Business – One America News Network Your Nation. Your News. Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:22:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Business – One America News Network 32 32 GM’s Cruise plans to enter ‘a large number of markets’ in 2023 Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:15:07 +0000 By Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) – Cruise, General Motors Co’s robotaxi unit, plans to enter a “large number of markets” and scale operations up to “thousands of vehicles” in 2023, Chief Operating Officer Gil West told Reuters.

Cruise has announced plans to start offering rides in Austin and Phoenix, adding those cities to its current base in San Francisco. West said the company plans to expand to more cities in 2023.

“You’ll likely see us expand the number of markets in a large number next year,” he said. Cruise believes it can accelerate application of its technology to other cities using a “repeatable playbook” developed in San Francisco, Austin and Phoenix. That should start to deliver revenue numbers with more zeros in them, he said.

The planned launch of the Origin, designed as a purpose-built automated vehicle, “is a huge unlock” for Cruise because of its lower cost, West said.

Cruise is currently testing human-operated Origins in San Francisco. Volume production is expected to start in 2023. Up to now, Cruise has operated its limited service in San Francisco with a small fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

Cruise is also working to expand delivery services – a prototype of an Origin outfitted with lockers for goods is on the company’s website. Walmart is an investor, and is currently testing Cruise delivery at eight stores in Phoenix. Delivery has “the potential to be a big part of the business,” West said.

Wall Street will be watching Cruise closely in 2023. 

The decision by Ford and Volkswagen to pull the plug on their jointly-controlled automated vehicle operation, Argo AI, threw the entire automated vehicle sector into a tailspin. Investors have hammered the shares of public AV tech companies and driven a wave of consolidation deals.

Ford and VW said they saw no near-term profit in robotaxis. GM CEO Mary Barra is taking the opposite bet. She told analysts earlier this month to expect GM to keep spending $500 million a quarter, $2 billion a year on Cruise’s expansion.

GM has said the operation can generate revenue of $50 billion a year by 2030. The shakeout in the AV sector has cleared the field for Cruise to grow. But Cruise faces competition from rival Waymo, which is already operating in Phoenix. Waymo is driving to expand its robotaxi and delivery businesses into Cruise’s backyard in San Francisco and other markets Cruise could have in its sights.

Cruise must also compete with ride-hailing platforms Uber and Lyft. They have to contend with the costs of human drivers. Both companies have made efforts to automate ride services. Uber and Lyft already have millions of customers signed up. They also have experience dealing with local regulators who do not always welcome more competition for public transit or licensed cabs.

(Reporting by Joe White; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)


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AWS and Atos announce deal to accelerate cloud adoption Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:11:13 +0000 (Reuters) – France’s Atos and’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Wednesday announced a multi-year partnership to help the French IT consulting firm’s customers migrate their workloads to the cloud.

The agreement will provide Atos’ customers with large infrastructure outsourcing contracts to quicken their workload migrations towards the cloud, the firms said, adding that Atos will consult with over 800 customers to offer a new hybrid cloud service with the option to move selected workloads to AWS.

Hybrid clouds allow software to run on more than one environment.

AWS and Atos will also work to deliver new solutions for IT outsourcing and data center transformation, as well as to train Atos’ workforce to help improve its data centre, cloud, and security operations.

(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)



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J&J sues Amgen over plan to sell drug similar to blockbuster Stelara Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:11:01 +0000 By Brendan Pierson and Blake Brittain

(Reuters) -Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit has sued Amgen Inc over its plan to market a drug for ulcerative colitis and other conditions similar to J&J’s top-selling Stelara, saying it would infringe two patents in a lawsuit made public on Wednesday.

Stelara accounted for $9.1 billion of J&J’s $52 billion in global drug sales last year. Sales for the first nine months of this year were $7.3 billion, up 7.9% over the same period last year.

The drug is also approved to treat Crohn’s disease, the skin condition psoriasis and a related form of arthritis. It is a biologic drug, meaning it is made inside living cells.

A 2009 law allows companies to make so-called biosimilar versions of biologic drugs that can be substituted for them, much like generic versions of conventional drugs. However, J&J alleges that Amgen failed to follow the legal process required by that law for the companies to litigate any patent disputes.

If Amgen launches its drug, J&J said it would infringe J&J’s patent on the drug’s active ingredient and on its use for treating ulcerative colitis.

J&J told the court that an Amgen filing indicates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve its biosimilar in the second or third quarter of 2023, and that Amgen intends to start selling it as early as next May.

A spokesperson for Amgen said the company had no comment on the lawsuit. J&J said in a statement that Janssen is “confident in its intellectual property and has filed suit to protect its rights.”

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York and Blake Brittain in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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REUTERS NEXT: NYSE president says IPO proceeds fall over 90% due to uncertainty Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:10:28 +0000 NEW YORK (Reuters) – The volatility and market uncertainty have hit the initial offerings market hard, driving down proceeds by 93% this year, Lynn Martin, president of the New York Stock Exchange said on Wednesday.

