Did you know that NASA's Ingenuity rovercraft uses the same semiconductor that powers nearly 40% of smartphones across the globe? Both the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter use Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip, built to withstand Mars's perilous atmosphere and radiation. Qualcomm stated that much of its Flight Platform was created with the help of consumer drone technology, including 4K ultra-HD video, navigation with visual inertial odometry, and flight assistance. Though increasingly in short supply, semiconductors continue to play a key role in tech innovation.
This week, Toyota’s Woven Planet Group announced the $550m acquisition of Lyft’s autonomous car group Level 5. However, this isn’t the ride-sharing company’s complete exit from the increasingly crowded autonomous vehicle (AV) market, as Lyft will continue to partner with AV companies using their app. On the other hand, this is an expansion of Toyota’s budding AV empire, as it builds a self-proclaimed “dream team” with 1200 researchers and engineers from Level 5, Woven Planet, and Toyota Research Institute. This acquisition demonstrates a commitment to Toyota’s autonomous vision, building atop its fully programmable city project, Woven City, which first broke ground in February.
Apple unveiled its much-anticipated App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature, prompting users to give permission to track activity across apps and websites. Since it was announced over a year ago, ATT has sparked debate amongst the digital advertising giants. Apple’s ATT proposition seems simple: give users a choice about privacy settings. However, Facebook’s argument is a bit more complex: we need tracking to make the internet work and keep sites, like Facebook, free through paid targeted advertising. Facebook also argues that ATT targets small businesses that use digital advertising as an affordable method of marketing. The true impact will depend upon opt-in rate. AppsFlyer predicts that ATT opt-in rates are higher than anticipated, averaging at least 39%. Will this be enough to appease Facebook?