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TuSimple Inks Delivery Contract With USPS

TuSimple -- the driverless truck startup that raised $95 million earlier this year at a $1 billion valuation -- has been awarded a contract from the United States Postal Service (USPS) to transport packages over 1,000 miles between the Postal Service's Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas distribution centers. TuSimple will deliver these packages with self-driving trucks that'll have a safety engineer and driver on board for the duration of the journey.

TuSimple will run some of its driverless trucks for 22 hours each -- including overnight driving -- along the I-10, I-20 and I-30 corridors on a trip through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Freight flowing through the I-10 (Interstate 10) corridor notably accounts for 60% of total economic activity in the U.S.


The Postal Service -- which has operated for a long 24 decades -- is exploring the use of driverless trucks to reduce fuel costs and improve safety and its fleet utilization rate through longer hours of operation. TuSimple …

Amazon Starts Shipping Echo Auto After More Than 1 Million Pre-orders

Echo Auto

image : Amazon

Amazon has began shipping the Echo Auto, part of the host of Alexa enabled devices announced last year September by the company which included a microwave, clock, security camera, smart plug, the Echo Sub, Echo Input and re-designed versions of already existing devices.

The company tells TechCrunch over 1 million pre-orders were placed by consumers signalling high interest in the device which connects Alexa to users' smartphone and then plays through car speakers, enabling tasks like playing music, opening the garage door, finding the nearest gas station and checking the news while on the go possible.

Echo Auto

image : Amazon

For now, the Echo Auto is only available on an invite-only basis with a few users having taken delivery in time for Christmas according to VP, Alexa Voice Service and Alexa Skills Steve Rabuchin. Why the device has stayed in pre-order status for so long is not clear but Bloomberg last month reported issues encountered by several Amazon retail stores in North America and Europe in keeping some Echo devices in stock in time for Christmas delivery.

Recently, Amazon also revealed over 100 million Alexa devices have been sold so far which seems quite impressive for the 4 year old virtual assistant available in 41 countries.


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Private equity giant Hellman & Friedman buys into home security startup SimpliSafe at a reported $1 Billion Valuation

image credit : SimpliSafe

Boston based home security startup SimpliSafe which provides self-installed security systems which are used by a huge number of homes in the U.S. has now sold a major interest in the company to Global private equity and investment giant Hellman & Friedman for an undisclosed sum which according to various sources values the company at a huge $1 Billion

The company which last raised $57 million in a Sequioa Capital led round and has been growing very well with the company counting over 300,000 customers as far as 2015 and a vast number of consumers currently making use of its suite of home security products.

This majority acquisition represents another move by Hellman & Friedman making huge acquisitions and bets in the technology space with the investment company's tech portfolio including notable companies like DoubleClick, Getty Images, Customer experience solutions company Genesys amidst other of its notable investments.

SimpliSafe will now conti…

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