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Tesla Model S and X ‘refresh’ rumors rekindled after covered body-in-whites spotted in Fremont

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Rumors for a potential Tesla Model S and Model X “refresh” were rekindled recently after a drone flyover of the Fremont Factory revealed three mysteriously covered body-in-whites being transported within the facility. While the body-in-whites were fully covered, the vehicles resemble the size and shape of Tesla’s flagship sedan and SUV. 

Footage of the mysterious vehicles was shared on YouTube by drone operator Gabeincal, a Tesla enthusiast who has been following the progress of the company’s Roadrunner site and Giga Press facilities over the past months. In his recent video, the drone operator was able to capture some footage of the Giga Press in action, together with the covered body-in-whites. 

As noted by some electric vehicle advocates on Twitter, it was pretty odd for Tesla to have the three body-in-whites wrapped fully as there are hundreds of other finished, uncovered cars in the area. Granted, there are some other covered vehicles in the footage, but those seemed to be Model 3 or Model Y vehicles, at least based on their compact body. The three body-in-whites captured on video, however, featured a long hood and curved rear, which are trademark features of the Model S and Model X. 

Tesla shut down the Model S and Model X lines at the Fremont Factory last December despite the company’s efforts to hit its half-a-million vehicle production target. The electric car maker did not specify the reasons behind its decision to halt the production of the flagship sedan and SUV, though expectations were high that updates to the vehicles would be announced when production resumed on January 11, 2021. The date for the Model S and Model X’s return to production passed and no updates for the two vehicles were released. 

Despite the lack of concrete information about a Model S and Model X refresh, there have been sightings of some new Model S cars with an updated body kit in recent weeks. On New Year’s Day, pictures of a Model S with a wide body kit, new rear diffuser, and new wheels were photographed near Tesla’s Palo Alto headquarters. The vehicle, which sparked more speculations about a Model S refresh, was quite similar to the track-ready cars that Tesla sent over to the Nurburgring in 2019. 

Watch some footage from the Fremont Factory in the video below. 

Do you have anything to share with the Teslarati Team? We’d love to hear from you, email us at tips@teslarati.com or reach out to me at maria@teslarati.com.

Tesla Model S and X ‘refresh’ rumors rekindled after covered body-in-whites spotted in Fremont

Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-s-model-x-refresh-body-in-white-video/

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Mercedes-Benz EQS Interior Teaser Lets Designers Explain The Cabin

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JLR Cancels Electric Road Rover, Jaguar J-Pace Likely Dead As Well

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Uber spins out delivery robot startup as Serve Robotics

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Postmates X, the robotics division of the on-demand delivery startup that Uber acquired last year for $2.65 billion, has officially spun out as an independent company called Serve Robotics.

TechCrunch reported in January that a deal was being shopped to investors.

Serve Robotics, a name taken from the autonomous sidewalk delivery bot that was developed and piloted by Postmates X, has raised seed funding in a round led by venture capital firm Neo. Other investors included Uber as well as Lee Jacobs and Cyan Banister’s Long Journey Ventures, Western Technology Investment, Scott Banister, Farhad Mohit and Postmates co-founders Bastian Lehmann and Sean Plaice.

Serve Robotics didn’t share specifics of the funding except to confirm that the round, which will be a Series A, has not been completed yet. Funding a spin out can occur in phases, with the first tranche used for the initial launch and the rest of the round closing once IP has been transferred.

The new company will be run by Ali Kashani, who headed up Postmates X. Other co-founders include Dmitry Demeshchuk, the first engineer who joined the Serve team at Postmates and MJ Chun, who previously led product at Anki, has been heading up product strategy at Serve. The company is launching with 60 employees with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada.

Serve Robotics Uber Postmates

Image Credits: Serve Robotics

“While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all,” said Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics. “Over the next two decades, new mobility robots will enter every aspect of our lives–first moving food, then everything else.”

Postmates’ exploration into sidewalk delivery bots began in earnest in 2017 after the company quietly acquired Kashani’s startup Lox Inc. As head of Postmates X, Kashani set out to answer the question: why move two-pound burritos with two-ton cars? Postmates revealed its first Serve autonomous delivery bot in December 2018. A second generation — with an identical design but different lidar sensors and few other upgrades — emerged in summer 2019 ahead of its planned commercial launch in Los Angeles.

The company’s mission to design, develop, and operate delivery robots specialized in navigating sidewalks will continue, albeit with an eye towards expansion. Serve will continue its delivery operations in Los Angeles. It plans to ramp up research and development in the San Francisco Bay area and expand its market reach through new partnerships.

The spin out is consistent with Uber’s aim to narrow the focus of its business on ride-hailing and delivery in a push towards profitability. This strategy began to take shape after Uber’s public market debut in May 2019 and accelerated last year as the COVID-19 pandemic put pressure on the ride-hailing company. Two years ago, Uber had enterprises across the transportation landscape, from ride-hailing and micromobility to logistics, public transit, food delivery and futuristic bets like autonomous vehicles and air taxis. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has dismantled the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach as he pushes the company toward profitability.

In 2020, Uber offloaded shared scooter and bike unit Jump in a complex deal with Lime, sold a stake worth $500 million in its logistics spinoff Uber Freight and rid itself of its autonomous vehicle unit Uber ATG and its air taxi play Uber Elevate. Aurora acquired Uber ATG in a deal that had a similar structure to the Jump-Lime transaction. Aurora didn’t pay cash for Uber ATG. Instead, Uber handed over its equity in ATG and invested $400 million into Aurora, which gave it a 26% stake in the combined company. In a similarly crafted deal, Uber Elevate was sold to Joby Aviation in December.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/03/02/uber-spins-out-delivery-robot-startup-as-serve-robotics/

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The 2022 C40 Recharge will be Volvo’s first leather-free EV

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Volvo is going all in on going green, the company announced during an online press event on Tuesday. The car maker pledged to produce nothing but electrics by 2030, go fully carbon neutral by 2040 and to begin selling its vehicles virtually — startin… Checkout PrimeXBT
Source: https://www.engadget.com/the-2022-c-40-recharge-will-be-volvos-first-leather-free-ev-161142216.html

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