Robohub.org
 

SoftBank invests $5 billion into Didi Chuxing and $4 billion more in Nvidia

by
24 May 2017



share this:

SoftBank, the giant telecom company, is venturing out into the world of robotics and transportation services. DealStreet Asia said that SoftBank is trying to transform itself into the ‘Berkshire Hathaway of the tech industry’ with the recent launch of a $100 billion technology fund.

UPDATED 5/24/17: SoftBank’s acquisition of 4.9% of the outstanding shares of Nvidia Corp.

First SoftBank bought Aldebaran, the maker of the Nao and Romeo robots, and redirected them to produce the Pepper robot which has been sold in the thousands to businesses as a guide, information source and order taker, then bigger partnerships with Foxconn and Alibaba to manufacture and market Pepper and other consumer products, and most recently to establishing the $100 billion technology fund.

Recognizing that the telecom services market has matured, SoftBank is putting their money where they can to participate in the new worlds of robotics and transportation as a service. $5 billion in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-sharing company, is a perfect example.

Didi Chuxing

Didi, which already serves more than 400 million users across China, provides services including taxi hailing, private car-hailing, Hitch (social ride-sharing), DiDi Chauffeur, DiDi Bus, DiDi Test Drive, DiDi Car Rental and DiDi Enterprise Solutions to users in China via a smartphone application.

Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba are big investors — even Apple invested $1 billion.

The transformation of the auto industry into one focused on providing transportation services is a moving target with much news, talent movement, investment and widely-varying forecasts. But all signs show that it is booming and growing.

For more information on this subject, read the views of Chris Urmson, previous CTO of Google’s self-driving car group, in my article entitled: Transportation as a Service: a look ahead.

SoftBank Group Corp. acquired a $4 billion stake in Nvidia Corp. making it the fourth-largest shareholder of the graphics chipmaker.

Nvidia

Nvidia, a gaming chipmaker, has been receiving a lot of media attention for their GPU deep learning AI which they call ‘the next era of computing’ — with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world around their sensors.

Nvidia recently introduced the NVIDIA Isaac™ robot simulator, which utilizes sophisticated video-game and graphics technologies to train intelligent machines in simulated real-world conditions before they get deployed. The company also introduced a set of robot reference-design platforms that make it faster to build such machines using the NVIDIA Jetson™ platform.

“Robots based on artificial intelligence hold enormous promise for improving our lives, but building and training them has posed significant challenges. NVIDIA is now revolutionizing the robotics industry by applying our deep expertise in simulating the real world so that robots can be trained more precisely, more safely and more rapidly.”



tags: , , , , , , , ,


Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





Related posts :



How robots learn to hike

A new control approach that enables a legged robot, called ANYmal, to move quickly and robustly over difficult terrain.
20 January 2022, by

How robots and bubbles could soon help clean up underwater litter

Everyone loves to visit the seaside, whether to enjoy the physical benefits of an exhilarating swim or simply to relax on the beach and catch some sun. But these simple life affirming pleasures are easily ruined by the presence of litter, which if persistent can have a serious negative impact on both the local environment and economy. However, help is at hand to ensure the pristine nature of our coastlines.
19 January 2022, by

Maria Gini wins the 2022 ACM/SIGAI Autonomous Agents Research Award

Congratulations to Maria Gini on winning this prestigious award, recognising her research and leadership in the field of robotics and multi-agent systems.
18 January 2022, by

UN fails to agree on ‘killer robot’ ban as nations pour billions into autonomous weapons research

Given the pace of research and development in autonomous weapons, the U.N. meeting might have been the last chance to head off an arms race.
16 January 2022, by

Science Magazine robot videos 2021

A compilation of Science Magazine videos featuring robotics research that were released during last year.
14 January 2022, by

CBQ: Commercial-grade Autonomous Mowers, Safety, and Dogfooding | Sense Think Act Podcast #11

In this episode, Audrow Nash speaks to Charles Brian Quinn (aka, CBQ), CEO and a Co-Founder of Greenzie. Greenzie make an autonomous driving system for commercial lawn mowers. We talk about Greenzie's...
11 January 2022, by and





©2021 - ROBOTS Association


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association