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What’s wrong with Cruise, the hub of Vroom, and the home of Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer | TechCrunch


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Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility – the weekly newsletter you’ve been reading, but with a new name and a few changes.

As I mentioned last week, this remains your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation!This week, read about how Benz mistakenly exposed its source code, the latest Cruise-GM legend, Tesla’s Electric car sales warnings and more.

let’s go!

a little bird

Economic headwinds may be easing, but companies are still squeezed. Self-driving and electric vehicle startups — even those that have gone public — are trying to cut costs in an effort to expand their capital runway. Aurora InnovationFor example, laid off about 3% of employees; Electric vehicle company pole star The company confirmed to TechCrunch that it is also laying off approximately 15% of its global workforce, Flexible port Reportedly considering axing another 20% of jobs Package delivery company Veho says 19% were fired Number of its corporate/exempt employees.

Now, a few birds are telling us Kanu and faraday future – Two electric vehicle startups that went public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies – are either cutting wages or furloughing employees. Faraday Future has confirmed it has reduced wages and furloughed employees, but did not provide further details. Sources tell us Canoo is also furloughing employees.

Any advice you can give us?e-mail Kirsten Korosek exist kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com or Sean O’Kane Sean.okane@techcrunch.com. If you wish to remain anonymous, Click here to contact uswhich includes SecureDrop (Description here) and various encrypted messaging applications.

Trades of the week

money station

On the TC Climate Desk, reporter Harri Weber is interviewed arcuate tern Management partner Murray McCaig About the third (recently closed) $335 million fund.

ArcTern plans to invest the funds in climate-focused startups that can deliver ultra-fast returns. Specifically, the Toronto-based company focuses on startups that use proven technology in new ways. His bet is on decarbonizing travel. Although electric vehicle sales have slowed recently, McCaig believes it is a “blip”.

The venture capital firm believes North America is about to reach a tipping point where EV adoption will take off like a rocket, just like it did in Norway.

Other deals that caught my eye…

clear movement It raised an additional $4 million, bringing its Series B funding round to about $43 million, according to one company. Most recently submitted Form D.

crow energy corp.An energy storage and fuel cell systems company focused on maritime, offshore and port applications has received an undisclosed investment from Toyota Growth Fund Woven Capital.

Montais an electric vehicle charging software start-up company located in Copenhagen. €80 million raised ($86.9 million) Series B round was co-led by Energize Capital, GreenPoint Partners and the Danish state-backed Export and Investment Fund.

Zion Powera lithium metal battery developer based in Tucson, Arizona. Raised $75 million Battery maker LG Energy Solution, mathematician and investor Jim Simons’ Euclidean Capital and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s family office management company Hillspire LLC.

Froome yes closure Its online used car market and will transfer all resources and capital to two business units focused on car financing and artificial intelligence analysis, about 800 employees (or 90% of employees) will lose their jobs as a result.

Noteworthy Reads and Other Tidbits

self-driving cars

this internal review of cruise and the events leading up to October 2 General Motors The subsidiary lost its license to operate robotaxis in California and eventually gave up. TL;DR pass the report Quinn Emanuel: Cruise did not intentionally mislead regulators. So what went wrong with Cruise? A lack of judgment, leadership failures, an “us versus them” relationship with regulators, and an obsession with correcting the media’s inaccurate narrative that Cruise AVs, rather than human-powered Nissan vehicles, all contributed to the accident. Problem factors.

Cruise also revealed, Ministry of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission Just about every agency you can think of is investigating the incident, including the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Public Utilities Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Finally, the 195-page addendum also contains a heavily edited Exponent report that investigates the technical issues of October 2, specifically why the robotaxi initiated a pull-over operation and then towed Pedestrians trapped below. There’s more to this.

Electric vehicles, batteries and charging

Porsche Unveiling two variants Macan electric cara long-delayed project that will test whether consumers are still motivated to buy electric vehicles that cost more than $78,000.

Tesla here we go earnings season Yes, the company delivered a record 1.8 million electric vehicles in 2023, but profits have taken a hit (especially on operating income) as price cuts squeezed margins, as well as higher R&D expenses and costs. Putting the Cybertruck into production. Although solar deployment is declining, energy storage It is one of the most optimistic regions, with an annual increase of 125%.

Software and other in-vehicle technology

Mercedes Benz accidental A large amount of internal data was exposed Leaving a private key on the Internet provides “unrestricted access” to the company’s source code

Tesla Plans to spend $500 million to build so-called “Dojo” supercomputer At the Buffalo, N.Y., facility, state Gov. Kathy Hochul announced at a news conference Friday just as CEO Elon Musk called the project “promising.” “Small” a few days later. Musk also made interesting comments on social media downplaying the impact of the project. investment, noting that the company will invest more in Nvidia hardware in 2024.

This week’s wheel

ride1up electric bike 700 series

Image Source: Take a ride up

This week’s wheel comes from TC editor Devin Coldewey, who recently purchased a Ride1up 700 Series electric bike.

I’ve been on the fence about buying a new e-bike for months, trying to find the right balance between light motorcycle-style throttle and traditional pedal assist.Finally, I chose Ride 700 Series, which offers a package deal (at Black Friday prices) that means maximum utility with minimum fuss. Fenders, racks, lights, all are up for grabs.

While assembly is a bit complicated (if you haven’t assembled a bike before, don’t try it), the end product – now that I’ve put some miles on it – is pretty solid. Some of the ergonomics could be better, and the custom luggage rack didn’t fit any bag I wanted; however, the big solid frame and oversized wheels were reassuring on the road, and the throttle was perfect for the Seattle hills and Seattle drivers.

It’s heavier—62 pounds—so I wouldn’t lug it up any stairs or hook it to a regular bike hook. But it has carved out a different “zone” in my mind for visiting the city: too far to walk, too close to drive, and too steep for biking. Turns out Seattle has a lot of places!

This will definitely not be my last e-bike, but I’m glad it’s my first. If I had to do it again, I’d probably go with the lighter LTD with torque-sensing pedal assist, but hey.



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