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Inside Transportation (Aug 22nd, 2019)

1. Uber is setting up its second-largest hub in Dallas, Texas. The company will set up an office with at least 3,000 employees in the “Deep Ellum” area of the city, mostly consisting of human resources, sales and finance employees. By the end of the year, Uber will hire or relocate about 400 employees to the new office by the end of the year. Uber’s expansion will be in phases, with employees moving into one tower in July 2020, with another move scheduled two years later. This comes despite cuts in marketing staff and a reported engineer hiring freeze. Dallas will be its second-largest hub after its San Francisco headquarters. — DALLAS NEWS

2. Waymo will be sharing some of its autonomous vehicle data for free. The dataset will be available to researchers at no cost, giving them access to 1,000 driving segments, each capturing about 20 seconds of continuous driving. These clips will allow researchers to develop their own models, in an effort to track and predict the behavior of all who use the road. The data is collected from four cities Waymo is currently testing in, and is joining Uber and Cruise Automation in making visualization tools public. — THE VERGE

3. Throwback Thursday: What Happened To Oldsmobile? 

Contrary to popular belief: the Oldsmobile Curved Dash was actually the first mass-produced car, not an offering from the Ford Motor Company. In the history of the company, Oldsmobile produced 35 million vehicles and eventually became a division of General Motors, serving as an entry-level to the luxury segment. Oldsmobile’s 1940 model was actually the first vehicle to feature an automatic transmission, called the “Hydramatic.” The automaker also released one of the most iconic cars of the 1970s and 1980s, its best-seller during that era, the Cutlass. 

But by the early 1990s, Oldsmobile had lost steam, losing its place in the market and being squeezed out by fellow GM divisions (like Saturn) and foreign luxury automakers. As a result, GM announced plans in 2000 to shut down Oldsmobile, eventually selling its final vehicles in 2004. 

Learn more about the downfall of Oldsmobile here.

4. President Trump is not happy with automakers who struck a deal with California regulators to continue lowering emissions on vehicles. Trump planned to freeze emissions requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026 and has reportedly pushed automakers to agree with his initiative. Despite this, California Gov. Gavin Newsom confirmed that Mercedes-Benz would be joining the pact. Trump derided the automakers who joined the pact, calling them “foolish executives.” An analysis has shown a roll-back on emissions requirements may negatively impact the U.S. economy. — @REALDONALDTRUMP/TWITTER

5. Tesla is delaying a price increase for its “full self-driving” package. The price increase was scheduled to go into effect on August 16. However, in a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the price increase has been postponed until the automaker does a “wide” release of Autopilot V10 with "Smart Summon," which is about four to eight weeks away. Musk said anyone who has purchased the “full self-driving” package will receive priority access to new Autopilot features. — @ELONMUSK/TWITTER

6. A light rail line operated by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is once again looking to expand public transit options to the northeast Atlanta metro area. Earlier this year, voters in Gwinnett County, a suburb of Atlanta, rejected a referendum to expand public transit into the area. However, MARTA is once again starting public conversations about expanding public transit to an area that has historically shunned it. The New York Times recently chronicled why Atlanta’s public transit system has not been expanded to those areas. — CURBED ATLANTA

7. Uber is trying to shut down a Florida-based salon app called “BeauBer.” Carolina Vengoechea is in the process of launching the app, which she argues is a combination of her two occupations: beautician and barber. But Uber argues that the name is infringing on its trademark and has tried to settle the case with Vengoechea. But Vengoechea, who does not want to change the name of the app, will likely face the company in court next year. — NY POST

8. Porsche has invested in road visibility startup TriEye. The company’s shortwave infa-red sensing technology allows cameras to see through adverse weather and night-time conditions. The total amount contributed by Porsche was not disclosed. To date, TriEye has raised about $22 million, including a $3 million seed round from Grove Ventures in 2017. — REUTERS

9. Have you had any trouble flying with your MacBook Pro on a flight? I recently heard from a friend who was not allowed to fly out of the San Francisco International Airport because TSA said that his laptop was part of a battery recall and was not allowed to fly with it. (His laptop had a “Touch Bar,” which meant it was not actually a part of the recall.) One person on Twitter said the laptop ban is not currently implemented at Canadian airports. — @JUNK5150/TWITTER

10. One person on the /r/transit subreddit is fielding whether there would be viability in a bus route between Tijuana, Mexico and Vancouver, Canada. Redditor /r/ohiodylan asked on /r/transit about transit options between the two cities, which he says there is a need for. He asked the forum if a 30 hour or less journey on this hypothetical bus, at a cost of $120 per ticket, would be a viable option. The same Redditor shared an idea of building an express bus lane between San Antonio and Austin in Texas, which would run every 20 minutes. — /R/TRANSIT/REDDIT

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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