Tesla has opened up its electric car patents so that other automotive companies can push the industry forward. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the growth of the industry is far more important than Tesla holding onto its patents and suing people if they create cars that have similar functions. From Musk’s point of view, Tesla is secure in its place in the electric car market, and there isn’t anything to worry about if other companies come out with more similar vehicles.
Uber is growing at an impressive rate and even though it has faced criticism in certain markets, the car service is now active in 120 cities and 40 different countries. With investors continuing to dump money into the company–Uber just received an additional $1.2 billion–the service’s valuation has grown to $17 billion after being active for just five years. The five-year old company has seen the majority of its growth in the past two years which makes its new valuation even more impressive.
An off-duty Uber employee has been arrested after he picked up a woman who was drunk with the intention of sexually assaulting her. This arrest leaves the car-service company in a position where it must clear its name and restore the trust of customers who may be concerned about having an Uber employee pick them up.
Google’s new self-driving cars may be tiny and cute but that doesn’t mean that they cannot completely disrupt the current automotive market. Mark Reuss, a product development executive at General Motorrs, told Bloomberg that if Google continues to push forward with its own self-driving cars, the company could become a real threat.
Google is stepping things and has begun offering test drives in a new self-driving car prototype that has just two seats and doesn’t come with pedals or a steering wheel.
The Government of Canada has announced that the country’s airlines will be permitted to enable fliers to use electronics gate-to-gate, as long as no devices interfere with a plane’s equipment. A longstanding restriction on in-flight electronics use was lifted in the US by the FAA in 2013 and a similar change is now occurring in Canada.
Even if you are already legally able to drive, California will require special licenses for operators of self-driving cars and those licenses will become available this September. Since there are no self-driving cars on the retail market yet, the licenses are solely for employees of companies like Google who need to test the cars on public roads, something that California announced would become legal in the state.
The self-driving car market is already starting to gain some traction with the help of Google and some well-established car manufactures but Lux Research thinks that the market will really pick up by 2030. At that point, the industry will be valued at $87 billion with more than 120 million autonomous cars on the road.
Self-driving cars now appear to be the next obvious step in car technology and Google is paving the way for auto manufacturers to enter that market. During a press event in Mountain View, California on Tuesday, Google provided 30-minute rides to journalists. In the past, only select journalists were given rides but they are becoming more common as time passes.
So the Nokia mobile division has been officially sold to Microsoft. The mobile group will soon be known as Microsoft Mobile but don’t forget that Nokia will still be known as Nokia. The Finnish giant still needs to make money on its own but it still is willing to invest $100 million through the Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) fund to improve the HERE app. Nokia seems to be making a worthy investment because of its aim to work on and improve mapping technology and the travel industry by improving on HERE.
I had to read it twice to believe it too. Normal news about external battery packs typically involve bigger, smaller, or possibly some new brand entering the market. But to equip a compact, portable, external battery pack with the ability to jump start a standard 4- or 6-cylinder vehicle? Mind is blown.
Many of us get a little rush when we see a blimp (or dirigible, or zeppelin, or airship) floating in the sky. Now imagine what people must have thought when they saw one hovering over their neighborhood 80 or 90 years ago. It must have totally blown minds. These old newsreels about blimps are almost hypnotic to watch.