General Motors is playing ahead of the game with its latest expansion into the "freelance mobility economy" with Maven Gig, which lets you rent a vehicle at even a week at a time, and then use it to be an Uber, Lyft, Instacart, Rodie, or GrubHub driver.
The vehicle you get for $229 per week is the Chevy Bolt, an electric vehicle that will let people "get their side hustle on", but don't own a car - I'm loving the side hustle angle, it's very Gary V. GM adds that 43% of America's workforce will be "made up of workers who freelance".
Maven is already providing vehicles for ride sharing use in 11 areas, which cover 9.3 million miles. GM will be able to get more Bolt's onto the roads, and people behind Chevy wheels - with Maven Gig launching in San Diego immediately, and slowly into San Francisco and LA by the end of the year.
Uber is spiraling out of control right now, with the company in massive multiverse troubles, and now Google's parent company Alphabet suing Uber.
Alphabet claims that Uber stole propreitary self-driving car technology from Google's exciting Waymo project, with Alphabet's lawyers claiming that Uber created the original LLC, Ottomotto company as a "diversionary tactic and that Uber and Otto executives planned to acquire the company all along", reports Engadget.
Waymo lawyers showed stock awards, timelines and emails to help their claim that Uber created a company to steal self-driving tech secrets. Former Waymo executive Anthony Levandowski is in the center of this battle, as he founded Otto and is now working at Uber.
At the recent TED conference in Vancouver, Elon Musk gave us some interesting insights into the future of transportation. He gave us the first look at how The Boring Company's tunnels might work, but he also spoke about the future of Tesla's autonomous cars.
Tesla's autonomous driving features are ahead of production cars, and its Autopilot can be classified as somewhere between levels 2 and 3 under the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) five levels of vehicle automation. At this level, the car can act autonomously but requires the full attention of the driver, who must be prepared to take control at a moment's notice.
Elon Musk said that he believes that true level 5 autonomy is about 2 years away. He pointed out that the "full self-driving capability" option on the second generation Autopilot will enable level 5 autonomous driving, but that depends on software validation and regulations.
"November or December of this year, we should be able to go from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey," said Musk.
Elon Musk's Gigafactories could change the world. In Leonardo DiCaprio's National Geographic documentary Before The Flood, Musk explains that the Gigafactory isn't built just to manufacture lithium-ion batteries, but he hopes is will serve as a template for how others could contribute to converting the world to clean energy.
He also said that they did a calculation to see what would it take to transition the entire world to sustainable energy. According to him, we would need 100 Gigafactories.
Of course, Musk has no intention of building those factories himself. He hopes to encourage others to follow his path and start building factories that would have a huge impact on the well-being of our planet.
But while we are waiting for others to step in, Musk has plans for probably four more Gigafactories this year. As you are probably aware, the first Gigafactory has been built in Nevada. Last year, Musk confirmed that he plans to choose a location for Gigafactory 2 in Europe.
Samsung has received approval to test their self-driving cars on the public roads in South Korea.
According to The Korea Herald, Korea's Land Ministry has signed the approval which will allow Samsung to test the self-driving cars on actual roads. Until now, they have only tested their vehicles on a modified racetrack.
Not much is known about Samsung's self-driving cars, but the same report describes them as a "commercialized Hyundai vehicle equipped with the latest cameras and sensors."
Tesla might be shaking up the electric semi-truck market with its own vehicle soon, with the company set to reveal its semi-truck in September - but before then, Elon Musk has teased Tesla's upcoming electric truck.
Musk teased a shadowy first look of the electric truck during his TED talk on April 28, with Musk referring to Tesla's upcoming vehicle as a "spry truck" that you can drive around like a sports car. Musk added that he's even driven one before - what a job, eh?
We should expect a proper unveiling in September, and what I'm sure will be multiple teases from Musk and Tesla between now and then.
If you have ever been to Los Angeles, you can understand how a person can get frustrated with the traffic there. And if you are Elon Musk, you are going to do something about it.
Musk recently started a new project named The Boring Company, which will hopefully, solve the problem of traffic in LA, and possibly later in other cities. Elon's idea is to build tunnels underneath the city which would allow you to skip the traffic and get from point A to point B much faster.
At a recent TED conference in Vancouver, Musk showed a video of his futuristic underground transportation tunnels. The video shows a Tesla car getting on a platform called a car skate which then lowers into the underground tunnel. The car then travels at a speed of up to 130 mph (around 210 km/h) in a single vehicle lane. Other cars can also be seen traveling through the tunnel in the same and opposite direction.
Henrik Fisker wants to forget all about its past failures and start a new page. He launched a new company, Fisker Inc. last year, previously known as Fisker Automotive.
Fisker Automotive is related to what some call the biggest failure in the history of electric cars. In 2011 they announced the Fisker Karma, a $108,000 electric car, that turned out to have a pretty bad karma... The car was recalled multiple times due to many issues and the entire fiasco ended with the company filing for bankruptcy.
Given the history, Fisker's decision to come back to the electric car market is brave. Last year, Fisker announced that they are working on a new electric car - EMotion.
Now, the company has announced that the car is almost ready and that they will unveil it on August 17th.
Researchers and engineers are using Rockstar Games' huge open-world Grand Theft Auto V game to help autonomous cars drive better.
Anyone who's played GTA V knows the world is bristling with AI drivers who react and interact with the environment, and there's tons of randomized events that mimic real-world happenstance. Key researchers are using GTA V-derived code to power simulations and test scenarios to test the software that runs autonomous vehicles--in a sense the vehicles are "playing" the games, learning from interactions within the world itself, and more importantly the mistakes they make. This generates tons of data for the vehicle's "brains" to learn from, and gives engineers valuable information in the process.
The vehicle's machine-learning algorithms are put through their paces via simulations, which act as the other half of testing outside of the cars testing their skills on actual roads. With its myriad of cars, people, and dynamic physics-filled sandbox GTA V is the perfect virtual testing ground for driverless cars to learn from. Researchers at Intel Labs and Darmstadt started using GTA V for autonomous vehicle testing last year, and now other teams have picked up on it.
Tesla Motors has issued a voluntary global recall for some Model S and Model X cars. In a statement, the company said that around 5% of the 53,000 vehicles built from February to October 2016 were affected, but all of those cars are being recalled.
A potential manufacturing issue with the electric parking brakes installed on certain Model S and Model X vehicles could prevent the parking brake from releasing. Tesla determined that around 53,000 vehicles may contain a small gear that could have been manufactured improperly by their third-party supplier.
"If this gear were to break, the parking brake would continue to keep the car from moving, but the parking brake would then be stuck in place," said Tesla's spokesperson in an official statement.
The company says that because of the design of the gear it is difficult to tell exactly which vehicles are affected, which is the reason why all the cars manufactured from February to October 2016 are being recalled.