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Inside Automotive (Aug 19th, 2019)

1. Audi says its e-tron SUV has received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) highest rating. The automaker says the car is the first all-electric vehicle to receive a "Top Safety Pick+" distinction, IIHS's highest rating. The vehicle earned the highest possible mark for each one of the sub-categories it was tested on. IIHS has yet to publish results for the Tesla Model 3, but the Tesla Model S and Chevrolet Bolt fell short of receiving the Top Safety Pick+ from IIHS. — ARS TECHNICA

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2. One of new BMW CEO Oliver Zipse’s first moves: urge employees to overtake Mercedes-Benz. Zipse addressed employees in an internal email, just a day after former CEO Harald Krueger stepped down. He said that employees should stop “blaming” external factors that may be hurting sales and encouraged employees to embrace change. He also said the company should try to best rivals in delivering a higher quality product, instead of being first to market, while also advocating to overtake Mercedes-Benz in luxury sales. In July, Mercedes-Benz outsold BMW and Audi. — REUTERS

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3. A German rental car company, Nextmove, has canceled a $5.55 million order for Tesla Model 3s over quality issues. Nextmove said it received 15 Model 3 vehicles that contained paint defects, scratches on the dashboard, condensation in the headlights and faulty wheels. Tesla said it was in the process of fixing the vehicles’ defects and offered replacement vehicles, but Nextmove canceled the order. Nextmove had ordered 100 electric vehicles to add to its fleet. — REUTERS

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4. Former BMW and Faraday Future executive, Stefan Krause, is stepping down as CEO from his EV startup, Canoo. Canoo, previously known as Evelozcity, was founded by Krause, and another former Faraday Future executive, Ulrich Kranz. Both executives started the company when they left Faraday Future, with Canoo eventually facing a lawsuit from Faraday. While Krause will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations, he will still help the company fundraise. Earlier this year, it was reported Canoo was looking to raise $200 million. Krause said he was stepping away from the role for personal reasons. — THE VERGE

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5. Tesla has updated Model Y prices to include basic Autopilot features. The automaker now includes a basic Autopilot suite into all its vehicle offerings. The Model Y, however, did not have its pricing updated to reflect this change, meaning customers could choose to either not have these features bundled in or pay extra for Enhanced Autopilot. Now, all new Model Y orders will have basic Autopilot included, with the option to upgrade to the “Full Self-Driving” package. — ELECTREK

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6. Former Uber operations manager Robbie Miller says developers of autonomous vehicle technology are driving too many miles on public roads. As a result, he says, these companies are endangering motorists and pedestrians. During his tenure at Uber, Miller raised concerns about Uber’s self-driving system before a fatal crash that killed a pedestrian last year. However, one of Miller’s comments is a bit questionable, as he said the rate of crashes with autonomous vehicles is higher than human drivers. There is still very little centralized, fair data that can validate that statement, at the moment. — AUTO NEWS

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7. According to members of the /r/TeslaMotors Reddit forum, Google Maps is now showing charging rates. This is among other moves Google has added throughout the past few years in an effort to make life easy for electric vehicle owners. The company added a feature in April where users can see if an electric vehicle station is occupied. — /R/TESLAMOTORS - REDDIT

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8. Despite efforts to remove humans from its vehicles, Waymo will likely hire more humans in its expansion effort. Alphabet’s self-driving unit is preparing to hire a larger contingent workforce to manage its fleets. As Waymo looks for community buy-in from different areas it may expand to, the company will also likely need community and government relations representatives to optimize Waymo’s business in each area. — CNBC

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9. Mazda has reportedly been testing its first electric vehicle in Norway. The prototype looks much like the automaker’s existing compact SUV, the CX-5, but did not have a visible exhaust. The automaker has said it would release its first electric vehicle by 2020. The automaker created a joint venture with Toyota to produce EVs. The automaker has said the vehicle would be positioned somewhere between the CX-3 and CX-5. — ELECTREK

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10. Chinese automaker BYD showed off a concept in-vehicle touchscreen that can rotate from vertical to horizontal. The concept uses a motor to rotate the screen, with a video showing a user accessing Instagram from the vertical screen. It is unclear if and when this concept will roll out to vehicles. — @EFORELECTRIC/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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