Self-driving startup AutoX expands beyond deliveries and sets its sights on Europe


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AutoX, the Hong Kong and San Jose, Calif.-based autonomous vehicle technology company, is pushing past its grocery delivery roots and into the AV supplier and robotaxi business.

And now, it’s taking its business to Europe.

AutoX has partnered with NEVS — the Swedish holding company and electric vehicle manufacturer that bought Saab’s assets out of bankruptcy — to deploy a robotaxi pilot service in Europe by the end of 2020. Under the exclusive partnership, AutoX will to integrate its autonomous drive technology into a next-generation electric vehicle inspired by NEVS’s “InMotion” concept that was shown at the CES Asia in 2017.

autox nevs

This next-generation vehicle is being developed by NEVS in Trollhättan, Sweden. Testing of the autonomous NEVs vehicles will begin in the third quarter of 2019. The vehicles will hit public roads in Europe next year, the companies said. 

AutoX founder and CEO Jianxiong Xiao, commonly referred to

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Tesla’s new V3 Supercharger can charge up to 1,500 electric vehicles a day


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Tesla has opened a massive next-generation electric vehicle charging station in Las Vegas that combines the company’s core products into one sustainable energy ecosystem, fulfilling a vision CEO Elon Musk laid out nearly three years ago.

The new V3 Supercharger, which supports a peak rate of up to 250 kilowatts, is designed to dramatically cut charging times for its electric vehicles. Tesla unveiled its first V3 Supercharger in March at its Fremont, Calif. factory. A second V3 Supercharger is located in Hawthorne, Calif., near the Tesla Design Studio. Both of these locations, which were initially used as test sites, lack two key Tesla products.

This new location in Las Vegas is considered the first V3 Supercharger. It’s notable, and not just because of the size — there are 39 total chargers in all. This V3 Supercharger also uses Tesla solar panels and its Powerpack batteries to generate and store

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This is one way Toyota plans to shuttle people around during the 2020 Olympics


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When thousands of people converge in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the city’s infrastructure will be tested. Toyota is getting into the mix to handle some of the ways people will get around the city and the Olympics venue.

Toyota unveiled Thursday a new product called APM or Accessible People Mover that is designed for the Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The aim, according to Toyota, is for this vehicle to provide “mobility for all” and to solve the so-called “last mile” problem. In Toyota’s view, that means a vehicle that can transport as many people as possible, including elderly, pregnant women, families with young children and people with disabilities.

Toyota will deploy 200 of these vehicles, which will operate in and around the event. There will be two models — basic and relief — in the fleet. The basic version is a low-speed short-distance battery electric vehicle

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Toyota locks in more than a supply of EV batteries in deal with China’s CATL


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Toyota needs more than a secure and steady supply of batteries if it hopes to meet its ambitious global sales goal for electric vehicles. If it hopes to compete, the Japanese automaker will need better quality lithium-ion batteries that don’t squeeze profit margins.

The automaker is turning to Chinese EV battery supplier CATL for the answer. The companies announced Wednesday a wide-ranging partnership that covers the gamut of the battery ecosystem from developing new technology and locking in supply to improving product quality and reusing and recycling batteries.

Toyota said in June that it would partner with CATL, also known as Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd and EV maker BYD for battery procurement. This new agreement widens the scope of the relationship.

The companies said the partnership was borne out of a shared belief that a stable supply of batteries is critical and that battery technology must be further

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Peloton’s new automated vehicle system gives one driver control of two trucks


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The trucking world has been inundated in recent years by startups and large companies alike pitching an array of automated driving technology and business strategies, all aiming to solve the big three problems with freight: safety, fuel costs and driver shortages.

For Peloton Technology, a Silicon Valley company that launched in 2011, the answer doesn’t strip out the human driver. Instead, it wants to augment a human truck driver’s ability with automated vehicle technology. The company, which has raised $78 million from BP Ventures, Intel Capital, Volvo Group and a dozen other venture and strategic investors, wants to commercialize a partially automated vehicle platooning system that enables two trucks (and maybe a whole string of them) to operate at close following distances.

