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Inside Automotive (Oct 8th, 2018)

1. A prominent Faraday Future investor says the company is trying to back out of an investment deal. Last November, Season Smart made an $800 million investment in the automaker, a deal that saved the automaker from running out of cash. Earlier this year, Evergrande Health said it would take over the financial commitment of Season Smart, acquiring its 45 percent stake in Faraday Future for $860 million. Now, Evergrande says Faraday CEO Jia Yueting is trying to back out of the deal. Evergrande says Faraday Future spent the $800 million investment and is looking for additional capital from Season Smart through “manipulation.” In response, Faraday Future says Evergrande deliberately withheld promised payments and prevented it from seeking alternative financing. — TECHCRUNCH

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2. Tesla says National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests show the Model 3 is its safest car yet. The test was done as a part of the NHTSA’s “New Car Assessment Program” and shows vehicle occupants in the Model 3’s long range, rear-wheel drive model are less likely to get seriously hurt in front, side or rollover crashes than any other vehicle. The Model S and X, were placed second and third in lowest probabilities of injury, respectively. Earlier this year, the Model 3 received a five-star safety rating in all categories form the NHTSA. — MARKETWATCH

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3. Ford has filed a patent that would allow autonomous cars to be controlled from a mobile device. The patent covers two driving modes, one that would mimic the “tilt-to-steer” feature commonly found in mobile games, with a smartphone’s accelerometer and gyroscope guiding the front wheels. The other would allow users to use their smartphone device’s screen to control the steering wheel with a finger. Users wouldn’t have full control of the vehicle in both cases, with the vehicle controlling acceleration and braking, with the user having control of where the vehicle is going. — ENGADGET

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4. California may make a formal counter offer on vehicle emissions to the Trump Administration. At the urging of automakers, both the state and the White House said they had a “shared goal” on one national standard for fuel economy and emissions. Currently, the state has a binding agreement to link its greenhouse gas limits with the federal government’s through 2025, until a federal rollback takes place. The EPA and NHTSA have suggested rolling back California’s authority to regulate vehicle emissions and EV sales mandates earlier this year. — AUTO NEWS

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5. Car crashes killed 37,133 people in the U.S. in 2017. In 2016, 37,806 people died in vehicle crashes. In the early 1970s, more than 50,000 people died in crash crashes in the U.S. — ARS TECHNICA

6. Toyota has filed a patent for a flying car. The system calls for the same drive mechanism both in the air and on the road. — AV WEB

7. In Consumer Reports’ first ranking of automated driving systems, Cadillac ranked highest. The automaker’s Super Cruise technology topped Tesla’s Autopilot, which came in second. Nissan’s ProPilot Assist and Volvo’s Pilot Assist System ranked third and fourth, respectively. — CONSUMER REPORTS

8. Tesla fans are divided on CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter usage. On a Tesla Motors Club forum, user Hotlobstah posted tips on how Musk can delete his Twitter account. Some on the thread suggested that Musk just needs approval of his tweets, while others say there’s no need for Musk to abandon or restrict his Twitter usage. — TESLA MOTORS CLUB

9. Volkswagen is forming a bi-weekly task force with battery cell supplier LG Chem. The companies will work to ensure the security of VW’s supply chain, in anticipation for the automaker’s “MEB” EV initiative. — AUTO NEWS

10. One Twitter user suggests Bird’s upcoming delivery service may have another purpose. “Bird might have just found a great way to get around hard fleet caps in cities,” says @michalnaka, in reference to caps put in place by local governments on scooter and bike sharing services. — TWITTER

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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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