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Apple's self-driving car plans are accelerated by former Tesla Autopilot software executive
by Moshe Jacobs
Apple has acquired former Tesla Autopilot software executive employee Christopher Moore, as reported by Bloomberg. Christopher Moore's onboarding is the latest in Apple's efforts to accelerate its self-driving car plans.
The hiring of Christopher Moore presents an interesting dynamic to Apple's self-driving car project. Moore has, in the past, refuted arguably unrealistic statements made by Tesla's CEO Elon Musk in regards to the proficiency of Autopilot performance being able to reach Level 5 autonomy within a couple of years.
Christopher Moore is said to report to Stuart Bowers, yet another employee who formerly worked at Tesla and was picked up by Apple.
In the past 5 years, Apple has been, not-so-secretively, working on an electric self-driving vehicle codenamed Project Titan. While it seems that Apple's exact goals are unknown with what it hopes to achieve, as can be evidenced by the constant rotation of management as well as its shift in plans from building a vehicle to compiling autonomous driving software and back again to building a vehicle, the Apple Car project is seemingly still accelerating forward. In regards to its self-driving software, Apple is said to be implementing LiDAR scanners and video cameras for awareness of the surrounding environment.
Whatever transpires from Project Titan, whether solely autonomous software or a full-fledged self-driving vehicle, it will sure to be just another notch on Apple's belt.
Tesla becomes latest firm to surpass $1 trillion market cap
by Paul Hill
Tesla has become the latest firm to surpass a $1 trillion market cap following the biggest order it has ever seen from rental car company Hertz. According to Reuters, it’s normal for car companies to sell large numbers of poorly-selling cars to rental firms like Hertz and they don’t typically make a fuss about it. This time, however, the sale of the cars to Hertz shows that electric vehicles are becoming more of a mainstream product and this is what has caused the boost to Tesla’s market cap.
At the time of writing (15:37 UTC-4) Tesla’s stock was up 12.68% compared to the day’s opening price on the back of the Hertz news and its market cap is currently sitting at $1.02 trillion. At this market cap, it’s the most valuable car company and joins an exclusive club of firms that have surpassed this market cap. The club includes Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Hertz interim CEO, Mark Fields, seemed to be bullish on electric vehicles when talking to Reuters, saying:
His bullishness on the sector is not unfounded. In London today, a zone called the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was expanded by 18 times across the capital. Drivers with older polluting cars wanting to drive in this zone will be made to pay a hefty fee. The intention is to push more people onto public transport and to switch to electric vehicles to bring down pollution in the capital.
It’ll be interesting to see where Tesla’s market cap goes from here. While the company definitely has more potential yet, its outspoken CEO, Elon Musk, could inadvertently hurt the company’s value by being controversial on social media.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Tesla sales surge despite global chip shortages
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Though the wider auto industry has seen a trend of declining sales owing to the global chip shortage during Q3 2021, Tesla revealed today that it was able to sell 241,300 vehicles and manufacture approximately 238,000 vehicles. This number is the best for the automaker, as it's the most cars that Tesla has ever sold in a quarter (via The Verge). For reference, it delivered half a million cars last year.
Elon Musk, the firm's CEO, tweeted today to congratulate his employees. He also thanked Tesla's suppliers and logistics partners for procuring required equipment "despite great difficulties."
General Motors, the largest automaker in the U.S., stated on Friday that it sold 446,997 cars in the third quarter, which is a 33 percent shortfall compared to Q3 2020 (via Detroit Free Press).
Those wanting to read Tesla's net income, cash flow results, and other financial performance-specific statistics will need to wait until Q3 earnings are made publically available. The announcement also read that final numbers for delivery could vary by roughly 0.5 percent, as Tesla only considers a car in its delivery count if it has been transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct.
By Usama Jawad96
Elon Musk denies demanding the CEO position from Apple's Tim Cook
by Usama Jawad
Recently, a story regarding Elon Musk demanding the position of Apple's CEO from Tim Cook has been making the rounds on the internet. The anecdote comes from The Wall Street Journal writer Tim Higgins' new book Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century.
Higgins describes a telephonic conversation between the two executives where Cook suggested the buyout of Tesla by Apple. In exchange, Musk asked to be CEO, to which Cook reportedly agreed, thinking that the Tesla executive wanted to remain the CEO of his company. However, Musk then disclosed that he actually wanted to be made the CEO of Apple, to which Cook replied "F*ck you" and hung up the phone. Higgins says that the story was told by a former aide who heard Musk retelling it.
When asked about the exchange on Twitter, the Tesla executive denied that it ever took place, saying that:
When The Verge asked Apple to comment on the matter, the company also referred to an old interview where Cook had stated that he has never spoken to Musk. Meanwhile, Higgins has defended his writing, saying that Apple and Elon Musk were given opportunities to comment on the book prior to its publication, but both declined.
And while it may be unrelated, in a rather odd piece of timing, Elon Musk has declared his support for Epic Games in the company's ongoing legal battle against Apple, saying that the latter's App Store fees are a "de facto global tax on the Internet".
Tesla's "Big Battery" explodes causing big flames and smoke, warning out for locals
by Sayan Sen
via 7NEWS Melbourne (Twitter) A 13 tonne Lithium battery inside a container unit - that's part of one of Tesla's largest batteries ever deployed, dubbed the "Victorian Big Battery" - caught fire earlier today. The plant is located at Moorabool in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV), the fire-fighting organization of the state, was quick to respond in order to contain the breakout. Drones were also deployed to help with the monitoring. A Specialist Officer was sent to the scene to observe the condition of the air in and around the surroundings as well.
In fact, a warning has since been issued by VicEmergency in relation to the toxic smoke that's being emitted. VicEmergency is responsible for broadcasting emergency information and warnings.
The Victorian Big Battery was commissioned back in November 2020 by the Australian government in order to achieve the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) by 2030. This Megapack system at Geelong, Victoria, was planned for launch in summer 2021-22 which would then be able to deliver a promised 300MW / 450MWh of renewable power.