Peloton Technology already has a product called PlatoonPro that six customers are using in their freight operations. Now, the company has unveiled an advanced product called Level 4

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Ford unveils its latest pickup truck built for a smartphone


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Ford’s F-Series line of pickup trucks has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, which should make the automaker an expert of sorts in the truck-building business.

Ford unveiled Wednesday the latest addition to its pickup truck portfolio. This particular one, isn’t meant for driving. The automaker created a pickup truck emoji, which is debuted to celebrate World Emoji Day.

There currently is not a pickup truck emoji available. Although there are emojis for nearly every other kind of transport including airplanes, boats, cars and scooters.

Ford submitted a proposal in 2018 for a truck emoji to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that reviews
and approves proposals for new emojis. The truck emoji has been short-listed as a candidate for inclusion in a future version of Unicode. The final list of approved emoji won’t be revealed until early 2020.

 

Ford staff sifted through message boards, investigated

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Elon Musk is raising the price of Tesla’s “full self-driving” feature by another $1,000


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The price of a Tesla vehicle equipped with “full self-driving” is about to get more expensive, the second time in the past several months the company has increased fees for a feature that isn’t completely functional.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that the price of its full self-driving option will increase by $1,000 on August 16. Full self-driving, or FSD — a feature that Musk promises will one day deliver full autonomous driving capabilities — currently costs $6,000.

Musk has previously said the price of FSD will “increase substantially over time.” The first increase, which raised the price from $5,000 to $6,000, went into effect May 1. In previous tweets, Musk has said the total increase would be “something like” around the $3,000+ figure. This means buyers should

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The mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has been given a name


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The first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette will have a familiar name. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut as a “Stingray” when it’s revealed July 18.

If that sounds familiar, it is. Numerous Corvette model years have been dubbed Stingray, beginning in 1963 with the second generation of the sports car.

Stingray Symbol Rend onWhite

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut as a Stingray on July 18, 2019.

The Stingray nameplate ran until 1976. GM’s Chevrolet brand brought the name back in 2014 with the seventh generation Corvette. Chevrolet announced Monday that “Stingray name will live on.”

For weeks now, Chevrolet has been trickling out news and other teasers about its eighth generation Corvette. Earlier this month, the brand showed off the steering wheel of the next generation Corvette.

The leathered-wrapped steering wheel has the Corvette crossed flags logo as the centerpiece with two spokes. Controls are integrated into the wheel. The steering wheel

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Behold, the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette’s steering wheel


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The new 2020 C8 Corvette won’t be revealed for six more days. But to hold us over, Chevrolet is showing off the steering wheel of the eighth generation vehicle.

The photo, which Chevy teased Friday, is just the steering wheel. But there are hints and insights that even this single photo provides. For one, this new generation is unlike any of its predecessors.

The leathered-wrapped steering wheel has the Corvette crossed flags logo as the centerpiece with two spokes. Controls are integrated into the wheel. The steering wheel has a squared-off shape with a rather large opening, which suggests that designers wanted to provide a proper view to a large digital cluster. (We’ll find out July 18).

corvette eighth gen steering wheel

The steering wheel of the eighth generation of the Corvette C8.

Chevy also posted photos of all the previous generations of the Corvette. Here’s a photo of the seventh generation, which had a

corvette seventh gen steering wheel

Continue reading “Behold, the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette’s steering wheel”

Behold, the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette’s steering wheel


This post is by Kirsten Korosec from TechCrunch


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The new 2020 C8 Corvette won’t be revealed for six more days. But to hold us over, Chevrolet is showing off the steering wheel of the eighth generation vehicle.

The photo, which Chevy teased Friday, is just the steering wheel. But there are hints and insights that even this single photo provides. For one, this new generation is unlike any of its predecessors.

The leathered-wrapped steering wheel has the Corvette crossed flags logo as the centerpiece with two spokes. Controls are integrated into the wheel. The steering wheel has a squared-off shape with a rather large opening, which suggests that designers wanted to provide a proper view to a large digital cluster. (We’ll find out July 18).

corvette eighth gen steering wheel

The steering wheel of the eighth generation of the Corvette C8.

