Uber Contemplates Outside Investors for Autonomous Car Unit

Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said it was “possible” the ride-hailing giant would look for outside investors for its self-driving car unit, …

Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said it was “possible” the ride-hailing giant would look for outside investors for its self-driving car unit, but isn’t currently searching for backers.

The company is pouring large, undisclosed sums of money into its Advanced Technologies Group, which includes the company’s self-driving car research as well as plans to build VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles at scale and speed, with a goal of them becoming a mass-market technology.

RELATED: Amazon to test delivery robots on Seattle-area sidewalks

Khosrowshahi was speaking to Bloomberg News’s Brad Stone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23.

Uber is competing with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, Tesla Inc. and the world’s traditional auto manufacturers and startups, in the race to develop self-driving vehicles. Waymo launched the first autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix in December. But the service is only available to a test group of about 400 people in a limited geographic area, and a human safety driver still is needed behind the wheel in case the cars encounter situations their artificial intelligence systems can’t handle.

Despite heavy investment, companies working on self-driving technology have been pushing back forecasts for when fully autonomous cars without safety drivers are likely to be widely available, as they discover training a computerized system to handle the complexity of road and weather conditions is a far harder task than initially envisioned.

Uber restarted testing of its self-driving cars on public roads in December, after a nine-month hiatus as a result of one of its prototypes having struck and killed a pedestrian.

The company’s ATG division also has been at the center of other costly controversies: After Uber hired former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski to head its self-driving efforts, the Alphabet company sued Uber alleging Levandowski had stolen trade secrets. Levandowski subsequently left Uber and founded a new self-driving truck company, Pronto AI. In February 2018, as a trial in the case was underway, Uber settled the suit.

Last year, Uber announced it would open a lab in Paris focused on flying cars, which would be its first research and development center outside of the United States. Khosrowshahi said at the time that the company was “no longer just about cars” but also “urban mobility.”

Toyota Motor Corp. — which has a deep interest in being the first to the flying car market — invested $500 million in Uber 2018 and sees the American company’s Advanced Technologies Group as essential to its corporate value.

But here, too, Uber is not alone. A dozen other companies, including aviation giant Airbus SE and two startups backed by Alphabet co-founder Larry Page, are working to develop and commercialize flying cars.

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Uber Is Open to Outside Investment Into Self-Driving Car Unit

Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said it was “possible” the ride-hailing giant would look for outside investors for its …
A pedestrian checks a mobile device in front of the Uber Technologies Inc. headquarters building in San Francisco, California, U.S.
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said it was “possible” the ride-hailing giant would look for outside investors for its self-driving car unit, but isn’t currently searching for backers.

The company’s pouring large, undisclosed sums of money into its Advanced Technologies Group, which includes the company’s self-driving car research as well as plans to build VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles at scale and speed, with a goal of them becoming a mass-market technology.

Khosrowshahi was speaking to Bloomberg News’s Brad Stone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.

Uber is competing with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, Tesla Inc., and the world’s traditional auto manufacturers and startups, in the race to develop self-driving vehicles. Waymo launched the first autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix, Arizona, in December. But the service is only available to a test group of about 400 people in a limited geographic area, and a human safety driver is still needed behind the wheel in case the cars encounter situations their artificial intelligence systems can’t handle.

Despite heavy investment, companies working on self-driving technology have been pushing back forecasts for when fully-autonomous cars without safety drivers are likely to be widely available, as they discover training a computerized system to handle the complexity of road and weather conditions is a far harder task than initially envisioned.

Uber restarted testing of its self-driving cars on public roads in December, following a nine-month hiatus as a result of one of its prototypes having struck and killed a pedestrian.

Ashfield Capital Partners Lowered Its Intel (INTC) Position by $476251; Valuation Rose; Texas …

Street Blanches at Potential $170B Deal — Barron’s Blog; 08/05/2018 – Movellus Closes Funding From Intel Capital for Digital Tool Expansion …

