TIME Autos

Watch BMW Test Driverless Cars and Virtual Reality

With tech companies on its heel, the top premium car maker taps the Internet to try and win the next race

Automakers have never had so much in common with Silicon Valley. Car makers are increasingly relying on technology to develop, market and sell cars to consumers. In fact, most of the world’s major auto companies established research and development labs of one sort or another in the Bay Area. BMW and Volkswagen set up shop there in 1998, General Motors in 2006, Toyota and Ford in 2012, Renault-Nissan in 2013. The automotive industry spends some $100 billion globally on R&D annually, about 16% of the world’s total for all industries.

Likewise, Bay Area firms are also increasingly interested in autos. Ever since the dawn of the personal computer, Silicon Valley has been inventing or reinventing new gadgets: the music player, the phone, the computer first as a phone and, later, as a tablet. Amazon remade the mall. Netflix and YouTube remade TV. Elon Musk’s Tesla notwithstanding, the last great remaining American preoccupation that tech hasn’t widely tackled is the automobile.

MORE: See Inside BMW’s Secret Design Lab

But automakers have a significantly more difficult task integrating technology into their vehicles. Where a new version of an Android phone, for example, might be reasonably expected to last its owner two or three years, most cars are on the roads for decades. That means built-in technology has to last over a much longer time fame. Legislation, as the fights over Tesla’s dealership model and Google’s self-driving cars have shown, can be limiting. And some high-tech bells and whistles simply never take. For every innovation like GPS navigation, there’s a numeric key pad.

In this video, TIME looks at how the top-selling premium manufacturer BMW is exploring new technology ranging from self-driving vehicles to virtual reality in an effort to keep pace with the competition.

TIME Media

HBO’s New Streaming Service Is Coming to Android

San Francisco Premiere Of HBO's "Game Of Thrones" Season 5 - Red Carpet
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau attends the premiere of HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Season 5 at San Francisco Opera House on March 23, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

Standalone streaming service will be available in Google Play store

HBO’s standalone streaming service is coming to Google devices.

The search giant announced at its annual I/O developers conference Thursday that HBO Now will soon be available for Android devices in the Google Play store.

HBO Now was originally announced as a timed exclusive for Apple TV and iOS. But it was always a given that the service would eventually expand to other devices. Now users of Android phones, tablets and set-top boxes will be able to stream shows like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley at the same time as they are broadcast on television without the need for a cable subscription. The service costs $14.99 per month.

In other streaming news, Google revealed that its Chromecast device has sold 17 million units so far. Users have pressed the cast button to stream content onto various screens more than 1.5 billion times.

TIME Google

Google Photos Will Soon Solve All Your Storage Needs

Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO speaks during the opening keynote at the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Larry Page, Google co-founder and CEO speaks during the opening keynote at the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif.

Includes unlimited storage

Google is ready to store your personal photo stash — and you won’t have to log into Google+ to make it happen.

Google Photos, as the new service is called, will premiere today at the tech giant’s annual developer conference in San Francisco, according to TechCrunch. The new digital photo album has been rumored for weeks.

Here’s what TechCrunch has been able to glean so far:

  • Google Photos will take over the photos.google.com address that currently directs to Google+.
  • It will have unlimited storage, though it’s unclear if there will be any exceptions to that promise. Previously, if you’ve been storing photos on Picasa or Google+, it ate up a portion of your Gmail/Drive storage limits.
  • Photo sizes will likely be capped at 16 megapixels. Video resolution can be as big as 1080p.
  • Google [fortune-stock symbol=”GOOG”] will also debut a new Photos app for Android that has better photo sorting capabilities.
TIME Uber

Uber Just Made it Easier to Be a Deaf Driver

Uber At $40 Billion Valuation Would Eclipse Twitter And Hertz
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The Uber Technologies Inc. logo is displayed on the window of a vehicle after dropping off a passenger at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.

They'll get special features on the Uber app

Uber on Thursday unveiled updates to its app to better accommodate deaf drivers.

