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Dyson, Maker Of Vaccums, Investing In Electric Vehicles

February 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Late last year, James Dyson of Dyson vacuum cleaner maker announced that his company would be investing £2 billion to develop an electric car by 2020 and, hopefully, it doesn’t suck.

Dyson on Wednesday provided a few more details including a production target date and some very general technical specs.

Typically, we’d greet this kind of news with a healthy eye roll of skepticism, but the fact is that Dyson is as rich as Croesus (from ancient Greece, very rich) and loves inventing things. Additionally, the word around the campfire is that he already has 400 people working on the project at the Dyson facility in Malmesbury, England.

Dyson has said that its first electric car won’t be cheap and won’t be a sports car. This, in our minds, puts it in direct competition with Tesla’s Model S and Model X. The car was initially set to feature solid-state batteries, technology in which Dyson has been investing heavily lately — specifically with its acquisition of Sakti3, a solid-state battery startup, for $105 million. However, Ann Marie Sastry, the former head of Sakti3 who came to work for Dyson after the acquisition, has departed the company rather suddenly, which may slow down the development schedule for solid-state batteries.

To help put solid-state battery technology in perspective, Toyota is alone in having committed to bringing the technology to market inside of a decade. Porsche has talked about its investment in the technology but hasn’t made any claims as to when it might be available in its vehicles. If Dyson can bring this technology to market first, it will have a huge leg up on more established competitors thanks to solid-state batteries’ higher energy density and quicker recharge times versus standard wet cells.

Based on statements that Dyson made to Reuters, it seems unlikely that the car would be built in the UK.

“Wherever we make the battery, we’ll make the car; that’s logical,” he said. “So we want to be near our suppliers; we want to be in a place that welcomes us and is friendly to us, and where it is logistically most sensible. And we see a very large market for this car in the Far East.”

Based on what we know so far, Dyson’s plan seems not unlike Tesla’s in that it will start with an exclusive and expensive vehicle, using that to develop and possibly fund a second more affordable and advanced car, and so on. Given Tesla’s production troubles with its hotly anticipated Model 3, the EV giant is vulnerable in a way that it hasn’t been previously.

Hopefully, Dyson gets his car developed and brought to market. Competition improves the breed, and the world of EVs has benefited from increased competition already. Also, the potential to see AvE tear a Dyson car apart on YouTube is almost too exciting.

nVidia AI Base Mercedes Benz In Development

February 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Mercedes has unveiled its new A-Class at the event in Amsterdam last night, which is the first Mercedes car to feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system powered by Nvidia.

While the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is quite an impressive hatchback which will enter series production this spring, it is also the first car with the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system as a standard feature.

Powered by an Nvidia chip, the MBUX is described as a system that combines natural language processing, “silky-smooth” 3D graphics and an augmented reality boosted navigation system, bringing both better intuitive interactive and safety. The MBUX system will be available in three display versions, two 7-inch, 7-inch, and 10.25-inch or two 10.25-inch displays.

Although it looks like two tablets stitched together and placed where the dashboard should go, Nvidia claims that the chip will have more than enough computational capabilities to even support new and future applications. As it is updateable over-the-air and as speech and AI applications evolve, MBUX has the potential to offer much more.

Ola Källenius, board member for group research and Mercedes-Benz car development said that the company’s mission was to take the user experience to a new level and by choosing the best technology available for AI they created a learning system that will better anticipate your preference the longer you use it.

The MBUX also has speech recognition and indirect commands, it will not only understand simple phrases like “raise temperature” but also much more complex ones like the “I’m cold. Make it warmer in here.”

“Natural language with AI will be the preferred method of interacting with the car,” said Georges Massing, Daimler AG’s director of user interaction. “That’s because speech is the easiest — and safest — way to interact.”

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class will be the first car to get the MBUX but similar versions will also be available across its entire vehicle lineup in future.

Courtesy-Fud

Porsche And Audi Planning Joint Electrice Vehicle’s Platform

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Porsche and Audi, Volkswagen’s main luxury car divisions, are making plans to develop a joint platform for electric vehicles that will enable them significantly cut down on costs, German newspapers quoted their chief executives as saying.

