GM just made a big behind-the-scenes move to boost robot cars


General Motors announced plans to close three assembly plants, one each in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario before the end of 2019. Cruise Automation's Dan Kan and Kyle Vogt pose for a photo with General Motors' Dan Ammann at Cruise Automation offices in San Francisco, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2018. General Motors is moving its No. 2 executive, company President Dan Ammann, to be CEO of its self-driving unit, GM Cruise, as it aggressively pushes to bring the robot cars to market next year. Starting Jan. 1, Ammann, 46, takes the helm of Cruise. Cruise cofounder, Kyle Vogt, 33, stays to lead technology development as Cruise president and chief technology officer.

Samsung, SK Telecom develop 5G standalone equipment


Samsung and SK Telecom have developed a prototype 5G switchboard based on the standalone standard (SA), the companies have announced. SK Telecom said deployment of 5G SA will offer near two times faster data processing speed and reaction time compared to 5G NSA. The switchboard is modular in design and vendors can add accessory equipment for additional features, the telecommunications carrier said. Later, equipment with quantum security can be added for national defense agencies or financial institutes. If being used for self-driving cars, where data must flow without interruption, data high-pass filter modules can be added, the company said.

Elon Musk Predicts Tesla's Future and 4 Other Key Takeaways From the Q3 Earnings Call


Tesla today released an earnings report that made shares soar -- and Wall Street analysts scratch their heads. Earnings came out to $2.90 a share versus expected losses of close to 20 cents per share. The company's net income, $311.5 million, is a far cry from its losses of $619.4 million this time last year. And quarterly revenue topped that of a year ago by more than 70 percent. This was Tesla's third-ever profitable quarter, as well as CEO Elon Musk's last full quarter, for the time being, as chairman of the company he founded 15 years ago.

The Top Funded Artificial Intelligence Startups of 2018 Analytics Insight


Artificial intelligence (AI), in its many forms including self-driving cars, robo-advisors, mechanical baristas, and state-run facial recognition campaigns will go ahead and continue to redefine how individuals work and have their views about school, work, government, and daily life. AI startups have been marching ahead in the technology bandwagon gaining funding in a world where supergiant rounds are now quite common. The top well-funded AI startup to date, SenseTime has brought a funding in a total of $1.6 billion. Most recently, in May 2018 the company raised $620 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global Management and Fidelity International. This round raised SenseTime's valuation to more than $4.5 billion, making it the world's most valuable artificial intelligence startup.

We're Now in the Age of AI, NVIDIA's Ian Buck Says NVIDIA Blog


AI has broken out of the lab. It's changing how we get to work and how doctors diagnose disease. And now it promises to help prevent illnesses and speed up relief efforts after natural disasters. Kicking off the Washington edition of our GPU Technology Conference Tuesday -- our fourth such show in just over a month -- NVIDIA Vice President for Accelerated Computing Ian Buck announced a partnership between NVIDIA and Carnegie Mellon University to create AI technologies that can help during disasters. "We're now in the age of AI, where every industry will be enabled and powered by AI," Buck told an audience of more than 2,000 developers, entrepreneurs and federal employees at the start of the two-day GTC DC event.

EyeSight raises $15 million for AI-powered in-car monitoring


In 2013 alone, it tragically claimed the lives of more than 3,154 and injured 424,000. Now, each day in the United States about nine people are killed by an inattentive person behind the wheel. EyeSight, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based artificial intelligence (AI) and hardware startup, promises to eradicate the distracted driving problem once and for all -- at least in cars equipped with its hardware. To further that mission, it today announced a $15 million funding round led by Jebsen Capital, with participation from Arie Capital and Mizrahi Tefahot. EyeSight's tech leans on a combination of cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor driver activity.

Waymo Can Finally Bring Truly Driverless Cars to California


Waymo just became the first company allowed to test fully self-driving cars--the kind with no carbon-based beings behind the wheel--in the state of California. The outfit that started life as Google's self-driving car project has been running driver-free cars in Arizona for almost a year, where the state testing rules are far more lax than in California, and where it plans to launch a commercial robo-taxi service by the end of the year. But securing the right to do the same in its home state is still a milestone, and evidence it can win over even comparatively wary regulators to the way of the robot. To begin, the truly driverless cars will test only at up to 65 mph in the southern Bay Area, in Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto. The company said it will inform local governments before expanding its tests any further.

Dyson to build electric vehicle plant in Singapore


Dyson has announced plans to build a manufacturing plant in Singapore dedicated to producing electric vehicles, marking the first of such facilities for the UK company. Slated to complete in 2020, the two-storey advanced automotive manufacturing plant was part of Dyson's £2.5 billion (US$3.25 billion) global investment in new technology. Construction work on the Singapore site would begin in December, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Country's government has introduced initiatives to train 12,000 people in artificial intelligence skillsets, including industry professionals and secondary school students. Dyson in September 2017 said it had been working on an electric vehicle and planned to launch its first such offering in 2021.

US DOT tells self-driving shuttle company to stop transporting kids


Sorry kids, neither you nor robots can be trusted. The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has told Transdev North America to stop hauling children around in its EZ10 Generation II autonomous shuttles in Babcock Ranch -- a community in Southwest Florida. It seems that the NHTSA has some safety concerns. "Using a non-compliant test vehicle to transport children is irresponsible, inappropriate, and in direct violation of the terms of Transdev's approved test project," NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King said in a press release. Earlier this March, NHTSA approved Transdev to test and demonstrate its autonomous shuttles.

Accenture Beefs Up Financial Services Muscle With TargetST8 Buy


Accenture has acquired a financial services firm that specializes in using artificial intelligence and robotic process automation in corporate and commercial lending, the company said Wednesday. TargetST8 Consulting, which was founded in 2013, focuses exclusively on the financial markets, serving banks and investment firms in the U.S. and Europe, Accenture said. TargetST8 provides customers with digital lending solutions that include deploying artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, according to Accenture. "TargetST8 consultants are known for their deep expertise, innovative digital solutions and outstanding project delivery--particularly in their implementation of Finastra's Loan IQ solution," said Alan McIntyre, who leads Accenture's banking practice globally. "The addition of TargetST8 will enhance our ability to help our commercial and corporate lending clients improve their processes and transform their businesses."