DJI’s new $439 Ronin gimbal is made for mirrorless cameras


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DJI has announced a successor to its Ronin S handheld gimbal that’s smaller, lighter, and cheaper, starting at $439 and available today. It’s called the Ronin SC, with the “c” standing for “compact,” and it’s more tailor-made for mirrorless cameras than its predecessor.

The Ronin SC largely shares the design of its predecessor, with a single stalk that leads up to a big 3-axis gimbal, all made of magnesium, steel, aluminum, and composite plastic. There’s a joystick and some buttons, which let the user change how those gimbals move (or control the movement directly). And this time around there are lock switches on each arm of the gimbal, which not only will help users store the Ronin with less chaos, but also should make it easier to…

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Tesla to charge $1,000 more for ‘full self-driving’ Autopilot package in August


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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Tesla will increase the price of the “full self-driving” version of its Autopilot driver assistance system by around $1,000 starting August 16th, according to CEO Elon Musk. The higher-tier package currently costs $6,000 if customers choose the option when buying a car, but Tesla charges $8,000 if they decide to upgrade after taking delivery. It’s not clear if Musk was referring to increasing both those price tags, and Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla brought back the “full self-driving” package earlier this year after shelving the option in late 2018 amid criticism that the company was overselling the autonomy of its vehicles. While Tesla sells the package under the name “full self-driving,” it should be…

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Trump’s vehicle emissions rollback is dicey, so he’s lowering the fine for guzzling gas


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President Trump’s administration has fought to roll back Obama-era vehicle emissions standards since his inauguration, and a final version of the looser rules is expected to be revealed later this summer. But since the rollback faces a number of obstacles — likely including a long, drawn-out battle in the court system that could ultimately kneecap the effort — the administration has found another way to discourage automakers from increasing the fuel efficiency of their vehicles: lower the fines for missing the targets.

News dropped late Friday night that Trump wants the fines to revert back so that automakers only pay $5.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon of fuel above federal standards that new cars consume — a price set in 1997,…

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Trump’s vehicle emissions rollback is dicey, so he’s lowering the fine for guzzling gas


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President Trump’s administration has fought to roll back Obama-era vehicle emissions standards since his inauguration, and a final version of the looser rules is expected to be revealed later this summer. But since the rollback faces a number of obstacles — likely including a long, drawn-out battle in the court system that could ultimately kneecap the effort — the administration has found another way to discourage automakers from increasing the fuel efficiency of their vehicles: lower the fines for missing the targets.

News dropped late Friday night that Trump wants the fines to revert back so that automakers only pay $5.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon of fuel above federal standards that new cars consume — a price set in 1997,…

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Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire is more electric motorcycle than I’ll ever need


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There’s not a lot I can tell you from the 20 minutes I spent riding Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle this weekend at the Formula E race in Brooklyn, New York. One thing I can tell you, though, is it’s certainly more electric motorcycle than I’d ever need.

That may not be the case for you, and if you have any interest, you should try to ride one at a dealer when they arrive later this year. There’s a very good chance that my needs and desires are much different from yours. For instance, I have a motorcycle license, but I don’t own a bike. I enjoy riding motorcycles and motor scooters (especially electric ones) around New York City, but I rarely leave the city with them. I simply don’t spend a lot of time on two-wheelers, and so…

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United cancels 5,000 more Boeing 737 Max flights through October


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United Airlines has extended its cancellation of Boeing 737 Max flights until at least November 3rd, the company announced on Friday, which will affect 5,000 flights through September and October.

The airline had previously extended cancellations through September 3rd, following the news that the Federal Aviation Administration had discovered a new flaw in the flight software of Boeing’s 737 Max plane — one that was different from the flaw that led to two deadly crashes that claimed 346 lives. Boeing’s CEO recently acknowledged that the company needs more time to fix this new flaw and that the FAA will have to approve the fix before it recertifies the plane.

Southwest Airlines, which uses more 737 Max planes than its US competitors,…

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Self-driving shuttle crashed in Las Vegas because manual controls were locked away


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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has wrapped up a more than year-long investigation into a low-speed crash between a self-driving shuttle and a delivery truck in Las Vegas on November 8th, 2017. The agency determined two main probable causes for the accident: the truck driver’s assumption that the shuttle would move to avoid him, and that the safety operator inside the shuttle didn’t have direct access to the manual override controls.