“By 2025, we’re facing a low single-digit billion euro sum to develop the architecture,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told both the Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

“If both would act on their own, costs would be 30 percent higher,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said, adding Audi was hiring 550 developers for the project and Porsche 300.

From 2021 onwards, both businesses want to bring several models to the streets based on the joint platform, with Stadler saying that would build two sedan cars in Neckarsulm and two sports utility models at its Ingolstadt base.

Porsche’s Blume said the sportscar maker could build its first model based on the joint architecture in Leipzig, where it is already assembling its Macan sport-utility model. “I currently see good chances for Leipzig,” Blume said.

 

Uber Agrees To $245M Settlement With Google’s Waymo

February 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Uber Technologies Inc will shell out $245 million worth of its own shares to Alphabet Inc’s Waymo self-driving vehicle unit to end a legal dispute over trade secrets, allowing Uber’s chief executive to move past one of the company’s most bruising public controversies.

The settlement announcement on Friday brought an abrupt halt to the captivating case just before the fifth day of testimony was to begin at a jury trial in federal court in San Francisco.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Waymo said that one of its former engineers who became chief of Uber’s self-driving car project took with him thousands of confidential documents.

The lawsuit cost Uber precious time in its self-driving car ambition, which is a key to its long-term profitability. Uber fired its self-driving chief after Waymo sued, and it is well behind on its plans to deploy fleets of autonomous cars in one of the most lucrative races in Silicon Valley.

The settlement allows Uber’s chief executive officer, Dara Khosrowshahi, to put another scandal behind the company and move ahead with development of self-driving technology, following the tumultuous leadership by former CEO Travis Kalanick, who testified at the trial on Tuesday and Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Waymo gets a 0.34 percent stake in Uber, worth about $245 million based on Uber’s current $72 billion valuation, a Waymo representative said. The settlement includes an agreement to ensure that Waymo confidential information is not being incorporated into Uber technology, which Waymo has said was its main goal in bringing the lawsuit.

In settlement talks last year, Waymo had sought at least $1 billion from Uber, and wanted an independent monitor to ensure that Uber would not use Waymo technology in the future, Reuters reported. Waymo also asked for an apology. Uber rejected those terms as non-starters.

Waymo had agreed earlier this week to a settlement proposal valued at $500 million, and Khosrowshahi brought the proposal to the Uber board of directors, offering his support.

But Uber’s board rejected those terms on Tuesday, two sources familiar with the discussions said, sending Khosrowshahi and chief legal officer Tony West back to renegotiate.

In the interim, the famously pugnacious Kalanick testified in court, maintaining a calm demeanor as he answered questions about Uber’s soured relationship with Alphabet and his admiration for Anthony Levandowski, the self-driving-car engineer whose actions led to the lawsuit.

After four days of testimony, Waymo had presented little public evidence that Uber used Waymo’s trade secrets.

By late Thursday, Waymo agreed to the $245 million deal, one of the sources said.

In a statement on Friday, Khosrowshahi expressed “regret” for Uber’s actions.

“While we do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber, nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work,” Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

LG PLans To Make Plasic OLED Displays

February 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

LG Display saved itself from the wrath of Wall Street after announce covering its lack-lustre performance by announcing that it will begin making plastic organic light-emitting diode panels at a new line in South Korea in the third quarter.

LG expects to start producing plastic OLED panels at a line in Paju, which lies to the north of Seoul, in the third quarter of 2018, it said on an earnings call on Tuesday, helping offset disappointment over the company’s dismal quarterly performance.

Operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2017 slumped 95 percent to its lowest in about two years, thanks to slumping iPhone sales, falling LCD panel prices, large OLED investment and an unfavorable exchange rate.

LG shares fell as much as two percent but later rose 6.2 percent to a four-month high after comments on the timeline for plastic OLED.

The South Korean firm did not provide any OLED panels for Apple’s iPhone X in 2017 and said in December that nothing had been decided about future supply for Apple.

Analysts think that LG Display has gotten a handle on its OLED turnaround and surer of itself. The company is planning to shift all its business to OLED by 2020.

LG’s operating profit for the quarter ended last month was the lowest since April-June 2016 and was short of what Wall Street expected.

