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Inside Automotive (Jun 7th, 2018)

1. A preliminary report published by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board gave details about the fatal Tesla Model X crash that occurred earlier this year. The investigation found that the driver of the vehicle, identified as 38-year-old Walter Huang, did not have his hands on the steering wheel in the six seconds before the fatal crash. The report said Huang had been given two visual alerts and one auditory alert to place his hands on the steering wheel during the trip. It also says that the vehicle had sped up from 62 mph to nearly 71 mph in the three seconds before the crash, while engaged in Autopilot. Tesla did not respond to Reuters for comment on the report. — NYT

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2. Uber is expanding JUMP Bikes to Europe. At the NOAH Conference in Berlin, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company would be expanding JUMP’s electric bike rentals to Berlin by the end of the summer, with plans to expand operation to other European cities. Although bike and scooter sharing companies are still making their mark in the U.S., European cities have already been flooded by electric bike services, like Obike, Lime and Ofo. Reports have estimated there are some 18,000 bikes on Berlin’s streets, operated by eight bike-sharing companies. — THE VERGE

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3. Waymo is positioned to collect $465 million in federal tax credits. This comes as the Alphabet’s self-driving car unit announced it would be purchasing 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid vehicles that it would use in its self-driving fleet. The U.S. government offers a tax credit of up to $7,500 for each vehicle purchased. Regardless of whether Waymo does take advantage of the incentive, the large vehicle purchase counts against the 200,000 vehicle cap set under federal regulators for the federal EV tax credit. Once a manufacturer hits that ceiling, the credit begins to phase out. Waymo did not respond to comment from Jalopnik. — JALOPNIK

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4. Waymo has plans to expand its operations to Europe. At the Automotive News Europe Congress in Turin, Italy, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said there’s a chance Alphabet’s self-driving car project will expand internationally. "There's an opportunity for us at Waymo to experiment here in Europe, with different product forms, with different products and maybe even with different go-to-market strategies," he said at the conference. Krafcik said Waymo’s technology was demonstrated in Italy for the first time recently for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives. — ROADSHOW

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5. Mazda does not feel pressured to electrify its vehicles. The company said it would continue building diesel-powered vehicles, unlike other automakers who are phasing them out, and won’t rush to embrace EVs. “Consumers won’t buy EVs just because of Elon Musk,” Kiyoshi Fujiwara, head of research and development at Mazda, told Bloomberg. Mazda will build a few EVs for compliance reasons, in markets like China, and will likely develop any future EVs on a shared platform with Toyota. — BLOOMBERG

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6. GM president Dan Ammann is stepping down from Lyft’s board. Maggie Wilderotter, a former CEO of Frontier Communications, will fill his seat. Wilderotter also sits on the board of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. GM said Ammann stepping down has “no impact” on a $500 million investment the automaker made in Lyft, which was made in January 2016. “We continue to be pleased with our investment in Lyft,” GM said in a statement. Lyft went on after that investment to partner with other automakers, with GM also making its own moves and partnerships in the ride-hailing and self-driving space. — AUTO NEWS

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7. Honda and GM are partnering on EV batteries. The automakers are collaborating on a new generation of electric car batteries aimed at cutting costs and pushing the company’s rollout of EVs. As a part of the deal, Honda will purchase battery modules from GM, based on GM’s next generation battery system. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Last year, the companies came together for a similar deal for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. — AUTO NEWS

8. Lyft has redesigned its app to better integrate carpooling and mass transit. The app refresh is the company’s first in almost three years. Lyft will be re-branding its “Lyft Line” carpooling service as “Shared Rides” and will be more prominently featured in the app. The app will also integrate other options, like public transit and other services Lyft may add in the future. — THE VERGE

9. A former Tesla VP of engineering has joined a vertical farming startup. Nick Kalayjian was one of Tesla’s earliest engineers and played a role in developing the first generation Roadster’s transmission system. Kalayjian exited Tesla to also join Plenty as senior vice president of engineering. — ELECTREK

10. Car Throttle retrofitted an old diesel vehicle to run on vegetable oil.YOUTUBE

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