Chevy also posted photos of all the previous generations of the Corvette. Here’s a photo of the seventh generation, which had a

corvette seventh gen steering wheel

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Another state is looking at propelling people through tubes at 670 mph


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Another state — this time North Carolina — has been enticed by the idea of hyperloop, the futuristic and still theoretical transit platform that will shuttle people and packages at speeds of up to 670 miles per hour between cities.

Virgin Hyperloop One and North Carolina’s Regional Transportation Alliance announced Friday the beginning of “an exploration” into using hyperloop to connect the state’s research triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill.

There is still a long way to go before hyperloop or this particular route that Virgin Hyperloop One is exploring  becomes a reality. Theoretically, if this one were built, it would take less than 10 minutes to travel between Raleigh and Durham or Chapel Hill, according to a pre-feasibility study carried out by AECOM. That would be a lynchpin for the area, which is home to some of the country’s top companies, universities and healthcare centers.

How this plays

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VW invests $2.6 billion in self-driving startup Argo AI as part of Ford alliance


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VW Group is investing $2.6 billion in capital and assets into Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle startup that burst onto the scene two years ago with $1 billion in backing from Ford.

The deal, which has been rumored for months, is part of a broader alliance between VW Group and Ford that covers autonomous and electric vehicles.

The Argo piece of this tie-up involves more than just an injection of capital, in return for a stake in the startup and board seats. It turns Argo into a global company, or at least one with operations in U.S. and Europe. And it instantly boosts its staff by 40%.

The deal

VW has committed $1 billion in capital into the startup and also will purchase Argo AI shares from Ford for $500 million over three years. Ford will invest the remaining $600 million of its previously announced $1 billion cash

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This new autonomous startup has designed its delivery robot to conquer winter


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Refraction, a new autonomous delivery robot company that came out of stealth Wednesday at TC Sessions: Mobility, sees opportunity in areas most AV startups are avoiding: regions with the worst weather.

The company, founded by University of Michigan professors Matthew Johnson-Roberson and Ram Vasudevan, calls its REV-1 delivery robot the “Goldilocks of autonomous vehicles.”

The pair have a long history with autonomous vehicles. Johnson-Roberson got his start by participating in the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004 and stayed in academia researching and then teaching robotics. Vasudevan’s career had a stint at Ford working on control algorithms for autonomous operations on snow and ice. Both work together at University of Michigan’s Robotics Program.

The REV-1 is lightweight and low cost — there are no expensive lidar sensors on the vehicle — it operates in a bike lane and is designed to travel in rain or snow, Johnson-Roberson, co-founder and

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Inside the GM factory where Cruise’s autonomous Bolt is made


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TechCrunch took a field trip to GM’s Orion Assembly plant in Michigan to get an up close view of how this factory has evolved since the 1980s.

What we found at the plant that employs 1,100 people is an unusual sight: a batch of Cruise autonomous vehicles produced on the same line — and sandwiched in between — the Bolt electric vehicle and an internal combustion engine compact sedan, the Chevrolet Sonic.

This inside look at how autonomous vehicles are built is just one of the topics coming up at TC Sessions: Mobility event, which kicked off July 10 in San Jose. The inaugural event is digging to present and future of transportation from the onslaught of scooters and electric mobility to autonomous vehicle tech and even flying cars.

Inrix expands its digital rule book beyond self-driving cars to help cities with scooters, bikes and delivery bots


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Cities use paint and signs to communicate the rules of the road in a world where urban spaces must choreograph an infinite dance between pedestrians and personally owned cars, scooters and bicycles, ride-hailing services, delivery trucks, buses, rail, and someday autonomous vehicles.

It’s a crude method for increasingly modern cities that are trying to juggle all the ways people and packages get around. It also has limitations. Paint fades. Signs become obstructed. And companies deploying dockless scooters or autonomous vehicles have no easy way to access the rules of the road.

And that’s where Inrix, a global transportation analytics company, sees an opportunity. The company is taking a digital data platform that it developed for autonomous vehicles and expanded it to all forms of transportation.

