Ride-sharing major Lyft has just revealed a new alliance with General Motors (GM) - Get Report under which the two will develop an autonomous, on-demand car network, Reuters reports. GM also invested $500 million in Lyft as part of its recent $1 billion funding round.
Like its larger rival, Uber, Lyft is looking to solve the long-term problem of how it pays its drivers by automating many of them out of their jobs. But Uber wants to handle the tech side in house while Lyft is outsourcing it to Detroit. GM is looking at the long-term threat to auto sales posed by the so-called "sharing economy" by attempting to embed its future vehicles into a massive self-driving taxi network.
The road to the future just seems to be getting stranger and twistier. Maybe we'll be safer letting the machines do the driving on it.
GM stock closed Monday at $33.31, down 2.1%.
Meanwhile, whoever is driving the car of the future, Ford (F) - Get Report wants to be in control of the entertainment. Toyota (TM) - Get Report said Monday it will adopt Ford's SmartDeviceLink software as its solution for linking smartphones to in-car systems, Reuters and others have reported. Ford is pushing SDL as a potential industry-wide standard, which would take some steam out of Apple's (AAPL) - Get Report and Alphabet's (GOOGL) - Get Report efforts to rule the dashboard in the same way they now rule our smartphones.
According to Ford, Honda (HMC) - Get Report , Subaru, Mazda and Peugeot are all considering jumping on the SDL bandwagon, and BlackBerry's (BBRY) QNX Software Systems, which produces infotainment system software for 40 automakers worldwide, is already on board.
Ford closed Monday at $13.99, down 0.7%, while Toyota closed at $121.46, down 1.3%.
The question of whether tech companies should be giving governments access to their customers' data has been much in the news of late, with authorities in the U.S. and Europe asking for back doors and weaker encryption, and giants like Apple pushing back.
But it's not just today's tech giants and economic superpowers dueling it out. Former powerhouse BlackBerry has apparently stared down the government of Pakistan on the information security front. As TechCrunch and others have reported, after threatening to pull out of the country entirely over governmental demands for access to its business customers' data, the smartphone pioneer has announced that Karachi has withdrawn its monitoring demand, and the company would continue to serve the Pakistan market.
BlackBerry closed Monday at $9.14, down, 1.6%.
Windows 10 is kicking the doors down, in a manner of speaking. In the six months since its July launch, it has been installed on more than 200 million devices,Bloomberg reports, setting it on course for the fastest adoption rate of any Windows OS yet. The software, which operates across mobile and PC platforms, is a cornerstone of Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report long-term plan to become competitive in mobile devices.
Admittedly, it's still far behind in the race for smartphones, where the many versions of Alphabet's open-source Android hold a 77% share and Apple's iOS owns second place with 14%. Windows 10's gains to 2.9% are good enough to keep it in third place. But no matter how smart Cortana is, it's unlikely Siri and Google Now are looking over their shoulders quite yet.
Microsoft closed Monday at $54.80, down 1.2%.
Finally, here's a worrisome revelation. A new report from MarketWatch describes just how poorly prepared our cities are to face a cyber attack. The potential threats range from terrorists to hacktivists to agents of foreign governments. In general, our infrastructure is more vulnerable than a Star Wars battle station to some well-placed artillery -- or a droid just plugging into an unguarded socket.
In further bad news, it sounds like our response plans are not yet up to snuff. The good news is cities across the country are actively playing catch-up on defense. Will the Light Side of the Force be able to prevent its many foes from succeeding? I guess we'll all have to wait for the sequel.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.