The special features, being tested in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., are flipped on by drivers. Once activated, drivers will see a flashing light—in addition to an audio notification—to indicate a new trip request. Passengers won’t be able to call deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers; they’ll only be able to relay special pick-up directions by text. Passengers will receive a notification that their driver is deaf or heard-of-hearing, and they’ll get an extra prompt to input their destination.

Thursday’s announcement could be seen as an attempt by Uber to improve its reputation or gain a competitive edge. Disabled passengers have sued Uber in the past for discrimination. One lawsuit by the National Federation of the Blind of California, for example, says an UberX driver stuffed a blind passenger’s guide dog in the trunk and refused to stop the car to let the animal out. Other drivers allegedly refused to pick up blind customers accompanied by dogs.

Uber has denied the allegations, saying that it doesn’t discriminate and can pick up blind passengers. In responding to another lawsuit, Uber argued that as a technology company, it is not subject to laws regulating public transit and other transportation providers, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Passengers have also slammed Uber’s rival Lyft with similar lawsuits, but Lyft has managed to secure a reputation as being more welcoming to disabled drivers.

TIME Companies

Jamie Dimon Is Sick and Tired of ‘Lazy’ Shareholders Voting Against Him

Squawk Box - Season 20
CNBC—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images SQUAWK BOX -- Pictured: Jamie Dimon, chairman, president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 21, 2015 -- (Photo by: David A.Grogan/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

This is some serious smack talk

Jamie Dimon has had enough of the “lazy” shareholders who are critical of JPMorgan Chase’s leadership—at least that’s what he let slip at an investor meeting this week.

Shareholder advisory firms, which Dimon was specifically attacking, recommended voting against his pay package when it went up for a vote at this month’s annual shareholder meeting. The two major proxy firms—ISS and Glass Lewis—believed the CEO’s compensation plan was not fully aligned with his performance.

Dimon had some choice words for them when he spoke Wednesday at a New York conference hosted by Bernstein, Reuters reports.

“If you do that, you are just irresponsible, I’m sorry,” Dimon said. “And you probably aren’t a good investor either.”

About one-third of JPMorgan shareholder’s took the proxy firms’ advice and voted against Dimon’s dual role as CEO and Chairman of the Board, as well as his pay package.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME fashion

This Is How Much Hillary Clinton’s Pantsuit Costs

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the 2015 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting award in Washington
© Joshua Roberts / Reuters—REUTERS Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the 2015 Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting award in Washington March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTR4UKB6

Dressing like a presidential hopeful is not cheap

As Hillary Clinton graces stage after stage during her 2016 presidential campaign, she’s sure to be wearing her signature look: the pantsuit.

Her campaign has even made light of her penchant for pantsuits by selling a t-shirt version of the trademark style. You can buy the “Everyday Pantsuit Tee” for $30.

The real thing will cost you a tad more, up to $1,400.

Jackets by designer Nina McLemore—who has sold Clinton many a pantsuit, according to Politico—will set buyers back between $500 and $1,000. Pants cost about $400.

The outspoken designer, who also dresses Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, is selling more than just clothes. She also encourages women to embrace fashion as a powerful communication tool.

“I personally think it’s hard for women to have charisma, where some men have it in spades. We can’t change the fact that we’re women, but we can put forth our best image for the result we want,” she told Politico.

MONEY home prices

This Is America’s Biggest, Priciest New Home

Construction continues at a home being built by Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, in this aerial photograph taken in Bel Air, California, U.S., on Monday, May 18, 2015. Niami, who hopes to sell the house for a record $500 million, is pouring concrete in L.A.s Bel Air neighborhood for a compound with a 74,000-square-foot (6,900-square-meter) main residence and three smaller homes, according to city records.
David Paul Morris—Bloomberg via Getty Images Construction continues at a home being built by Nile Niami, a film producer and speculative residential developer, in this aerial photograph taken in Bel Air, California.

An insane mansion is rising in Bel Air.

