Uber has admitted that back in 2016, two hackers stole email address and phone numbers of Uber passengers as well as the license plates from US drivers. The ridesharing giant says that no credit card information, location data, or social security information was stolen.
Uber defended the attack by paying the hackers $100,000 to delete the data and brush it under the rug. Bloomberg reports: "Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers". Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg: "None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it. We are changing the way we do business".
Travis Kalanick, Uber co-founder and former CEO knew of the attacks last year, he said: "Here's how the hack went down: Two attackers accessed a private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers and then used login credentials they obtained there to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account that handled computing tasks for the company. From there, the hackers discovered an archive of rider and driver information. Later, they emailed Uber asking for money, according to the company".
Uber has just announced a big new deal with Volvo, with the ridesharing giant buying 24,000 self-driving cars to add to its network. The 24,000 cars will be bigger SUVs, with the Volvo's flagship 100 XC90 SUV with the latest in autonomous driving technology.
Volvo's flagship 100 XC90 SUV costs $46,000 and will be delivered to US owners between 2019-2021, which is a move that sees Uber really step up into the self-driving ridesharing game, as well as boosting Volvo's sales and exposure in the world. Volvo engineers have been working with Uber on getting a baseline vehicle with autonomous technology built-in, giving Uber the ability to augment self-driving technology as it needs. Volvo will be able to use these cars in its own fleet in the future, giving both companies a leg-up into the autonomous car market.
The two companies reached a $300 million deal in 2016, which saw the two companies collaborating on car designs, financing, and autonomous car tech. Volvo needed to change quite a bit within the car and the manufacturing of the car itself, as autonomous cars need totally different braking and steering.
Uber has provided a new update to their ridesharing app that will make your Uber experience even better, for both the passenger and the driver. The new update is called Live Location, which will see Uber sharing your exact location with drivers in more detail, alongside the expansion of Beacons.
During busy times it can be hard for Uber drivers to find their passengers, and vica versa - but not with the new Live Location feature. Uber users have to turn on the feature in their app by tapping the gray icon in the bottom right hand side of the app. This will share your location in real-time, but you can disable it if you don't want the Uber driver having your location in real-time.
Uber explains: "When you're at the mall, airports, and other busy locations, it can be challenging for you and your driver to find one another. With live location sharing, your driver can see where you're located in relation to your pickup spot. That way, your driver knows you're right there - or walking around the corner - to meet them. To turn on "live location" tap the grey icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. When your icon is blue, you're sharing your location. You can change this at any time by tapping the icon on your map, or going to your privacy settings in app".
Tesla blew the world away with the announcement and reveal of their new Semi electric truck, with the first customer pre-order coming in from Canadian grocery chain, Loblaws.
Loblaws ordered 25 of Tesla's new Semi electric trucks, with 15 of them coming earlier to test, all without Tesla stating a price of their new Semi truck. Tesla's first sale coming from Canada is big deal for the American company, but it's a big one. These trucks will surely be some of the highest-priced trucks in the industry, but they seem to be worth it.
Especially when you consider that Loblaws has previously committed to a huge 30% reduction in its total carbon footprint by 2030, so the new electric trucks will be a very large party of that. Considering there's $200,000 in promised fuel savings every 1 million miles, Tesla's new Semi electric truck could change companies' carbon footprint in a very big way, all within a decade.
Tesla has officially unveiled its electric semi truck, something that goes by the simple name of Tesla Semi. The new Tesla Semi truck is a super-tall big rig that has Tesla's infamous minimalistic design. The side mirrors are the only thing on the Tesla Semi that protrude from the side of it, alongside the wing-like sensor array on the rear of the truck.
Tesla CEO and real-life Tony Stark, Elon Musk said that Tesla Semi has been "designed like a bullet".
Tesla Semi is capable of a 500-mile range, with a ton of built-in technology like Enhanced Autopilot. There are plenty of the usual big rig-specific features like jackknifing prevention, sensors for blind-spot detection and data logging for fleet management. Tesla has said that its new Semi truck will bne going into production in 2019, which isn't too far away - but with giants like Toyota and others starting in the electric truck business, Tesla needs to nail it quickly.