The platform called Road Rules was designed to help cities create a digital record of their traffic rules and restrictions. Inrix said Wednesday that 11

Road Rules Dashboard Page

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BMW is making it easier to charge electric vehicles near America’s national parks


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BMW has finished a nearly two-year project to bring 100 electric vehicle charging stations to America’s national parks.

The automaker partnered in 2017 with several U.S. agencies, including the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Department of Energy, to donate 100 electric vehicle charging stations in and near to national parks throughout the United States.

More than 90 of the charging stations have been installed. The remaining few will open this month, the company said.

The effort is small compared to some of the broader infrastructure campaigns in the U.S. But it has the potential to ease the EV charging desert that exists on the open road and at national parks. And as more electric vehicles come on the market, the demand for these chargers will only increase.

The charging stations, which include Level 2 and DC fast chargers, are concentrated in popular areas where there’s a

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With global ambitions, VC firm Maniv Mobility raises $100 million from automakers, suppliers


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What started as an accident has turning into a venture firm with a global reach and backing from a some of the biggest corporations in the automotive and transportation industries.

Maniv Mobility, the Israel-based venture capitalist firm, said Tuesday it has closed a new $100 million fund backed by 12 corporations, including the venture arms of the Aptiv, BMW, Hyundai, Lear Corp, LG Electronics, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, Shell and Valeo.

Other investors that joined the round include Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, the venture arm of the German rail and logistics operator Deutsche Bahn, the Israeli car importer Carasso Motors and numerous individuals, family offices and institutional investors, according to Maniv.

The company officially considers 2016 its launch date. Although founder and managing director Michael Granoff and Maniv partner Olaf Sakkers were making smaller angel investments back in 2015. The VC began raising its first fund, which ended up at $44

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Tesla will not “refresh” its Model S or Model X electric vehicles


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Tesla owners and customers hoping for a refreshed Model S or Model X are going to be waiting indefinitely. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday night that there will be no “refreshed” Model X or Model S coming.

In automotive speak, refreshed typically means small revisions to a vehicle model that extend beyond the typical yearly updates made by manufacturers. A refresh is not a major redesign, although there’s often a noticeable change to the vehicle model.

The company will make minor ongoing changes to the luxury electric sedan and sport utility vehicle, Musk said. One recent example is Tesla has taken the Model 3 rear drive unit as the front drive unit in the S and X. That change went into production three months ago, Musk said in the tweet.

TC Sessions: Mobility: Three live onstage demos that shouldn’t be missed


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TechCrunch Sessions is heading to San Jose on July 10 — just a few days from now — to dig into the future (and present) of transportation.

The agenda at TC Sessions: Mobility is packed with startups and giants in the tech industry. TechCrunch has brought together some of the best and brightest minds working on autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and electric vehicles, including Dmitri Dolgov at Waymo, Karl Iagnemma of Aptiv, Seleta Reynolds of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Ford Motor CTO Ken WashingtonKatie DeWitt of Scoot and Argo AI’s chief security officer, Summer Craze Fowler.

It wouldn’t be a TechCrunch Sessions without an up-close look and demonstration of the tech. Alongside the speakers, TC Sessions: Mobility will have several demos, including the unveiling of one startup currently in stealth.

The demos will begin with Holoride, the startup that spun out of Audi that aims

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Where May Mobility’s self-driving shuttles might show up next


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May Mobility might be operating low-speed self-driving shuttles in three U.S. cities, but its founders don’t view this as just another startup racing to deploy autonomous vehicle technology.

They describe the Ann Arbor-based company as a transportation service provider. As May Moblility’s co-founder and COO Alisyn Malek told TechCrunch, they’re in the “business of moving people.” Autonomous vehicle technology is just the “killer feature” to help them do that. 

TechCrunch recently spent the day with May Mobility in Detroit, where it first launched, to get a closer look at its operations, learn where it might be headed next and why companies in the industry are starting to back off previously ambitious timelines.

Malek will elaborate on what markets are most appealing to May Mobility while on stage at TC Sessions: Mobility on July 10 in San Jose. Malek will join Lia Theodosiou-Pisanelli, head of partner product

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