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Inside Automotive (Sep 13th, 2017)

The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Tesla’s Autopilot software played a major role in a fatal crash in Florida. The incident occurred on May 7 in Williston, Florida. As an investigation discovered, the driver of the vehicle used the system on a road in which it was not designed, as Tesla recommends drivers to use Autopilot on limited access highways and not on roads with cross-traffic and intersections. The NTSB also found that the driver turned his attention away from the road for an extended period just before the crash. Tesla’s Autopilot software can automatically steer and control the speed of the vehicle, but does not have safeguards in place when drivers use it improperly. Tesla has said it “appreciates” the NTSB’s results and will evaluate their recommendations. Since the incident, the automaker has added warnings to the Autopilot software which encourages drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel. — NYT

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Sources close to Bloomberg say that Uber's Chief Legal Officer Salle Yoo has plans to leave the company. According to the publication, Yoo sent an email to employees, saying she would step down after helping new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi find her successor. She has overseen the ride-hailing company’s legal efforts for about five years, as Yoo navigated Uber through regulatory challenges. However, the company now faces a host of legal challenges. This is not the only position Khosrowshahi is looking to hire at the company, Uber is also looking for a new chief financial officer. — BLOOMBERG

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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao issued a new directive on self-driving car development. Chao unveiled “Vision for Safety 2.0.,” which is the Trump administrations vision for self-driving cars, which lessens regulatory burdens for automakers and technology companies. For the most part, the Transportation Department continues with the current set of guidelines when it comes to autonomous car development, but is now asking states to ease local regulations. The federal government will also have a lighter hand on regulation. Automakers and technology companies will be asked to voluntarily submit safety assessments from their projects, but will not be required to do so. — THE VERGE

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Honda showed off a new EV concept car at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The Urban EV Concept is an homage to legendary Honda cars of the past, specifically the Civic hatchback circa 1970. The vehicle is equipped with rear-hinged doors and the interior dashboard is replaced by a giant screen. The company plans a production model to be released in Europe by 2019. Honda has yet to match the EV prowess of competitors, like Nissan and Chevrolet. — THE VERGE

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Under the leadership of Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, talks between the ride-hailing company and SoftBank have advanced. SoftBank has been interested in acquiring a multi-billion stake of Uber for quite some time, but talks were largely stalled because a new CEO had not been in place. — RECODE

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