When the Los Angeles Business Journal reported last summer that work had gotten under way on a megamansion construction project in Bel Air, Calif., the property was expected to measure around 85,000 square feet, including a 70,000-square-foot main house. The New York Times wrote about the NIMBY issues being raised by property last December, when the expected listing price was estimated at $150 million.

These numbers are enormous, astronomical, absurd—hard for the average person to fathom, let alone afford. Yet apparently, these figures were on the low side.

The latest on the property, as reported by Bloomberg News, has it that the compound will exceed 100,000 square footage of living space, including a 74,000-square-foot main residence and three smaller houses on the four-acre property. If this turns out to be true, the Bel Air property would trump the notorious 90,000-square-foot estate in Orlando featured in the documentary The Queen of Versailles for the title of America’s largest recently built home. (The White House, by the way, is a mere 55,000 square feet.)

What’s more, the developer, film producer and speculative real estate investor Nile Niami, says that $150 million is chump change. He plans on putting the property on the market for the more fitting sum of $500 million. Bear in mind that the most expensive price ever paid for a home was $221 million for a London penthouse in 2011, and that no home in the U.S. is currently listed for more than $200 million.

In any event, what does one get in a Bel Air megamansion that measures potentially 100,000 square feet and costs potentially $500 million? Here are some of the key figures:

• 30-car garage
• 5,000-square-foot master bedroom
• 4 swimming pools, including a 180-foot infinity pool
• 1 “jellyfish room” with glass fish tanks on three sides
• 45-seat IMAX-style home theater
• 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Beverly Hills, downtown L.A.
• 74,000-square-foot main mansion
• 100,000+ total square feet on property’s four homes
• 8,500-square-foot private nightclub inside the mansion
• 40,000 cubic yards of earth to be removed for construction
• $500 million expected listing price

MONEY Airlines

The Best Airfare Deals Are Now in First Class

people toasting in first class
Getty Images

This may be the summer you can afford to sit up front.

The price of first-class airfare within the U.S. keeps getting cheaper—at least when compared with flying in coach. Data cited by the Wall Street Journal shows that in April 2015, the average first-class seat on a domestic flight cost $577 more than its coach counterpart. Back in April 2012, meanwhile, the cost difference between flying in first class versus coach was $805.

Before you begin marveling at what seems like the generosity of airlines with respect to first-class pricing, let’s look at what’s really happening here. First off, one reason the price premium flyers can expect to pay for first class has dropped is simply that coach airfare has gotten more expensive—rising more than 10% annually, and crossing the $500 mark for the average round trip last summer.

Secondly, by lowering first-class airfare prices and strategically dangling tempting upgrade fees in front of frequent fliers who already purchased coach seats, the airlines are able to derive more revenues out of the seats at the front of the plane that otherwise would have been empty or perhaps been given to elite frequent fliers as free upgrades. Using such strategies, the airlines have collectively increased the number of first-class tickets sold by 48% over the last three years.

Even if passengers are paying less for first class than they used to, the airlines are happy with this arrangement because it’s better than giving away upgrades. At the same time, this tactic runs the risk of irking the loyal frequent fliers who have grown accustomed to such upgrades.

In any event, the WSJ pointed to several examples of domestic flights in which the costs of first-class seats were only marginally more expensive (10% to 40%) than sitting in coach. “On many trips, the first-class price isn’t much more than coach, especially if you planned to pay for extra-legroom seats in coach anyway,” the article explains.

Delta in particular seems to have an abundance of special first-class airfare deals on the table this summer, including a “Pride Sale” with first-class fares from $113 each way to New York City, Seattle, and Minneapolis coinciding with major LGBT pride events in early summer. Another Delta promotion lists first-class seats from Alaska to Seattle starting at $184 each way on Tuesday and Saturday departures this summer. Flying in first class on such a route has been known to run $500 or more easily, one way.