“There is a lot of uncertainty and there’s a lot of different forces that are impacting markets,” said Martin during an interview at the Reuters Next conference.

(Reporting by John McCrank and Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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Amazon to warn customers on limitations of its AI Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:07:41 +0000 By Jeffrey Dastin and Paresh Dave

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Inc is planning to roll out warning cards for software sold by its cloud-computing division, in light of ongoing concern that artificially intelligent systems can discriminate against different groups, the company told Reuters.

Akin to lengthy nutrition labels, Amazon’s so-called AI Service Cards will be public so its business customers can see the limitations of certain cloud services, such as facial recognition and audio transcription. The goal would be to prevent mistaken use of its technology, explain how its systems work and manage privacy, Amazon said.

The company is not the first to publish such warnings. International Business Machines Corp, a smaller player in the cloud, did so years ago. The No. 3 cloud provider, Alphabet Inc’s Google, has also published still more details on the datasets it has used to train some of its AI.

Yet Amazon’s decision to release its first three service cards on Wednesday reflects the industry leader’s attempt to change its image after a public spat with civil liberties critics years ago left an impression that it cared less about AI ethics than its peers did. The move will coincide with the company’s annual cloud conference in Las Vegas.

Michael Kearns, a University of Pennsylvania professor and since 2020 a scholar at Amazon, said the decision to issue the cards followed privacy and fairness audits of the company’s software. The cards would address AI ethics concerns publicly at a time when tech regulation was on the horizon, said Kearns.

“The biggest thing about this launch is the commitment to do this on an ongoing basis and an expanded basis,” he said.

Amazon chose software touching on sensitive demographic issues as a start for its service cards, which Kearns expects to grow in detail over time.


One such service is called “Rekognition.” In 2019, Amazon contested a study saying the technology struggled to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin tones. But after the 2020 murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, during an arrest, the company issued a moratorium on police use of its facial recognition software.

Now, Amazon says in a service card seen by Reuters that Rekognition does not support matching “images that are too blurry and grainy for the face to be recognized by a human, or that have large portions of the face occluded by hair, hands, and other objects.” It also warns against matching faces in cartoons and other “nonhuman entities.”

In another warning card seen by Reuters, on audio transcription, Amazon states, “Inconsistently modifying audio inputs could result in unfair outcomes for different demographic groups.” Kearns said accurately transcribing the wide range of regional accents and dialects in North America alone was a challenge Amazon had worked to address.

Jessica Newman, director of the AI Security Initiative at the University of California at Berkeley, said technology companies were increasingly publishing such disclosures as a signal of responsible AI practices, though they had a way to go.

“We shouldn’t be dependent upon the goodwill of companies to provide basic details of systems that can have enormous influence on people’s lives,” she said, calling for more industry standards.

Tech giants have wrestled with making such documents short enough that people will read them yet sufficiently detailed and up to date to reflect frequent software tweaks, a person who worked on nutrition labels at two major enterprises said.

(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in Las Vegas and Paresh Dave in Oakland; Editing by Bradley Perrett)


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Exclusive-General Electric, L3Harris among suitors vying for Aerojet -sources Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:01:56 +0000 By Mike Stone and David Carnevali

(Reuters) – Industrial conglomerate General Electric Co and defense contractor L3Harris Technologies Inc are among those competing to acquire rocket maker Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

Aircraft producer Textron Inc and private equity firm Veritas Capital are also vying to acquire El Segundo, California-based Aerojet, which has a market value of about $4 billion, the sources said.

Aerojet has been running a process to sell itself after its $4.4 billion sale to Lockheed Martin Corp was thwarted by antitrust regulators in February, Reuters has previously reported. If the negotiations conclude successfully, a deal could be inked by the end of December, the sources added, cautioning that no agreement was certain.

Aerojet does not see in the line-up of bidders the antitrust issues that led to the demise of its deal with Lockheed, because none of the suitors are direct competitors or share much of the same supply chain, one of the sources said.

The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential.

“We regularly assess multiple options as we pursue game-changing solutions for our customers,” an L3 Harris spokesperson said, declining to comment specifically on the company’s pursuit of Aerojet. Spokespeople for Aerojet, General Electric, Textron and Veritas Capital did not respond to requests for comment.

Aerojet develops and manufactures liquid and solid rocket propulsion and hypersonic engines for space, defense, civil and commercial applications. Its customers include the Pentagon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies Corp.

The company prevailed in a battle for control of its board against former Executive Chairman Warren Lichtenstein last summer but remains under pressure to boost its performance. Activist hedge fund Elliott Investment Management disclosed it had accumulated a 3.7% stake in Aerojet in August.

(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington and David Carnevali in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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