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This is the time of year when the news cycle is supposed to slow down. It didn't, at least not this week.
A noticeable article this week was the NYT research article on Tesla Elon Musk and his influence on the development of the company's autopilot driver assistance system. Two days after this article was published, which revealed a number of interesting and disturbing details, including the fact that the company's 2016 video "Our cars are completely driverless," another NYT article reported that Tesla owners were during can play video games while driving.
While the federal government’s top automotive safety regulator says it’s looking at the gaming-while-driving feature, I’m not confident that anything will come of it. My remaining question that comes up every time Tesla crosses the line of safety, is this the time regulators step in? This question was not answered.
Meanwhile, CNBC reported that Tesla is replacing repeater cameras in the front fenders of at least several hundred S, X, and 3 vehicles from Fremont, California. The company has not yet initiated a voluntary recall, according to internal service documents that the company distributed in late November, reported CNBC.
Just a small comparison: Mercedes has issued a voluntary recall for the EQS, which was carried out via a software update because its huge infotainment screens enable the driver to watch TV and surf the Internet while driving .
As always, you can email me at email@example.com to share thoughts, criticism, opinions or tips. You can also send me a direct message on Twitter – @kirstenkorosec
I don't want to rush here, but are we on the verge of reaching the point in our micromobility revolution where there is no going back? A very promising McKinsey study that has just been published found that around 70% of people worldwide would ride their bikes, mopeds or e-scooters to work if they could. And why not? You don't need a 3,000 pound car to carry a 150 pound person, but you do need to make it easier and safer for people to buy and drive smaller vehicles.
List US lawmakers working on 30% tax credit up to $ 3,000 on a new electric bike. That's a credit of up to $ 900 and suddenly makes e-bikes much more affordable for many people. Data from the NPD Group, which tracks retail bike sales, found that 60% of bikes sold last year were either less than $ 500 or more than $ 3,500, with the fastest growth in bikes between $ 1,500 and $ 2,000 Dollar is recorded.
Incentives are great and everything, but infrastructure also plays a role so it's worth highlighting when cities are doing a good job. Milan for example is investing 250 million euros in its urban cycling strategy which will see the emergence of high-speed bicycle corridors with better integration of local public transport. Jersey City, New Jersey is partnering with Oonee to create a holistic network of secure bike parking, with 30 secure lockers near bus stops used to store bikes and scooters and double as transit can provide protection by offering covered seating.
In places where the road infrastructure is not so favorable for safe driving conditions, there are companies that are working to solve this problem. The software company Terranet AB for example, announced that it would produce BlincBike, a camera-based collision warning system for e-bikes. The company hopes to start taking pre-orders in July. If you are interested, set a reminder on your phone.
All stars seem to align with the potential for exponential growth with the introduction of micromobility. Maybe it's just New Zealand summer, maybe it's the closeness to the holidays, but I'm confident.
– Rebecca Bellan
offer of the week
The end of the year is determined to be an active year for – or at least planning for – an IPO. The latest is news that Intel plans to sell Mobileye the advanced driver assistance and automated driving subsidiary that it acquired for $ 15 billion more than four years ago To bring stock exchange.
The spin-off of Mobileye into a separate public company could add value to Intel shareholders. A source told TechCrunch that the IPO is expected to take about six months, a timeline that suggests the typical IPO roadshow process has not yet begun.
Intel remains the majority owner of Mobileye and the two companies will continue to be strategic partners and collaborate on projects.
Other offers that caught my attention…
BMW i Ventures spearheaded the seed funding round of Rapid Liquid Print, which has developed 3D printers for elastomers that make large format, high resolution, soft and stretchable products using industrial materials such as soft rubber, silicone and foams .
Candela an electric hydrofoil developer, raised $ 24 million to expedite production of his existing small boat and a larger commercial boat.
Carma an Australia-based online used car startup, raised $ 20 million (A $ 28 million) in startup from Tiger Global. Carma has been working clandestinely for the past nine months and said the funding allowed the company to recruit an executive team, develop its website, and build its first inspection and overhaul facility in Sydney.
Flink the Berlin-based startup that sells groceries and other essentials and aims to deliver them in less than 10 minutes, raised $ 750 million in a Series B funding round that was driven by a strategic Funder, DoorDash., Is directed. The deal gives Flink a post-money valuation of $ 2.85 billion.
Hitachi is considering options to streamline its business, including the possible sale of its minority stake in a transportation unit, Bloomberg reported.
Ola the Indian ride-hailing giant, raised $ 139 million at a valuation of about $ 7.3 billion, said in a filing before going public early next year want to submit. The financial giant Edelweiss, headquartered in Mumbai, led the new investment tranche. IIFL, Siddhant Partners, Tejal Merchantile, Hero Enterprise also invested money.
Robotic Research a self-driving technology company that has spent the past two decades developing autonomous on- and off-road vehicles for the Department of Defense has a Series A round of 228 Million dollars raised. The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Enlightenment Capital. Crescent Cove Advisors, Henry Crown and Company, and Luminar, a lidar company, were also involved in the investment.
Serve Robotics the autonomous sidewalk delivery company that emerged from Postmates-owned by Uber in March, has completed an expanded $ 13 million seed round. Uber participated as a strategic investor in the round, together with Delivery Hero-supported DX Ventures, 7-Elevens Corporate-Venture-Arm 7-Ventures and Wavemaker Labs, the food automation-focused venture studio Wavemaker Labs.
Solid Power the developer of solid-state batteries supported by Ford and BMW, made its public market debut and recorded a rapid share price on its first day of trading.
Uber is in talks with the management of its Middle East unit Careem to bring outside investors into the business, Reuters reported.
