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Waymo Sues Uber for Intellectual Property Theft

Waymo has filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco claiming Uber and its self-driving truck company stole Waymo’s self-driving car technology.

That intellectual property theft of Alphabet’s Waymo unit by an Otto self-driving truck employee earned that company more than $500 million, the complaint alleges.

Uber acquired self-driving startup Otto last year for $680 million. Otto employees had committed “calculated theft” of Alphabet’s technology, the filing said.

Waymo claims in the suit that it took seven years to design and build the laser-scanning system guiding self-driving cars. Uber was able to tap into Otto’s process of getting it done in nine months, according to the suit.

Waymo was accidentally copied on an email from one of its vendors, which had an attachment showing an Uber Lidar circuit board that had a “striking resemblance” to Waymo’s design, according to the court filing.

The claims in the federal court case include unfair competition, patent infringement, and trade secret misappropriation.

“Fair competition spurs new technical innovation, but what has happened here is not fair competition. Instead, Otto and Uber have taken Waymo’s intellectual property so that they could avoid incurring the risk, time, and expense of independently developing their own technology,” Waymo said in the complaint.

“We take the allegations made against Otto and Uber employees seriously and we will review this matter carefully,”’ Uber spokeswoman Chelsea Kohler said in an email.

SEE ALSO:  Uber Moves Self-Driving Cars From California To Arizona Via Self-Driving Trucks

Tensions continue to increase between Alphabet/Google and Uber. Google Ventures had invested significantly in the company, which ended abruptly last year; and Silicon Valley talent, especially skilled engineers, had been competed for heavily.

Uber is already facing a few fights of its own. The ride-hailing company has been mired in allegations of sexual harassment by a female developer who had worked with the company. The company this week set up a commission led by former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder to investigate the former developer’s allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination by her manager.

Weeks earlier, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from President Donald Trump’s business advisory council after customers deluged the company with social media attacks, citing his affiliation with Trump.

The Detroit News

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Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Is The Strongest in Panamera Line

Porsche is now positioning the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid as the flagship in the Panamera line for its power delivery.

The German automaker sees the all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid sports car hitting impressive performance numbers for power and torque. The Volkswagen division says it also emphasizes the “high importance of electromobility to Porsche.”

The world premier will be at the Geneva Motor Show next month. It will be launched in the European market in July 2017.

The Turbo S E-Hybrid can deliver 500 kW/680 horsepower of system power and 627 pounds-feet of torque. It goes from 0 to 100 km/m (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 310 km/h (192 mph). The power comes from an electric motor (producing 100 kW/136 horsepower) coupled with a four-liter V8 engine (404 kW/550 horsepower).

It can go up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) on battery only; but that comes from European NEDC standards and would be less in the U.S.

Hitting that power performance mark comes from transferring over some of the technology from the 918 Spyder.

It follows the AWD Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid that had been launched right ahead of the 2016 Paris Motor Show. That plug-in hybrid with its V6 engine combined with an electric motor has total system output of 462 horsepower. It can travel up to up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode under NEDC standards, with a maximum speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).

Both Panamara models feature a decoupler installed in the hybrid module activated by an electric clutch actuator (ECA), bringing short response times and a high level of comfort while driving it. As is the case in all other second-generation Panamera models, it uses the fast-shifting Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK); that system uses eight gears to transmit power to the standard adaptive AWD system Porsche Traction Management (PTM).

SEE ALSO:  AWD Porsche Panamera Hybrid Variant with 462 HP Joins Lineup

The electric motor gets its power from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 14.1 kWh. Within six hours, the high-voltage battery integrated in the rear is fully charged via a 230V connection. Those who buy the optional 7.2 kW onboard charger and a 230-volt connection, instead of the standard 3.6 kW charger, will get their battery fully charged in just 2.4 hours.

Owners can plan their charging using a timer supplied by the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) connectivity feature, or through the Porsche Connect app (for smartphones and Apple Watch).

Those buying the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid can pay more the Executive version, where the wheelbase is extended by 150 millimeters (5.9 inches).

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Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck Test Run Starting Up in Germany

Mercedes-Benz will bring the all-electric Urban eTruck to users through a trial run in Europe beginning this year.

The German automaker has been in talks with about 20 potential customers about participating in a test project at first in Germany and later throughout Europe.

The 124-mile range Urban eTruck is part of the company’s vision to supply urban fleets with electric trucks ideal for short-range commercial deliveries. Mercedes-Benz had earlier committed to bringing about 150 of these trucks, including light-duty Fuso eCanter electric trucks, to customers in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.

These Urban eTrucks have been designed to tap into electric drive power and torque to navigate through cities with heavy loads. The large 212 kWh battery pack powers two high-speed asynchronous three-phase electric motors that can deliver up to 339 horsepower and 737 pounds-feet of torque.

Users can choose between 18- and 25-ton models with various application options including a refrigerated body, a dry box body, and as a platform vehicle. These fleets will get chargers made for these trucks during the 12-month test cycle. A Mercedes-Benz road testing department can provide support services.

The automaker said it will be setting up user profiles with data collected on areas of application and usage. Knowledge will be gained from the test and user expectations for the applications will be compared.

SEE ALSO:  Mercedes-Benz Shows Off All-Electric Urban eTruck With 124-Mile Range

Mercedes-Benz Trucks sees the demand in global markets for these trucks coming from pressure that companies face on supporting better air quality, a lower noise level, and mobility restrictions in crowded cities. The interest is there, the company says.

“Following the world premiere in September 2016 at the International Commercial Vehicle Show the customer reaction was outstanding. We are currently talking to around 20 potential customers from the disposal, foodstuffs and logistics sector. With the small series we are now rapidly taking the next step towards a series product. By 2020 we want to be on the market with the series generation,” said Stefan Buchner, head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks.

The company expects costs to continue coming down for lithium ion batteries, analyzing the trend during the timeframe of 1997 to 2025. Costs will be going down from 500 euros ($528) per kWh to 200 euros/kWh ($211) during that period. Energy density will be improving in a similar scale – from 80 Wh/kg (36.28 Wh/pounds) to 200 Wh/kg (90.71 Wh/pounds).

InsideEVs

 

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