The Station: Layoffs are coming for the AV world, VW plans ‘big moves’ in China and inside Cruise’s robotaxi outages – Thealike


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Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of shifting individuals and packages from Point A to Point B.

Before we leap in, I needed to flag that Rebecca Bellan is out this week, which implies micromobbin’ can be taking a break (One micromobility story I assumed was fascinating: Amazon is swapping out vans for cargo bikes in central London).

Speaking of Rebecca, she has been main our founders Q&A collection that has been working for a 12 months now. As a part of the collection, we’re checking in with founders a 12 months after their preliminary interview to see what has occurred, what they’ve discovered and even the place they’ve failed.

Our decide this month: Veo co-founder and CEO Candice Xie.

As all the time, you may e mail me at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com to share ideas, criticisms, opinions, or suggestions. You can also ship a direct message to @kirstenkorosec

Just a little fowl

Here are a few nuggets I’m listening to from the little birds which have been whispering in my ear.

Layoffs are coming for the autonomous car world. One instance, which I wrote about, is Argo AI. But I’m listening to rumbles that extra layoffs will likely be coming this quarter at different corporations. Like Argo, these seem like an effort to regulate from some over-hiring.


Looks like Wheels, which gives seated scooters and an built-in helmet know-how, is furloughing some workers. You would possibly recall that final month Helbiz stated it has signed a letter of intent to amass Wheels. These newest furloughs comply with one other spherical that occurred final month.

Deal of the week

money the station

While we historically wish to concentrate on two-, three- and four-wheeled automobiles and naturally, plane, generally it’s price highlighting a deal that may have an effect on transportation. I’m speaking about supply of products and particularly, Amazon’s funding into and partnership with Grubhub.

The business phrases of the settlement seems like it can give Amazon a stake in Just Eat Takeaway, which owns Grubhub within the United States.

Amazon tried to construct its personal supply competitor to Grubhub and Doordash after which scrapped that effort in 2019. This new technique goals to encourage extra sign-ups to its Prime subscription service and provides it a slice of the meals supply recreation. (Prime members will likely be provide free membership to Grubhub+ for one 12 months).

Why do you have to care? Amazon has its fingers in nearly every bit of logistics and supply, together with that burrito you need to order, and it’s both investing in, buying, partnering or internally constructing out robotics, autonomous automobiles know-how, EVs and drones. At some level, all of those items will come collectively.

Other offers that acquired my consideration this week …

Antin Infrastructure Partners invested in RAW Charging, capital that may assist the UK-based EV fast-charging startup’s £250 million ($300M) EV charger set up plan.

APFusion, an automotive B2B market for the auto salvage trade, raised $6.5 million in a seed spherical co-led by Left Lane Capital and Bedrock Capital. Existing investor M25 additionally participated.

EVCS, an EV fast-charging community, raised $68.8 million comprised of a $50 million debt facility from Spring Lane Capital, and a Series A fairness funding of $18.8 million co-led by Abdo Partners, Spring Lane Capital and the Copulos Group. EVCS stated it plans to greater than double its community footprint to just about 1,500 chargers by 2023.

Mullen Automotive, the EV SPAC, stated it eliminated $17.5 million in firm debt and lowered its total indebtedness from greater than $30 million final 12 months to an estimated $11 million presently.

Northvolt, the Swedish battery maker, secured new funds finally 12 months’s valuation of $12 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing an individual accustomed to matter. Separately, Northvolt stated it signed a $1.1 billion convertible word to finance an growth of its manufacturing capabilities in Europe.

Scandinavian airline SAS filed for bankruptcy protection within the U.S., following a pilot strike that it stated was placing stress on its already squeezed funds.

Volvo Group’s enterprise arm made an undisclosed strategic funding in Optibus, an Israeli-based startup that makes use of AI to assist public transportation companies plan and function their networks. The funding comes about two months because it raised $100 million in a Series D spherical.

Notable reads and different tidbits

Autonomous automobiles

Argo AI has laid off about 150 individuals from its international workforce, which immediately exceeds greater than 2,000 individuals. The firm remains to be hiring, however the tempo has slowed, one supply instructed me.

Cruise’s robotaxi outages stretched past the one roadblock incident we reported final week. Wired’s Aarian Marshall has an excellent article on a collection of incidents through which GM subsidiary misplaced contact with its autonomous automobiles, leaving them frozen in visitors and trapping human drivers.

Outrider, the Golden, Colorado-based, is releasing a next-generation autonomy package for yard automation, FreightWaves reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a particular investigation right into a crash in San Francisco involving a Cruise autonomous car that resulted in minor accidents.

Electric automobiles & batteries

Consumer Reports launched outcomes of a survey that discovered 28% of U.S. respondents wouldn’t purchase an electrical car.

Can Polestar succeed the place different EV SPACs have failed?

Rivian produced 4,401 EVs at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Illinois within the second quarter and delivered 4,467 in the course of the quarter ended June 30, the corporate reported. Rivian stated it’s on monitor to hit its 25,000 manufacturing goal by the tip of the 12 months.

Tata Motors needs to promote 50,000 electrical automobiles by the tip of the fiscal 12 months ending March 31, the corporate’s chairperson Natarajan Chandrasekaran stated throughout a shareholders’ assembly.

Toyota reached the 200,000-unit cap on electrical and plug-in-hybrid automobiles which are eligible for a federal tax credit score of $7,500.

Volkswagen Group broke floor on the first of six battery factories it expects to construct in Europe, the official kickoff of a brand new battery enterprise referred to as PowerCo. The plan is to speculate $20 billion by 2030 to change into a worldwide EV chief.

In-car tech

Digital distraction in automobiles is getting worse, LA Times reports (subscription).

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess stated the corporate is planning “big moves” in China, together with using a number of thousand individuals at its automotive software program arm Cariad.

Tesla

Another week, one other 5 million Tesla tales.

  1. Lawyers representing two former Tesla workers who have been terminated in mid-June filed an emergency movement asking a choose to ban the electrical car maker from forcing staff to signal releases in alternate for much less severance than federal legislation offers.
  2. Elon Musk has tried to terminate his settlement to purchase Twitter. Reading the letter, that is going to be, um, properly, tough. Let the authorized battle begin! The announcement did present a small bump to Tesla’s share worth.

  3. Tesla plans to start opening its Supercharger community to different electrical automobiles by the tip of the 12 months, in line with a White House memo that shared the automaker’s plans.

  4. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation right into a deadly crash involving a Tesla, in line with paperwork considered by Thealike.

Miscellaneous

The hazard of license plate readers in post-Roe America, from Wired.

People

ZF Friedrichshafen has appointed Holger Klein as its next chairman and CEO, succeeding Wolf-Henning Scheider, who will go away the corporate firstly of 2023. Klein is presently a ZF administration board member targeted on the Asia-Pacific area.





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