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Logo

Ashfield Capital Partners Llc decreased its stake in Intel Corp (INTC) by 2.72% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Ashfield Capital Partners Llc sold 10,133 shares as the company’s stock rose 1.97% while stock markets declined. The institutional investor held 361,882 shares of the semiconductors company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $17.11 million, down from 372,015 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Ashfield Capital Partners Llc who had been investing in Intel Corp for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $220.30 billion market cap company. The stock decreased 1.87% or $0.92 during the last trading session, reaching $48.27. About 34,145 shares traded. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has risen 9.59% since January 23, 2018 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 9.59% the S&P500. Some Historical INTC News: 25/05/2018 – Intel Faces Age-Discrimination Claims; 08/05/2018 – Panoply Wins First Place in 2018 Techcode & Intel China Big Data & Al Global Competition; 12/04/2018 – Intel Capital to Headline 37th Annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium; 27/04/2018 – Four U.S. tech companies — Amazon, Microsoft, Intel and Google — were among the top 10 employers for approved H-1B applications in FY 2017, according to a new study; 09/03/2018 – Intel Considers Possible Bid for Broadcom; 12/03/2018 – Fox News: BREAKING: GOP-led House Intel finds no evidence of collusion between #Trump campaign and Russia; 28/03/2018 – Inside An Intel Chip Fab: One Of The Cleanest Conference Rooms On Earth; 12/03/2018 – Intel For Broadcom? Street Blanches at Potential $170B Deal — Barron’s Blog; 08/05/2018 – Movellus Closes Funding From Intel Capital for Digital Tool Expansion Technology; 26/04/2018 – Intel Sees 2Q Rev $16.3B

Texas Permanent School Fund decreased its stake in Copart Inc (CPRT) by 34.73% based on its latest 2018Q3 regulatory filing with the SEC. Texas Permanent School Fund sold 24,415 shares as the company’s stock declined 26.66% with the market. The institutional investor held 45,887 shares of the consumer durables company at the end of 2018Q3, valued at $2.37 million, down from 70,302 at the end of the previous reported quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund who had been investing in Copart Inc for a number of months, seems to be less bullish one the $11.62B market cap company. The stock decreased 0.84% or $0.42 during the last trading session, reaching $49.64. About 878,816 shares traded. Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) has risen 10.16% since January 23, 2018 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 10.16% the S&P500. Some Historical CPRT News: 23/05/2018 – COPART 3Q OPER INCOME $174.6M, EST. $162.3M; 22/04/2018 – DJ Copart Inc, Inst Holders, 1Q 2018 (CPRT); 17/05/2018 – COPART SAYS IT CAN NOW EXPAND OPERATIONS IN BEXAR COUNTY; 23/05/2018 – COPART 3Q REV. $478.2M, EST. $438.0M; 23/05/2018 – COPART INC CPRT.O – QTRLY NON-GAAP DILUTED NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE $0.52; 09/03/2018 – COPART BUYS NORDIC SALVAGE AUTO AUCTION CO; 17/05/2018 – Copart Fulfills New Owner Promise to Clear Hazardous Tires; 30/03/2018 – Copart Site Visit Scheduled By Wedbush for Apr. 4; 24/04/2018 – Copart Announces Expansion of Location Near Minneapolis, Minnesota; 04/04/2018 – Copart at Site Visit Hosted By Wedbush Today

Since January 15, 2019, it had 0 insider buys, and 1 insider sale for $3.96 million activity.

Another recent and important Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) news was published by Nasdaq.com which published an article titled: “Copart (CPRT) Gains From Auction Locations Despite High Costs – Nasdaq” on January 02, 2019.

Investors sentiment decreased to 1.15 in 2018 Q3. Its down 0.16, from 1.31 in 2018Q2. It dropped, as 25 investors sold CPRT shares while 158 reduced holdings. 91 funds opened positions while 120 raised stakes. 172.64 million shares or 1.07% less from 174.51 million shares in 2018Q2 were reported. Weybosset & Management Limited Co owns 7.67% invested in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) for 258,128 shares. Oakbrook Lc reported 23,900 shares. Cwm Ltd Liability Corp stated it has 0% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Private Advisor Group Llc reported 18,176 shares. Bb&T Securities Lc accumulated 13,262 shares or 0.01% of the stock. Voya Ltd Liability Company owns 174,818 shares for 0.02% of their portfolio. United Kingdom-based Cheyne Capital (Uk) Limited Liability Partnership has invested 1.38% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Echo Street Management Ltd Liability stated it has 0.7% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Wellington Mngmt Grp Limited Liability Partnership has invested 0% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Nadler Fincl Grp Inc accumulated 0.07% or 5,000 shares. Earnest Prtnrs Ltd Liability Corp holds 0% of its portfolio in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) for 46 shares. Torray Lc reported 20,299 shares. Andra Ap stated it has 0.15% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Raymond James & Assoc has 0.03% invested in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) for 357,850 shares. Landscape Capital Mgmt Limited Liability Com reported 139,939 shares.

Texas Permanent School Fund, which manages about $7.24 billion US Long portfolio, upped its stake in Kemper Corp Del (NYSE:KMPR) by 6,694 shares to 38,293 shares, valued at $3.08M in 2018Q3, according to the filing. It also increased its holding in Valley Natl Bancorp (NYSE:VLY) by 37,522 shares in the quarter, for a total of 208,562 shares, and has risen its stake in Exelixis Inc (NASDAQ:EXEL).