That the truck driver was somewhat to blame jives with the immediate descriptions of the crash, which happened on the shuttle’s first day of operation. On that day, a Las Vegas government official described the truck grazing the stopped shuttle as it backed into an alley, which is ultimately…

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Chinese EV startup Seres halts US launch, lays off 90 people in Silicon Valley


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Seres, the Chinese EV startup formerly known as SF Motors, is laying off 90 people in its Silicon Valley office, the company announced in a staff meeting held earlier today. The US launch of its first electric SUV, the SF5, is also now on hold, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The Verge. It had originally planned to make and sell its electric SUVs in both China and the US, with a release slated for later this year.

Around 300 people worked in the Silicon Valley office prior to the layoffs, according to a former employee who was granted anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement with the company. The layoffs affect multiple parts of the company, including sales, marketing, IT, HR, legal, operations, and design,…

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Former Tesla employee admits uploading Autopilot source code to his iCloud


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Guangzhi Cao, a former engineer at Tesla, admitted in a court filing this week that he uploaded zip files containing Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account in late 2018 while still working for the company. Tesla sued Cao earlier this year for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to Autopilot and bringing them to Chinese EV startup Xiaopeng Motors, also known as Xmotors or XPeng, which is backed by tech giant Alibaba.

Cao denied stealing sensitive information from the automaker in the same filing. His legal team argued he “made extensive efforts to delete and/or remove any such Tesla files prior to his separation from Tesla.” Cao is now the “head of perception” at XPeng, where he is “[d]eveloping and delivering…

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The first electric Mini helps explain why BMW’s CEO just quit


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BMW has unveiled the first all-electric Mini Cooper. Coming in early 2020, the car will start at around $35,000 and travel 235 kilometers (146 miles) per charge. Compared to similarly priced EVs on the road now with more than 200 miles of range, like the Kona Electric or the Tesla Model 3, the Mini’s mileage figure looks paltry. It will only look worse next year as more capable electric cars hit the road, and the Mini gets a more realistic EPA mileage rating. It’s a curious thing to see from a company that was early to electric cars, and it helps explain why BMW’s CEO Harald Krueger resigned last week.

Krueger was BMW’s CEO for four years, coming in not long after the company’s i3 electric crossover SUV hit the market. But in a message…

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Formula E’s electric off-road SUV is an absolute unit


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Formula E, the first global all-electric racing series, has unveiled the racecar that will run in its new upcoming off-road sister sport, “Extreme E.” Dubbed Odyssey 21, the all-electric SUV made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK this weekend. It has even been making runs up the famous Goodwood hill, and while it’s still just a prototype, one thing is clear: it’s an absolute unit.

I wouldn’t say that just to say it, either. The wheels alone measure 940mm (37 inches!) in diameter, according to Extreme E’s organizers. The SUV’s body is 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) wide, 1.9 meters (6.2 feet) tall, 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) long, and the whole thing weighs a whopping 1,650 kilograms (3,638 pounds).

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Volkswagen’s electric racecar breaks 20-year-old Goodwood hill climb record


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The Volkswagen I.D. R electric racecar just broke a 20-year-old record at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb. Driven by Romain Dumas, the I.D. R made the climb on Friday in just 41.18 seconds, which is a half-second clear of former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld’s hairy 41.6-second run all the way back in 1999.

The record-breaking performance comes just one month after Dumas smashed the electric vehicle record at Germany’s famous Nürburgring in the 680-horsepower I.D. R, taking the title previously held by the EP9 supercar built by Chinese EV startup NIO. Dumas also holds the record for the fastest run up Pikes Peak, which is the event for which Volkswagen built the I.D. R in the first place.

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Jaguar’s next EV will be an electric XJ sedan


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Jaguar Land Rover’s second all-electric car will be a new version of its XJ sedan, the company said on Friday. The plan to make an electric XJ was announced as part of a £1 billion ($1.25 billion) investment the company will make to retool its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich in the UK ahead of a greater push into electric vehicles.

