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Inside Automotive

Inside Automotive (Jun 12th, 2019)

1. Volkswagen has ended its relationship with self-driving startup Aurora Innovation. This comes as Volkswagen enters a partnership with Argo AI, a Ford-backed developer of autonomous vehicle technology. This comes as Volkswagen and Ford launched an alliance earlier this year, with plans to collaborate on electric vehicles, mobility services and autonomous vehicles. Volkswagen has reportedly invested $1.7 billion into Argo AI. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced it struck a new partnership deal with Aurora earlier this week. — FINANCIAL TIMES

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2. Uber unveiled new self-driving vehicle prototypes. The vehicles, custom built versions of Volvo's XC90 SUV, have steering and braking systems that are designed for computers, rather than human control. The vehicles also have new sensors built into the vehicle and placed on top, with a backup safety system operational in case the primary system fails. Uber recently has resumed its self-driving vehicle tests on a reduced scale. — TECHCRUNCH

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3. During Tesla's annual shareholders' meeting, CEO Elon Musk said there is no “demand problem” at the automaker. Tesla is still finding new customers, with 90 percent of orders coming from customers who are not holding a Model 3 reservation, Musk said. The company recently closed its acquisition of battery company Maxwell Technologies, and, Musk added, Tesla’s upcoming pickup truck will be “tough enough to haul a horse.” — THE VERGE

Watch the entire meeting here.

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4. Uber showed off a new version of its shared Jump-branded scooter, which will be available in the US later this month. The revamped scooter has bigger wheels, better brakes and a more durable frame. A thumb-lever brake found on the first generation of the scooter has been replaced with a hand brake, which will stop both wheels, making it easier to slow down. Uber’s Jump unit is also rolling out a new swappable battery system for its electric bikes, which it plans to roll out later this year. — THE VERGE

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5. Citymapper is discontinuing its hybrid bus-taxi service, to refocus on its transportation subscription service, which gives riders access to trains, buses and shared bikes in London. — THE VERGE

6. Demand for electricity in major cities in Sweden is outgrowing the capacity of local grids, which are hampering the build-out of new EV charging stations in the country. As a result, vehicle charging networks are competing with other projects to get access to grids. — BLOOMBERG

7. Toyota and Subaru are working on a new electric vehicle platform, that will combine Subaru’s expertise with all-wheel drivetrains and Toyota’s electrification system. The platform, called “e-TNGA,” is also capable of front-wheel drive. — JALOPNIK

8. Uber expects its commercial drone delivery service to begin this summer in San Diego, despite still waiting for final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). San Diego has become a hotbed for drone research, due to its military presence and mild weather. — BLOOMBERG

9. Jalopnik’s Matt Farah test-rode five different shared electric scooter brands, concluding that Bird and Wheels offer the best experience. — JALOPNIK

10. FEEDBACK 

The overwhelming majority of our readers (at least the ones who responded) said that Tesla should be responsible for covering the replacement of “yellowing” displays. Here are some of your thoughts… 

Greg E: I had a 2014 Cadillac ATS. The infotainment screen appeared to be cracking from the inside TWICE! Both times the dealer replaced it at no charge. If Tesla wants to compete with the “big boys”, it had better provide the same quality of service. 

Bernard K: Screen replacement under warranty is definitely their responsibility. Instead of putting all those toys like farts and fireplaces on the screen, better tech support and backing up their product would be a better practice.

Ryan D: I'm a Tesla owner. Simple decision - if the screens are covered under warranty, then Tesla pays. If not, then the owner of the car. 

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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 Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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