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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Tesla Powers Up Down Under

Oi! That new battery’s got a bit of a Musk about it. Australia, the world’s largest coal exporter, is now also home to the world’s biggest battery for wind and solar energy. Tesla, looking to show its dual capabilities as an automotive company and as an energy company, completed the US football field-sized project ahead of schedule, following Elon Musk’s bold promises to bring the technology to South Australia several months ago via Twitter. The battery is capable of powering 30,000 homes and is hoped to be a solution for a blackout-prone region that otherwise favors fossil fuels.

AI Researchers Scramble to Comprehend Their Creation

Did none of these developers read a cautionary tale called Frankenstein in school? The artificial intelligence boom is upon us, but researchers across numerous disciplines are scrambling to fully comprehend AI’s abilities and anticipated impacts across the economy. Recent and ongoing research suggest that while AI is further behind than the public perceives it to be, it will likely do more in more places than we expect, causing a larger and faster evolution than similarly powerful technologies and innovations have in the past.

Tesla's Semi and Roadster impress, but 'production hell' raises doubts about follow-through

Elon Musk’s reveal of Tesla Inc.’s electric Semi truck and Roadster sports car helped push Tesla’s stock up nearly 4%, but some analysts remained skeptical of the company’s ability to deliver on its promises. Heading into Thursday’s event, Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne said, many investors hoped to hear about the electric automaker’s ability to emerge from the “production hell” delays engulfing its Model 3 compact sedan. But Thursday’s event “offered no new nuggets of information to ease these investor concerns,” Osborne said. “In fact, [it] raised more questions than answers."

Tesla flying car? Elon Musk teases 'special upgrade' of Roadster supercar

Want to take your Tesla for a joyride ... through the air? In a tease that would be utterly ludicrous if it had come from practically anyone else, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted Sunday that a "special upgrade" of the company's new Roadster supercar may be capable of briefly flying. The first units of the Tesla Roadster, which Musk revealed Thursday at an event in California, are supposed to arrive in 2020 at a price of $250,000. He had already promised that the car would be the fastest production car of all time, featuring a top speed of more than 250 miles per hour.

Uber one step closer to its self-driving ride-hailing network once the technology is production-ready

Uber has announced a new deal with Volvo. Under the agreement, Uber plans to purchase as many as 24,000 self-driving Volvos once the technology is production-ready, putting the vehicles into its extensive ride-hailing network. “Everything we’re doing right now is about building autonomous vehicles at scale,” Jeff Miller, Uber’s head of automotive alliances, said in an interview. “We don’t know exactly how an autonomous world will look. But we know that we want to be the platform that’s at the center of it, from a ride-sharing standpoint.”

Autonomous cars likely to transport elderly, children in future

Self-driving cars will change millions of people’s lives for the better by providing independence and mobility to those who can’t drive because of physical limitations or age. The technology will allow more people to live on their own terms and participate in what the most of us consider everyday life. “Autonomy promises better mobility and safety for more people at a lower cost,” retired General Motors chief of R&D and strategic planning Larry Burns writes in the first issue of Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, a new publication by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Self-Driving Trucks May Be Closer Than They Appear

Trucks will someday drive themselves out of warehouses and cruise down freeways without the aid of humans or even a driver’s cab — about that there seems little disagreement. The question is how soon that day gets here. And while the answers vary — technologists, not surprisingly, are more bullish than truckers — billions of dollars and a growing parade of companies, from tiny start-ups to the country’s biggest trucking operations, are betting it will be here sooner than most people think.

Uber’s New Kid on the Block

All eyes are on incoming Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and the road ahead for the company. In some of his first words to the company, he said, "this company has to change. What got us here is not what's going to get us to the next level." Some of the items at the top of Khosrowshahi’s to-do list including bringing order to the company’s board, using the core ride-hailing business to “pay the bills,” evaluating “far-out” initiatives, and going public. 

Apple Auto Engineers Go for the Forbidden Fruit

Apple is no longer planning to build its own vehicle, but some of its engineers still are. 17 auto engineers who specialize in elements present in both traditional and autonomous vehicles have left the Fruit for Zoox, a self-driving car start-up developing its own car for a fleet of vehicles. The Silicon Valley rival has been building its team over the past several months and is valued at more than $1 billion.

A Who’s Who of Who Isn’t Going to Build Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous cars originally had everyone who’s anyone diving in, but now Silicon Valley’s top companies are stepping back to see who will actually swim. Alphabet’s Waymo, Apple, and Uber are all companies that stepping back from building the actual vehicle, preferring to focus on the technology instead. With the most profitable technology company in the world, Apple, drawing the line at building cars, it looks like Tesla or the likes of Toyota, Ford, and GM need to put the tech on four wheels. Manufacturers, start your engines.