During an extensive interview at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke out against the $ 1.2 trillion Infrastructure Act and the nearly $ 2 trillion Budget Reconciliation Act, though each individual provisions contained the introduction of electric vehicles to strengthen.
About the infrastructure law he said: "It could be better if this law doesn't go through." And on the balance sheet, he said Tesla doesn't need its $ 7,500 tax credit. (Tesla vehicles don't currently qualify because the automaker has sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles, but the new bill could lift that manufacturer cap.) “Honestly, I'd just do this whole bill. Don't hand it over. That is my recommendation. "
However, he acknowledged that the country's airports and highways could be improved and that we should find better ways to control traffic, such as building tunnels or two-story highways.
Despite the fact that both Tesla and SpaceX have benefited from public funding, he also targeted the role of government in general, suggesting that the role of government should be similar to that of an arbitrator of a game, “but not like players on the field. "
"The government should get out of the way and not hinder progress."
His comments, made by Tesla's new Austin factory, aren't too surprising. Musk and President Joe Biden weren't exactly the coziest bedfellows. Musk was extremely critical of an additional provision in Biden's budget that would give union and US electric vehicles an additional $ 4,500 tax credit. On October 31, he tweeted prominently that Biden was a "UAW puppet". A few months earlier, he noted that it was "strange" that Tesla was not invited to an EV event at the White House, even though executives from GM, Ford, and Stellantis all received invitations.
The last notable part of the interview (notable for Policy Corner at least) was his comments on "Rules and Regulations". We have too many of them, he said, with no effective "garbage collection" system to remove them. "The government should really try to get rid of rules and regulations that may have had some value at some point, but currently have no value."
– Aria Alamalhodaei
Notable reading and other tidbits
Argo AI has partnered with the League of American Cyclists advocacy group to establish guidelines for how self-driving vehicles should identify and interact with cyclists. The aim is to set a standard for other AV companies in the industry to follow, especially as the self-driving industry is moving from testing to commercialization and will become increasingly important in the years to come.
SAIC Mobility and Momenta have started a robot taxi test service in Shanghai. The company is testing and validating potential commercial applications with 20 vehicles powered by Momentas autonomous driving technology.
Batteries and supply chain
General Motors announced two partnerships to secure a domestic source of rare earth minerals, alloys, and finished magnets for the electric motors it will use in its upcoming electric vehicle barrage, including the GMC Hummer EC, Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Silverado EV through a partnership with MP Materials and another separate contract with the German vacuum melting company (VAC).
Toyota Motor will build its first US battery factory in North Carolina. Toyota will invest $ 1.29 billion in the facility, which will be named Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC). Production is scheduled to begin in 2025. This investment is part of a broader pledge to invest $ 3.4 billion in automotive batteries in the US by 2030.
TuSimple has published its safety framework for its autonomous driving system "Driver Out". The company said its program was designed to show class 8 truck exits on the open road.
Volkswagen has entered into three new partnerships in the field of electric vehicle batteries. The three separate partnerships, all announced on Wednesday, exist with materials technology group Umicore, battery specialist 24M Technologies, and Vulcan Energy Resources, a company planning to open a lithium brine project in Germany.
DoorDash introduces "ultra-fast" deliveries in 10-15 minutes, starting with a single DashMart location in New York City. The company is also beginning to test a new employment model that will rely on full-time workers, rather than gig staff, to handle these new deliveries.
The UK High Court has ruled that Uber's business model is unlawful. The decision, as reported by Natasha Lomas, has a huge impact on how ridesharing services like Uber can operate in the UK capital and how much UK taxes they will pay. The crux of the matter is the contract model from Uber and many other ride-hailing platforms that have already applied.
Ford plans to increase production of the all-electric Mustang Mach E over the next year, with the aim of tripling its current capacity by 2023 to meet "incredible demand," said CEO Jim Farley. This is the first time the automaker has given a specific outlook on the Mustang Mach E. Ford is also delaying the start of production of the battery-electric versions of the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator crossovers by about 18 months. The EV versions of the Explorer and Aviator were to be assembled at his facility in Cuautitlan, Mexico. This factory is now used to increase the production of the Mach E.
Lucid Group has been subpoenaed by securities regulators investigating the electric car maker's merger that enabled it to become a publicly traded company. Lucid said in a regulatory filing that the Securities and Exchange Commission had requested certain documents related to their investigation.
Stellantis put forward an ambitious plan to generate $ 22.5 billion annually from software in its vehicles that passengers and drivers can sell products and subscriptions to. The goal is in line with the goals of its competitors, all of whom are looking for ways to generate revenue beyond just selling, repairing, and financing vehicles. The global automaker said it will invest more than $ 33.7 billion in software and electrification by 2025. This investment includes the employment of 4,500 software engineers by 2024.
USA The securities regulatory authorities have initiated an investigation against Tesla over allegations of a whistleblower that the company did not disclose the fire risks of its solar panel systems to shareholders. The allegations come from Steven Henkes, a former Tesla employee who filed his complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 2019.
Volvo Cars investigates a cybersecurity breach and theft of a limited amount of the company's research and development data. The company said one of its file repositories had been illegally accessed by a third party.
Gareth Joyce will succeed Jack Allen as CEO of Proterra . The company announced several other board changes, including the move from Allen to non-executive chairman, Ryan Popple as chairman and ML Krakauer appointed to the board. Karina Franco Padilla has since been appointed CFO.
Oxbotica an open software developer for autonomous vehicles, named Gavin Jackson as its new CEO.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess will keep his job, a decision that was made after weeks of speculation about his future at the German car manufacturer. This was announced by the VW Group's Supervisory Board as part of its annual update of the company's five-year investment plan. The board also agreed to increase spending from € 150 billion last year to € 159 billion ($ 180 billion).