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VW’s Traton Group strikes a deal with TuSimple to develop autonomous trucks

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The Traton Group, Volkswagen AG’s heavy-truck business, has taken a minority stake in TuSimple as part of an agreement between the two companies to develop self-driving trucks.

Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the partnership or the percentage of the minority stake. Traton did make a direct capital investment into TuSimple, according to one unnamed source familiar with the deal. It’s unclear if it also included in-kind contributions.

Traton’s investment is not part of TuSimple’s recent effort to raise $250 million in a Series E round. raton Group does have an option to participate in the round.

The two companies outlined Wednesday plans to launch a development program that will use Traton’s Scania trucks equipped with TuSimple’s automated vehicle technology. The companies said testing will begin with a route between Södertälje to Jönköping in Sweden. The trucking manufacturer ultimately wants to test driverless truck fleets on roads throughout Sweden, Germany and other countries.

The companies didn’t provide details on the scope of the program or timelines, beyond plans to “work closely” to develop Level 4 autonomous systems for trucks of the Traton brands. Specifically, Traton said the aim is for these trucks to have Level 4 capabilities, which they define as being able to “achieve full automation without human intervention under defined driving conditions and applied in all markets.”

Traton said this could serve as a means of counteracting the increasing lack of drivers in the medium term. The first cases of deployment could be conducted outside of the specially demarcated areas, particularly for highly frequented hub-to-hub routes, Traton said in its announcement.

The partnership will expand TuSimple’s autonomous vehicle operations beyond the U.S. and China to Europe. The startup, which is backed by Sina, Nvidia, UPS and Tier 1 supplier Mando Corporation, operates a fleet of 40 self-driving trucks in the U.S. that are used for testing and to carry freight between Arizona and Texas. The company, which launched in 2015 and has operations in China, San Diego and Tucson, Arizona.

The partnership also tightens the connection between Traton, TuSimple and Navistar. In July, TuSimple announced plans to develop and begin producing autonomous semi trucks by 2024 in partnership with Navistar. The plan is to move away from retrofitting the Navistar International commercial trucks that TuSimple currently uses and instead develop semi trucks specifically designed for autonomous operations. The strategic partnership included Navistar taking an undisclosed stake in startup TuSimple.

Meanwhile, Traton holds a 16.6% stake in Navistar, which it acquired by buying $256 million worth of shares in September 2016. The two companies could end up getting closer. In January, Traton made an unsolicited bid to buy the remaining Navistar stock that it doesn’t own for $35 share. Traton upped its offer this month to $43 a share, or about $3.9 billion, Bloomberg reported earlier this monthh.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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