The new electric XJ will be developed by the same team that created the I-Pace, Jaguar’s first EV, which was released in 2018. (The I-Pace is currently built by a contract manufacturer in Austria.) Jaguar Land Rover says it will make a “new range” of electrified vehicles at the revamped UK plant, and all models from 2020 onward will have electric or hybrid options. But the company didn’t offer any more…

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Boeing announces $100 million fund for families of 737 Max crash victims


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Boeing is starting a $100 million fund for the families and communities of the people who died in the two 737 Max crashes since last October. The company says it will partner with local governments and nonprofit organizations, and that the funds will “support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities.”

The $100 million in funding will be made available over “multiple years,” says Boeing, which generated $101 billion in revenue last year. The company says it will release more information in the “near future.” Boeing also says its employees will be able to make donations to the fund, which the company will match through December 31st, 2019.

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Startup’s plan to deliver baby in space halted over ‘serious ethical, safety and medical concerns’


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Netherlands startup SpaceLife Origin’s mission to become the “first company that will make human reproduction in space safely possible” has been put on pause. CEO Kees Mulder says serious “ethical, safety and medical concerns” with two of SpaceLife Origin’s planned missions have caused him to pull back and reevaluate the idea, which was announced in October. He also says the time frame and business model for those missions are “not realistic,” and tells The Verge the company is “on hold.”

Mulder’s statements were posted to SpaceLife Origin’s website on June 20th, 2019, and they have replaced all other content on the website. Mulder also wrote that, “due to a serious and unrepairable breach of trust,” he has “ended [his] relationship”…

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Tesla rebounds from bad first quarter by setting new record for deliveries


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After a slow start to the year, Tesla announced Tuesday that it made and delivered a record number of cars in the second quarter of 2019. The electric automaker produced 87,048 vehicles in the quarter, and delivered “approximately 95,200,” after having finished the first quarter of the year with some 10,000 cars listed as “in transit.”

Those numbers were above the expectations of industry analysts, many of whom expected closer to 91,000 deliveries this past quarter. Tesla’s previous best quarter came at the end of 2018, amid the company’s mad push to meet its own sky-high goals.

News of Tesla’s quarterly performance comes at a time where Tesla lost three high-ranking executives in the span of a week. Peter Hochholdinger, one of the…

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EV startup Rivian has poached dozens from Ford, McLaren, Tesla, and Faraday Future


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Since coming out of stealth mode last year, Michigan-based EV startup Rivian has announced big investments from Amazon and Ford. At the same time, the startup has more than doubled in size since last spring, and now employs 750 people. The startup has hired dozens of employees from Ford, McLaren, and Tesla, according to hundreds of LinkedIn profiles viewed by The Verge, though the biggest contributor is a fizzling would-be rival, Faraday Future. Rivian has hired about 50 former Faraday Future employees, including at least 34 since the struggling startup put workers on furlough late last year.

In addition, The Verge has learned Rivian recently appointed its first chief technology officer: Mike Bell, a longtime Apple VP who helped bring…

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Madrid’s mayor halts low-emissions zone that reduced traffic and pollution


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Madrid’s new mayor has halted the city’s congestion pricing program, despite early evidence that it eased traffic and reduced pollution after going into effect last November. It’s the first major European city to reverse the creation of a low-emissions zone, an idea that has become more popular in recent years as the European Union looks to enforce new clean air regulations across the continent. The move sparked thousands of citizens to protest in the city’s streets this past weekend.

The previous mayor of Madrid installed the low-emissions zone in the downtown area known as Madrid Central late last year. Using security cameras, the city’s government fined offending drivers in high-emissions vehicles 90 euros, or about $102, for entering…

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BMW executive calls EVs ‘overhyped’ at company event about EVs


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BMW executive and board member Klaus Fröhlich told reporters this week that the shift to cars powered by electricity is “overhyped,” and said that there is “no” consumer demand for them. Curiously, Fröhlich made these comments at an event where BMW proudly announced it will accelerate plans to release 25 cars that are partially or fully electric, moving the timeline up two years from 2025 to 2023.

Fröhlich said all-electric vehicles “cost more in terms of raw materials for batteries” than gas or hybrid cars, and added that those prices “could eventually worsen as demand for these raw materials increases.” He also claimed that, broadly, there are “regulator requests for [all-electric vehicles], but no customer requests.” Fröhlich said…

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