Many analysts increasingly focus on the impact of automation on specific tasks, rather than entire jobs. A report in January from the consulting firm McKinsey concluded that less than 5 per cent of occupations were likely to be entirely automated. But it also found that in 60 per cent of occupations, workers could see roughly one-third of their tasks automated.

That suggests workers will need to continually upgrade their skills as existing jobs evolve with new technologies.

Just 6 per cent of the respondents to the Pew survey said that they themselves have either lost a job or seen their hours or incomes cut because of automation. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have a much more negative view of technology’s impact on work. Nearly half of those respondents say that technology has actually made it harder for them to advance in their careers.

Contrary to the stereotype of older workers unable to keep up with new technology, younger workers aged 18 through 24 were the most likely to say that automation had cost them a job or income. Eleven per cent of workers in that group said automation had cut their pay or work hours. That’s double the proportion of workers aged 50 through 64 who said the same.

The Pew survey also found widespread skepticism about the benefits of many emerging technologies, with most Americans saying they would not ride in a driverless car. A majority are also not interested in using a robotic caregiver for elderly relatives.

Thirty per cent of respondents said they think self-driving cars would actually cause traffic accidents to increase, and 31 per cent said they would stay roughly the same. Just 39 per cent said they thought accidents would decline.

More than 80 per cent support the idea of requiring self-driving cars to stay in specific lanes.

The survey was conducted in May and had 4,135 respondents, Pew said.

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