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Inside Automotive (Sep 11th, 2018)

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1. Researchers found a way to clone Tesla’s Model S key fob. A research institution in Belgium, KU Leuven, detailed a technique that would allow would-be hackers a way to bypass the encryption on Tesla’s Model S key fob, making it possible to clone a key and start the vehicle. The university informed Tesla about the research in August 2017, after which the automaker verified the research, created a fix and rolled it into the automaker’s manufacturing systems. Model S vehicles made from June 2018 and onward have stronger encryption built-in and will not fall prone to the attack. The company released a software update for customers with older cars that would allow them to switch to more secure fobs if desired. The company also added an optional feature in August which would allow drivers to enter a PIN code to start the vehicle. Nearly every single stolen Tesla in the United States has been recovered. — ENGADGET

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2. Uber has appointed a new chief marketing officer. Rebecca Messina, who has held senior level marketing roles at Coca-Cola and Beam Suntory, will become the first person to hold the title at the ride-hailing company and will work with all its marketing teams internationally on branding and marketing strategies. Messina will also take on responsibilities recently held by Bozoma Saint John. Saint John exited Uber earlier this year to become the CMO of Endeavor. — TECHCRUNCH

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3. Didi lost more than $580 million in the first half of the year. Company CEO Cheng Wei disclosed some company financials in an internal letter that was leaked to Chinese media. The company is paying out billions in subsides across its platform, as it faces bitter competition with Meituan Dianping in China and is beginning international expansion. After paying out subsidies, the company only makes an average of about 1.6 percent profit on each order. In March, Didi had about $12 billion of cash on hand. — FINANCIAL TIMES

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4. Cruise has yet to begin autonomous tests in New York City. It has almost been a year since GM's automation unit said it would be testing self-driving cars in the city. GM’s automation unit had plans to test its fleet of autonomous Bolts on the streets of lower Manhattan in early 2018 and allegedly had support from the state governor’s office. However, Jalopnik found that company still has yet to outline an updated timeline on when the vehicles would be available. The publication filed a public records request with the state’s DMV, which oversees the permitting process for autonomous vehicle testing in the state, but said it had no record of any communications from GM on its effort to secure a permit. In a statement, a GM spokesperson said, “New York is a complex regulatory environment and we continue to work with stakeholders on next steps.” — JALOPNIK

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5. Lyft is opening up a recording studio for drivers in Atlanta. “The Amped Studio” is a recording booth that will be available to drivers within Lyft’s driver hub in the city. The studio opened in June with performances from rapper Young Joc and Lyft’s musical drivers. Earlier this year, the company opened up a recording studio in Detroit. About 20 sessions have been recorded in the space so far. This comes as Lyft plans to invest $100 million to better support its drivers. — WABE

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6. New Orleans is the least expensive city to drive an electric vehicle. Crescent Electric Supply Company recently conducted a study of electricity costs in the 52 largest cities in the U.S. New Orleans topped the list, with an average cost of $54.03 per year, followed by Salt Lake City, Louisville, Seattle and Cincinnati. — INVERSE

7. Tesla will be eliminating two color options. In a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “Moving 2 of 7 Tesla colors off menu on Wednesday to simplify manufacturing. Obsidian Black & Metallic Silver will still be available as special request, but at higher price.” — TWITTER 

8. Japanese firm Renesas Electronics has agreed to acquire U.S.-based Integrated Device Technology for $6.7 billion. Renesas is second to NXP Semiconductors in auto-related chips and commands about 30 percent of the global market for micro-controllers used in cars. — CNBC 

9. Israel-based startup Mobi-Wize wants to use existing sensors found in vehicles to create crowdsourced road condition maps. These maps could help both autonomous vehicles better operate in cities. — ARS TECHNICA 

10. Nevada Senator Dean Heller is preparing legislation that would extend the $7,500 federal electric vehicle federal tax credit. He is reportedly still looking for support on the legislation. — BLOOMBERG

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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