The new Semi truck will debut alongside Tesla's new super-fast charger, which will provide 400 miles of range in 30 minutes and is called Megacharger. Comparing this to other electric trucks like Daimler's E-Fuso Vision One which can only take a 220-mile trip, Tesla has it in the bag with Semi, and even more so when you take into consideration the super-fast Megachargers.
Uber doesn't know when to stop, so now that the roads have been dominated the ridesharing giant is looking to the skies with its latest partnership with NASA for self-flying transportation. Welcome to uberAIR.
Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden explains: "So far we've been focused on ground-based transportation. For us, the natural next step was flight". Flying vehicles would be better for the environment, with uberAIR not just for the 1% either, the company will be selling its uberAIR service at the same price as UberX at launch.
The new uberAIR service uses vehicles called Electric Vertical Take-Off And Landing Vehicles, or EVTOL for short. Uber Aircraft Systems boss Mark Moore explains: "They'll fundamentally change how are cities function and how we will live in them". Another Uber executive talked about how long it'll be until we get uberAIR into the skies, where he said: "It's very much the early morning on day one of this adventure".
Uber itself has a little to say about uberAIR, adding: "On-demand aviation has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes. Uber is close to the commute pain that citizens in cities around the world feel. We view helping to solve this problem as core to our mission and our commitment to our rider base. Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground".
Las Vegas and AAA have teamed for a 12-month trial of self-driving shuttles in Las Vegas, starting on November 8 with one of Navya's shuttle doing a half-mile circuit in the downtown Fremont East district.
The self-driving shuttle will make three stops each way, while 'driving' at speeds of 10-15MPH. The city of Las Vegas have installed wireless sensors into traffic signals, which will help the self-driving shuttle coordinate its route as its driving on the streets.
AAA have promised to donate $1 to the Las Vegas Victim's Fund for every passenger, with a minimum $100,000 pledge, which will incentive people to jump on-board.
NVIDIA is always my first CES booking, with the company announcing their CES 2018 press conference date in a new "Save the Date" email that will see the company hosting their presser at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, with the reception starting at 7PM and the press conference kicking off between 8PM and 9:30PM.
NVIDIA says "We hope you can attend NVIDIA's 2018 CES press conference, where we'll showcase amazing new technology innovations on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, at 8-9:30 pm (PT). A reception with food and drinks will start at 7 pm, at the MGM Grand Conference Center located in the back of the MGM Hotel".
We should expect some new announcements in the world of self-driving car technologies, where NVIDIA has used previous CES press conferences to announce DrivePX, Tegra, and other car-related technologies. NVIDIA won't announce a new graphics card during CES as it has its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) where it will most likely unveil its new Volta-based GeForce cards. We could see some surprises in the Shield department of course, where I'm still expecting NVIDIA to unveil their own VR or AR headset in the Shield family, eventually.
With all of the talk of the largest lithium-ion battery facility in the world being built in my home town of South Australia, news of LG building the largest electric vehicle battery production facility in Europe is of just as large importance.
LG has announced news of a new car battery facotry in Poland, a first of its kind in Europe, that will help the growing demand of batteries by electric vehicle makers. VP of LG Chem, Chang-Beom Kang, said: "The company has chosen Poland as the most competitive location for production to satisfy the needs of European and global car producers".
The new facility will cost $1.63 billion, with LG about to break ground in the city of Wroclaw, which is awfully close to Germany, which is a major car manufacturing hub in Europe. LG Chem plans to manufacture up to 100,000 electric vehicle batteries in 2018, while they create 2500 people in the process. The new EV battery factory will also include an R&D center, too.
Tesla isn't far away from changing yet another industry, with the company now finishing off its first electric semi-truck prototype. Tesla Motors and SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk confirmed the news over Twitter.
The company did plan on showing off the world's first electric semi-truck at a media event later this month, but Musk has confirmed the unveiling event has been pushed back to November 16. Musk took to Twitter to explain, where he said: "diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks and increase battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas".
Musk also confirmed that Tesla has been sending out updated invites to the media saying that the "first Tesla Truck prototype is completed". Musk continued his Twitter rampage, saying that the "specs are better than anything I've seen reported so far". Musk also said that the engineering and design teams have done amazing work on the electric truck, adding that their work "is aces" and that "other needs are greater right now".