What went wrong with Cruze, a pivot in Vroom and a home for Tesla's Dojo supercomputer | Tech Crunch

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TechCrunch Mobility is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation – sign up here — click TechCrunch Mobility — to receive the newsletter in your inbox every week. Subscribe for free.

Welcome back to TechCrunch Mobility – the same weekly newsletter you've been reading, but with a new name and a few changes.

As I mentioned last week, this is still your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation! This week, read about how Mercedes accidentally exposed its source code, including the latest Cruise-GM saga, Tesla's EV Sales Alert and more.

Let's go!

A small bird

Economic headwinds may be easing a bit, but companies are still under pressure. Autonomous vehicle and EV startups — even those that have since gone public — are scrambling to cut costs in hopes of expanding their capital runway. Aurora Innovation, for example, laid off about 3% of its workforce; EV Company pole star Confirmed to TechCrunch, it has cut 15% of its global workforce, Flexport Another 20% are reportedly looking to cut jobs, and package delivery company Veho said it has cut 19% of its corporate/exempt workforce.

Now, some little birds are telling us but And Faraday Future – Two EV startups have gone public through mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies – cutting salaries or laying off employees. Faraday confirmed pay cuts and laid off employees without providing further details. But sources tell us that workers are also being laid off.

Got a tip for us? Email Kirsten Korosek or at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com Sean O'Kane sean.okane@techcrunch.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, Click here to contact usThis includes SecureDrop (Here are the instructions) and various encrypted messaging apps.

Deal of the week

Station money

At the TC Climate Desk, the reporter spoke with Harry Weber Arc tern Managing Partner Murray McCaig About its third (and recently closed) $335 million fund.

Arctern plans to funnel this capital into climate-focused startups that can deliver quick returns. Specifically, the Toronto-based firm focuses on startups that use proven technology in new ways. And his bet? Decarbonizing Mobility. Although sales of electric vehicles have slowed of late, McCaig sees this as a “blip.”

VC believes that North America is about to reach a tipping point where EV adoption will take off like a rocket like in Norway.

Other deals that caught my eye…

Clearmotion It raised an additional $4 million, bringing its Series B round to about $43 million, according to a recent Form D filing.

Corvus EnergyThe energy storage and fuel cell systems company, focused on marine, offshore and port applications, has received an undisclosed investment from Woven Capital, Toyota's growth fund.

MontaThe Copenhagen-based EV charging software startup has raised €80 million ($86.9 million) in a Series B funding round co-led by Energize Capital, Greenpoint Partners and Denmark's state-backed Export and Investment Fund.

Scion PowerThe Tucson, Arizona-based lithium-metal battery developer has raised $75 million from battery maker LG Energy Solutions, mathematician and investor Jim Simons' Euclidean Capital and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's family office management firm Hillspire LLC.

Vroom is shutting down its online used car marketplace and shifting all of its resources and capital into two business units focused on auto financing and AI-powered analytics. As a result, around 800 employees or 90% of employees will lose their jobs.

Notable reads and other tips

Autonomous vehicles

Internal review of Cruise And the October 2 event that led GM The subsidiary, which lost permits to operate a robotaxi in California, eventually fell. tl;dr by the conducted report Quinn Emmanuel: Cruise did not intentionally mislead regulators. So what went wrong with the cruise? A lack of judgment, leadership missteps, an “us vs. them” relationship with regulators, and correcting an inaccurate media narrative that Cruise AV, not Nissan, was responsible for the Cruise AV accident contributed to the company. problems.

Cruz also revealed Department of Justice And yet Securities and Exchange Commission Investigations have also started against the company. Every agency you can think of is now looking into the incident, including the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the California Public Utilities Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Finally, the 195-page appendix also included a heavily redacted report by Exponent on Oct. 2 that examined technical issues, specifically why the robotaxi began a pullover maneuver that pulled trapped pedestrians underneath. More to come before that.

Electric Vehicles, Batteries & Charging

Porsche A long-delayed project to test whether consumers still have enthusiasm for an electric vehicle that costs more than $78,000 has taken the wraps off two variants of the Macan EV.

Tesla Kicked off the earnings season with a bit of a stinker. Yes, the company delivered a record 1.8 million EVs in 2023, but margins have been hurt by its price cuts as well as higher R&D costs and the cost of bringing the Cybertruck into production (especially considering its operating income). Even as solar deployments decline, energy storage is one of Roger's areas, growing 125% year-on-year.

software and other in-car tech

Mercedes-Benz Company accidentally exposes internal data after leaving private key online that gave it “unlimited access” to source code

Tesla New York plans to spend $500 million to build one of its “Dojo” supercomputers at a factory in Buffalo, the state's Governor Kathy Hochul announced at a news conference on Friday, just days after CEO Elon Musk called the project “a long shot.” Fired.” Musk made an interesting comment on social media that the company will spend a lot of money on Nvidia hardware in 2024 and underinvest.

Chakras this week

Ride1Up E-Bike 700 Series

Image Credits: Ride1up

This week's wheels come courtesy of TC editor Devin Coldwee, who recently purchased a Ride1up 700 series e-bike.

Trying to find the right balance between moped-style throttle and traditional pedal assist, I wavered for a few months on buying a new e-bike. In the end, I went with it Ride1Up 700 Series, which offered a sort of package deal (at Black Friday pricing) that meant maximum usage with minimum fuss. Fenders, rack, lights, all in the bargain.

Although assembly is a bit involved (don't try if you've never put a bike together before), the finished product – now that I've put a few miles on it – is very solid. Some of the ergonomics could be better, and the custom rack didn't fit any of the panniers I wanted; However, the big solid frame and massive wheels are reassuring on the road, and the throttle is excellent for navigating the Seattle Hills and Seattle drivers.

It's on the heavy side — 62 pounds — so I won't be carrying it up any stairs or hanging it from a regular bike hook. But it's already opening up a different “zone” in my mind for getting around the city: too far to walk comfortably, too close to drive judiciously, and too hilly to pedal. Turns out that's a lot of Seattle!

It certainly won't be my last ebike, but I'm glad it's my first. If I had it to do over again, I might have opted for the mild LTD with the torque sensing pedal assist, but hey.



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