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Uber’s self-driving car unit raises $1B from Toyota, Denso and Vision Fund ahead of spin-out
Uber’s has confirmed it will spin out its self-driving car business after the unit closed $1 billion in funding from Toyota, auto-parts maker Denso and SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The development has been speculated for some time — as far back as October — and it serves to both remove a deeply-unprofitable unit from the main Uber business: helping Uber scale back some of its losses, while giving Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (known as Uber ATG) more freedom to focus on the tough challenge of bringing autonomous vehicles to market. The deal values Uber ATG at $7.25 billion, the companies announced. In terms of the exact mechanics of the investment, Toyota and Denso are providing $667 million with the Vision Fund throwing in the remaining $333 million. (Fonte: TechCrunch)

Cina, Amazon si arrende ad Alibaba e JD.com e chiude il marketplace online
Amazon lascia il mercato cinese, almeno con il suo marketplace online dedicato ai prodotti di terzi. D’altra parte la redditività del business nel Paese non giustificava l’impegno del gruppo americano, che si vede schiacciato, sul fronte dei prodotti locali, dalla concorrenza degli operatori cinesi. Basti pensare che Tmall del gruppo Alibaba e JD.com controllano l’82% del mercato dell’ecommerce cinese, lasciando pochi spazi di crescita a chi viene dall’estero. Il gruppo di Bezos, quindi, ha deciso di chiudere il negozio online in Cina che consente ai consumatori locali l’acquisto di beni da venditori locali, confermando le difficoltà a competere in loco con i colossi Alibaba e JD.com. (Fonte: Il Sole 24 Ore)

Boston Dynamics debuts the production version of SpotMini
Last year at our TC Sessions: Robotics conference, Boston Dynamics  announced that SpotMini will be its first commercially available product. A revamped version of the product would use the company’s decades of quadrupedal robotics learnings as a basis for a robot designed to patrol office spaces. At today’s event, founder and CEO Marc Raibert took to the stage to debut the production version of the electric robot. As noted last year, the company plans to produce around 100 models this year. Raibert said the company is aiming to start production in July or August. There are robots coming off the assembly line now, but they are betas being used for testing, and the company is still doing redesigns. Pricing details will be announced this summer. (Fonte: TechCrunch)

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