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SoftBank to buy robotics businesses from Alphabet Inc

June 9, 2017 TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp said it would buy two firms that build walking robots from Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc , adding to the Japanese company’s growing artificial intelligence portfolio. SoftBank said it would buy Boston Dynamics and Tokyo-based Schaft, which design and manufacture robots that simulate human movement, but did not disclose the terms of the transactions. Shares of the company rose as much as 7.9 percent after the deal was announced, hitting a 17-year high. “Smart robotics are going to be a key…

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Self-driving ‘arms race’ complicates supplier alliances

April 13, 2017 By Edward Taylor and Paul Lienert FRANKFURT/DETROIT (Reuters) – The race to develop and exploit autonomous vehicle technology is reshaping the hierarchy of the automotive industry, replacing traditional top-down manufacturing relationships with complex webs of alliances and acquisitions. Dealmaking in the automotive and technology industry is driven by the rapid transition of self-driving vehicles from research projects to major elements of near-term product plans at several of the world’s biggest automakers. That shift is behind deals like one announced last week between Robert Bosch and Daimler AG’s…

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Trump administration re-evaluating self-driving car guidance

February 26, 2017 By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Sunday she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration and urged companies to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public. The guidelines, which were issued in September, call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point “safety assessment” and urge states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations. Automakers have raised numerous concerns about the guidance, including that…

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