Robots


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.


Samsung To Invest $22 Billion In AI And Other Technologies

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Samsung has announced that it plans to invest $22 billion in artificial intelligence and other technologies like 5G over the next three years. As part of the investment, the South Korean tech giant said it will increase the number of researchers it has across its global AI centers in the UK, Canada, Russia, US and South Korea to 1,000. In addition to AI and 5G, the $22 billion will also go towards developing electronic components for future cars and bio-pharmaceuticals. "Samsung expects innovations powered by AI technology will drive the industry's transformation, while the next-generation 5G telecommunications technology will create new opportunities in autonomous driving, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics," the company wrote in a press release. The money will come from a larger $161 billion investment plan that includes capital expenditure and research and development. The majority of the money will be spent in South Korea, Samsung said.


Elon Musk's Apology, Tesla's Quarter, Waymo's Transit Partner, and More Car News This Week

WIRED

When it comes to relationships, even the business kind, sometimes you just have to make nice. That's what Tesla's Elon Musk did this week, when he expressed regret about sounding a bit overtaxed during an ultimately upbeat quarterly earnings call for the tumultuous electric carmaker. He's still in the depths of production hell, you see. Meanwhile, the autonomous developers at Waymo decided to make friends with public transit officials in Phoenix, agreeing to work with them to ensure their driverless vehicles work for seniors and writers with disabilities. And in Sacramento, officials are opening their doors, er, streets to all the Bay Area self-driving developers who are sick of the fog and high housing costs.


TuSimple Selects Parallel File System for Artificial Intelligence WekaIO

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Matrix is the fastest, most scalable parallel file system for AI and technical compute workloads. TuSimple's goal is to develop a Level 4 autonomous truck driving solution, for the dock-to-dock delivery of commercial goods. The company, which was founded by entrepreneurs from the California Institute of Technology, has facilities in San Diego, Calif. and Tucson, Ariz., and to date its technology has been road-tested for some 15,000 miles. TuSimple chose WekaIO Matrix after comparisons with other scale-out file systems demonstrated that only Matrix has the ability to meet its most demanding performance requirements. "WekaIO Matrix was the clear choice for our on-premises DNN training in the U.S. It was understood from the outset that a standard network-attached storage (NAS) solution would not be able to scale to the extent we would need it to, and apart from Matrix being the most performant of all the parallel file systems we evaluated, we really liked the fact that it is hardware-independent, allowing us better control over our infrastructure costs.


RideOS raises $25M to become the traffic control center for self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

A mere sprinkling of autonomous vehicles exist in a few dozen cities today. And none of them -- at least not yet -- have been deployed as a true commercial enterprise. While the bulk of this nascent industry fixates on the system of sensors, maps and AI necessary for vehicles to drive without a human behind the wheel, the founders of startup RideOS are directing their efforts to the day when fleets of self-driving cars hit the streets. It's there, where human-driven and automated vehicles will be forced to mingle, that RideOS co-founders Chris Blumenberg and Justin Ho see opportunity. The company, which has existed for all of 12 months, has raised $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Next47, the venture arm of Siemens.


Tesla is making AI chips in-house for its self-driving cars

#artificialintelligence

On the back of its biggest loss ever which saw it lose $717mn in one quarter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company is building its own AI chips for its self-driving cars. Up until now, Tesla had been relying on Nvidia's Drive technology to power self-driving capabilities in its cars.


Tesla just reported the biggest loss in its history

Daily Mail

As a result, electric car company reported a net loss of £548 million ($717.5 million) for its latest financial quarter, despite cranking out more vehicles than ever before. However, investors were buoyed by the news that Tesla still holds £1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in cash reserves -- enough to keep building cars without borrowing more. CEO Elon Musk also pledged to post a profit later this year, as he set the firm the ambitious new goal of producing 10,000 Model 3s each week by next year. Tesla has cut back on capital spending by changing its strategy to produce the sedan on existing assembly lines – one of which is protected from the elements using a giant tent outside the factory – rather than adding all-new lines. Shares jumped 9.3 per cent to £328.85 ($328.85) in after-hours trading.


Waymo test will provide rides to and from public transportation

Engadget

Waymo announced today that it's partnering with the Phoenix area's regional public transportation authority, Valley Metro, in order to explore whether self-driving vehicles are an effective way to get people to and from public transportation. Starting in August, Valley Metro employees will be able to hail a Waymo ride via the company's app for their first- and last-mile transit connections. Waymo said in its announcement that as cities grow, "the'last mile' -- how people connect to public transportation efficiently, affordably and safely -- is one of the main challenges communities struggle to solve." With its Valley Metro partnership, Waymo aims to test how autonomous vehicles can help fill those mobility gaps. Following the first phase of the partnership, Waymo will then open up its transportation service to those using Valley Metro's RideChoice service, which provides discounted rides to seniors and people with disabilities.


Baidu Earnings: What to Watch

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

REVENUE FORECAST: Baidu's quarterly revenue is likely to have reached $3.9 billion, up from $3.1 billion a year ago, the survey showed. AD GROWTH: Baidu has seen its search-related advertising bounce back, boosting both its revenue and profit in recent quarters. Baidu should continue to benefit as companies--especially in areas such as health and online education--allocate more of their ad budgets to search advertising, which has a higher conversion rate than newsfeeds, Shawn Yang, executive director at Blue Lotus Capital Advisors, wrote in a research report. "We see an increasing demand of search ads from both users and advertisers," he wrote. "Chinese internet users become more mature in gaining information and tend to use search engines more frequently."