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Inside Automotive (Aug 12th, 2019)

1. Some Tesla drivers continue to have issues with a flaw that "yellows" the in-vehicle screen of Model S and X. Last month, Tesla rolled out a UV light fix that became available at the company's service centers. While some drivers said the update worked to fix the issue, others reportedly had to file a case in arbitration with Tesla in order to get the automaker to replace the screen under warranty. Despite the flaw affecting many drivers, Tesla has maintained that it would not replace the screens under warranty, saying the yellowing displays count as “wear and tear” and “cosmetic issues,” caused by environmental issues. — /R/TESLAMOTORS - REDDIT

Your take: What do you think about this on-going issue with "yellowing" Tesla Model S and X screens? I personally think Tesla acknowledges that it's an issue, but at a reported cost of around $2K to $3K, it may be a substantial hit on their bottom line, which is why they are playing the long game on the issue. Hit reply and let me know your thoughts. 

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2. The Trump Administration terminated an Obama-era committee dedicated to developing a framework for the development of automated vehicles. The committee only met once in its infancy, on Jan. 16, 2017 (which was before Trump was inaugurated), and featured a prominent group of members, including GM CEO Mary Barra, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Waymo CEO John Krafcik, among others. The formation of the committee was a part of a larger initiative from the Obama Administration to create a legislative framework around autonomous vehicles. — THE VERGE

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3. Congressional leaders are looking for input from a variety of stakeholders in an effort to develop autonomous vehicle legislation. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation are looking for comments from stakeholders by August 23, as they say a bipartisan and bicameral group of legislators are working on a bill. The group is looking for input from a broad group, including cybersecurity experts and advocates for access for people with disabilities. This follows a report that a bi-partisan group of Congressional leaders initiated discussions on national autonomous vehicle guidelines. — AUTO NEWS

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4. Uber has reportedly imposed a hiring freeze on engineers. This follows another reduction of staff at the ride-hailing company, when it laid off over 400 positions from its marketing team. In a report from Yahoo Finance, Uber has reportedly canceled scheduled on-site interviews for the positions, due to a hiring freeze within the engineering department. During a recent all-hands meeting, executives did not provide further information on whether there would be a reduction of force within the engineering team. — YAHOO FINANCE

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5. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted his support for Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Musk made his comment after replying to a tweet from Dan Carlin, who quote-tweeted a message from Yang, saying he doesn’t expect people to agree with him on everything, and is open to considering different approaches, “particularly if the data drives in a particular direction.” In the past, Musk has said he is not a “top donor to any political party.” — @ELONMUSK/TWITTER

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6. Russian news reports detail a fiery crash between a Tesla Model 3 and a tow truck in Moscow. Russian businessman Alexey Tretyakov was driving his Model 3, which was on Autopilot, when it crashed into a tow truck servicing a vehicle on a highway. The Model 3 caught on fire shortly after the crash and then exploded. Tretyakov suffered a broken leg in the incident, while his children received bruises from the incident. — ELECTREK

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7. Former engineers for Uber’s autonomous trucking unit have launched a new startup, which is now testing self-driving semi-trailers in Texas. Kodiak Robotics is testing trucks on a route from Dallas to Houston, through Interstate 45. The startup is using back-up safety drivers behind the wheel for the tests, with humans also taking over more challenging stretches of the road. — TECHEXPLORE

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8. Nissan and Nio will use the latest systems from Intel unit Mobileye to power their driver-assist technology. Both companies will use the latest version of the EyeQ4 vision system, which will allow drivers to go hands-off, while still monitoring the road and being able to take over the wheel, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot technology. Mobileye hopes to equip more than 20 million vehicles will the functionality. — FORBES

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9. Tesla is using a new type of floor mat for the Model 3, which is made from recyclable material. Last year, the company rolled out its own, proprietary all-weather floor mats for the vehicle, but some found many design flaws with the mats, like the lack of vertical protection. The new floor mats add sidewalls to ensure maximum protection. — ELECTREK

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10. One of my favorite electric vehicle-related accounts to follow on Twitter, @JayInShanghai, shared this awesome Chinese rap song about Tesla. The song is by an artist named taoie and was produced by CashMoneyAp. For reference, 特斯拉 means Tesla in Chinese. — @JAYINSHANGHAI/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 Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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