Silicon Valley News Update
Week Ending July 28, 2017
|This week we saw some interesting developments across the Automotive ecosystem and beyond. Below are some key highlights:
Lyft is planning to hire hundreds of workers when it opens a new facility dedicated for self-driving car technology development in Palo Alto by the end of 2018. NIO Capital, the private equity fund established by Chinese company NIO, has led a Series B round of $46 Million in Momenta, a Beijing-based autonomous driving technology firm. SoftBank has invested in three ride-sharing companies in Asia and is now seeking an investment in Uber. General Motors has announced that it is ready to challenge Tesla, in a new technology area, the over-the-air (OTA) software and firmware updates for vehicles. However, on a different note, due to the falling sales profits, GM may eliminate up to six cars from its lineup including the Chevy Volt and Sonic.
“In Europe everything is forbidden until it is allowed. In America everything is allowed until someone says that it’s a little bit dangerous, so let’s regulate”. Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO described the difference in business culture between Europe and the Silicon Valley while presenting the brands new A8 self-driving flagship sedan. Autonomous vehicle technology is improving so rapidly and many companies have the technology they need for driverless cars. However, the process is taking longer than expected to go mainstream because most institutions are dealing with the ethical and legal sides of decisions made by self-driving cars. Volkswagen wants to be a part of the growing self-driving car market and intends to present its first high-volume electric cars by 2019. Mercedes-Benz is confident to introduce its fully autonomous driving vehicles within the next five years. After being reticent when it comes to producing Electric Vehicle’s (EVs), Toyota has just announced the mass production of EVs to meet specific standards in China and it confirmed that its cars will be introduced to that market in the next few years.
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