Uber, Waymo Settle Lawsuit for $245 Million, 4 Days into Trial

Uber Technologies has settled a year-old lawsuit brought by Alphabet’s self-driving vehicle unit Waymo, which claimed that Uber stole and used trade secrets. In the agreement, Uber said it would not use Waymo technology in its autonomous vehicles and make certain that no such Waymo components were already in use. The ride-hailing firm also agreed to give Waymo 0.34 percent of its equity, equal to about $245 million, based on a valuation of $72 billion. The companies settled four days after the trial started. Continue reading Uber, Waymo Settle Lawsuit for $245 Million, 4 Days into Trial

CES 2018: Toyota Shows Off Its Prototype Self-Driving Vehicle

At CES 2018 this week, Toyota will be showcasing its prototype autonomous vehicle, Platform 3.0, which is built on a Lexus LS 600hL. The car isn’t ready for purchase yet, but it does a good job of demonstrating what the Toyota Research Institute has been up to. Toyota has integrated many if not all of the sensors into the car’s body, creating a rather sleek design that it calls “intelligent minimalism.” The rooftop panel, sensors on the side of the car and even the trunk, for example, are part of a smooth, aerodynamic design. Continue reading CES 2018: Toyota Shows Off Its Prototype Self-Driving Vehicle

Toyota and MIT Media Lab Partner on Blockchain for Vehicles

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI), with MIT Media Lab, is exploring how to use the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin in the automotive industry. The company unveiled several projects focused on how to use software to gather information about individual autonomous vehicles and distribute information about their safety. The first research aims to share data on every trip, develop tools to make ridesharing easier and create usage-based insurance products. TRI is also working with several startups in its efforts. Continue reading Toyota and MIT Media Lab Partner on Blockchain for Vehicles

Toyota Reportedly in Talks to Buy Google Robotics Companies

According to multiple reports, Toyota Research Institute is close to acquiring two robotics divisions from Google parent Alphabet Inc. “The Japanese automaker is discussing an acquisition of Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics — known for the Cheetah, which is claimed to be the world’s fastest-legged robot — and Schaft, a venture that was led by two former Tokyo University professors,” Fortune explains. Numerous reports suggest that tension has been mounting between Google and Boston Dynamics since 2014, tension that reached a tipping point this year when Boston Dynamics released a video of its Atlas humanoid robot that received positive tech press, but many found “unsettling,” according to Tech Insider. Continue reading Toyota Reportedly in Talks to Buy Google Robotics Companies

CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

Nowhere at CES does more applied innovation come together than in the North Hall automotive exhibits. That is not something that could have been said just a few years ago when the hall was more about sound systems and aftermarket gizmos. The car is now a rolling precursor of the connected/IoT future, redefined mobility, and even the development of smart cities. GM and VW keynotes will showcase new electric cars and two companies, Faraday Future and Rinspeed, promise dazzling concepts, including one with a drone landing pad.

Continue reading CES: Mobility, Connection and Intelligence Drive Automotive

Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Planned Return to Traditional R&D

Facebook, Google and numerous startups are among those actively researching new possibilities with artificial intelligence technology. Japanese automaker Toyota is joining the crusade with a five-year, $1 billion R&D effort. The planned Silicon Valley facility will become one of the largest research labs in the area. Toyota Research Institute will initially open a lab next to Stanford and an additional facility near MIT in Cambridge. Toyota’s plans represent a shift in tech research — a return to a focus on science and engineering rather than a push for tech that would become a specific product or service. Continue reading Toyota Invests $1 Billion in Planned Return to Traditional R&D