If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.
May 8, 2021
Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) – here’s how to watch it
Whatever you think of him, Elon Musk is indeed the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. And, again, whatever you think of him, he’s inexplicably hosting Saturday Night Live tonight, May 8. Here’s everything you need to know about how to catch the “Technoking” himself on TV or streaming…
June 27, 2019
Waymo’s self-driving truck team now led by ex-Anki CEO, engineering team
Besides running a public ride service, Waymo is partnering with car makers and working on self-driving trucks to monetize its autonomous technology. The latter effort is getting a boost with the hiring of just over a dozen former Anki engineers.
December 20, 2018
I work at home, and it so happens that I live in a one vehicle household at the moment. It’s been a good thing for our current situation for a variety reasons, but it does come with some downsides. There are those occasions where it’d be nice to be able to get around town when I don’t have access to a vehicle, and for that reason, I was excited to check out my first e-bike/e-scooter, the Ancheer “folding electric bike”.
June 28, 2017
A report out of BuzzFeed News at the beginning of this month said that Alphabet’s Waymo was in the early stages of exploring self-driving trucks, and now (via Jalopnik) we have our first peek at one of those trucks out on public roads. The truck sports an appropriate light blue color, the Waymo insignia, and of course the self-driving hardware suite.
April 27, 2017
According to a report this afternoon from Business Insider, Anthony Levandowski, the subject of a dramatic legal battle between Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber over alleged stolen self-driving car technology, has stepped aside from his role as lead of Uber’s Advanced Technologies group. Levandowski will reportedly continue overseeing operations and safety, however…
April 24, 2017
A relatively new startup by the name of Kitty Hawk is showing off its all-electric flying ‘car’ for the first time today, almost a year since we first learned that Alphabet CEO Larry Page is one the startup’s biggest backers. While often referred to as a flying car, it’s obvious now that what Kitty Hawk has been working on for the last couple of years is more accurately described as a human-carrying drone…
March 10, 2017
Alphabet-owned Waymo is now asking a judge to stop Uber from using the self-driving car tech it claims the ride hailing company stole, in what is the latest development in a legal feud between the two companies. This news follows Waymo’s suit against Uber that was filed late last month over theft of key self-driving technology…
February 1, 2017
The California Department of Motor Vehicles published its Autonomous Vehicle Disengagement Reports for 2016 today, which include statistics on disengagements for all of the companies currently testing self-driving cars in the Golden State. Importantly, Alphabet’s Waymo reported far fewer safety-related disengages and far more miles driven in 2016 compared to 2015, signaling that the company’s system is — as it should — continually getting safer…
December 13, 2016
Google announced today at a small press event in San Francisco, California that its self-driving car project is spinning off into its own company and getting a new name: Waymo. This news follows a report from earlier today that Google has backed off plans for radical self-driving cars in run-up to its launch.
August 27, 2016
It feels like Google/Alphabet’s self-driving car project has been at a bit of a yellow light lately, with the recent departure of its technical lead & director Chris Urmson and other key members being the biggest sign of trouble. Now, Reuters reports that the Mountain View company has hired ex-Airbnb executive Shaun Stewart as “a director of the self-driving car project” (albeit not a replacement for Urmson), and that his role will be “to help commercialize Google’s self-driving technology.”
June 27, 2016
Report: Google’s self-driving car partnership with Fiat is inconsequential
According to a report today out of The Information, Google’s recently-formed partnership with Fiat Crysler to make 100 self-driving minivans is nothing more than the automobile company getting “a seat at the table” with Google. This comes as the Mountain View company struggles to find a path to actually market its self-driving technology, juggling a variety of not-so-great options that include licensing the tech to struggling automakers and entering the ridesharing business…
June 2, 2016
May’s self-driving car report details how Google teaches its cars to honk
Every month, Google puts out a report for its self-driving car project. There’s not that much new this month besides the usual updated running totals (miles driven, number of vehicles on the road, etc.), but the Mountain View company did take some time to detail something that many may not have thought about yet: how it’s teaching the cars to honk…
May 27, 2016
Nest CEO Tony Fadell is behind the Actev Motors Arrow Smart-Kart
According to an alleged Nest engineer a couple months back, the company is on deathwatch. Of course the official word from Fadell himself is that all the bad PR doesn’t represent the company or its culture, but the evidence suggests still that financially and culturally there are lots of problems.
Now, we learn today (via Fortune) that Tony Fadell, Nest’s CEO, has had a little passion project going on in the background. Co-founded with its CEO Dave Bell, Actev Motors makes the Arrow Smart-Kart, a smart first of its kind electric go-kart with app controls and a $600 price tag…
May 5, 2016
According to a report today from The Wall Street Journal, GM and Lyft are partnering to test a fleet of self-driving electric taxis sometime within the next year in an undisclosed city. The pilot will reportedly take advantage of GM’s Chevrolet Bolt, a speedy compact crossover all-electric that we took for a test drive earlier this year…
May 4, 2016
April 28, 2016
April 22, 2016
I was in China this week to witness the unveiling of many new products from a huge Chinese conglomerate you may or may not have ever heard of — LeEco. The company, which recently changed its name from LeTV, took to its own LeSports stadium in Beijing to announce not only several new phones, but a VR headset, some new TV sets, and to top it all off, a concept car.
Follow after the break for a full look at the announcement in less than 5 minutes…
April 20, 2016
Earlier today, LeEco (previously known as LeTV) announced its first set of China-bound phones since its rebranding, but the company also used today’s event in Beijing — attended by more than 10,000 people — to unveil its first all-electric concept car dubbed LeSee…
April 5, 2016
Google car project nabs ex-Apple global supply manager w/ experience delivering millions of iPhones and Watches
Reuters last month reported that Google has been bolstering its self-driving car team as of late, and now as April rolls in, we’ve uncovered some more information on new hires as the team continues to expand. In one case, Google has added an ex-Apple global supply manager for the iPhone and the Apple Watch to the self-driving car supply management team…
April 4, 2016
Google/Alphabet published its self-driving car report for March over the weekend, and besides of course the latest numbers (including the number of cars in each city, the total number of autonomous and manual driven miles, etc.), there are also some new details on the system the company uses to map the cars’ surroundings, and mention of a mundane accident that happened in Austin, Texas involving one of the company’s Lexus vehicles…