Volvo concept, Facebook Safety Check, Drone regulations - The Wrap

IDG News Service | Nov 19, 2015

On The Wrap this week Volvo intros a new concept car that will pave the way for autonomous vehicles, Facebook enables Safety Check and there's a renewed push for chip and pin for new credit cards.

Volvo unveils a self driving concept and drone restrictions get lifted.


Here's your tech top 3 and what you need to know this week.

Volvo's new concept car is the precursor to a fleet of self driving cars that will take to the roads of Sweden in 2017. This is Concept 26, which has three modes: drive, create or relax. In relax mode the steering wheel retracts and a 25 inch display comes out of the dash. A Vovlo exec said he believes car makers should take full responsibility for the actions of the car when it's in autonomous mode.

Facebook will widen the use of its Safety Check tool following the terror attacks in Paris. Before Friday, the tool had only been used for natural disasters. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it would be used more frequently in the future during human disasters. It was not activated for the twin terror attacks in Beirut one day before Paris. Safety Check lets users in affected areas let their friends know they are ok.

US financial institutions are under renewed pressure to adopt the use of PINs with new chip-based credit cards. While most of the world uses chip and pin to reduce fraud, the US has stuck with chip and signature. These new cards transmit one time codes instead of card numbers when customers pay, which eliminates the risk of data breaches in store systems. Banks that move to PINs first run the risk of customers using other cards in their wallets that still use signatures.

In focus we take a closer look at the Drone World Expo in San Jose California. Drones are expected to be the hot gift this holiday season and uses have expanded across a variety of verticals. Some legal and logistical problems have yet to be ironed out though and that's hampering use and development. One thing that will change is that DJI, one of the leading drone manufacturers, plans to loosen the control it has on whether its drones can fly in restricted areas. Right now, DJI drone software block drones from taking off in restricted areas, such as within 5 miles of an airport. Now DJI will require pilots to self certify that they are cleared for flight in these restricted areas. After obtaining the proper permissions, they'll now be able to fly in previously restricted places. If they don't obtain permission, part of the self certification process includes providing a credit card or mobile phone number so that the pilots can be tracked down. Staying with safety and regulation there is an industry push to provide standardized ratings for drones. This would include standard information like how the drone handles in wind and rain or what it does when the GPS signal is lost. This will help consumers and professionals better evaluate and understand how these crafts perform.

I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap