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Apple Strategy Teardown: Where the World's Most Valuable Company Is Focusing In Augmented Reality, Wearables, AI, Cars, And More

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The maverick of personal computing is looking for its next big thing in spaces like healthcare, AR, and autonomous cars, all while keeping its lead in consumer hardware. With an uphill battle in AI, slowing growth in smartphones, and its fingers in so many pies, can Apple reinvent itself for a third time? Get the detailed analysis on Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure. In many ways, Apple remains a company made in the image of Steve Jobs: iconoclastic and fiercely product focused. But today, Apple is at a crossroads. Under CEO Tim Cook, Apple's ability to seize on emerging technology raises many new questions. Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones. Apple's HomePod speaker system is poised to expand Siri's footprint into the home and serve as a competitor to Amazon's blockbuster Echo device and accompanying virtual assistant Alexa. But the next "big one" -- a success and growth driver on the scale of the iPhone -- has not yet been determined. Will it be augmented reality, auto, wearables? Apple is famously secretive, and a cloud of hearsay and gossip surrounds the company's every move. Apple is believed to be working on augmented reality headsets, connected car software, transformative healthcare devices and apps, as well as smart home tech, and new machine learning applications. We dug through Apple's trove of patents, acquisitions, earnings calls, recent product releases, and organizational structure for concrete hints at how the company will approach its next self-reinvention. Given Apple's size and prominence, we won't be covering every aspect of its business or rehashing old news. There's strong evidence Apple is once again actively "cannibalizing itself," putting massive resources behind consumer tech that will render its own iPhone obsolete.


The Latest Battleground for Chipmakers: Self-Driving Cars

WIRED

It may be a long time before you can own a truly self-driving car. But chipmakers are placing bets that you will. On Tuesday, the Japanese chipmaker Renesas, the second-largest provider of semiconductors for the automotive industry, said it will acquire San Jose based chipmaker Integrated Device Technology (IDT) for $6.7 billion, in part to prepare for autonomous vehicles. IDT has not historically provided chips for cars, but it does have sensor and wireless technologies that could help Renesas compete in the market for chips for autonomous vehicles. "Renesas and IDT have complementary technologies," says Objective Analysis analyst Jim Handy.


3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Watch in September

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Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to change not only the face of technology, but produce significant and potentially life-changing gains for investors in the process. If that sounds a little over the top, consider this: a recent study estimated that AI will drive global gross domestic product (GDP) 14% higher by 2030, the equivalent of adding $15.7 trillion in productivity, according to research by PwC. The companies at the forefront of this technological evolution stand the gain the most, even as some face near-term headwinds. With that in mind, we asked three Fool.com Read on to find out why they chose NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU).


Renesas acquires IDT in $6.7bn deal to boost self-driving car chip business

ZDNet

Renesas has announced the acquisition of Integrated Device Technology (IDT) in a deal worth $6.7 billion. On Tuesday, the Tokyo, Japan-based semiconductor manufacturer said the deal will add a number of "complementary product lines" to the Renesas lineup, which will support the firm's growth strategy. The acquisition has been agreed for $49 per IDT share, representing a premium of roughly 29.5 percent over IDT common stock price as of August 30. The all-cash transaction is worth approximately $6.7 billion (733 billion yen). Equity finance will not be raised for the transaction' instead, cash reserves and bank loans will provide the funding required.


Prepare To Invest In The Second Machine Age

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Corporate earnings are set to rise more than 20%. Productivity gains in excess of 5% of global GDP are possible. And $650 billion of new industrial spending is likely. It examines how advances in information technology are tilting the landscape. Spoiler alert: Investors need to get ready.


How do you get people to trust autonomous vehicles? This company is giving them 'virtual eyes.'

Washington Post

One of the biggest challenges facing car companies developing driverless vehicles has little do with sophisticated robotics or laser technology. Instead, they must figure out how to engineer something far more amorphous but no less important: human trust, the kind that is communicated when human drivers and pedestrians make eye contact at a crosswalk. Surveys indicate that large portions of the public harbor deep reservations about the safety of self-driving technology, so Jaguar Land Rover enlisted the help of cognitive psychologists to unpack "how vehicle behaviour affects human confidence in new technology," the British automaker said in a news release. Its solution for answering that question: virtual eyes, a large cartoonish pair that bring to mind the plastic googly eyes you probably glued onto projects in elementary school. The eyes have been fitted to autonomous vehicles known as "intelligent pods."


"Hello, I am CIMON!"

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Alexander Gerst will test the technology demonstrator aboard the ISS Watson AI (IBM's artificial intelligence technology) is designed to support space flight crews Friedrichshafen / Bremen, 26/02/2018 – Airbus, in cooperation with IBM, is developing CIMON (Crew Interactive MObile CompanioN), an AI-based assistant for astronauts for the DLR Space Administration. The technology demonstrator, which is the size of a medicine ball and weighs around 5 kg, will be tested on the ISS by Alexander Gerst during the European Space Agency's Horizons mission between June and October 2018. "In short, CIMON will be the first AI-based mission and flight assistance system," said Manfred Jaumann, Head of Microgravity Payloads from Airbus. "We are the first company in Europe to carry a free flyer, a kind of flying brain, to the ISS and to develop artificial intelligence for the crew on board the space station." Pioneering work was also being done in the area of manufacturing, Jaumann continued, with the entire structure of CIMON, which is made up of plastic and metal, created using 3D printing.


Intel Buys Deep-Learning Startup As AI Chip Sales Reach $1B

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Intel has acquired a small artificial intelligence startup called Vertex.Ai that will give the company a boost in developing deep learning software tools. News of the deal, first reported by TechCrunch on Thursday, comes after the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company recently disclosed that Xeon processor sales for AI applications reached $1 billion last year. The acquisition price of the Seattle-based startup was not disclosed. The semiconductor giant has made several moves in the past few years in attempt to become a big player in AI applications. This includes acquisitions of structured ASIC maker eASIC, reprogrammable chip maker Altera, autonomous vehicle software maker Mobileye, computer vision provider Movidius, and AI chip maker Nervana Systems.


Uber's Second-Quarter Sales Rise 63% With Narrower Loss

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The San Francisco-based company's second-quarter revenue rose 63% from the prior year to $2.8 billion, while gross bookings, a measure of the overall demand for its ride and delivery services, jumped 41% to about $12 billion, according to a financial statement released by Uber. The company narrowed its loss to $891 million in the second quarter from $1.1 billion a year ago. The loss was, however, wider than the $550 million loss in the first quarter of this year, not including a $3 billion gain from the sales of its southeast Asian and Russian operations. The company is spending more money on new businesses such as food delivery and scooters, according to an Uber spokesman. Mr. Khosrowshahi, who replaced ousted Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick last August, has worked to cut expenses at the ride-hailing company in preparation for an initial public offering.


Uber Narrows 2Q Loss as Company Polishes Tarnished Image

U.S. News

Uber's efforts to develop self-driving cars also have been bogged down during the past year amid allegations that it stole technology from a Google spinoff and a fatal collision involving one of its robotic cars that ran over a pedestrian in Arizona. And on Tuesday, New York City's mayor signed a bill that would impose a yearlong cap on new licenses for ride-hailing apps and also allow the city to set a minimum wage for drivers. New York is the largest American market for Uber.