Results were hit as LCD TV panel prices fell 20-40 percent last year after previous price hikes curbed demand for large-size TVs, said WitsView, part of research provider TrendForce.

LG expected panel shipments during the current quarter to fall by a high-single digit percentage due to lower seasonal demand but added that panel prices would likely stabilise at the end of the period.

“Although short-term earnings might be impacted by LCD panel prices, the share price will be driven by the firm’s progress in the OLED business,” said Park Sung-soon, an analyst at Baro Investment & Securities.

Courtesy-Fud

U.S. Transportation Dept To Release Revised Self-driving Guidelines

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

The US government plans to unveil revised self-driving car guidelines this summer as the government sets out to rewrite regulations that pose legal barriers to robot vehicles, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said.

Chao told a Detroit auto show forum that the revised voluntary guidelines would address not only self-driving automobiles but “barriers to the safe integration of autonomous technology for motor carriers, transit, trucks, infrastructure and other modes.”

Chao said in a Reuters interview the department was preparing for autonomous technology coming rapidly to all transportation modes. “The technology is there, the question is how do we regulate it, how do we continue to promote innovation but also safeguard safety.” Chao said.

General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc, Toyota Motor Corp and many other companies are aggressively pursuing self-driving car technologies and want Congress and regulators to remove barriers to the vehicles.

Bills in Congress to speed the introduction of self-driving cars do not include commercial trucks. In September, Chao announced the first set of revisions to the guidelines that were unveiled by the Obama administration and now plans a revised version by summer.

 Chao said her goal was to eliminate “unnecessary obstacles to the development and integration of new technology. Our approach will be tech-neutral and flexible — not top-down, or command and control.” She added the government would “not be in the business of picking winners or losers, or favoring one form of technology over another.”

In October, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, said it was looking for input on how to remove regulatory roadblocks to self-driving cars.

NHTSA said in a report that it wanted to find any “unnecessary regulatory barriers” to self-driving cars “particularly those that are not equipped with controls for a human driver.”

The agency also wants comments on what research it needs to conduct before deciding whether to eliminate or rewrite regulations. But it could take the agency years to complete the research and finalize rule changes.

Automakers must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards, many written with the assumption that a licensed driver will be in control of the vehicle. The agency said in 2016 that current regulations posed “significant” regulatory hurdles to vehicles without human controls.

Earlier this month, the Transportation Department published notices requesting comments to identify barriers to innovation including one from NHTSA, two from the Federal Transit Administration to address autonomous bus technology and barriers and one from the Federal Highway Administration to address autonomous infrastructure technology. Chao said more were planned.

Last week, GM filed a petition with NHTSA requesting an exemption to have a small number of autonomous vehicles operate in a ride-share program without steering wheels or human drivers.

 Chao said the “department will review this petition, and give it responsible and careful consideration.”

Ford Aims For 22 Electric Vehicles By 2022

January 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Ford Motor Co will significantly increase its planned investments in electric vehicles to $11 billion by 2022 and have 40 hybrid and fully electric vehicles in its model lineup, Chairman Bill Ford announced at the Detroit auto show.

The investment figure is sharply higher than a previously announced target of $4.5 billion by 2020, Ford executives said, and includes the costs of developing dedicated electric vehicle architectures. Ford’s engineering, research and development expenses for 2016, the last full year available, were $7.3 billion, up from $6.7 billion in 2015.

Ford Chief Executive Jim Hackett told investors in October the automaker would slash $14 billion in costs over the next five years and shift capital investment away from sedans and internal combustion engines to develop more trucks and electric and hybrid cars.

Of the 40 electrified vehicles Ford plans for its global lineup by 2022, 16 will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids, executives said.

“We’re all in on this and we’re taking our mainstream vehicles, our most iconic vehicles, and we’re electrifying them,” Ford told reporters. “If we want to be successful with electrification, we have to do it with vehicles that are already popular.”

General Motors Co, Toyota Motor Corp and Volkswagen AG  have already outlined aggressive plans to expand their electric vehicle offerings and target consumers who want luxury, performance and an SUV body style – or all three attributes in the same vehicle.