TIME technology

This Is the Best Amazon Prime Feature Yet

The tech giant is waving fees for Prime members using its same-day delivery and expanding the markets where the service is available, its latest volley in the e-commerce wars

Retail’s delivery wars are about to get hotter.

Amazon.com on Thursday started offering free same-day delivery in certain cities to members of its Prime subscription service. It’s the latest volley by a retailer looking to one-up rivals with ever-faster and ever-cheaper service.

The online retailer now lets Prime members in 14 metropolitan areas — including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Philadelphia — place an order of at least $35 from an assortment of 1 million different items, as late as noon in most of those cities, and get it that day by 9 p.m. for free, eliminating the $5.99 fee members previously paid. The $9.98 basic fee and 99-cent-per-item charge for non-Prime members will remain. (Prime members pay $99 a year and get free unlimited two-day shipping.)

Amazon is also expanding the markets that will have access to same-day delivery, adding San Diego and Tampa Bay.

The move comes as Amazon looks to keep its edge over traditional retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom, which are testing same-day delivery (for a $15 fee) and investing heavily to grab their share of the e-commerce market.

Amazon also wants to stay ahead of tech rival Google, whose recently launched Express shopping option allows some top retailers — from Target to Costco Wholesale to Walgreens — to offer same-day delivery in certain markets. Google Express costs $10 a month, or $95 a year.

Amazon has tested the patience of many investors by spending on tech at the expense of profits. But that has helped the e-commerce giant keep ahead of the competition: Macy’s, for example, only got around to piloting same-day delivery in a meaningful way in a few key markets last fall, in partnership with Deliv.

“This is an output of the investment we’ve been making over the last 10 years,” Greg Greely, vice president of Amazon Prime, told Fortune in an interview.

Amazon, which first piloted same-day delivery in 2009, right before Christmas unveiled a one-hour service in parts of Manhattan. It is also offering grocery delivery in a few metro areas.

Walmart and Target are each spending billions on tech and using their ubiquitous stores to speed delivery. Nordstrom, which is spending $1.5 billion on further building up its e-commerce firepower in the next few years, is also testing same-day delivery in a few markets. Nordstrom is also piloting something Amazon can’t do without a fleet of stores: testing curbside pickup at 20 of its luxury department stores.

 

This article originally appeared on Fortune.

TIME Advertising

Here’s How Major FIFA Sponsors Are Reacting to the Scandal

After nine FIFA officials were arrested, sponsors are in the spotlight

The dollar figures associated with the FIFA are all outsize, including the amount of money it garners every year from marketing partnerships. In 2014, it was $177 million.

The corporations that contribute to that sum immediately became the target of scrutiny on Wednesday when the United States Department of Justice unsealed a 47-count indictment that charged nine FIFA officials and five sports marketing executives with racketing, wire fraud and money-laundering.

The indictment placed FIFA sponsors in a pickle: should they continue to market their products through a sport with millions of fans but whose governing body is allegedly seeping with corruption?

Cue sponsors’ delicate dance.

Visa Inc., which has partnered with FIFA since 2007, told The Wall Street Journal the investigations could cause the company to end its agreement, which runs until 2022. Visa said that it had informed the federation that it “will reassess its sponsorship” if FIFA fails to rebuild “a culture with strong ethical practices to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere”

Adidas AG told the Journal that it was monitoring the situation, as did Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Hyundai Motors said it was “deeply concerned” about the allegations.

It’s safe to say FIFA’s sponsors are in a tough spot. Wednesday’s indictment was scalding, but it’s unlikely to deplete the sport’s massive fan following. An estimated 1 billion people watched at least one minute of the 2010 World Cup final. For comparison, 114.4 million people tuned into this year’s Super Bowl.

Like it or not, FIFA sponsors’ immediate reaction to Wednesday’s news is in line with how sponsors have reacted to other sports scandals. When the National Football League faced criticism this fall for how it handled players’ questionable conduct, companies like Pepsi and Anheuser-Busch voiced concern over the incidents but they never withdrew their sponsorships.

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