Category: Transportation

April 24, 2019 Off

Tesla plans to launch an insurance product ‘in about a month’

By Jill T Frey

Tesla is developing an insurance product, which could be launched in about a month, CEO Elon Musk said during a call with analysts Wednesday following its first-quarter earnings report.

“It will be much more compelling than anything else out there,” he said.

Musk didn’t provide further details on what the insurance product might look like, but it will most certainly place value on its Autopilot system, an advanced driver assistance system that is considered one of the most robust and at times, most controversial, in the industry.

Musk later added that Tesla already shares information with insurance companies about Autopilot. The information is meant to help reduce insurance rates.

“As we launch our own insurance product next month, we will certainly incorporate that information into the insurance rates,” Musk said.

Tesla has an “information arbitrage opportunity,” Musk said. The company is able to capture driving data, giving the company direct … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Network with CrunchMatch at TC Sessions: Mobility 2019

By Jill T Frey

If you’re planning to attend TC Sessions: Mobility 2019 on July 10, then get ready to network like never before. And by that, we mean easily. TC’s day-long event — dedicated to the future of mobility and transportation — features discussions, demos and workshops with the brightest founders, technologists and investors in these industries.

With more than 1,000 people attending, a simple tool to help you connect with the right people would be awesome. We have just the thing for you. It’s called CrunchMatch and — even better news — it’s free.

CrunchMatch, TechCrunch’s business match-making service, helps you find and network with people based on specific mutual business criteria, goals and interests. Connecting with lots of people may be interesting, but connecting with the right people produces results. CrunchMatch’s automated platform can help you make the most of your limited time.

If you’re not already familiar with CrunchMatch, here’s … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Getaround acquires European car rental platform Drivy for $300 million

By Jill T Frey

Getaround, the peer-to-peer car-sharing startup that launched at TC Disrupt back in 2011, is making moves to become a global car rental service. Today, the SoftBank-backed startup announced its acquisition of Drivy, a Paris-headquartered car-sharing startup that operates in 170 European cities.

“We were obviously looking at what our European strategy was and how we would expand out of the U.S. and into other parts of the world,” Getaround CEO Sam Zaid told TechCrunch. “When we started looking at Europe, it became clear Drivy was the market leader. They also shared the same vision.”

This marks Getaround’s first expansion out of the U.S. As part of the deal, Drivy founder and CEO Paulin Dementhon will run the company’s operations in Europe as CEO for the continent.

“Getaround is an ideal partner for us because our companies are aligned in so many ways while being complementary on key aspects of our … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Alphabet’s Wing gets FAA permission to start delivering by drone

By Jill T Frey

Wing Aviation, the drone-based delivery startup born out of Google’s X labs, has received the first FAA certification in the country for commercial carriage of goods. It might not be long before you’re getting your burritos sent par avion.

The company has been performing tests for years, making thousands of flights and supervised deliveries to show that its drones are safe and effective. Many of those flights were in Australia, where in suburban Canberra the company recently began its first commercial operations. Finland and other countries are also in the works.

Wing’s first operations, starting later this year, will be in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Va.; obviously an operation like this requires close coordination with municipal authorities as well as federal ones. You can’t just get a permission slip from the FAA and start flying … Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

Tesla vaunts creation of ‘the best chip in the world’ for self-driving

By Jill T Frey

At its “Autonomy Day” today, Tesla detailed the new custom chip that will be running the self-driving software in its vehicles. Elon Musk rather peremptorily called it “the best chip in the world…objectively.” That might be a stretch, but it certainly should get the job done.

Called for now the “full self-driving computer,” or FSD Computer, it is a high-performance, special-purpose chip built (by Samsung, in Texas) solely with autonomy and safety in mind. Whether and how it actually outperforms its competitors is not a simple question and we will have to wait for more data and closer analysis to say more.

Former Apple chip engineer Pete Bannon went over the FSDC’s specs, and while the numbers may be important to software engineers working with the platform, what’s more important at a higher level is meeting various requirements specific to self-driving tasks.

Perhaps the most obvious feature catering to AVs … Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

Tesla’s full self-driving computer is now in all new cars and a next-gen chip is already ‘halfway done’

By Jill T Frey

The Tesla computer, a new custom chip designed to enable full self-driving capabilities, is now in all new Model 3, X and S vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day.

Tesla switched over from Nvidia’s Drive platform to its own custom chip for the Model S and X about a month ago and for the Model 3 about 10 days ago, Musk said.

“All cars being produced all have the hardware necessary — computer and otherwise — for full self-driving,” Musk said. “All you need to do is improve the software.”

Work is also already underway on a next-generation chip, Musk added. The design of this current chip was completed “maybe one and half, two years ago.” Tesla is now about halfway through the design of the next-generation chip.

Musk wanted to focus the talk on the current chip, but he later added that the next-generation one … Read the rest