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Tesla's Chip Trick: How the Electric Carmaker Cut a Corner in Models for China and Germany

Der Spiegel International

As early as October 2016, Musk bragged that his models were equipped for autonomous driving. To be chauffeured across the U.S. in a driverless car, he said, a Tesla owner doesn't even need to visit a garage. He or she, he claimed, just needs a few digital updates that Tesla can apply to its fleet "over-the-air," a process not so different from software updates for smartphones. The American company claims on its website to this day that standard Tesla models come equipped with hardware that makes "Full Self-Driving" possible and that the next technological level would require no more than a software update. That claim is central to Tesla's sales pitch, but the California company is seemingly no longer able to keep that promise, or at least part of it.

Volkswagen in talks to buy Huawei's autonomous driving unit: report – TechCrunch


The autonomous driving space might be seeing the marriage of two titans. Volkswagen is in talks with Huawei to acquire the latter's nascent autonomous driving unit for billions of euros, Germany's Manager Magazin reported on Thursday. Huawei said it has no immediate comment when contacted by TechCrunch. VW China said it has no comment. The potential merger will be a powerful one.

More Chinese Automakers Collaborating On EVs, AVs


More Chinese automakers collaborating on EVs -- The automotive industry has entered into an intense era of collaboration among carmakers, technology giants, and even software start-ups, among others. This trend comes as countries, including China, accelerate into increased usage of EVs and AVs. Numerous partnerships have sprouted up in the past year, adding density and life to this ecosystem. Among Chinese automakers themselves, a handful of significant partnerships were made to accelerate the developments of EVs and AVs within the country. In fact, China is shaping up to be the first real test of Big Tech's ambitions in the world of car making.

China's robotaxis charged ahead in 2021 – TechCrunch


Autonomous driving startups in China are in an arms race to put passengers in their machine-driven vehicles. Every few weeks, news arrives that another major player has got the greenlight to launch a new pilot program or a small-scale service. These press releases, often dotted with regulatory jargon and flowery language to aggrandize the companies' progress, can be confusing. That's why we put together this post summarizing the progress of China's major robotaxi operators -- AutoX, Baidu,, Didi, Momenta, and WeRide -- in 2021 while trying to parse what their announcements actually mean.

China's BYD, Momenta enter venture for autonomous driving technology


BEIJING, Dec 27 (Reuters) - China's BYD (002594.SZ) and autonomous driving startup Momenta have established a 100 million yuan ($15.7 million) joint venture to deploy autonomous driving capabilities across certain BYD car model lines, according to a Momenta statement and a person familiar with the matter. The new venture, called DiPi Intelligent Mobility Co and located in Shenzhen, combines BYD's capabilities as an automaker with Momenta's experience in intelligent driving, said the statement on Monday. BYD has invested 60 million yuan in the venture while Beijing-based Momenta is investing 40 million yuan, the person said. The person said the initial scope of work will include deploying "Level 2 plus" autonomous driving capability across some vehicle model lines. Level 2 semi-autonomous cars have technology that can take care of nearly all aspects of driving, from steering to acceleration and braking, but the driver needs to be ready to intervene if needed.

Waymo will add custom-built EVs by Chinese company Geely to its robotaxi fleet


In the future, Waymo's robotaxi fleet in the US will feature electric vehicles build specifically for the service by Chinese automaker Geely. The Alphabet company has teamed up with Geely to create a version of its recently launched all-electric Zeekr vehicle that's custom-built for autonomous ride-hailing. Waymo has detailed and shown renders of the modified EV, which was designed in Sweden, in a blog post. It has no steering wheel or pedals, as you'd probably expect by now from a purely autonomous vehicle -- where the traditional cockpit would be is a tablet that most likely serves as the navigation and infotainment system. Waymo said they modified the vehicle and gave it a flat floor for more accessible entry, generous head and legroom, reclining seats and chargers all around.

Autonomous driving startup prices L4 solution at $10,000 – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence, an autonomous vehicle startup with offices in Shenzhen and Fremont, California, unveiled an ambitious self-driving solution on Wednesday. The package, named DeepRoute-Driver 2.0, is a production-ready Level 4 system that costs approximately $10,000. The price tag is incredible given the hardware used: five solid-state lidar sensors, eight cameras, a proprietary computing system, and an optional millimeter-wave radar. Lidar accounts for roughly half of the total cost, a Deeproute spokesperson told TechCrunch. "As the whole supply chain is getting more developed and scale[s] up, we can expect the cost can go further down."

Global cooperation on autonomous driving advancing


An autonomous bus has a test drive with passengers aboard in Qingdao, Shandong province on Sept 19. International carmakers are partnering with Chinese companies to tailor autonomous driving solutions for their vehicles sold in the world's largest vehicle market. Last week, the largest carmaker in the United States said it is investing $300 million in Chinese autonomous driving startup Momenta. The deal is expected to accelerate General Motors' development of self-driving technologies for its vehicles in China, said Julian Blissett, executive vice-president of GM and president of GM China. "Customers in China are embracing electrification and advanced self-driving technology faster than anywhere else in the world," Blissett said.

AI set to steer Indian cars in new direction


Unveiled on Wednesday, the Astor will have Autonomous Level 2 technology. This implies that the car can temporarily take control of the steering and speed of the vehicle. It is also referred to as an advanced driver assistance system, or Adas. The unit of China's SAIC Motor Corp. says the Astor will also be the first vehicle in the global MG portfolio to have personal AI assistant. This is not the first connected car in India, and neither is Level 2 autonomous driving.

China's Baidu launches second chip and a 'robocar' as it sets up future in AI and autonomous driving


Baidu also took the wraps off a "robocar," an autonomous vehicle with doors that open up like wings and a big screen inside for entertainment. It is a prototype and the company gave no word on whether it would be mass-produced. But the concept car highlights Baidu's ambitions in autonomous driving, which analysts predict could be a multibillion dollar business for the Chinese tech giant. Baidu has also been running so-called robotaxi services in some cities including Guangzhou and Beijing where users can hail an autonomous taxi via the company's Apollo Go app in a limited area. On Wednesday, Baidu rebranded that app to "Luobo Kuaipao" as it looks to roll out robotaxis on a mass scale.