Mainstream automakers are reacting in part to pressure from regulators in China, Europe and California to slash carbon emissions from fossil fuels. They also are under pressure from

 Tesla Inc’s success in creating electric sedans and SUVs that inspire would-be owners to line up outside showrooms and flood the company with orders.

GM said last year it would add 20 new battery electric and fuel cell vehicles to its global lineup by 2023, financed by robust profits from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles in the United States and China.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra has promised investors the Detroit automaker will make money selling electric cars by 2021.

Volkswagen said in November it would spend $40 billion on electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by the end of 2022 – significantly more than when it announced two months earlier it would invest more than 20 billion euros on electric and self-driving cars through 2030.

Toyota is racing to commercialize a breakthrough battery technology during the first half of the 2020s with the potential to cut the cost of making electric cars.

Ford’s additional investments in electric vehicles contrasted with many of the vehicle launches at the Detroit show which featured trucks and SUVs. On Sunday evening, Daimler AG unveiled its new G-class SUV, a bulky off roader, in an abandoned movie theater in downtown Detroit once used as a set for the movie “8 Mile.”

nVidia Joins Forces With VW and Uber

January 12, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

GPU maker Nvidia has decided it needs more friends in the car industry and is teaming up with the super popular VW and Uber.

For those who came in late, VW was Hitler’s favourite car company which got into hot water when it was discovered to be lying to various authorities over diesel emissions in its cars. Uber is  still reeling from the side effects of intense sexual harassment investigations, sketchy global business practices, unhappy drivers, discrimination within the company ranks, and sexist behavior within its board. 

Nvidia already has partnerships in the industry with companies such as carmaker Tesla and China’s Baidu, makes computer graphics chips and has been expanding into technology for self-driving cars.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told the assembled throngs at the CES technology conference in Las Vegas that Uber’s self-driving car fleet was using its technology to help its autonomous cars perceive the world and make split-second decisions.

Uber has been using Nvidia’s GPU computing technology since its first test fleet of Volvo SC90 SUVs were deployed in 2016 in Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

Uber’s autonomous driving program has been shaken this year by a lawsuit filed in San Francisco by rival Waymo alleging trade secret theft.

Nvidia said development of the Uber self-driving program had, nevertheless, gained steam with one million autonomous miles being driven in just the past 100 days.

With Volkswagen, Nvidia said it was infusing its artificial intelligence technology into the German automakers’ future lineup, using its new Drive IX platform. The technology will enable so-called “intelligent co-pilot” capabilities based on processing sensor data inside and outside the car.

So far, 320 companies involved in self-driving cars – whether software developers, automakers and their suppliers, sensor and mapping companies – are using Nvidia Drive, formerly branded as the Drive PX2, the company said.

Huang added that Baidu and German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen had selected Nvidia Drive for their AV computing platform development in China.

Nvidia added that its first Xavier processors would be delivered to customers this quarter. The system on a chip delivers 30 trillion operations per second using 30 watts of power.

Nvidia will collaborate with Silicon Valley startup Aurora – co-founded by the former head of Google’s autonomous program, Chris Urmson – to build a new self-driving hardware platform using the Xavier processor, Huang said.

Courtesy-Fud

Intel’s Mobileye Software Going In Millions Of Vehicles

January 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Around The Net

Intel Corp Chief Executive Brian Krzanich announced 2 million vehicles from BMW, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Volkswagen AG would use its unit Mobileye’s autonomous vehicle technology to crowdsource data for building maps that enable autonomous driving.

The world’s largest chipmaker bought Israeli firm Mobileye last year to compete with peers such as Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia Corp and tap the fast-growing market of driverless cars.

Intel will also tie up with SAIC Motor Corp Ltd, which will use Mobileye technology to develop cars in China, the chipmaker said.

Krzanich also said Intel had not received any information of customer data being compromised so far after the company confirmed last week that the security issues reported by researchers in its widely used microprocessors could allow hackers to steal sensitive information from computers, phones and other devices.

Security researchers had disclosed two security flaws exposing vulnerability of nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices Inc  and ARM Holdings.

Daimler Buys Into Uber Rival, Chauffeur Prive

December 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

German automaker Daimler has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Chauffeur Prive, a French rival to the larger Uber car-ride app, in the latest example of traditional companies looking to deal with challenges from technology-driven start-ups.

