Inside Electric Vehicles - August 14th, 2017

Inside Electric Vehicles (Aug 14th, 2017)

Uber considers investment offers / Waymo files new patent / Toyota teaming up on big data systems

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Uber’s board is considering three investment offers to buy the company’s shares. Uber is considering offers from SoftBank, a group led by Shervin Pishevar and a coalition led by Dragoneer Investment Group, according to a source close to The New York Times. The offers would focus on buying current Uber shares from existing shareholders. Any final decision would likely be made by the company’s incoming CEO, who has yet to be named. Investors are interested in buying up shares because the company continues to perform, despite an ongoing string of scandals. — NYT

Waymo has patented a car design that would essentially soften to safeguard pedestrians. The patent calls for a vehicle held together by “tension members,” which could be a series of springs, cables or rods. These components would then loosen or tighten based on the car’s external rigidity. This means if the car’s sensors detect that the vehicle is about to come in contact with a pedestrian, the components could loosen up to lessen the impact. — THE VERGE

Toyota is teaming up with Intel, Denso, Ericsson and NTT Docomo on developing big data systems that would support self-driving cars. The project is called the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium, which would help in the development of services like intelligent driving, real-time maps and cloud computing driver assistance. This is one of many moves Toyota has been making in the connected car space. It recently inked a partnership deal with Mazda, invested $100 million in AI startups and formed a larger partnership with NTT Ducomo on autonomous cars. — TECHCRUNCH

3M, maker of Scotch tape and Post-It Notes, is helping automakers make self-driving cars operate smarter. The company is working with automakers, like GM and Ford, to tuck hidden messages in traffic signs that can only be read by autonomous cars. 3M is best known for creating the first reflective signs, which is where automakers are using the company’s expertise. 3M is conducting a trial of the technology on a three-mile stretch of a highway in Detroit, where the company has installed barcodes that can be read by Cadillac CTS test sedans. These bar codes could relay information like precise GPS coordinates and upcoming traffic. — BI

Some San Diego residents are able to get up to $20,000 discount on an EV. The city’s electric department, San Diego Gas & Electric, is offering a $10,000 discount on Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 models. This is on top of a $2,500 state rebate and a $7,500 federal tax credit. The incentives would reduce the price down of a Nissan Leaf to about $10,000 and a BMW i3 to about $22,000. Although utilities are giving extra incentives for people to switch to EVs, federal incentives may dry up for some auto manufacturers heading into next year. — BLOOMBERG

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