Nissan not changing autonomous drive tests over Uber crash

Nissan’s Easy Ride robo-vehicle is put to the test in Yokohama. (AP Photo)
Updated 24 March 2018
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Nissan not changing autonomous drive tests over Uber crash

YOKOHAMA: Nissan’s chief planning officer says the Japanese automaker does not plan to change its road tests for self-driving vehicles after the recent fatal accident of an Uber autonomous vehicle.
Some fear a setback for the technology after a pedestrian was killed Sunday night in a crash involving a self-driving Uber SUV in the US, the first death involving a full autonomous test vehicle.
Philippe Klein, Nissan’s COO, said the automaker is ensuring its tests are safe. He said specially trained drivers always keep their hands on the steering wheels of such vehicles.
Nissan has been conducting autonomous driving tests in London, Tokyo and California. The company, which has an alliance with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., is among the most aggressive among automakers on semi-autonomous-drive technology.


Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

Updated 15 November 2018
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Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

  • SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork
  • WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan
TOKYO: American office space-sharing company WeWork has obtained $3 billion in funding from Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
The new funding comes in addition to the $1 billion raised from SoftBank last quarter, WeWork spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka said Thursday.
WeWork, which targets startups, is operating not only in the US but also India, China, Peru, Israel and other nations, as well as Japan, where real estate is relatively expensive, allowing WeWork an opportunity to grow.
SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork.
In a sign the company has other sources of funding, SoftBank is carrying out an initial public offering of its Japanese mobile subsidiary, set for Dec. 19. It’s likely to be one of the world’s biggest IPOs. The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved the listing of 1.6 billion shares this week at ¥1,500 ($13) a share, which would potentially raise more than ¥2 trillion ($20 billion).
In addition to WeWork, SoftBank has been investing globally, including in US wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and US ride-sharing service Uber.
WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan. The buildings are spacious, although they are broken into smaller cubicles for lesser paying clients, and have nice interiors.
The spaces come with wireless and other office services, and have communal areas for networking and meetings, designed to make renting attractive to ventures.