What went wrong with Cruise, a pivot to Vroom and a home for Tesla's Dojo supercomputer


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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, it's still your central hub for news and insight on the future of transportation! This week, read how mercedes Its source code was accidentally exposed, which is the latest cruise-gm saga, Tesla's EV sales alerts and more.

let's go!

a little bird

shimmering cat bird green

Economic headwinds may have eased a bit, but companies are still under pressure. Autonomous vehicle and EV startups — even those that have since gone public — are trying to cut costs in hopes of increasing their capital runway. Arora InnovationFor example, it laid off about 3% of its workforce; EV Company pole Star TechCrunch confirmed that it has also cut its global workforce by about 15%, flexport It is reportedly considering eliminating another 20% of jobs, and package delivery company WeHo said it has laid off 19% of its corporate/exempt workforce.

Now, some little birds are telling us this Kanu And faraday future — Both EV startups that went public through mergers with special purpose acquisition companies — are either reducing salaries or furloughing employees. Faraday confirmed it had reduced pay and furloughed staff, without giving further details. Sources reveal that Canu is also furloughing employees.

Got a tip for us? E-mail Kirsten Korosec at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com or sean o'keane sean.okane@techcrunch.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous, Click here to contact usIncluding SecureDrop (instructions here) and various encrypted messaging apps.

deal of the week

give money to the station

TC Climate Desk reporter Harry Weber speaks arcturn managing partner murray mccaig About its third (and recently closed) $335 million fund.

Arcturn plans to deploy this capital into climate-focused startups that can deliver super quick returns. Specifically, the Toronto-based firm focuses on startups that use proven technology in new ways. And his stake? Decarbonizing Mobility. Although electric vehicle sales have slowed recently, McCaig sees it as a “blip.”

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

Other deals that caught my attention…

clearmotion According to a recent Form D filing, an additional $4 million was raised, bringing its Series B round to approximately $43 million.

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

montaThe Copenhagen-based EV charging software startup 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.

cyan powerThe Tucson, Arizona-based lithium-metal battery developer 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 company 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 approximately 800 employees, or 90% of its workforce, will lose their jobs.

Notable readings and other news

autonomous vehicle

internal review of cruise and the October 2 incident that led to this GM The subsidiary that lost its permit to operate robotaxis in California was eventually delisted. Via a report conducted by TL;DR quinn emanuel:Cruz did not intentionally mislead regulators. So what went wrong with Cruz? The lack of judgment, missteps by leadership, the “us vs. them” relationship with regulators and the determination to correct the incorrect media narrative that the Cruise AV, not the human-driven Nissan, caused the crash all cost the company. were contributing factors. Problem.

Cruz also revealed that Department of Justice And this Securities and Exchange Commission Has also started investigating the company. Nearly every agency you can think of is now investigating 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 includes a heavily redacted report from Exponent, which looks into the technical problems of October 2, specifically why the robotaxi initiated a pullover maneuver that pulled the trapped pedestrian below. There's more to come on that front.

Electric vehicles, batteries and charging

porsche Two variants of the Macan EV were unveiled, a long-delayed project that will test whether consumers still have the ability to afford an electric vehicle costing more than $78,000.

Tesla Earnings season started off on a bit of a sour note. Yes, the company delivered a record 1.8 million EVs in 2023, but the price cuts led to a decline in profits (especially when looking at its operating income) that squeezed margins, as well as higher R&D spending and the Cybertruck being forced into production. Cost of bringing in reduced. While solar deployment declined, energy storage was one of the best sectors with 125% growth year-on-year.

Software and other in-car technology

mercedes benz A trove of internal data was accidentally exposed after a private key giving “unrestricted access” to the company's source code was left online.

Tesla State Governor Kathy Hochul plans to spend $500 million to build one of her so-called “Dojo” supercomputers at her Buffalo, New York factory, just days after CEO Elon Musk called the project a “long ” told. Shoot.” Musk also made an interesting comment on social media that downplayed the investment, noting that the company will spend far more money on Nvidia hardware in 2024.

this week's wheels

Ride1Up E-Bike 700 Series

Image Credit: ride1up

This week's wheels come from TC editor Devin Koldewey who recently purchased a Ride1Up 700 Series e-bike.

I was indecisive for a few months about buying a new e-bike, trying to find the right balance between moped-style throttle and traditional pedal assist. Finally, I went with it ride1up 700 series, which offered a kind of package deal (at Black Friday pricing) meant to mean minimum fuss for maximum utility. Fenders, rack, lights, all for cheap.

While assembly involved a bit of work (don't attempt if you haven't put together a bike before), the final product is – now that I've put a few miles on it – quite solid. Some ergonomics could be better and the custom rack doesn't fit any of the panniers I want; However, the big solid frame and oversized wheels are reassuring on the road and the throttle is excellent for navigating the Seattle hills and Seattle hills for both drivers.

It's heavy – 62 pounds – so I wouldn't mount it on any ladders or hang it from a normal bike hook. But this is already opening up in my mind a different “zone” for getting around the city: too far to walk conveniently, too close to drive reasonably and too hilly to pedal. Turns out this is a pretty big part of Seattle!

This definitely won't be my last eBike, but I'm happy with my first eBike. If I had it to do over again, I might have opted for the lighter Limited with torque sensing pedal assist, but hey.