Nissan Skyline Gets Propilot 2.0 Semi-autonomous Driving System

Nissan Skyline Gets ProPilot 2.0 Semi-Autonomous Driving System

By unveiling a more advanced version of the ProPilot, Nissan has taken another step into the autonomous driving future. The system is called the ProPilot 2.0 and it's a driver assistance technology that combines navigated highway driving with hands-off single-lane capability.

Supreme Court Says Lay Judge System Working Well

Supreme Court says lay judge system working well

Japan's Supreme Court has released a report saying that the lay judge system has largely worked well since it was launched a decade ago.

The system, which will mark its 10th anniversary next Tuesday, has so far handled 12,000 cases, with about 90,000 citizens taking part as lay judges.

Jal System Malfunction Mostly Fixed

JAL system malfunction mostly fixed

Japan Airlines officials say the system malfunction that has delayed domestic flights in Japan has largely been resolved, hours after the issue began.

The company's passenger check-in system began malfunctioning at airports across the country at 6:50 a.m. on Wednesday.

Jal System Trouble Causing Domestic Flight Delays

JAL system trouble causing domestic flight delays

Japan Airlines officials are warning of delays as they say their passenger check-in system for domestic flights is malfunctioning at airports across the country.

JAL says it has been having the trouble since 6:50 a.m. on Wednesday in Japan.

Hands On With Polestar's Android Automotive Os Infotainment System

Hands on with Polestar's Android Automotive OS infotainment system

Walking into Dogpatch Studios on San Francisco's east side, the Polestar 2 sits in the center of the stark industrial space, its 20-inch Continentals resting on the bare concrete floor. The all-electric hatchback sedan, which Polestar says will offer 275 miles of range, is dressed like a Stormtropper; Snow White paint, matte black grille, dark wheels and trim.

A spinoff of Volvo, Polestar calls itself an "electric performance brand", and the Polestar 2 will rival the Tesla Model 3. It was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and this the first time it's being shown in the United States. It's striking in the flesh with tight proportions and a powerful, purposeful stance.

Google Opens Android Infotainment System To Third-party Media Apps

Google opens Android infotainment system to third-party media apps

Now that Google has a full-fledged car infotainment platform in Android Automotive, it's opening the door to apps built for that platform. As of Google I/O, developers will have the power to create media apps for Android Automotive-equipped cars like the upcoming Polestar 2. It's using the same underlying framework as Android Auto, which should ensure that a favorite music or audiobook app will work properly across different touchscreen sizes and car customizations. You'll have to wait awhile for the first apps since the Polestar 2 doesn't arrive until 2020, and there aren't any publicly announced partners (although a preview graphic does show NPR One). Don't be surprised if the app ecosystem expands over the months ahead, though. And yes, Google intends to open Android Automotive to more than just media apps. The company has "plans" to enable apps for navigation, communication "and beyond," so you might have alternatives if you don't care for Google Maps or need a third-party internet calling service. The aim is ultimately to create an app ecosystem for cars that more closely resembles what you see on phones, rather than another take on the walled-off environments you see today. Android Developers

Reported by Jon Fingas for Engadget

Toyota Prius Electrical System Continues To Overheat Despite Recall

Toyota Prius Electrical System Continues To Overheat Despite Recall

This is according to reports in which some Toyota Prius owners are still claiming that their electrical systems are overheating. Speaking to the LA Times, a customer by the name of Jordan Felo experienced this problem when his inverter overheated and fried itself when he pressed on the car’s accelerator pedal.

This was despite the fact that Felo had previously taken his car to a Toyota dealer several weeks ago in which an updated piece of software was installed that was meant to fix the overheating problem. Unfortunately, it appears that it did not and now it would cost Felo $3,000 to replace the unit.

Toyota Patents In-car Fragrance System That Dispenses Tear Gas On Car Thieves

Toyota patents in-car fragrance system that dispenses tear gas on car thieves

Toyota is traditionally a conservative company when it comes to adopting new car technology, which makes this recent patent it filed all the more hilarious. Just like the headline says, the patent includes a system that will release tear gas into the car. The noxious gas is piped in when the vehicle detects an illegitimate engine start. Now if that's not the most metal thing you've seen out of Toyota in a long time (forever?) we're not sure what is.

