Biz Break: Intel said to be getting in on driverless car technology

Top Of The Order:  

Who’s Behind The Wheel?: There’s a lot going on the Bay Area in self-driving cars. Google is working on it. Automakers such as General Motors are investing in local software companies in order to advance self-driving technology. There’s the possibility that self-driving taxis from Lyft may be on the horizon.

And it looks like Intel wants in on some of the self-driving car action.

The Santa Clara-based semiconductor giant is expected to hold an event with automaker BMW and software provider Mobileye on Friday in which the three companies will say they are working on developing self-driving car technology. Bloomberg said Mobileye Chief Executive Amnon Shashua called the announcement “a turning point for the automotive industry.” Mobileye has done work on map technology for GM, Nissan and Volkswagen, while Intel has provided chips for some automakers’ dashboard entertainment and information systems, but wants a bigger piece of the automobile market for semiconductors.

Middle Innings:

Deep In The Amazon: On Wednesday, Seattle-based Amazon said it would start selling a couple of new smartphones that, while not carrying the Amazon name, would be pre-loaded with a lot of Amazon apps. In order to get $50 off the phones’ price tags, you have to be an Amazon Prime member.

So, there’s that benefit from paying Amazon $99 a year for its Prime service. And Thursday, Amazon said it had more deals in store for its annual Prime Day extravaganza.

What is Prime Day, you ask? Well, starting last year, Amazon began picking an arbitrary date to slash the prices of thousands of items, and offer those deals to its Prime members. This year, that day happens to fall on July 12. Some say Amazon uses to the day to cut prices on all the products it wants to get out of its warehouses so that it can make room for new merchandise and drive sales in the crucial Christmas and holiday shopping seasons at the end of the year.

Even if that is the case, Amazon Prime members are going to get deals on more than 100,000 items that the regular shoppers won’t have. You must be a Prime member to get in on the Prime Day offerings.

Amazon made the Prime Day date public less than a day after Wal-Mart said it would offer ShippingPass, its free, two-day shipping program for all Americans for just $49 a year. Previously, Wal-Mart offered ShippingPass to a select number of shoppers.

A First For Everything: Google Capital has made its first investment in a public company. The venture investment wing of parent company Alphabet has put $46.4 million into

Anyone who has been in desperate need of a babysitter has probably at least heard of With the investment, Google Capital will become the largest shareholder in, which provides childcare and other in-home services.

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Thursday…

Movin’ On Up: Gains came from Silver Spring Networks, Inphi, Cypress Semiconductor, Aviat Networks and Coherent.

In The Red: Lending Club ended the day down by 5 percent, and other decliners included Aemetis, Oclaro, Splunk and SolarCity.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.3 percent to 4,842.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average also added 1.3 percent to finish the day at 17,929.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 1.4 percent to close at 2,098.

Quote Of The Day: “I am very confident. I believe in what I did. In spite of the odds, I feel that I have a shot at it.” — Florida Man Thomas Ross, who is suing Apple for $10 billion on the grounds that he believes the company stole his designs for use in making the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

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Photo: Intel headquarters in Santa Clara. (AP/Paul Sakuma)


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