The Station: A new self-driving car startup, Inside Tesla’s V10 software, Lilium’s big round – TechSwitch

    If you haven’t heard, TechSwitch has formally launched a weekly e-newsletter devoted to all of the methods individuals and items transfer from Point A to Point B — in the present day and sooner or later — whether or not it’s by bike, bus, scooter, automobile, prepare, truck, flying automobile, robotaxi or rocket. Heck, possibly even through hyperloop.
    Earlier this yr, we piloted a weekly transportation e-newsletter. Now, we’re again with a brand new title and a format that will probably be delivered into your inbox each Saturday morning. We’re calling it The Station, your hub of all issues transportation. I’m your host, senior transportation reporter Kirsten Korosec.
    Portions of the e-newsletter will probably be revealed as an article on the principle web site after it has been emailed to subscribers (that’s what you’re studying now). To get every thing, it’s important to join. And it’s free. To subscribe, go to our newsletters web page and click on on The Station.
    This isn’t a solo effort. Expect evaluation and perception from senior reporter Megan Rose Dickey, who has been protecting micromobility. TechSwitch reporter Jake Bright will sometimes present perception into electrical bikes, racing and the startup scene in Africa. And then in fact, there are different TechSwitch staffers who will weigh in from their stations within the U.S., Europe and Asia.
    We love the reader suggestions. Keep it coming. Email me at [email protected] to share ideas, opinions or ideas or ship a direct message to @kirstenkorosec.
    A brand new autonomous car firm on the scene is the most recent firm to obtain a allow from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to check autonomous autos on public roads.
    Here is what we all know up to now. The Chinese startup simply raised $50 million in a pre-Series A funding spherical led by Fozun RZ Capital, the Beijing-based enterprise capital arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. The firm has analysis facilities in Shenzhen, Beijing and Silicon Valley and is aiming to construct a full self-driving stack that may deal with Level 4 automation, a designation by the SAE meaning the car can deal with all elements of driving in sure situations with out human intervention. can be a provider for China’s second-largest automaker Dongfeng Motor, in accordance with TechNode. The startup plans to supply robotaxi companies in partnership with Dongfeng Motor for the Military World Games within the metropolis of Wuhan subsequent month.
    Snapshot: Tesla Smart Summon
    Remember means again in September when Tesla began rolling out its V10 software program replace? The software program launch was extremely anticipated largely as a result of it included Smart Summon, an autonomous parking characteristic that enables house owners to make use of their app to summon their autos from a parking house.
    We have some perception into the rollout, courtesy of TezLab, a Brooklyn-based startup that developed a free app that’s like a Fitbit for a Tesla car. Tesla house owners who obtain the app can observe their effectivity, whole journey miles and use it to regulate sure features of the car, akin to locking and unlocking the doorways, and heating and air con. TezLab, which has 20,000 lively customers and logs greater than 1 million occasions a day, has develop into an enormous repository of Tesla knowledge.
    TezLab shared the info set beneath that reveals the ebb and move of Tesla’s software program updates. The X axis reveals the date (of each different bar) and a timestamp of midnight. (Because it is a screenshot, you possibly can’t toggle over it to see the time.)

    This knowledge reveals when Tesla began pushing out the V10 software program in addition to when it held it again. The upshot? Notice the pop on September 27. That’s when the general public rollout started in earnest, then dipped, then spiked once more on October 3 after which dropped for nearly every week. That lull adopted a slew of social media postings demonstrating and complaining concerning the Smart Summon characteristic, suggesting that Tesla slowed the software program launch.
    A geofencing vibrant spot
    Speaking of Smart Summon, you might need seen the Consumer Reports evaluate of the characteristic. In brief, the patron advocacy group referred to as it “glitchy” and puzzled if it provided any advantages to prospects. I spoke to CR and discovered a bit extra. CR notes that Tesla is evident in its handbook concerning the limitations of this beta product. The group’s criticism is that folks don’t have perception into these limitations after they purchase the “Full Self-Driving” characteristic, which prices hundreds of {dollars}. (CEO Elon Musk simply introduced the value will go up one other $1,000 on November 1.)
    One encouraging signal is that CR decided that the Smart Summon characteristic was in a position (more often than not) to acknowledge when it was on a public highway. Smart Summon is just supposed for use in non-public areas. “This is the first we’ve seen Tesla geofence this technology and that is a bright spot,” CR advised me.
    Deal of the week

