May 12th, 2017 Car News of the Day: South Korea recalls cars, Uber Waymo case going to trial

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【Summary】Car News of the Day for May 12th, 2017.

Original Claire    May 12, 2017 3:11 PM PT
 May 12th, 2017 Car News of the Day: South Korea recalls cars, Uber Waymo case going to trial

Uber denied request to keep the Waymo lawsuit private


The lawsuit between Uber and Waymo continues on. A judge late Thursday has denied Uber's request to move the case to arbitration and out of the public eye. William Aslurp, the judge who made the decision, also referred the case for a criminal investigation for possible trade secret theft.

According to Jalopnik, Judge Alsup has issued a decision on the preliminary injunction request, but the order has been filed under seal. Alsup agreed to block a limited part of Uber's driverless vehicle program, and the details have not yet been released.

Meanwhile, the other criminal investigation underway for Uber's use of "Greyball" to evade law enforcement officials, is a second setback that the aggressive ride-hailing unicorn faces.

Belgian scientists turn polluted air into hydrogen fuel


Researchers from the University of Antewerp and University of Leuven in Belgium are developing a device that can clean up air and generate power at the same time.

The chemical process called "heterogeneous photocatalysis", which uses light and a special catalyst (often a semiconductor) to trigger a reaction. The scientists utilize a solar cell to produce hydrogen in a similar manner to electrolysis water-splitting. Air is purified on one side with a photoanode, while the hydrogen is generated from "a part of the degradation process."

The team stressed that it's only a "proof-of-concept" with much room for improvement in its research paper. The device they designed is just a palm-size gadget that can hardly reduce carbon emission and power lights at the same time.

South Korea recalls 240,000 Hyundai and Kias for insider tip


The South Korean government has recently ordered the recalling of 240,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicle models, after getting a tip from ex-Hyundai employee Kim Gwang-ho, who raised concerns about defects on 12 car models that are selling in the country. The government has then issued its first-ever mandatory vehicle recall.

According to BBC News, the two automakers refused to implement voluntary recalls, claiming that the defects do not impact safety. The vehicles affected include Hyundai Sonata and Genesis models, the Kia Mohave, and Kia Carnival. The problems range from vacuum pipes, parking brake lights, fuel lines, and more.

And this is shortly after Hyundai and Kia issued a recall for 1.3 million vehicles in the US.

Delivery startup Jinn collects $10 million in additional funding


London startup Jinn that introduced a same-hour "shop on your behalf" delivery app has recently raised $10 million in new funding, totalling $20 million so far compared with other players in the on-demand delivery service.

The new round is backed by family investment office STE Capital, Samaipata Ventures, and a number of previous investors.

The company plans to use the money to "consolidate its presence in its main markets." The app is currently operating in UK and Spain. Jinn also mentioned that it has "positive contribution margins" in all markets and expect to gain profitable next year. Also the app has recently surpassed 1 million completed deliveries since launching in late 2014.

StoreDot demos EV battery that can charge in 5 minutes

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StoreDot, an Israeli startup that makes fast-charging batteries, claims its EV battery can reach full charge within just 5 minutes, which is sufficient for keeping the car driving for 300 miles. The company recently demonstrated its product on stage at CUBE Tech Fair in Berlin. Although not charging to 100 percent, the demo video shows how fast the battery inhales electricity:

Currently, Tesla's Supercharging station needs around two hours to fully charge one car of its brand. StoreDot's FlashBattery technology uses layers of nanomaterials and proprietary organic compounds, which it says never has been used on batteries before. The company also claims it's safer than lithium-ion as it's not flammable and has higher combustion temperature.

"We're exploring options with a few strategic partners in the auto space to help us boost the production process in Asia and reach mass production as soon as possible." StoreDot CEO Dorn Myersdorf said in a statement.

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