William Li is being mobbed. At a gala dinner in Shanghai, the founder of Chinese electric carmaker Nio Inc. can barely move forward in the buffet queue before being stopped for another selfie, handshake or hug. Swapping his usual attire of jeans and a T-shirt for a tailored grey suit and blue dress shirt, the tall 46-year-old happily obliges with a smile. Li manages to spoon a small amount of fried rice and vegetables onto his plate, but he's not here for the food. Over the next three hours, Li poses for hundreds more photos, chatting with customers of the automaker he started just over six years ago and has built into a way of life -- at least for the people who buy his cars -- with clubhouses, a round-the-clock battery recharging service and even clothing, food and exercise equipment, all decked out in Nio's geometric logo. As Li works the room, a video backdrop shows six performers, each wearing a different-colored Nio hoodie, singing a self-composed song dedicated to the company.
China is shaping up to be the first real test of Big Tech's ambitions in the world of carmaking, with giants from Huawei Technologies Co. to Baidu Inc. plowing almost $19 billion into electric and self-driving vehicle ventures widely seen as the future of transport. While Apple Inc. has long had plans for its own car and Alphabet Inc. has Waymo, its autonomous driving unit, the size -- and speed -- of the move by China's tech titans puts them at the vanguard of that broader push. The lure is an industry that's becoming increasingly high tech as it pivots away from the combustion engine, with sensors and operating systems making cars more like computers, and the prospect of autonomy re-envisioning how people use will them. As the world's biggest market for new-energy cars, China is a key battlefield. Established automakers like Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. are already slogging it out with local upstarts such as market darling Nio Inc. and Xpeng Inc.
Chinese technology giant Baidu Inc (9888.HK) expects to supply its Apollo autonomous driving system to 1 million cars in the next three to five years, a senior company executive said on Monday. Li Zhenyu, senior corporate vice president at Baidu, made the remarks at the 2021 Shanghai motor show. Baidu established its autonomous driving unit Apollo in 2017. The unit mainly supplies technology powered by artificial intelligence and works with automakers such as Geely (GEELY.UL), Ford Motor Co (F.N) and GAC (601238.SS). In January, Baidu said it would set up a company with Geely to make smart electric vehicles (EV), which will count on Baidu's intelligent driving capabilities and Geely's car manufacturing expertise.
Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk used an opportunity to speak to an audience in China to strenuously deny the electric carmaker would ever use a vehicle's technology for spying. Appearing on Saturday at the China Development Forum, a conference organized by a unit of the country's State Council, in a session titled: The Next Disruptive Innovation?, Musk said that if Tesla ever used its cars to spy in China, or anywhere, we would get "shut down everywhere." "If a commercial company did engage in spying, the negative effects to that company would be extremely bad," said Musk, who was beamed in remotely from America, where it was late in the evening. "For example, if Telsa used the cars to spy in China -- or anywhere, any country -- we will get shut down everywhere. So there's a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information."
Tesla looks to Shanghai and Joker fans head to the Bronx, but first, today's cartoon: What's rarer than a unicorn? Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Good news out of the Gigafactory: Tesla is back in black. On Wednesday, the electric carmaker announced a positive net profit in its quarterly report, the first record of earnings for the company since the end of 2018.
Tesla plans to have a fleet of robotic taxis roaming the streets without drivers next year, Elon Musk has said. The claim is just the latest in a series of exciting pronouncements from the chief executive, who has repeatedly missed his own targets. But he has bet a considerable part of his business on the technology underpinning it. As well as allowing for the robot taxis that will drive themselves around the streets, Mr Musk says that by next year there will be a million Tesla cars on the streets that have full autonomous technology and are able to drive themselves. We'll tell you what's true.
Elon Musk has revealed his Neuralink startup is close to announcing the first brain-machine interface to connect humans and computers. The entrepreneur took to Twitter to tell followers the technology would be "coming soon" – though he failed to provide details. Neuralink was set up in 2016 with the ambitious goal of developing hardware to enhance the human brain, however, little about how this will work has been made public. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.
SHANGHAI - Global automakers are positioning themselves for a brave new world of on-demand transport that will require a car of the future -- hyper-connected, autonomous and shared -- and China may become the concept's laboratory. With ride-hailing services booming and car-sharing not far behind, the need for vehicles tailored to these and other evolving mobility solutions is one of the hottest topics among global automakers gathered for this week's Shanghai Auto Show. Nearly all agree that there is no better proving ground than China: Its gigantic cities are desperate for answers to gridlock and its population is noted for its ready embrace of new high-tech services. To take advantage of this, manufacturers are competing not only to sell conventional and electric vehicles in the world's biggest auto market, but also to develop new technologies and even specific interiors designed for the on-demand world. "We cannot just develop electric cars. They will have to be smart, interconnected and of course shared," Zhao Guoqing, vice president of Chinese auto giant Great Wall Motors, said on the auto show's sidelines.
Police have apprehended a would-be car thief after the Tesla he was attempting to steal alerted its owner to suspicious activity. The electric vehicle's Sentry Mode sent a notification to owner Jed Franklin via the Tesla smartphone app after one of the back windows was broken into while the car was parked in San Francisco. Cameras positioned on the Tesla Model 3 allowed Mr Franklin to record the suspect, both during the incident and in the moments leading up to it. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.
Tesla has reported its biggest ever drop in vehicle sales in the company's history. The electric car maker revealed the first quarter of 2019 saw 31 per cent less sale deliveries than the previous quarter, representing a fall of nearly 30,000 vehicles. It is the first time in nearly two years that Tesla has experienced a quarter-to-quarter sales decline but still represents a significant increase from the first quarter of 2018. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.