USB-C Mandatory for EU Phones; Google Asst Driving Mode; Polestar EV-SUV Coming; Waymo Partners with Uber-Autonomous Trucks

We’ve been covering this for a while, with ‘it’s probably coming’ stories. Now, it’s happened. The European Union will require USB-C to be mandatory on all phones sold in the EU by the fall of 2024. Theverge.com reports that this legislation has been in the works for 10 years, but now, even Apple will have to use USB-C on their phones. Apple had already switched over iPads and Macs to USB-C, so they obviously saw this coming. It will be a huge plus to be able to just grab a USB-C cable to charge your phone instead of having to look for (or buy and expensive) proprietary cable for your iPhone. The EU is now looking on trying to enforce standards for wireless charging and fast charging….all welcome rules that will help consumers. 

Google had announced back in 2919 that it would be killing off Android Auto in favor of Google Assistant Driving Mode. Well, that time is coming up imminently. According to 9to5google.com, even older versions of  Android Auto for Phone Screens will lose access soon. A couple of irritating down sides to the newer app…first, Android Auto showed up as an app on your home screen. For Assistant Driving Mode, the easiest way to get to it is a verbal command: “Hay Google, launch Driving Mode.” After that, you can tap the icon and add it to your home screen. You can then set it to connect to your car’s Bluetooth and it should detect it and run when you are driving. Down side number two? It had been promised months ago that the app would switch to landscape mode when you run it, but right now, that doesn’t work yet…so you have an irritating portrait mode to work with in your car (or on your phone). Perhaps Google should have had this entirely baked before killing off Android Auto!

Polestar will roll out its electric SUV in October. Engadget.com says the Polestar 3 will be partially assembled in the US (although mostly in China.) They are claiming it will have a 372 mile range. The Model has dual motors, and will offer 4WD. The company hasn’t released pricing yet. Polestar is a Swedish brand started back in the mid 90’s by Volvo and Flash/Polestar Racing. The company was bought by Chinese maker Geely in 2010.

They fought bitterly in the past, but now Waymo is partnering with Uber Freight, the ride hail’s truck brokerage on tech to power autonomous big rigs. Theverge.com reports that the “long-term strategic partnership” will enable fleet owners to more quickly deploy trucks equipped with Waymo’s autonomous “driver” for on-demand delivery routes offered by Uber Freight. The goods delivery division of Waymo— Waymo Via, which is focused on goods delivery in both trucking and local delivery formats will collaborate with Uber Freight, which launched in 2017. That service connects truck drivers with shippers, much in the same way the company’s ride-hailing app pairs drivers with those looking for a ride. The two say it will be a ‘deep integration.’ In a statement, the companies predict their integration will lead to “unlocking much-needed capacity for shippers, increasing fuel efficiency, providing carriers with the opportunity to scale their businesses, and ultimately streamlining global supply chains to the benefit of everyone.”



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