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Tech Time: Uber halts self-driving tests; Microsoft opens Germany data centers

In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.

TOP STORIES

* Uber Technologies Inc. stopped autonomous-car testing in all cities after a self-driving car from Uber hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Ariz., Bloomberg News reported March 19. The Uber vehicle was reportedly in autonomous mode at the time of the crash. The company halted autonomous tests in San Francisco, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Toronto.

* Microsoft Corp. is opening two cloud data centers in Germany, Reuters reported March 13, citing WirtschaftsWoche and Handelsblatt. The U.S. tech giant has spent €100 million for the facilities, which will enable customers to retain their data in Germany in compliance with the country's relatively strict privacy regulations.

CLOUD

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said March 15 that it launched its first data center in Indonesia for scalable cloud services.

* Palo Alto Networks Inc. has agreed to acquire cloud services infrastructure protection provider Evident.io Inc. for $300 million.

* Pareteum Corp. said March 8 that it is expanding its cloud communications services to Mexico under a $4.5 million agreement with a national mobile virtual network operator in the country.

* Amazon.com Inc. has acquired GameSparks, a cloud-based platform for game developers. The e-commerce giant earlier struck a partnership with Chunghwa Telecom division CHIEF to expand its cloud businesses in Taiwan, UDN reported March 2.

5G AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS

* British telecom regulator Ofcom launched a spectrum auction for 5G services, City A.M. reported March 20.

* The Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute said March 13 that it developed a core technology to provide network service between 5G and Wi-Fi without disconnection.

* Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom Ltd. has pledged to create a $1.5 billion fund to train and educate the next generation of engineers in the U.S. and ensure the country's lead in developing 5G.

* The Communications Authority of Kenya is eyeing the deployment of a 5G network in the country in 2019, Telecompaper reported March 9.

* Toshiba Corp. unit Toshiba Digital Solutions Corp. said March 6 it will set up Toshiba Digital & Consulting, a new company that will capitalize on demand for IoT and artificial intelligence.

* Saudi Telecom Co. teamed up with Ericsson AB on the development of the 5G network in Saudi Arabia, the company said March 5.

VIRTUAL REALITY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

* Swedish eye-tracking technology company Tobii AB said March 15 that it will collaborate with Qualcomm Inc.'s Qualcomm Technologies Inc. to make its technology available to mobile virtual and augmented reality head-mounted displays.

* Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and JapanTaxi Co. Ltd., along with KDDI Corp. and Accenture PLC, are testing an AI-based taxi dispatch support system in Tokyo, according to a March 9 announcement.

* Sky PLC unveiled March 7 the spring launch of the VR experience Hold The World, which marks the "next phase" of the pay TV giant's VR development.

* Facebook Inc.'s Oculus Rift VR headsets stopped working for users March 7 due to an issue with the device's software certification. Oculus has since resolved the matter with a software update, according to a post on the company's official forums.

DRONES AND OTHER DEVICES

* Apple Inc. is developing its own MicroLED screens for the first time in a "secret" facility near its California headquarters, Bloomberg News reported March 18, citing sources.

* Uber is in talks to sell its self-driving technology to Toyota, Nikkei Asian Review reported March 16.

* Globalstar Inc. said March 12 it created a newly formed division called Globalstar Automotive to support future connected and autonomous vehicles and intelligent transport.