June 9th, 2017 News of the Day: Facebook connecting with auto industry, Uber to acquire part of Luxe

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【Summary】News of the Day for June 9th, 2017.

Original Claire    Jun 09, 2017 6:06 PM PT
June 9th, 2017 News of the Day: Facebook connecting with auto industry, Uber to acquire part of Luxe

Elon Musk says all superchargers will run on solar and battery


Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this morning, saying that all supercharging stations will be converted to solar and battery power. And eventually, most of them will be completed disconnected from the electricity grid.

Tesla announced earlier this year that it will double its supercharging stations up to 1000 by the end of 2017, as more Model 3 orders will be shipped out by then, which places high demand for sufficient supercharging stations.

As of last week, it gained permits on building 40 additional supercharger stations. How many of them will be built into solar arrays remains unclear.

US court upholds $11 million verdict against Toyota over fatal crash


A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a $11 million verdict against Toyota Motor Corp, over a fatal car crash in 2006 in Minnesota, which was found to be caused by an accelerator defect in a 1996 Camry.

The car involved was not in Toyota's recall of more than 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2010 over acceleration issues. The Japanese automaker later released a statement, saying that it "sympathizes with everyone affected by the unfortunate event in 2006", however, it continues to believe the driver's "1996 Camry was well-designed and was not the cause of this accident."

Uber in talks to acquire part of valet startup Luxe


According to the Wall Street Journal and Recode, Uber is now in late stage talks with ride-hailing valet startup Luxe, in acquiring some technology and engineers from the company.

The team in Luxe that Uber is interested in are delving into a short-term car rental program. Uber reportedly is interviewing engineers from the company to see who to keep.

Earlier in April, Luxe has shut down its door-to-door valet service, stating the company is changing directions. According to the WSJ, CEO Curtis Lee will not join Uber as he will remain the Luxe brand and keep working some version of Luxe. The company has raised more than $75 million so far.

Facebook is building auto ties with major carmakers


In the recent Facebook Automotive Summit in Detroit, COO Cheryl Sandberg toured GM factory with GM CEO Mary Barra and indicated possible cooperations.

"Our industries are converging. Detroit's writing software and Silicon Valley is building hardware," Sandberg told about 400 auto-industry professionals at a downtown theater. "The opportunities to learn from each other have never been better."

The tour through Detroit was the second in five weeks for Facebook senior management. CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Ford Motor Co. headquarters and an F-150 truck plant in April with Executive Chairman Bill Ford. The media has speculated that the social network giant is trying to boost video advertising revenue from the auto industry, which traditionally still spends its majority marketing budget on TV promotions.

Blackberry develops new software to protect your car


BlackBerry said on Wednesday that it has developed a new anti-hacking software for running computer systems on vehicles. The QNX Hypervisor 2.0 can isolate multiple systems to run on a single piece of silicon, allowing them to isolate functions from systems in wireless networks environment. Senior executive John Wall mentioned that multiple car companies have started using the software in the onboard systems of cars that are under development.

Blackberry is heading more towards the automotive industry recently. Its Radar fleet-tracking service has been utilized by trucking company Titanium Transportation. The radar service is collecting and transmitting information on movement, temperature and the physical contents of Titanium's 1,300 truck trailers. Its stock price has soared 70% in two months.

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