Welcome to R&D Market Pulse, a weekly report on the top spenders in research and development.

I’m R&D Magazine Editor Laura Panjwani

IBM Watson for Agriculture

IBM has announced the Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture. This platform gathers data from multiple sources, such as weather, IoT enabled tractors and irrigators, satellite imagery, and more, and provides a single, overarching, predictive view of data as it relates to a farm in an easy-to-use app.

For the individual grower, this means support for making more informed decisions to help improve yield. For example, using AI-enabled visual recognition capabilities, growers can identify certain types and severity levels of pest and disease damage and determine where to spray pesticides. Or a grower can forecast water usage, thereby reducing waste and helping to save money.

This includes several Application programming interfaces including two that provide yield history and forecast for corn and disease and pest indicators for corn, as well as a High Definition Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for Crop Health Monitoring

There will also be a High Definition Soil Moisture API that provides, real-time measurement tool that monitors soil moisture at multiple depths using a combination of AI algorithms and physical models along with several satellite and weather model data sets

Honda Invests in GM-Backed Start-Up

Honda is investing $750 million in Cruise, the autonomous car startup whose majority shareholder is General Motors. The deal values Cruise at $14.6 billion.

Honda and GM plan to develop an autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of use cases and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment. In addition, Cruise, General Motors and Honda will explore global opportunities for commercial deployment of the Cruise network.

In a statement General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said:

 “This is the logical next step in General Motors and Honda’s relationship, given our joint work on electric vehicles, and our close integration with Cruise. Together, we can provide Cruise with the world’s best design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, and global reach to establish them as the leader in autonomous vehicle technology – while they move to deploy self-driving vehicles at scale.”

iPhone ID Cards

Students at three universities are can now use their iPhone and Apple Watch to get around on and off campus. At Duke University and the Universities of Alabama and Oklahoma, students can now add their ID card to Apple Wallet and use it to pay quickly and easily for laundry, coffee or lunch, and even get into their dorms, the gym or the school library.

Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services said.

 “iPhone and Apple Watch have brought us into a new era of mobility, helping to transform everyday experiences. “When we launched Apple Pay, we embarked on a goal to replace the physical wallet. By adding transit, loyalty cards and contactless ticketing we have expanded the capabilities of Wallet beyond payments, and we’re now thrilled to be working with campuses on adding contactless student ID cards to bring customers even more easy, convenient and secure experiences.”

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R&D Magazine follows the top 25 spenders in R&D as part of its R&D Market Pulse Index. 

To learn more about the R&D Market Pulse Index, view the full list of Top 25 companies, or read expert stock market insight from R&D Magazine contributing Editor Tim Studt, check out the Market Pulse page on

I’m Laura Panjwani and thank you for watching R&D Market Pulse. Join us next week for more R&D business news.