The deal was announced in a joint statement by both companies. The price of the acquisition, which will be carried out by the German company’s Daimler Mobility Services division, was not disclosed.

Chauffeur Prive was founded in 2011. The company says it has more than 1.5 million customers and access to 18,000 drivers, and the service is relatively popular in Paris.

Traditional automakers from around the world are examining how best to work on new, disruptive technologies – from electric vehicles to autonomous driving – that require hefty investment and have turned companies such as Google and Tesla into rivals.

Daimler has already made forays into the growing industry of car-ride hailing mobile applications.

In June, Dubai-based ride hailing firm Careem said it would step up its expansion into new markets after raising $150 million from investors, which included Daimler and Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding.

Earlier this month, Daimler’s French rival Renault bought a stake in a glossy magazine publishing group, which it said formed part of its strategy to see how to keep travelers entertained in an era of driverless cars.

California Issues Guidelines For Mobile Phone Usage

December 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

California has stepped into the long-running debate over whether cell phone use poses a health hazard when a state agency issued guidelines for reducing exposure to wireless signals.

The guidelines, which come from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), don’t state that cell phone are dangerous, nor do they push to abandon cell phone use completely. Instead, they take a more cautionary tone by stating that multiple studies have suggested that the radiofrequency (RF) signals from phones may be linked to certain types of cancer, lower sperm count, memory problems and loss of sleep.

“Some scientists and public health officials believe RF energy may affect human health,” the guideline sheet says. “These studies do not establish the link definitely, however, and scientists disagree about whether cell phones cause these health problems and how great the risks might be.”

The CDPH’s suggestions for reducing exposure to wireless signals are simple and nothing that we haven’t already heard from public health advocates. They include not carrying a phone in a pocket or bra, using a headset or speakerphone and limiting cell phone use when your signal is weak. (The FTC also makes these recommendations though it also says it doesn’t endorse the need for them.)

The sheet also has a section on limiting cell phone use for young children, who have thinner skulls and developing brains. Some research has suggested that RF energy may cause headaches or hearing loss in kids.

The CDPH’s guidelines were issued in draft form last March and then only after a lawsuit from Dr. Joel Moskowitz, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Moskowitz, who’s been one of the loudest voices pushing for more research and regulation on cell phone use, argued that the CDPH had the responsibility to publicly release the document after first preparing it in 2009.

In a statement, Moskowitz welcomed the release of the guidelines but pushed for more action. “Although California’s new cell phone warnings underplay the state of the science, many people consider this action by the largest state public health department to be a significant development,” he wrote. “I would like to thank the current leadership of CDPH for their courage to stand up to a powerful industry.”

Connecticut published similar guidelines in 2015, but the wireless industry has long pushed back on any such steps from state or local governments. In one of the more prominent cases, the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association in 2013 successfully blocked the city of San Francisco from issuing notices about the possible dangers of wireless use, arguing that the FCC has concluded using cell phones is safe within certain exposure limits. The tables turned last year, however, when the industry lost a court battle to prevent the city of Berkeley, California, from implementing a similar warning.

Uber Ties Up With BlackBerry Messenger For Ride Hailing

December 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Mobile

Uber Technologies announced that it has joined forces with BBM Messenger to allow users around the world, including in the application’s biggest market of Indonesia, to book rides via the messenger service.

The partnership agreement is with Creative Media Works, operating as BBM Messenger, the company said in a statement.

”With this partnership, BBM users can quickly request an Uber ride via BBM despite variations in quality of location, network speed, or device features,” said Chan Park, Uber’s general manager in Southeast Asia.

The agreement means that BBM Messenger users, including both Android and iOS users, can book an Uber ride without leaving the BBM app, or being required to have a stand-alone Uber app on their phone, the company said.

Creative Media works is a unit of Indonesian media group PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi Tbk. The company operates the global BBM consumer messaging and social networking platform under a license from BlackBerry Limited.

 

Telsa Electric Trucks Gets Vote Of Confidence From PepsiCo

December 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

PepsiCo Inc has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc’s new electric Semi trucks, the biggest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Tesla has been trying to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks.