    There had been loads of offers previously week, however the one which stood out — for a wide range of causes — concerned German city air mobility startup Lilium . Editor Ingrid Lunden had the inside track that Lilium has been speaking to buyers to boost between $400 million and $500 million. The measurement of this yet-to-be-closed spherical and who could be investing is what obtained our consideration.
    Lilium has already raised greater than $100 million in financing from buyers, together with WeChat proprietor and Chinese web large Tencent, Atomico, which was based by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström, and Obvious Ventures, the early-stage VC fund co-founded by Twitter’s Ev Williams. International non-public banking and asset administration group LGT and Freigeist (previously referred to as e42) are additionally buyers.
    TechSwitch remains to be looking down particulars about who could be investing, in addition to Lilium’s valuation. (You can at all times attain out with a tip.)
    Lunden was capable of ferret out a couple of necessary nuggets from sources, together with that Tencent is seemingly on this newest spherical and the startup has been pitching new buyers since at the least this spring. The spherical has but to shut. Lilium isn’t the one city air mobility — aka flying automobiles — startup that been shaking the investor timber for cash the previous six months. Lilium’s problem is making an attempt to boost a much bigger spherical than others in an unproven market.

    Somewhat chicken

    We hear loads. But we’re not egocentric. Let’s share. For the unfamiliar, slightly chicken is the place we move alongside insider ideas and what we’re listening to or discovering from dependable, knowledgeable sources within the trade. This isn’t a spot for unfounded gossip. Sometimes, like this week, we’re simply serving to to attach the dots to find out the place an organization is headed.
    Aurora, an autonomous car startup backed by Sequoia Capital and Amazon, revealed a weblog put up that lay outs its plans to combine its self-driving stack into a number of car platforms. Those plans now embrace long-haul vans.
    Self-driving vans are so extremely popular proper now. Aurora is banking on its current acquisition of lidar firm Blackmore to present it an edge. Aurora has built-in right into a Class 8 truck its self-driving stack often called “Aurora Driver.” We hear that Aurora isn’t asserting any partnerships — at the least not now — however it’s signaling a plan to push into this market.
    Got a tip or overheard one thing on this planet of transportation? Email me at [email protected] to share ideas, opinions or ideas or ship a direct message to @kirstenkorosec.
    Keep (self) truckin’

    Ike, the autonomous trucking startup based by veterans of Apple, Google and Uber Advanced Technologies Group’s self-driving truck program, has at all times forged itself because the cautious-we’ve-been-around-the-block-already firm.
    That hasn’t modified. Last week, Ike launched a prolonged security report and accompanying weblog put up. It’s beefy. But listed here are a couple of of the necessary takeaways. Ike is selecting to not take a look at on public roads after a yr of improvement, in contrast to most others within the house. Ike has a fleet of 4 Class 8 vans outfitted with its self-driving stack in addition to a Toyota Prius used for mapping and knowledge assortment. The vans are pushed manually, (a second engineer at all times within the passenger seat) on public roads. The automation system is then examined on a observe.
    There are robust incentives to show speedy progress with autonomous car expertise, and testing on public roads has been a part of that playbook. And Ike’s founders are taking a special path; and we hear that the method was embraced, not rejected, by buyers. 

    In the following problem of the e-newsletter, try snippets from an interview with Randol Aikin, the pinnacle of programs engineering at Ike. We dig into the corporate’s method, which relies on a technique developed at MIT referred to as Systems Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) as the inspiration for Ike’s product improvement.
    In different AV truck-related information, Kodiak Robotics simply employed Jamie Hoffacker as its head of {hardware}. Hoffacker got here from Lyft’s Level 5 self-driving car initiative and likewise labored on Google’s Street View autos. The firm tells me that Hoffacker is essential to its intention of constructing a product that may be manufactured, not only a prototype. Check out Hoffacker’s weblog put up to get his perspective.
    Nos vemos la próxima vez.

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