Elon Musk has a simple solution for Tesla cars equipped with cameras capable of spying: no Turn them on! It is that easy. All that and more in The morning shift for April 7, 2021.
1st Gear: I wish America was free tech for everyone in the car in a fun way
Jalopnik’s friend points John Voelcker on Twitter that America is basically a free-for-all country when it comes to new-age automotive tech, compared to China, which is dropping the hammer on Tesla cameras in the car.
We have problems with these cameras here in the United States, but the voice of dissent in our case is Consumer Reports. The news from China is that the military itself is pissed off, as Reuters reports:
Cameras in Tesla cars are not activated outside North America, the American automaker said on its China social media page on Wednesday, seeking to allay safety concerns in the world’s largest auto market.
Tesla faces scrutiny in China, where the military in March banned Tesla cars from entering its complexes, citing safety concerns about cameras in their vehicles, sources told Reuters.
In a virtual forum in Beijing in March, held shortly after reports of the ban emerged, Tesla founder Elon Musk emphasized the company’s business motivations to protect user privacy.
“There is a very strong incentive for us to be very confidential with any information,” Musk said.
“If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, they will shut us down.”
Elon gave more comments that closely resemble Amazon’s recent defense of “You really don’t believe in peeing in bottles, do you?”As Bloomberg reports:
Speaking virtually at a conference, Musk said that if Tesla ever used its cars to spy in China, or anywhere, the company would “shut down everywhere.”
“If a commercial company were to engage in espionage, the negative effects on that company would be extremely bad,” he told the China Development Forum last month, a meeting organized by a unit of the country’s State Council.
America is denied cute self-submerging laser headlights, but we have no problem with this?
2nd Gear: Rebuilding the EPA seems like an era
News Here is where the new EPA director wants to set stricter exhaust emissions standards that were repealed under Trump. What interests me is this discussion about the reconstruction of a administration that was gutted by Trump, What Bloomberg reports:
[EPA Administrator Michael Regan’s] The first task is to rebuild the agency, which dumped about 700 scientists during Trump’s term. He also needs to rebuild morale among EPA employees who stayed, including many who said they were looked down upon under Trump and still distrust managers who agreed with the old regime.
“The secret sauce here is to return to the original mission of the agency, which is to protect people and natural resources, and to create a welcoming environment that is centered and focused on scientific integrity, ethics and values,” he said. Regan. “We believe that we will attract some of the talent that the agency left during the previous administration, but we also believe that we will be really attractive to new scientists, new engineers, new legal minds.”
Regan is trying to bolster scientific integrity at the agency, which according to environmental and public health advocates has seen a decline in the past four years. In one of his first major acts, Regan last week ordered the removal of dozens of members from two scientific advisory committees that guide EPA’s work, a move designed to reduce industry influence and create a blank slate for reconstruction of the panels.
If any of you reading this are one of the 700 scientists who were ousted by Trump, please email us at tips at jalopnik dot com.
3rd Gear: GM takes very seriously secondary companies that may or may not Include flying cars
Nothing tells you that a car company takes something more seriously than a statement about a technology that never surpassed the Jetsons. That is why I launch a suspicious eye toward GM’s new promotion of its parallel companies, reported in Reuters:
GM’s veteran engineer Global Innovation team is seeking startups to expand the automaker’s revenue streams well beyond vehicle sales and is incubating businesses from commercial delivery services to vehicle insurance to address future markets. for an estimated value of $ 1.3 billion. That doesn’t include flying cars, a sector of the market that alone could be worth $ 1.3 trillion, Fletcher told Reuters.
In a recent video chat, Fletcher quietly counted before answering how many companies his team is running. “Just under 20,” he said.
Reuters named several of these different companies in a separate articleand they include expanding OnStar through apps and offering SuperCruise as a subscription service.
4th Gear: America watches Europe get a cool hybrid Jeep
Europe has strict regulations that pressure auto companies to build electric and hybrid vehicles, much stricter than the regulations we have in the United States. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Europe is acquiring hybrid Jeeps before us. We’ve already been through this with him Renegade, now the compass is revised, since Freep reports:
An update to the Jeep Compass compact SUV, which was revealed in Europe on Tuesday, will add a lot of tech, including the 4xe plug-in hybrid and new Android-based connectivity and entertainment systems.
The updated Compass is expected to debut later this year in Europe, and sales in the US will follow in the first half of 2022.
The Compass will also have a wider grille and narrower LED headlights to create a face consistent with upcoming larger Jeeps such as the Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee L.
This report is based on the European model. Not all of its features will carry over to American models. The Compass is a bit of a premium model in Europe. It’s a fundamental part of the Jeep identity there, where compact vehicles often sell for higher prices and offer more luxurious features and materials than in the US.
Sad to see America as a second-tier market for efficient Jeeps!
5th Gear: Nissan’s China Sales Up 70 Percent Compared To this time last year
I’m not sure if this is a case of Nissan getting the Chinese market right, or just a sign of how deeply depressed things were at the start of the pandemic. Either way, this is a huge leap, since Reuters reports:
Nissan Motor Co’s passenger and light vehicle business in China increased unit sales by 70.6% year-on-year in the first three months of 2021, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
Neutral: What was your experience working in a government agency?
I’ve had several different bosses over the course of a job, but nothing like what I imagine working in a government agency is like during the transition from one administration to another. I might be wrong! It might not be that dramatic.