Technews: Toyota Makes $500M Investment in Uber to Develop Self-driving Cars
TECHNEWS – Toyota Motor Corp plans to make a $500 million investment in Uber Technologies Inc to partner on the development of self-driving cars, according to both companies. This was a bid between the two companies in order to head one step of the game against their competitors in the autonomous driving business.
Toyota is among the largest carmakers while Uber is the leading ride-hailing service. Both of them are broadly known as covering the competition in developing self-driving cars. Further, their agreement extends an existing relationship and the manifestation of Uber’s strategy in evolving autonomous vehicles through partnerships.
Moreover, the deal brings a new feature into the self-driving business of Uber. In March, there was an incident wherein a self-driving SUV killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. Consequently, after this incident, Uber has removed its robot cars and hundreds of test drivers. The company had eventually shut down its operations in Arizona.
The valuation of Uber went to $72 billion on the investment. This matched Uber’s valuation on a deal with Alphabet Inc self-driving unit Waymo this year.
Uber’s autonomous driving system will be combined with the Guardian technology of Toyota. Toyota’s Guardian technology provides safety features which include lane-keeping however, the technology does not completely operate a vehicle to drive autonomously.
According to Uber, the joint technology will be assembled into the Sienna minivans of Toyota. And these minivans will be deployed on the ride-hailing network of Uber beginning in 2021.
The goal of the companies is to provide a solution for the challenging problem of finding methods to mass produce self-driving cars for shared convoys such as services on ride-hailing.
“[The partnership] really paints the picture of how we envision deploying autonomous technology in the long term,” said Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of business development for strategic initiatives.
Technews: Danoff Offers Backings on Facebook’s Action to Issues on Content, Privacy
Fidelity Contrafund’s Will Danoff offered to back on the actions of the world’s largest social media company as it faces public criticisms on content and privacy issues.
The comments of Danoff signify key support for management with the urges of some investors to seek change at Facebook. However, Danoff was criticized that he should take a tougher line.
On Monday, Danoff said Facebook, his fund’s largest position, “confronted some stiff headwinds” in the first six months of this year.
In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg was questioned in the US Congress behind the improper sharing of data, which belong to 87 million users, was sent to Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy. Further, the company was also questioned behind the Russian operatives’ placement of posts and ads in what the U.S. authorities believe that these were indications of an attempt to influence the US election in 2016.
“Facebook management responded thoroughly to legislators’ concerns and implemented a comprehensive plan to uphold the trustworthiness of its digital communities,” Danoff said.
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