Welcome to R&D Market Pulse, a weekly report on the top spenders in research and development.
I’m R&D Magazine Editor Laura Panjwani
GM Vehicle Owners Can Now Rent Out Their Cars
Car owners now have the opportunity to make a little extra cash by renting out their cars through General Motors new Peer-to-Peer car sharing service.
The program is part of GM’s Maven Car sharing program, which previously only offered short-term rentals of GM-owned vehicles
Now private owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles model year 2015 or newer can rent out their car when they don’t need it, earning 60% of the profits from each rental. To use, participants must first enroll their car and answer a series of questions to see if it’s eligible. Then a Maven technician picks up their car and installs a device for keyless access for rentals, takes professional photos, and sets up on OnStar account for 24/7 support. Within 24 hours, the car is available for sharing by Maven approved drivers. Users do not need to review or approve reservation requests or meet the drivers, Maven members unlock the car through the Maven App.
Users are paid once a month via linked bank account in the owner dashboard.
New Graduates from X Moonshot Factory
Two projects are graduating from X, Google/Alphabet’s moonshot factory, to become new independent businesses within Alphabet
The first, known as Loon is developing a network of high-altitude balloons that can provide internet access in remote locations. As an independent business, Loon will work with mobile network operators globally to bring internet access to unconnected and under-connected people around the world.
The second, Wing is building a drone delivery system to improve the speed, cost, and environmental impact of transporting goods, and an unmanned-traffic management platform to safely route drones through our skies. These new companies will have their own leaders. Alastair Westgarth is the new CEO of Loon, while James Ryan Burgess is the new CEO of Wing in partnership with Adam Woodworth as Wing’s CTO.
Qualcomm Furthers Wireless Headsets
Qualcomm has introduced a flash-programmable Bluetooth Audio System-on-Chip that is designed to reduce power consumption by up to 50% compared to previous generation entry-level flash devices. The new SoC is also engineered to balance functionality and cost to help manufacturers simply and quickly develop and commercialize truly wireless headsets that can be used all day with having to recharge.
The new system is particularly well-suited for phone manufacturers, who, with the removal of the standard headphone jack from their designs, left consumers desiring a non-wired solution to listen to their music.
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R&D Magazine follows the top 25 spenders in R&D as part of its R&D Market Pulse Index. The full list of companies as well as expert stock market insight from R&D Magazine’s contributing editor Tim Studt is available each Monday on rdmag.com on the Market Pulse page.
I’m Laura Panjwani and thank you for watching R&D Market Pulse. Join us next week for more R&D business news.