On a weekly basis we’ll highlight 4 articles that caught our attention while doing our research. We’ll show you key events or trends in the digital world that you shouldn’t have missed this week. All articles were gathered and processed in our Trendbase tool.
Self-driving boats: the next step for autonomous vehicles
This self-driving boat, created by researchers at MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, could be a whole new kind of city infrastructure technology.
Currently, the boat is just a prototype, but the autonomous vehicles could one day be used to do anything from carrying trash or deliveries to forming floating bridges or stages. First, the roboats need to learn simple tasks like docking in canals — the artificial intelligence is still a work in progress.
BlaBlaCar offers SNCF Ouibus buses
BlaBlaCar will repurchase Ouibus, a subsidiary company of SNCF. The French carpool platform also announced that it raised €101 million in funding from investors, including SNCF, which will become a shareholder. Both pieces of information initiate a long-term partnership between the two companies.
The acquisition of Ouibus, specialized in coach travel, allows BlaBlaCar for the first time to extend its activity beyond carpooling. The French unicorn, who announced that they have reached profitability for the first time last September after twelve years of existence, therefore diversifies its activities. Its goal? “Becoming the reference market for interurban road transport”, in partnership with SNCF.
Alexa’s cousins have plans to infiltrate the financial industry
Could an automated assistant report to a chief financial officer? A robot vice-president, after all, might be ideal for repetitive tasks like looking up data from statements and preparing charts. Some support functions like billing and collections are mundane and mistake-prone enough that it seems better not to inflict them on a human.
Facebook’s Watch strategies are evolving
Facebook Watch rolled out globally in late August after a year of testing in the US and since then, Watch has been employing some of the same tactics as YouTube to attract video creators, per Business Insider.
During tests, Facebook was restrictive in the types of content it allowed in Watch. In part, the platform was limiting because it funded the shows, but also because it hoped to figure out what types of videos would work. Publishers had to pitch shows to Facebook, and then decide between monetizing via a one-time check from the social giant, or a 55/45 ad revenue split.
All trends were gathered and processed in Trendbase. Trendbase is a tool that helps you to gather and categorize industry trends, identify those trends and add context to them and to share that knowledge within your organization to inspire and educate people.
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