This section of the patent is part of a larger scheme of patenting a fragrance system similar to Mercedes' where you can choose the scent you want pumped out of the air vents. It's a novel feature that can help cleanse the cabin of any unpleasant odors, but can get annoying with strong and prolonged use. Toyota's system would theoretically be more seamless and personable than anything currently on the market, because it's designed to automatically detect who is getting into the vehicle via their mobile device. It will then dispense that driver's preferred fragrance.

Ghosn's Case Shines Light On Japan's Harsh System Of 'hostage Justice'

Ghosn's case shines light on Japan's harsh system of 'hostage justice'

TOKYO — The high-profile case of ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has shone a light in Japan on what critics call "hostage justice," in which suspects can be held for months after arrest, but any reforms will likely be incremental and slow. Ghosn, a former titan of the global auto industry, who has French, Brazilian and Lebonese citizenship, was released on bail of 1 billion yen ($9 million) on Wednesday after being held for more than 100 days following his Nov. 19 arrest by prosecutors on suspicion of under-reporting his compensation. In a scenario common in Japan's justice system, Ghosn was arrested two more times on fresh suspicions, including aggravated breach of trust, each time allowing prosecutors to keep him in custody and interrogate him without his lawyers being present. The term "hostage justice" refers to holding the suspect in custody while pressing for the "ransom" of a confession. Ghosn's case has sparked harsh international criticism of Japan's justice system, in which 99.9 percent of people charged with crimes are convicted. "The affair was reported abroad and many Japanese know that the Japanese criminal justice system is not necessarily at a global standard," wrote former Tokyo District Court judge Takao Nakayama in the Nikkei business daily. "In that sense, the Tokyo prosecutors opened a Pandora's box," he wrote. The article was part of a full-page spread headlined "What should be fixed in Japan's 'hostage justice'." Granting bail after indictment and ahead of trial is rare for suspects who, like Ghosn, maintain their innocence, with the stated reason being fears the defendant would flee, tamper with evidence or seek to sway witnesses. Ghosn had to post $8.9 million bail and agree not only to stay in Japan but to having surveillance cameras placed at his residence and to limits on his mobile phone and computer use. His first two requests for bail were rejected. "I do think that this has made the whole system, that most Japanese on the street don't really know exists, much more visible and much more vulnerable to criticism," said Tokyo-based lawyer Stephen Givens. Domestic civil rights groups and lawyers including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations have long criticized a system they say gives too much power to prosecutors and is too reliant on confessions, some later found to have been forced and false.

Not much presumption of innocence

Ordinary citizens — and media — often equate arrest with guilt. "Japan is a country that respects authority, and I think most people assume that when somebody is arrested, that there's a reason for that," Givens said. "Media ... are of that view — although I do think that some of the mainstream media are beginning to ask questions and present other views." Prosecutors have defended the system. "Each country has its own culture and systems," said Shin Kukimoto, a deputy public prosecutor, at a news conference in December. "I'm not sure it's right to criticize other systems simply because they are different." High-profile cases involving forced confessions periodically attract public attention, although no outcry has been sustained. In a possible sign the issue was creeping onto the public radar even before Ghosn's arrest, a private broadcaster launched in 2016 a television drama called "99.9 Criminal Lawyers" about defense lawyers fighting the odds against acquittal. The title refers to the conviction rate. Still, there is caution over prospects for change. "I'm skeptical, and it depends on what you mean by 'change'," said Colin Jones, a law professor at Kyoto's Doshisha University. "Courts are institutionally subject to foreign pressure. The trend has been a gradual increase in the rejection of detention warrants, and we might see a trend toward incremental change," he said.

Android Q Might Bring A System-wide Dark Mode

Android Q Might Bring A System-Wide Dark Mode


Google has gradually been updating some of its core apps with a dark theme. It’s present in apps like YouTube, Messages, Google News, and even some parts of the Maps app. To some, it felt like Google was setting the stage for a system-wide dark mode in Android and it appears that the company might deliver it with Android Q, the next major version of its mobile platform.

A post by one Googler by the name of Lukasz Zbylut on the Chromium bug tracker raises the possibility that Android Q might finally bring a system-wide dark mode for the platform. The dark, more battery-friendly theme is widely appreciated so many users will be pleased if Google goes ahead with this.