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Schaeffler - Mobility for tomorrow
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Toyota Mobility JV Develops First Models

Toyota Mobility JV Develops First Models

When Toyota teamed up with Japanese tech giant SoftBank two years ago to form Monet Technologies, the partners had clear goals for the joint venture. Monet (short for mobility network) was to focus on applications for autonomous ride-hailing and delivery services.

A lot has changed since then. Fully automated vehicles have lost their luster (at least for the short-term) and COVID-19 has threatened the future of ride-hailing.

As a result, Monet quickly adapted its mission, which is evident in a pair of prototype models the company unveiled this week.

The vehicles—both of which are modified versions of Toyota’s Asian-market HiAce light commercial van—feature reconfigurable interiors, including one that is designed to protect passengers from spreading viruses to each ...READ MORE

Cars, COVID-19 and Climate Change: Driving Sustainability Forward
Sponsored Content

The U.S. transportation sector generates nearly 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions–the largest share, globally. It comes as no surprise, when during the height of physical distancing and shelter-in-place orders due to the global coronavirus pandemic beginning this past spring, the world experienced a sharp drop in carbon emissions. With fewer drivers on the road, air pollution declined in major cities across the country. Residents of Los Angeles, once choked by smog, can now view stars in the clear night sky.

As significant as this unintended environmental benefit might be in isolation, it came at a very high societal cost in terms of lost lives, disrupted society and economic turmoil. The future cannot be met through indefinite confinement, nor by eliminating ...READ MORE

Second Ex-UAW President Charged in Corruption Probe

Dennis Williams, who led the United Auto Workers between 2014 and 2018, has been charged with embezzling union funds.

Williams follows ex-President Gary Jones, who pleaded guilty of similar felonies in June. Jones succeeded Williams as head of the UAW in 2018-2019 before resigning last November.

Dirty Dozen

The two are among a dozen union-related people who have been indicted in a continuing U.S. Dept. of Justice investigation that began about four years ago.

The probe focused initially on the embezzlement of $4.5 million intended for a joint UAW-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles worker training center. The enquiry spread to a similar facility run by the union and General Motors, where union officials pressured GM vendors to pay kickbacks on contracts for such paraphernalia as union jackets ...READ MORE

Recalls? There’s an App for That

Has your car been recalled? Now your phone can let you know.

This long-overdue feature, dubbed the SaferCar App, is a free download from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for Android and iOS phones.

Virtual Garage

The app is being rolled out today. It can be set up to monitor multiple vehicles—including cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles—simply by typing in or scanning their vehicle identification numbers.

Users also can use the app to create a “virtual garage” to monitor the status of such equipment as tires, trailers and child safety seats.

If your vehicle or other equipment is recalled, the app will display a short, easy-to-understand description of the problem. It can even help users locate the nearest dealership equipped to handle the ...READ MORE

Rivian Lands Former Tesla Engineering Exec

Plymouth, Mich.-based electric vehicle startup Rivian Automotive has hired Nick Kalayjian as executive vice president in charge of engineering.

He succeeds Mark Vinnels, who reportedly left Rivian last week. Vinnels, who joined Rivian in late 2017, previously held senior leadership roles at McLaren Automotive and Group Lotus.

Kalayjian assumes his new position as Rivian prepares to launch its first models, (the R1T pickup and R1S SUV) next year. The company has raised $6 billion—including $2.5 billion last month—from investors such as Amazon, Ford, Cox Automotive and T. Rowe Price.

Plenty of Experience

You may recall that Kalayjian worked for Tesla for more than a decade, including his final two years there as vice president of engineering.

It also should be noted that ...READ MORE

Tesla Employee Helps Thwart Cyber Attack on Nevada Gigafactory

An unnamed Tesla employee worked with the FBI to help prevent a cyber attack by Russian hackers that targeted the company’s battery Gigafactory in Nevada.

The collaborative effort saved Tesla an estimated $400 million in ransomware payoffs and repairs.

In Custody

On August 22, the FBI arrested a 27-year-old Russian citizen named Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov in Los Angeles. Kriuchkov is charged with conspiracy to intentionally damage a protected computer, according to a Justice Department statement.

Kriuchkov met with the Tesla employee, a Russian-speaking person who had access to the company’s IT systems, several times in July and offered him money to participate in the scheme. The employee agreed to help but immediately informed Tesla, when then went to the FBI.

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