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RIO DE JANEIRO， March 30 (Xinhua) -- Europe will receive three additional World Cup slots under plans for an expanded 48-team tournament， world football governing body FIFA said on Thursday.
The proposed new format， which would be introduced in 2026， includes a six-nation playoff to decide the last two places in the quadrennial competition， according to a FIFA statement.
Under the overhaul， Europe will be given 16 allotted places while there will be nine for teams from Africa.
South America's share will rise to six as will that of North and Central America and the Caribbean. There will be one spot for Oceania while the host nation will continue to qualify automatically.
The announcement followed a meeting of FIFA chiefs and the presidents of the six confederations in Zurich on Thursday.
""The recommendation will now be submitted for the ratification of the FIFA council， whose next meeting is scheduled for 9 May in Manama， Bahrain， two days prior to the 67th Fifa congress，"" FIFA said.
The changes， given preliminary approval in a vote of FIFA members in January， will be the first alterations to the World Cup format since its current 32-team structure was introduced in 1998.
The revamped tournament will now feature 16 groups of three teams instead of eight groups of four teams.
FIFA said its council would decide the number of automatic qualification places in the event the tournament is hosted by more than one country.
Each of the confederations will be given a playoff spot， except UEFA， with an additional place given to the confederation of the host nation.
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FILE - This Feb. 11 Hydro Flask Coffee 16 Oz Coffee Blanche Pas Cher , 2016, file photo shows the Ford logo on display at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh. Ford Motor will spend $1 billion to take over a robotics startup to acquire more of the expertise needed to reach its ambitious goal of having a fully driverless vehicle on the road by 2021. The big bet announced Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 Hydro Flask Coffee 16 Oz Coffee Grise Pas Cher , comes just a few months after the Pittsburgh startup, Argo AI, was created by two alumni of Carnegie Mellon University’s robotics program, Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander.(AP PhotoGene J. Puskar Hydro Flask Coffee 16 Oz Coffee Bleu Pas Cher , File)
SAN FRANCISCO — Ford Motor is spending $1 billion to take over a budding robotics startup to acquire more expertise needed to reach its ambitious goal of having a fully driverless vehicle on the road by 2021.
The big bet announced Friday comes just a few months after the Pittsburgh startup, Argo AI, was created by two alumni of Carnegie Mellon University's robotics program, Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander.
The alliance between Argo and Ford is the latest to combine the spunk and dexterity of a technologically savvy startup with the financial muscle and manufacturing knowhow of a major automaker in the race to develop autonomous vehicles. Last year rival General Motors paid $581 million to buy Cruise Automation Hydro Flask Coffee 20 Oz Coffee Rouge Pas Cher , a 40-person software company that is testing vehicles in San Francisco.
The Argo deal marks the next step in Ford's journey toward building a vehicle without a steering wheel or brake pedal by 2021 — a vision that CEO Mark Fields laid out last summer.
The big-ticket deal for the newly-minted company clearly was aimed at getting Salesky and Rande. Salesky formerly worked on self-driving cars at a high-profile project within Google — now known as Waymo — and Rander did the same kind of engineering at ride-hailing service Uber before the two men teamed to launch Argo late last year.
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Salesky said Argo expects to have 200 workers by the end of the year. Argo employees will be given stock in the subsidiary as part of their compensation packages so they will be enriched if Argo's technology becomes a hot commodity.
The equity should set Argo apart from other companies in recruiting scarce tech workers. "There's a war for talent out there," Fields said.
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Competitors such as NVIDIA have developed artificial intelligence that learns about different situations as it's tested on roads, something that is almost essential for an autonomous car to function in heavy traffic on city streets.
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