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Everyone needs to get around. How we do it will change more over the next decade than it has in the last century. Legacy automakers, like Ford and GM, are scrambling to become technology-savvy companies, and the tech industry is trying to cash in on the change. New players, like Rivian and Tesla, are disrupting the industry and sometimes stumbling. We look at how self-driving hardware and software make the automobile better or, in some cases, deeply flawed. We cut through the hype and empty promises to tell you what's really happening and what we think is coming. Verge Transportation cares about all moving machines and the place they have in the future.

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California governor vetoes a bill requiring humans in autonomous big rigs

State legislators passed a bill restricting self-driving heavy-duty trucks in California, but it won’t get the governor’s signature.

This retractable cable can help make the iPhone USB-C transition easier

If you share a vehicle with someone who is still using a Lightning iPhone, but you have a shiny new iPhone 15 with USB-C, you’ll want one of these.

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Expect to see more EV chargers at more Marriott hotels.

The hotel chain announced a new deal with EV Connect to install branded electric vehicle charging stations at its hotels in the US and Canada.

Renting or traveling with an EV will be an easier choice if you know there’s somewhere to charge it, and Marriott may also need to compete with Hilton, which just announced a new charging deal with Tesla.

MKBHD got to check out an Amazon + Rivian electric delivery van.

I’ll admit that I’ve been curious to see the inside of one of these, and Marques Brownlee did a full tour on his Auto Focus channel. It looks like, well, a delivery van, but clearly a very highly-engineered one. (He shot the video on the iPhone 15 Pro, if you are curious about how video footage looks from that phone.)

Jaguar cuts a Tesla Supercharging deal, too.

In new US EV charging news, the automaker will adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) port in its next-generation EVs starting in 2025. Current and future I-Pace customers will also get adapters to use the 12,000-plus Tesla Superchargers beforehand, but there’s no timeframe for availability.

Jaguar is joining the likes of FordGMRivianVolvo, PolestarNissanMercedes-BenzFisker, and Honda on essentially the same deal to get on Tesla’s winning connector.

a jaguar vehicle parked in front of a tesla supercharger stall
Charge your I-Pace at a Tesla Supercharger with an adapter — whenever that comes out.
Image: Jaguar
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Saudi Arabia didn’t want to take Tesla private, but they may still get a factory.

The electric automaker is reportedly in talks to build a new manufacturing facility in the oil-rich nation, according to Wall Street Journal. But any deal would need to overcome a lot of hurdles, including Elon Musk’s contentious relationship with the Saudis (they declined to take Tesla private back in 2018) and the country’s majority stake in rival EV maker Lucid Motors. Much of the talks seem to center on Saudi Arabia’s desire for Tesla’s help securing more cobalt from Africa, which has been linked to human rights abuses. All in all, a tangled mess of foreign relations, late stage capitalism, and bruised billionaire egos!

The Verge
“Big Three” auto workers are now on strike.

A simultaneous strike at Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis, has never happened, until now. The UAW is demanding pay increases, shorter working days, and stronger pensions. The US automakers claim they can’t transition to EVs and compete with the likes of Tesla, and its cheaper non-union workforce, due to high labor costs.

You can read what’s at stake at the link below.

The Verge
Ford, uniquely exposed to a strike, makes a last ditch effort.

CEO Jim Farley and executive chairman Bill Ford both showed up to the negotiating table with UAW earlier this week in an effort to avert a strike, the company said in a statement. (UAW President Shawn Fain was a no-show, Ford says.) Ford wants to be seen as pulling out all the stops. But it’s also true that Ford employs the most UAW members of all the “Big Three” automakers, leaving the company uniquely exposed to the economic fallout from a strike.

“If there is a strike, it’s not because Ford didn’t make a great offer,” Farley said. “We have and that’s what we can control.” 

The deadline to reach a deal is tonight at 11:59PM. Tick tick tick.

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The FAA is pushing back its Remote ID compliance date for drones.

The FAA is extending its Remote ID requirement by six months. That means drone operators will have until March 16th, 2024, to add a module to their drones that broadcasts the device’s identity, location, and other information to agencies like the FAA and local law enforcement.

The FAA previously set a compliance date of September 16th, 2023. It notes that operators who don’t comply before the deadline could “face fines and suspension or revocation of pilot certificates.”

Ford sneaks out new badge.

Car and Driver noticed that the blue oval emblem found on the new 2024 Ford F-150 has been redesigned. The slightly larger white script and removal of the outer chrome ring are subtle changes, but significant when placed on America’s bestselling vehicle since, well, forever.

<em>The new simpler badge.</em>


The new simpler badge.
Image: Ford
Cybertruck wheel covers double as ninja death stars.

Dashcam footage of a pre-production model shows a plastic wheel cover being flung into busy highway traffic. Concerning for a company plagued by initial quality issues and the first production Cybertruck deliveries expected any day now. 

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Chevy’s recalling Bolt EUV chargers that could shock you.

GM is recalling 9,423 chargers that came with the Chevy Bolt EUV to repair a glitch in the software (Recall number: N232407300). The charger might not stop the flow of electrons when the ground connection is lost, possibly causing a brief shock when unplugging.

Chevy has plenty of time to make sure the next Bolt comes with better chargers.