BMW Calls On Amazon To "Make Better Use Of Data"
As it does with most sectors, Amazon has had its eye on the automotive sector for a while. Amazon's popular Alexa is integrated into dozens of vehicles from automakers such as Audi, BMW, Ford and Toyota.
Amazon announced a handful of new automotive products and solutions at CES 2020 earlier this year, including the Echo Auto, which connects to the Alexa app on your phone and plays through your car's speakers. Amazon also detailed an integration with Blackberry, where the two are working together to develop a connected vehicle software platform, and Unity Technologies, where the two are working together on an autonomous perception system.
Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Blackberry announced another multi-year partnership that will see the two companies develop and market BlackBerry IVY, which is an intelligent vehicle data platform. Shares of Blackberry soared as much as 65% following the news.
"As automakers seek to race ahead in their digital transformations, BlackBerry IVY empowers them to build their brands and set the standard for connected vehicle services across the automotive industry," AWS CEO Andy Jassy said.
BMW gave Amazon a nod of approval yesterday when it announced the two would join together for a comprehensive strategic collaboration to accelerate BMW's pace of innovation by emphasizing data and analytics in decision-making. BMW and Amazon will jointly develop cloud-based IT and software solutions to increase efficiency, performance and sustainability across all of BMW's processes, from vehicle development to after-sales services.
The two companies have already been working together on the so-called "Cloud Data Hub of the BMW Group," which is the central platform for managing all of BMW's data and data solutions in the cloud. The Cloud Data Hub allows BMW to use machine learning to predict things such as demand for certain models and options, allowing BMW to optimize purchasing, production and sales.
"The BMW Group is driving digitalization and innovation in the automotive industry," BMW Group IT CIO and SVP Alexander Buresch said. "We are making data central to the way we work and we look forward to collaborating with AWS to merge our talents, continuing to raise the bar for innovation among automakers and delivering exciting new experiences for our customers around the world."
The strategic collaboration will see BMW migrate data from its operations in more than 100 countries to AWS. To "make better use of data," BMW will train 5,000 of its employees in the latest AWS technologies, with 2,000 of them slated to become AWS certified with an emphasis on machine learning and data analytics.
"By combining the domain expertise of the BMW Group with AWS's demonstrated leadership in the cloud, we're expanding our impact across the automotive industry so that stakeholders, from parts manufacturers to mechanics, can benefit from greater visibility and insights," Amazon Web Services VP of Sales & Marketing Matt Garman said.
As Amazon forges deeper ties with BMW, one of the most well-respected automakers in the world, it's likely only a matter of time before it moves deeper into the auto sector.
Tesla wants a quick $5 billion. For the second time in three months, Tesla announced a share offering in order to raise $5 billion. According to Tesla's filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the additional shares will be sold by banks "from time to time" and "at-the-market" prices at the direction of Tesla. The offering represents less than 1% of Tesla's market capitalization, which has soared above $600 billion recently.
Apple unveils AirPods Max. Apple unveiled its new AirPods Max over-ear headphones yesterday, with a slew of features including a battery life of up to 20 hours, Adaptive EQ, Active Noise Cancellation, Transparency mode and spatial audio. "The custom acoustic design, combined with powerful H1 chips, and advanced software enable AirPods Max to use computational audio to wirelessly deliver the ultimate personal listening experience," Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak said. AirPods Max are now available to order for $549 and will begin shipping on Tuesday, December 15.
Howard Stern signs extension with SiriusXM. Howard Stern and SiriusXM have agreed to a new 5-year deal that will see The Howard Stern Show continue to be produced and hosted by Stern exclusively for SiriusXM. As part of the agreement, SiriusXM will continue to license the Howard Stern archive of audio and video for an additional seven years. "Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio," Stern said. "And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike."
StockX eyes big valuation. StockX, which has become the go-to spot to find rare items such as sneakers, is reportedly looking to raise $250 million at a $2.5 billion valuation. StockX was last valued at $1 billion in June 2019 when it raised $100 million. Sources say the funding round is likely to be the last before an IPO, which is expected in the middle of next year. StockX has reportedly forecasted a gross profit of $141 million on $350 million in revenue this year, compared to a gross profit of $65 million on $239 million in revenue in 2019.
FireEye hit by a cyberattack. Cyber security company FireEye disclosed it was the victim of a cyberattack itself, in what it believes was an attack carried out "by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities." FireEye said it is working with the FBI and Microsoft to investigate the attack as shares fell more than 7% on the news. "Recently, we were attacked by a highly sophisticated threat actor, one whose discipline, operational security, and techniques lead us to believe it was a state-sponsored attack," FireEye said.