Among 14 analysts covering Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT), 5 have Buy rating, 1 Sell and 8 Hold. Therefore 36% are positive. Copart had 34 analyst reports since January 15, 2016 according to SRatingsIntel. The company was initiated on Tuesday, April 5 by Gabelli. The firm has “Neutral” rating given on Thursday, February 25 by CL King. The rating was downgraded by Northcoast on Thursday, August 25 to “Neutral”. Robert W. Baird maintained it with “Outperform” rating and $37 target in Thursday, September 21 report. The company was maintained on Monday, February 26 by Jefferies. The rating was initiated by Susquehanna on Friday, August 26 with “Neutral”. As per Monday, January 18, the company rating was initiated by Jefferies. The firm has “Buy” rating by Robert W. Baird given on Monday, February 26. Barrington maintained the stock with “Hold” rating in Wednesday, April 11 report. Robert W. Baird maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in Wednesday, November 22 report.

Analysts await Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) to report earnings on February, 25. They expect $0.52 EPS, up 10.64% or $0.05 from last year’s $0.47 per share. CPRT’s profit will be $121.69 million for 23.87 P/E if the $0.52 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.47 actual EPS reported by Copart, Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 10.64% EPS growth.

Analysts await Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to report earnings on January, 24 after the close. They expect $1.22 EPS, up 12.96% or $0.14 from last year’s $1.08 per share. INTC’s profit will be $5.57B for 9.89 P/E if the $1.22 EPS becomes a reality. After $1.40 actual EPS reported by Intel Corporation for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts -12.86% negative EPS growth.

Ashfield Capital Partners Llc, which manages about $2.94B and $892.15 million US Long portfolio, upped its stake in Fortive Corp by 4,159 shares to 24,501 shares, valued at $2.06M in 2018Q3, according to the filing. It also increased its holding in Cisco Sys Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO) by 66,223 shares in the quarter, for a total of 233,035 shares, and has risen its stake in Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE:LVS).

More notable recent Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) news were published by: Benzinga.com which released: “Dan Nathan Sees Unusual Options Activity In Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) – Benzinga” on January 11, 2019, also Investorplace.com with their article: “Friday’s Vital Data: Coca-Cola, Intel and Ford – Investorplace.com” published on December 28, 2018, Investorplace.com published: “Tuesday’s Vital Data: Tesla, Netflix and Intel – Investorplace.com” on January 22, 2019. More interesting news about Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) were released by: Marketwatch.com and their article: “Intel earnings: ‘A precarious time’ as CEO choice, data-center competition loom – MarketWatch” published on January 22, 2019 as well as Nasdaq.com‘s news article titled: “3 Big Stock Charts for Tuesday: Intel, eBay and Fiserv – Nasdaq” with publication date: January 22, 2019.

Among 57 analysts covering Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), 33 have Buy rating, 7 Sell and 17 Hold. Therefore 58% are positive. Intel Corporation had 303 analyst reports since August 7, 2015 according to SRatingsIntel. B. Riley & Co maintained it with “Buy” rating and $46 target in Wednesday, October 19 report. RBC Capital Markets reinitiated the shares of INTC in report on Friday, August 28 with “Sector Perform” rating. The company was maintained on Tuesday, April 17 by Susquehanna. Canaccord Genuity maintained the stock with “Buy” rating in Thursday, July 21 report. The rating was maintained by RBC Capital Markets on Wednesday, August 23 with “Hold”. The rating was maintained by Morgan Stanley with “Equal-Weight” on Friday, June 22. The stock of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) earned “Buy” rating by Sterne Agee CRT on Wednesday, September 9. The rating was maintained by Needham with “Buy” on Monday, September 19. As per Wednesday, September 23, the company rating was upgraded by Bernstein. Roth Capital maintained Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) rating on Friday, October 20. Roth Capital has “Buy” rating and $43.0 target.

Since July 25, 2018, it had 2 insider buys, and 5 sales for $541,378 activity. $295,945 worth of stock was sold by McBride Kevin Thomas on Tuesday, October 30. 5,117 Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) shares with value of $247,155 were bought by SWAN ROBERT HOLMES. Another trade for 4,522 shares valued at $226,100 was made by Shenoy Navin on Monday, December 3.

