1.GOOGLE -Google’s Maps app will start directing drivers along routes estimated to generate the lowest carbon emissions based on traffic, slopes and other factors, the company announced on Tuesday.
Google, an Alphabet Inc unit, said the feature would launch later this year in the U.S. and eventually reach other countries as part of its commitment to help combat climate change through its services.
Unless users opt out, the default route will be the “eco-friendly” one if comparable options take about the same time, Google said. When alternatives are significantly faster, Google will offer choices and let users compare estimated emissions.
“What we are seeing is for around half of routes, we are able to find an option more eco-friendly with minimal or no time-cost tradeoff,” Russell Dicker, a director of product at Google, told reporters on Monday.
Google said it derives emissions relative estimates by testing across different types of vehicles and road types, drawing on insights from the U.S. government’s National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL). Road grade data comes from its Street View cars as well as aerial and satellite imagery.
The potential effect on emissions from the feature is unclear. But in a study of 20 people at California State University, Long Beach, university researchers last year found participants were more inclined to consider carbon emissions in route selection after testing an app that showed estimates.
Google’s announcement included additional climate-focused changes. From June, it will start warning drivers about to travel through low emissions zones where some vehicles are restricted in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.K.
In the coming months, Maps app users will be able to compare car, biking, public transit and other travel options in one place instead of toggling between different sections.
2.TWITTER :Thousands of Twitter Inc users were unable to access the social media platform on Monday, according to outage monitoring website Downdetector.com.
As many as 18,000 users reported issues with the micro-blogging site, according to Downdetector, and several users took to Twitter to complain about the outage, using the hashtag
“Taking forever to load tweets on app and website,” said a user with Twitter handle
Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outages could have affected a larger number of users.
3.AMAZON :– The trade union Verdi has called for workers at six Amazon sites in Germany to go on strike from Sunday evening for four days in the latest attempt to try to force the U.S. e-commerce group to recognise collective bargaining agreements.
Verdi said the strikes at Amazon’s sites in Rheinberg, Werne, Koblenz, Leipzig and at two locations in Bad Hersfeld signalled an “unofficial start” to wage talks for the retail and mail order industry, which are due to begin in the next few weeks.
“Amazon is making a mint in the coronavirus crisis. For this reason alone, wage evasion must be stopped there,” said Verdi representative Orhan Akman.
Verdi is demanding a pay increase of 4.5% for workers in the retail and mail order industry.
“This must also be possible at Amazon this year,” Akman said.
Amazon has faced a long-running battle with unions in Germany over better pay and conditions for logistics workers, who have frequently staged strikes since 2013.
Germany is Amazon’s biggest market after the United States.
Amazon says it offers excellent pay and benefits. It has said during past calls for strikes over 90% of employees in the logistic centres worked as normal.
4. HYUNDAI:– South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co said on Tuesday it would suspend production at its Ulsan No.1 plant in South Korea from April 7-14 because of a shortage of semiconductor chips and supply issues with electrical components.
It said there were supply problems with semiconductor parts for the front view camera system of its Kona sport utility vehicle (SUV) and power electric modules for the IONIQ 5.
5.VOLVO- Volvo Cars will offer all its employees worldwide 24 weeks paid parental leave in a bid to support female executives and equal parenting.
The carmaker, which is based in Sweden but owned by China’s Geely Holding, has over 40,000 employees. From next month, all staff who have worked in Volvo plants and offices for at least a year will be entitled to the leave each time they have a child and will receive 80% of their base pay during the period, the company said on Tuesday.
Sweden is one of few countries that already offers leave by law for either parent.
“Some countries do not offer any paid leave to new parents, or exclude certain groups of parents – the latter is particularly true for fathers,” the company, which previously did not have a global policy but adapted to local regulations, said in a statement.
Around a third of Volvo’s senior managers are currently female.
The company aims to raise that share to 50%, a spokeswoman said, adding that Volvo’s new policy will improve conditions for staff on parental leave not least in China and the United States.
“When parents are supported to balance the demands of work and family, it helps to close the gender gap and allows everyone to excel in their careers,” said Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson.
The global policy applies to either parent and the leave can be taken anytime within the first three years of parenthood.
In Sweden, new parents are in general entitled by law to around a year of parental leave on up to 80% pay.