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Tesla to slash tenth of workforce as Elon Musk says 'profit is obviously not what motivates us'

The Independent

Tesla plans to slash its workforce by nearly one-tenth as the electric car manufacturer faces rising pressure to achieve profitability. CEO Elon Musk wrote in an internal email that the nine per cent staff reduction was in part a matter of cutting redundant roles. But he also acknowledged cash-flow issues that have raised eyebrows on Wall Street. "Given that Tesla has never made an annual profit in the almost 15 years since we have existed, profit is obviously not what motivates us", Mr Musk wrote. "What drives us is out mission to accelerate the world transition to sustainable, clean energy, but we will never achieve that mission unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable".


CEBIT '18: IOTA and Volkswagen Present Proof of Concept for Autonomous Cars

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IOTA and Volkswagen are demonstrating a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) that uses IOTA's Tangle system for autonomous cars at the Cebit '18 Expo in Germany today, June 11th. The PoC enables Volkswagen to use IOTA's Tangle architecture to transfer software updates "over-the-air" as part of the car manufacturer's new "Connected Car" systems. Tangle is different than blockchain, in that it does not use "blocks" or mining, but rather is built upon a directed acyclic graph (DAG), a topologically ordered system in which different types of transactions run on different chains in the network simultaneously. According to the PoC press release, Volkswagen's vision is to use Tangle to securely and wirelessly distribute data within its developing smart car economy. Industry experts expect over 250 mln connected cars to be on the road by 2020, raising the need for frequent remote software updates and transparent data access on a large scale.


Fiat Chrysler Unveils Plan to Invest in Electric, Self-Driving Vehicles

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

If that works out as planned, the auto maker expects to double operating profit to €16 billion ($18.71 billion) by 2022 and hit double-digit profit margins from 6.8% today. Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the company will invest €9 billion to develop and deploy electric engines as it expands its lineup of electric-powered vehicles, part of a €45 billion spending plan over the next five years focused on four core brands: Jeep SUVs, Ram pickups and Alfa Romeo and Maserati luxury cars. "This plan will provide the portfolio of products aligned with our brands that will ensure our ability to comply in each region" with stricter emissions and fuel-economy standards, Mr. Marchionne told financial analysts and media at a meeting on a company test track located outside Milan. In the U.S., the company is expanding its bet on bigger SUVs and trucks, reflecting consumer demand and a more relaxed approach to increasing fuel economy standards in Washington. Mr. Marchionne chided his peers for appearing to back away from what he said was a unified request to President Donald Trump by auto industry leaders to ease fuel economy regulations.


Google's Waymo adds 62,000 vehicles for autonomous taxi service

The Japan Times

LOS ANGELES – Google-owned Waymo is adding as many as 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans to its autonomous fleet in an expanded collaboration announced by the companies on Thursday. Delivery of the Chrysler Pacifica minivans was expected to begin later this year, with the automaker also exploring the potential to build Waymo technology into a self-driving car it might add to its model line-up for consumers. "FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic," chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said in a release. "Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront." Waymo plans to launch the "world's first self-driving transportation service" this year, with people able to summon rides from driver-less vehicles using a smartphone application.


Waymo orders 62,000 Chrysler minivans, frees parents from driving kids to soccer practice

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Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car company (formerly under Google), has been using modified vans for years to privately test its autonomous tech. In late 2016, Waymo announced that its first production car would be a modified Chrysler Pacifica. Now the company is looking to buy a few more minivans - 62,000, to be exact. Alphabet announced today that it struck a deal with Chrysler to buy 62,000 additional Pacifica hybrid vans for Waymo, increasing the company's number of vehicles by 100 times. Waymo is already testing a small fleet of completely autonomous taxis in Arizona.


Waymo adds 62,000 vehicles for autonomous taxi service

Daily Mail

Google-owned Waymo is adding as many as 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minivans to its autonomous fleet in an expanded collaboration announced by the companies on Thursday. Delivery of the Chrysler Pacifica minivans was expected to begin later this year, with the automaker also exploring the potential to build Waymo technology into a self-driving car it might add to its model line-up for consumers. 'FCA is committed to bringing self-driving technology to our customers in a manner that is safe, efficient and realistic,' chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said. John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, is seen in a 2017 photo with a customized Chrysler Pacifica that is being used in the Google-owned firm's autonomous car project'Strategic partnerships, such as the one we have with Waymo, will help to drive innovative technology to the forefront.' Waymo plans to launch the'world's first self-driving transportation service' this year, with people able to summon rides from driverless vehicles using a smartphone application.


GM Shares Surge as Softbank Fund Invests in Its Driverless-Car Unit

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The Vision Fund's investment values the business at $11.5 billion. GM shares surged 11% to $42.07 in morning trading. The Vision Fund's investment will come in two tranches: an initial $900 million payment, and another of $1.35 billion once Cruise's autonomous vehicles are ready for commercial deployment, GM said. The deal will "afford GM increased flexibility with respect to capital allocation" as it plows more money into developing a network of autonomous ride-share vehicles, targeted for sometime next year, the company said. For years, GM's shares have languished as valuations for upstarts like electric-car maker Tesla Inc. and ride-share firm Uber Technologies Inc. soared on expectations of heady growth.


4 Artificial Intelligence Trends That Will Dominate 2018 Infiniti Research

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LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Infiniti Research, a world-renowned market intelligence solutions provider, has announced the completion of their latest list blog on the 4 artificial intelligence trends that will dominate 2018. Artificial intelligence (AI) is well-poised to drastically change the way people use technology to get work done. With the suitable dataset behind it, AI can help ease many monotonous and redundant tasks, changing the way humans perform their tasks. AI has achieved a higher level of advancement this year. However, Google Duplex is just one demo amongst many other tech trends, areas where artificial intelligence has been making progress.


SoftBank's $100 billion tech fund zeros in on big data

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It has been a year since the SoftBank Vision Fund was launched, and a pattern has emerged. Masayoshi Son has been using his nearly $100 billion armamentarium to invest in technology companies that gather user data. According to the SoftBank Group's most recent results, the fund, which marked its first anniversary on Sunday, had invested $29.7 billion by the end of March. This means about one-third of the fund's cash has been invested. The fund contributed 302.9 billion yen ($2.72 billion) to SoftBank Group operating profit for the year through March.


Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches - Infineon Technologies

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Munich, Germany – 25 May 2018 – The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project. Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems.