Mercedes Benz is teaming up with Nvidia to create a perpetually upgradable computing platform for vehicles that will allow cars to add automated driving functions over time, becoming smarter and more valuable the longer they are on the road.
Why it matters: Self-driving technology won't arrive in a snap. Instead, it will roll out gradually through periodic software updates, similar to the way people refresh their smartphones. It's a fundamental shift in thinking that will extend the life of cars, and allow even used-car buyers to get the latest technologies.
Apple is adding a feature to its new iOS 14 phone operating system aimed at making it easier for EV drivers to find places to plug in.
Driving the news: "Electric vehicle routing adds charging stops along a planned route based on current vehicle charge and charger types," the company announced.
Amazon is creating a $2 billion venture fund that will stake companies working on climate-friendly technologies in transportation, storage, food, power generation, waste and more, the tech giant said Tuesday.
Why it matters: The new fund will help Amazon and other companies meet the "climate pledge" that Amazon announced last year to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.
The state of play: Some of the states seeing a resurgence in road traffic are the same that have seen increases in COVID-19 infections, especially as people avoid public transit amid the pandemic. Drivers in 22 states are on the road more now than they were in late February before states began implementing stay-at-home orders. And congestion has begun to return to cities including New York City and Los Angeles.
Major trade group Cruise Lines International Association announced on Friday its members are voluntarily suspending trips out of U.S. ports until Sept. 15.
Why it matters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no sail order was due to expire July 24. Cruising giants like Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line are members of the trade group.
Uber and Lyft both announced moves this week as they look for a profitable path forward.
The big picture: Both companies have been devastated by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, delaying their efforts to achieve profitability. But they are adapting for the long haul.
Ford is preparing to launch a hands-free driving feature on certain 2021 models, starting with its upcoming electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E.
Why it matters: The plug-in Mach-E is Ford's Tesla fighter, which means it needs assisted driving capability to compete with Tesla's Autopilot. Like the Tesla system, Ford's new Active Drive Assist has limitations.
Most people have been avoiding public transit if they can, but a new report in The Atlantic says there's no evidence subways and buses are to blame for coronavirus outbreaks.
Why it matters: Public transportation is essential to the resumption of normal economic activity in our cities, but surveys show people would prefer to drive their own car than risk being cooped up on a subway or bus with strangers who might infect them with the virus.
Urban transit agencies are rethinking how they prevent crime and maintain order following nationwide protests over racial bias and police brutality in the death of George Floyd and others.
Why it matters: Transit police — an often overlooked arm of law enforcement — are the ultimate beat cops. They're positioned as potential leaders in the effort to defuse anger and rebuild trust in cities where there's renewed interest in the concept of community policing.