May 10, 2018

Toyota to spend billions in self-driving fight against tech giants

Toyota president Akio Toyoda holds a press conference. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Toyota plans to spend $22.3 billion in research and development this fiscal year — a 30% increase from just five years ago — as tech giants like Google and Apple continue to make advances on autonomous technology aimed to disrupt the auto industry, reports the Asian Review.

Why it matters: 35% of Toyota's R&D budget is aimed squarely at self-driving technologies — widely considered the future of the auto industry. The spending is necessary carmakers suddenly have to compete against some of the world's wealthiest corporations in order to manufacture the necessary technologies.

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The polarized pandemic election

A Trump supporter protests Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order, during a May 15 rally outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump is going all-in on pushing for a rapid, robust return to normal life, creating a visual, visceral contrast with Joe Biden and other Democrats who are more reticent to rip the masks off.

The state of play: Business friends have been urging Trump from the beginning to keep the lockdowns short. He's listening more and more.

Tech's long hot summer of antitrust

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Google, Facebook and other tech giants face a summer of regulatory grilling as long-running investigations into potential anticompetitive practices likely come to a head.

The big picture: Probes into the power of Big Tech launched by federal and state authorities are turning a year old, and observers expect action in the form of formal lawsuits and potentially damning reports — even as the companies have become a lifeline for Americans during the pandemic lockdown.

Palantir CEO hits Silicon Valley "monoculture," may leave California

Palantir is "getting close" to a decision on whether to move the company out of California, CEO Alex Karp said in an interview for "Axios on HBO."

The state of play: "We haven't picked a place yet, but it's going to be closer to the East Coast than the West Coast. ... If I had to guess, I would guess something like Colorado."