Google seems to be well and truly done with Uber, with new rumors from Bloomberg that its parent company Alphabet, are preparing a massive $1 billion into Uber's main competitor: Lyft.
Uber is currently in the process of trying to secure more funding, with Lyft set to expand into Canada - which would be its first international expansion. Google's relationship with Uber has continued its downward spiral for a while now, with Google pumping $258 million into Uber - and is now suing the ride-sharing giant as Uber allegedly stole thousands of plans from Google's self-driving company, Waymo.
The Japanese Cartivator project aims to have a big spectacle ready for the 2020 Olympic Games: a real flying car.
Many old sci-fi films predicted the 21st Century would give rise to amazing inventions, including a Jetson's-like flying car. While our day-to-day transit is mostly earthbound, the Cartivator project aims to make those sci-fi dreams a reality. The project, which is backed by Toyota, sees a number of key Japanese engineers working on the Skydrive, a prototype flying concept car that's been in development since 2012.
According to reports from Nikkei Asian Review, the engineers hope to have the Skydrive flying car ready for the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, Japan. To accelerate the project the team is developing a two new bases of operation in Tokyo and Toyota City, and Fujitsu will also lend efforts to the project. If the engineers are successful, the 2020 Olympic Games will be a true milestone in human history.
Tesla is weeks away from showing off their new electric semi-truck, with Elon Musk tweeting that there will be an unveiling event on October 26 in Hawthorne, CA.
Musk promises that the Tesla semi truck is "worth seeing this beast in person" and that it's "unreal". Musk said last year as part of his Master Plan, Part Deux that Tesla's new electric semi truck will "deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate".
All eyes are on Tesla for their upcoming electric semi truck on October 26.
I don't think there's a person on this planet that isn't aware of the current hurricanes swirling around in the Atlantic Ocean, but Tesla has stepped up for people escaping Florida in their electric cars by unlocking battery capacity.
Tesla has been unlocking the full battery pack of their current Model S and Model X vehicles, in both 60 and 60D vairants, from their stock 60 kWh to the larger 75 kWh. Tesla has software locked their batteries to 60 kWh, but unlocked the Model S/X 60/60D vehicles to their full 75 kWh capacity for those stuck in Florida.
This provides Tesla owners with an extra 30-40 miles of range for free, so they can drive out of Hurricane Irma. Tesla will continue keeping the full 75 kWh battery unlock through to September 16.
Tesla's Gigafactory 1 in Nevada has expanded significantly over the last year. We recently saw a video how the factory has grown in a year.
A new video has appeared on YouTube showing that the factory is coming along great with lots of activity on site. Musk recently said that Tesla Motors plans to manufacture 100 Model 3 vehicles in August, and above 1,500 in September. By the end of the year, they should reach 20,000 cars per month. This is where the Gigafactory comes in.
The Gigafactory will be more than five million square feet (including several floors) once it's completed, and it will be capable of producing more battery cells than any other lithium ion battery factory in the world, Musk has said.
NVIDIA has been spending money on AI, deep learning, and self-driving car technologies and investments into startups for a while now, but they've just splashed down $20 million into a funding round for TuSimple.
TuSimple is a Chinese autonomous trucking startup, with Sina leading a new funding round that will include NVIDIA Drive PX 2 autonomous computers, Jetson TX2, and other NVIDIA products. TuSimple has already completed a SAE Level 4 (true self-driving) test ride between San Diego, California and Yuma, Arizona.
TuSimple completed the self-driving truck test in June, with a 200-mile journey that used cameras to navigate along the highways. The company has R&D facilities in both Beijing and San Diego, along with over 100 staff.
The company uses HD mapping of the routes the self-driving trucks take, as well as three millimeter-wave radar units, and the feeds from 8 cameras on-board. TuSimple says that it can hit "centimeter-level" accuracy for truck positioning, and get this - even when it's in a tunnel, with its in-house AI making sure the truck has safe navigation.
Faraday Future, the electric car company, looking to compete with Tesla with their own high-performance electric vehicle has begun to clear up some of the doubts around their business. They previously had issues finding enough funding to build a new factory that would allow them to start to deliver vehicles based on pre-orders that people have made.
In a blog post, the company revealed their new California manufacturing facility which was rumored to replace their Las Vegas facility that they couldn't get enough funding to build from scratch. Instead, Faraday Future bought an existing factory for $14 million in Fresno and today unveiled the new factory's look and location.
On Twitter, Faraday Future actually posted a video with a sneak behind the scenes peek of the factory itself and inside the operations of Faraday Future.
While autonomous car technology excites millions of people across teh world, the future of driver-less cars means one of the biggest job sectors in the world - transportation, is going to be heavily affected, with millions of jobs lost.
India is cutting this future off by not supporting self-driving cars so that there aren't major job losses, with India's Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, telling reporters: "We won't allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this". He continued: "We won't allow any technology that takes away jobs. In a country where you have unemployment, you can't have a technology that ends up taking people's jobs".
Gadkari continued, saying that India needed 22,000 commercial drivers and that the government is opening multiple new training facilities to train 5000 more professional drivers over the next few years.
Tesla's Gigafactory 1 in Nevada has expanded significantly over the last year. The company worked tirelessly on its first Gigafactory in preparation for the start of the Model 3 production.
Thanks to Planet's constellation of satellites, we can now see how the Gigafactory grew over the last year. And that's not even the finished building. What we see now represents around 30% of the total finished factory.
Tesla plans to finish the factory around 2020, and when they do, the Gigafactory 1 should be the largest building on earth by footprint.
Elon Musk has stated he has received permission to build an underground Hyperloop which will connect New York and Washington D.C.
Musk explained on Twitter that he got a "verbal government approval" for the Boring Company to start the project.
The proposed route would include stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore, while the entire trip from New York to Washington DC would take 29 minutes.