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Inside Automotive (Jan 8th, 2018)

Hey Inside Automotive readers, 

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Curator, Inside Automotive

Nvidia said its AI-powered self-driving car chip will be used by Uber and Volkswagen. Xavier, a chip the company announced in 2016, will allow automakers to integrate AI deeper into their self-driving car systems. Volkswagen said it committed to using Nvidia’s Drive IX platform on upcoming vehicles, including the I.D. Buzz electric bus, set for release in 2022. While Uber has not said if it will be using the Drive IX platform, it has been using Nvidia’s self-driving technology for some time, and plans to use Xavier in an upcoming fleet of autonomous vehicles and trucks. — THE VERGE

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Toyota showed off a multipurpose, modular self-driving box at CES. The “boxy” vehicles, known as e-Palettes, would be able to expand and contract according to the function they're serving. For instance, the vehicle can be put to traditional uses, such as transporting passengers, or for more unorthodox purposes, such as roaming medical clinics, general stores or pizzerias. As unusual as some of the potential concepts sound, the automaker has already struck deals with Amazon, Didi Chuxing, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber. Toyota hopes to debut the project at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Toyota has been trying to catch up to other automotive and technology companies in the self-driving space and this may be a way to collaborate with top brands. — THE VERGE

For a roundup of the latest news from CES, check out today's issue of Inside IoT

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Sprint CEO Marcelo Claude will join Uber’s board of directors. As a part of a SoftBank-led share buyout deal, SoftBank can appoint two members to Uber’s board. In addition to Claude, SoftBank named Rajeev Misra, the head of SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which has invested billions into various startups. The two will join Uber’s board of 11, including CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and former CEO Travis Kalanick. The board reportedly is also looking to add three more independent directors as well as an independent chairperson. — RECODE

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An estimated 60 to 80 percent of ride-hailing drivers do not carry the proper vehicle insurance. This is according to “The Rideshare Guy” Harry Campbell, who publishes an annual survey asking drivers about their experiences driving for Uber and Lyft. While both ride-hailing companies offer insurance policies for drivers, there are sometimes gaps between those policies and drivers' personal insurance policies. Even then, Campbell says, some drivers are unaware of ride-hailing insurance policies offered by traditional providers like State Farm. — INSURANCE JOURNAL

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to construct a retro-inspired Supercharger location in Los Angeles. Over the weekend, Musk tweeted, “Gonna put an old school drive-in, roller skates & rock restaurant at one of the new Tesla Supercharger locations in LA.” In response to a few suggestions from eager fans, Musk also said the team could engineer the menu to pop up on the car’s touchscreen console when customers roll into the store and an outdoor screen that plays the best scenes in movie history. — CLEAN TECHNICA 

Do you think Elon will follow through with this ambitious project? Hit “reply” and let us know what you think! 

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