Investors sentiment increased to 0.85 in 2018 Q3. Its up 0.04, from 0.81 in 2018Q2. It is positive, as 62 investors sold INTC shares while 728 reduced holdings. 113 funds opened positions while 557 raised stakes. 2.86 billion shares or 2.41% less from 2.93 billion shares in 2018Q2 were reported. Ruggie Capital Grp Inc has 415 shares for 0.01% of their portfolio. 19,087 are owned by Jackson Wealth Management Ltd Liability Co. Blair William Il stated it has 0.17% in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Cutter & Company Brokerage has invested 0.25% in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Blue Chip Prtnrs Inc holds 17,991 shares or 0.21% of its portfolio. Legacy Cap owns 2.4% invested in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) for 110,029 shares. Captrust Financial Advsrs reported 0.58% of its portfolio in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Moreover, Next Group Inc Inc has 0.8% invested in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). American Investment Incorporated accumulated 11,964 shares. Loudon Inv Management Limited Co invested in 107,815 shares or 4.1% of the stock. Windsor Capital Mngmt Lc holds 0.5% of its portfolio in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) for 23,536 shares. Moreover, Monarch Capital Mgmt has 2.51% invested in Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). Fiduciary Tru, Massachusetts-based fund reported 754,313 shares. Princeton Port Strategies Gru Ltd Liability holds 40,311 shares. Gillespie Robinson Grimm invested in 5,230 shares or 0.03% of the stock.

Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) Institutional Positions Chart

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Google brings BigCommerce, and 60000 online merchants, to its cloud platform

BigCommerce, which is backed by $220 million from investors including SoftBank Group Corp, has already moved the bulk of its customer base to …

Google LLC’s latest major cloud deal will see it become the primary infrastructure provider for BigCommerce Inc., an e-commerce technology provider that supports more than 60,000 merchants worldwide.

The companies announced the deal today. BigCommerce, which is backed by $220 million from investors including SoftBank Group Corp, has already moved the bulk of its customer base to Google Cloud Platform. The company said that it expects to complete the migration by the end of February.

BigCommerce switched from IBM Corp.’s SoftLayer managed hosting platform and, more notably, Amazon Web Services Inc., which it used as an auxiliary resource pool to handle traffic spikes. Google said BigCommerce has seen a major improvement in response times since migrating.

“Since completing the bulk of the migration in late December, BigCommerce merchants have seen, on average, an 81 percent improvement in connection times, which are now below 10 milliseconds,” Pravin Pillai, global lead for retail industry solutions at Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post.

Brian Dhatt, BigCommerce’s chief technology officer, confirmed to ZDNet that the promise of faster connections was a major factor behind the decision to choose Google Cloud. The deal is one example of how the search giant realizes returns on its massive investments in networking infrastructure.

Google has been building its own switches for a decade and connects its cloud data centers to one another with high-speed fiber optic links. Last January, the company took its efforts in this area a step further by commissioning three undersea internet cables. The company followed up the move a few months later by announcing plans for a fourth link to connect Australia and Japan.

But the BigCommerce deal is about more than just networking infrastructure. Major retail industry players such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have been choosing AWS rivals for their cloud projects because of the competition from parent Amazon.com Inc., a trend that Microsoft Corp. is capitalizing on as well. BigCommerce doesn’t compete with the online retail giant directly, but the merchants who use its platform do, which Dhatt acknowledged as a consideration.

Photo: Google

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JP Morgan’s AI team continues big hiring push

The office, scheduled to open next year, will host up to 1,000 financial technology-related employees, including the growing AI team. Saxena is …

Last time we checked in on J.P. Morgan’s artificial intelligence plans, the firm had just hired a renowned AI and machine learning specialist to help build out the team in New York. Now, it’s Tucker Balch’s colleagues on the West Coast that are making a statement.

The Silicon Valley team, led by Apoorv Saxena, JPM’s new global head of AI technology, is hosting an in-person open hiring event in early February. Details surrounding the event are relatively sparse – Saxena and his colleagues are asking interested parties to contact the bank’s recruiters to RSVP – but they note that they are actively looking to bring on multiple AI backend engineers and machine learning engineers, among other specialties. The event will reportedly take place between Feb. 5-7, presumably at J.P. Morgan San Francisco office. JPMorgan declined to comment.

The big sell, however, is that the bank’s AI team will soon be moving to its shiny new digs in Palo Alto, right next door to Facebook and Google, Saxena’s former employer. The office, scheduled to open next year, will host up to 1,000 financial technology-related employees, including the growing AI team.

Saxena is already hiring. As we reported earlier, he poached an AI engineer from Facebook during his second week on the job and added Naren Chittar, a data science and AI specialist from Salesforce late last year. Chittar spent three years at Salesforce, having arrived after it acquired his four-person startup MinHash, a “virtual assistant” for marketers that relies on natural language processing and machine learning.

Saxena’s group is taking on big Silicon Valley firms as it tries attracting talent. J.P. Morgan signed on as the diamond sponsor of November’s AI Frontiers Conference (which was co-founded by Saxena). The bank acknowledged at the time that it was using the industry event as “a recruiting platform” that would provide the bank more visibility to the AI community. It would be interesting to know how happy employers were to have their AI engineers drop in on the conference. Past sponsors include Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. Not anymore.

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: btuttle@efinancialcareers.com

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