Don’t stand so close: Singapore trials automated drones to check

TEL AVIV/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Beware, Singaporeans standing too close, automated drones might be keeping an eye on you from above.

Singapore’s police have been trialling two pilotless drones developed by Israel’s Airobotics to help enforce social distancing measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

The small machines weigh 10 kg (22 pounds) and are programmed to track anomalies such as gatherings and stream footage to the police.

The three-and-a-half-month trial, over an industrial estate in the west of the city, is the first time automated commercial drones have been approved to fly over a major metropolis, according to Airobotics.

“Specifically for COVID, what we are doing is helping them maintain normal operations,” CEO Ran Krauss told Reuters. “The pandemic created a situation where it might be difficult for police to maintain operations.”

Singapore government’s Home Team Science & Technology Agency (HTX) said it had trialled the drones with police.

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Tencent gets green light to publish Ring Fit Adventure in China

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China gave tech giant Tencent Holdings the green light on Thursday to publish Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure and shooter game Call of Duty Mobile, strengthening the country’s biggest social media and video games company.

FILE PHOTO: People visit Tencent’s booth at the World 5G Exhibition in Beijing, China November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

The approval published by China’s National Press and Publication Administration on its website comes as game developers reap higher revenue while the novel coronavirus puts a dent in other entertainment options.

Game publishers in China need to have a license from content regulators so they can make money from the sale of virtual products in games such as weapons or avatars.

Tencent started selling the Switch gaming console in mainland China in December.

However, it only had approvals from authorities for three games before Thursday’s approval of the hugely popular home

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Exclusive: Italy ups the ante in plan to create single broadband network, sources say

ROME (Reuters) – Italy is positioning to become an influential shareholder in the broadband operator it plans to create by brokering a merger of Telecom Italia’s (TIM) fixed-line access network with state-controlled Open Fiber, three sources said.

FILE PHOTO: Telecom Italia logo is seen at the headquarters in Rozzano neighbourhood of Milan, Italy, May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

The plan, championed by Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri from the co-ruling centre-left PD party, envisages transferring a broad range of TIM assets into the new player, which could be a candidate for grants from Europe’s recovery fund.

Those assets include TIM’s network that runs from switching centers to households.

Rome, which sees a single, fast broadband network as crucial to closing Italy’s digital gap with the rest of Europe, aims to use the European funds to upgrade the former phone monopoly’s network from copper to fibre by 2025, a government source

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Modern driver-assistance technology ‘far from reliable’: AAA study

(Reuters) – Advanced driver assistance technology that automates steering and braking in a growing number of vehicles is not providing reliable safety benefits, a new study by the American Automobile Association showed on Thursday.

Researchers at AAA, a federation of North American motor clubs, found that the systems recorded disruptions and disengaged roughly every eight miles, encountering situations they were not equipped to handle.

That creates dangerous situations if drivers rely too much on the technology and stop paying attention to the road, the AAA researchers said, adding that the systems are “far from 100% reliable.”

“AAA has repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently, especially in real-word scenarios,” Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations, said in a statement.

Automakers are accelerating the automation of routine driving tasks such as cruising on a highway and stop-and-go traffic. The options offer a new

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