 Early orders reflect uncertainty over how the market for electric commercial vehicles will develop. About 260,000 heavy-duty Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, according to FTR, an industry economics research firm.

PepsiCo intends to deploy Tesla Semis for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and direct to retailers within the 500-mile (800-km) range promised by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk.

The semi-trucks will complement PepsiCo’s U.S. fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and are a key part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by a total of at least 20 percent by 2030, said Mike O‘Connell, the senior director of North American supply chain for PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay.

PepsiCo is analyzing what routes are best for its Tesla trucks in North America but sees a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages, O‘Connell said.

Tesla did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

 Tesla unveiled the Semi last month and expects the truck to be in production by 2019.

GM Adding E-commerce Capabilities To It’s Dashboards

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Around The Net

General Motors Co announced that it will equip newer cars with in-dash e-commerce technology, betting it can profit as drivers order food, find fuel or reserve hotel rooms by tapping icons on the dashboard screen, instead of using smartphones while driving.

GM’s Marketplace technology, developed in collaboration with International Business Machines will be uploaded automatically to about 1.9 million model-year 2017 and later vehicles starting immediately, with about 4 million vehicles across the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands equipped with the capability in the United States by the end of 2018, GM said.

GM will get an undisclosed amount of revenue from merchants featured on its in-dash Marketplace, Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president for global connected customer experience, said during a briefing for reporters. Customers will not be charged for using the service or the data transmitted to and from the car while making transactions, he said.

“This platform is financed by the merchants,” Chamorro said. GM will get paid for placing a merchant’s application on its screens, and “there’s some level of revenue sharing” based on each transaction, he said.

It is too soon to say how much revenue GM could realize from the Marketplace system, he said.

The GM Marketplace will compete for customer clicks and revenue with hand-held smartphones, which offer a far richer array of applications than the GM system will at the outset. Amazon.com is partnering with other automakers, including Ford Motor Co, to offer in car e-commerce capability through Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant system. For example, GM will launch Marketplace with just Shell and Exxon Mobil icons in the fuel category. The only restaurant available for in-car table reservations at launch is the chain TGI Fridays, GM said. In addition, there will be apps for parking, and ordering ahead at coffee shops and restaurants such as Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Applebee‘s.

“We will be adding more vendors,” with some coming in the first quarter of 2018, Chamorro said. In addition, he said GM plans to expand integration into its vehicles of music, news and other information services.

GM also hopes to use its in-car Marketplace connections to expand purchases of products and services, such as additional access to in-car wifi, from its own replacement parts business and dealer network. Customers can “expect to see more service promotions coming through the platform,” Chamorro said.

Samsung Commits To A Mergers, Acquisitions Strategy

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Consumer Electronics

Samsung Electronics’ $8 billion purchase of automotive and audio electronics company Harman has given the technology giant confidence to pursue additional big deals, its strategy chief said.

Young Sohn, the South Korean company’s Silicon Valley-based president and chief strategy officer, said he was keen for world’s top maker of memory chips, smartphones and televisions to expand in automotive markets, digital health and industrial automation.

 Samsung, which this year surpassed Intel to become the world’s biggest semiconductors manufacturer, has signaled its appetite for dealmaking over the past year, saying it was seeking businesses to build software and services to further differentiate its products.

However, it has provided few details on sectors it is targeting in its push for mergers and acquisitions.

“I believe we can do lot more going forward.”

Sohn appeared to dismiss the potential for Samsung to take part in further consolidation in semiconductors or the smartphone markets, where it is also a leading player, suggesting the company is focused on organic growth strategies in these areas.

In September Sohn said Samsung aimed to become a major player in autonomous driving, building on its acquisition of auto parts supplier Harman and its pole position in mobile communications markets.

Asked to spell out Samsung’s potential dealmaking priorities for 2018, he said the company would continue to invest in expanding its automotive business.

Another category he singled out as “an area of opportunity” was digital health, specifically preventive health and related technologies.

 Finally, in business software, he said Samsung is looking at companies in the areas of industrial internet, automation, networking, data transmission and security.

“We are a very careful and conservative company, so we will do it where it makes sense,” Sohn said, adding that it would also look for smaller bolt-on technology deals.

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