Back in April last year, Spotify launched its first hardware product called the Car Thing, an audio streaming device designed to make it easier to use the app while driving.
Initially, it could be obtained for free, but only by special invitation from the company. Later, those who wish had to stand in line and buy it. Now Spotify has officially announced that Car Thing is widely available in the US and anyone can get it for $90. In the box, you get an art Thing, a mounting tool, a charging cable, and a 12V adapter. As a reminder, you will need a Spotify Premium subscription to use the device.
The device itself does not have a speaker and does not have a data connection. It simply functions as an intermediary between your phone and your car’s speakers, and does so either via Bluetooth or via an AUX cable. With Car Thing, Spotify wants to make audio streaming more convenient and enjoyable.
Its biggest selling point is its multitude of control options: physical buttons, including a large rotary knob and responsive touchscreen, and most importantly, voice commands.
Tesla autopilot caused crash, driver charged with murder
There was a new incident involving a Tesla car with autopilot on, which resulted in the death of two people. A Tesla Model S passed through a red traffic light at 119 km/h and crashed into a Honda Civic, killing the occupants of the last car.
The investigation confirms that the autopilot function was active in the car at the time of the accident. However, in the report, the judicial department believes that the fault lies with the driver and has nothing to do with the autopilot.
According to the Los Angeles District Court, the owner of the car was charged with “manslaughter in a vehicle.” By definition, vehicular homicide is the crime of causing death by gross negligence. This may involve drunk driving, reckless driving, or speeding.
The punishment for this varies greatly. For example, if minor speeding results in death, it carries a prison sentence of up to one year. However, if the driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs, the punishment will be much more severe. Based on the description of this charge, there is evidence that the driver was grossly negligent while driving.
A Los Angeles court said there was enough evidence to charge the Tesla driver with murder. However, the trial in this case has only just begun.
As we have already reported, Tesla has created a department dedicated to responding to litigation within the company. It includes both passive response and active pursuit. Elon Musk says this new department reports directly to him.
Skoda Afriq sports crossover unveiled
Skoda presented the finished car Skoda Afriq, created at the company’s Academy in Mladá Boleslav. For the first time, we wrote about a sports crossover, which was created by a group of students, in November. Now it has become a reality.
With the name Afriq, the concept car pays homage to the legendary Dakar Rally, and technically it is similar to many other rally cars. The students were actively assisted by the Skoda Motorsport factory team participating in the rally on Skoda Fabia hatchbacks.
Externally and in size, the Skoda Afriq is similar to the Kamiq crossover. The distinctive sides were welded rear doors, enlarged wheel arches and an increase in overall length from 4241 to 4362 mm. The rear wing, ventilation system and almost the entire interior, including the steering wheel, instrument panel, seats, seat belts and intercoms, were transferred from the Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo racing hatchback.
Skoda Afriq received transmission from Skoda Octavia 4×4. We are talking about a 2.0-liter 190-horsepower turbo engine, a seven-speed DSG “robot” and an all-wheel drive system with a clutch on the rear axle. To install the latter, the Czechs had to shorten the driveshaft and literally make the entire exhaust system from scratch.
The gas tank for the Afriq was also taken from the Skoda Octavia 4×4, and for independent suspension, the students completely redid the bottom of the donor Kamiq. The mass of the car was only 1350 kg, and in the back of it fit a portable water generator capable of producing drinking water from moisture in the air.
The car was created in a single copy.
Elon Musk called the month of the appearance of fully unmanned Tesla
The Tesla CEO visited Brazil on Friday. The reason for the trip was a partnership with the local government to launch a program to connect Amazon regions to SpaceX Starlink satellite internet.
Speaking to reporters, Elon Musk said that in a year (in May 2023) Tesla will already have cars with an unmanned driving system that does not require the presence of drivers behind the wheel. It is worth noting that Elon Musk has repeatedly made such statements in the past, but he has always been wrong in his predictions.
He previously claimed that there will be a million Tesla robot taxis on the roads in 2020. This year, Musk changed the goal to 1 million Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta users, which is a big difference.
The Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta version has the features of the autonomous driving system, but they sometimes fail, requiring the driver to be constantly behind the wheel, aware of the situation and ready to take control.
Tesla continues to improve the Full Self-Driving system and collect data to train its neural networks. Tesla hopes that with enough improvements, its FSD system will eventually be secure enough to be used without driver oversight.
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