1. Google’s Self Driving Taxi Goes Live
Yesterday, Waymo became the first autonomous ride-hailing company to hit the streets without engineers riding shotgun. It’s just you, the car, and nothing behind the wheel. After 9 years of secretive R&D and more than 10M miles of testing, Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, Waymo, launched in Phoenix, Arizona. Analysts estimate that, as the first player in the market, Google’s unnamed autonomous ride-hailing company will be worth more than $80B (Uber is valued between $70B and $120B). Using an app that resembles Google Maps, commercial riders will be able to summon an autonomous ride. The only question is: what is the proper etiquette, do you sit in the front or the back? Will they have AI functionality to simulate painfully awkward Uber driver conversations?
(Source: Forbes, The Hustle)
2. Huawei Top Executive Arrest
Huawei is one of the largest Chinese consumer-electronics companies, selling more phones than Apple and just falling short to the leader of the game, Samsung. CFO Meng Wanzhou has been detained in Canada at the request of the United States. But why? The U.S. believes that Wanzhou violated US sanctions on Iran. With the trade war and tensions between the U.S. and China already in a precarious state, this doesn’t help anyone. Wanzhou just became a pawn in the trade wars.
3. Inside Facebook’s Emails
Across the pond, in the midst of a brewing Brexit issue, the UK parliament hit the pause button. Something more interesting surfaced: Internal Facebook documents from three years ago were released. These documents included PDFs, personal emails, corporate emails, and other memos from the company revealing that Facebook allegedly leaked individuals’ personal data to other data-driven companies such as Netflix, Airbnb, and Lyft. Facebook’s response? The company stated that this “[is] only part of the story and [is] presented in a way that is very misleading without additional context.” At this point, the company has almost completely lost the trust of the public, and this case doesn’t make it any easier for them to win it back. We’ve already recommended What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube to Zuck… Let’s get him on board with us.