News Update – What is Happening Now in Car, Audio, and Smartphone Tech

As August arrives and the vernal heat radiates onto the final days of summer, continuous innovations are usurping the sunlight with new horizons on the automotive and tech industries. Uber is jettisoning their leasing program while a new report demonstrates the rising sun of infotainment.

Here is what’s been happening in the recent weeks:

Uber is getting out of the car-leasing business by end of year.

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To be more efficient and cost-effective, the company is taking a hard look at its services and beginning to determine what direction it wants to focus on. In a recent review of their leasing service, they saw huge losses in revenue with low driver satisfaction with the program. In the wake of this decision, Uber will be focusing more on cost saving and improve relationships with their contract drivers.

3 Key Findings for in-vehicle media landscapes in the US, Western Europe, and China.

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The report found that radio needs to embrace internet and app broadcast to surviving as streaming services like Pandora and apps like InTune begin to dominate. The report shows that digital music, stored or streamed, has become the leader in-vehicle infotainment. The report has also acknowledged that the era of the CD player is quickly coming to end as the latter technologies are emerging as its replacement.

A new rebate program for electric car owners in California.

GROM Audio Blog News Electric Cars


The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting from San Francisco, would change and expand an existing program for consumers to buy both hybrid and electric vehicles. The program would start big and slowly recede as funds are used. Embracing the same strategy used a decade earlier to startup California’s solar industry, the state is using this new program as a means of meeting its ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse has emission.

Car builders reconsidering and downsizing their autonomous car programs.

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Looking to spread the burden of investment and risk involved in this new innovation, many automakers like BMW are looking for opportunities at partnerships with other companies and sacrifice absolute proprietorship of forthcoming autonomous driving systems. Because of the forecast of the emerging self-driving car market, many companies are scaling back programs as it is more commonly understood that autonomous vehicles will only make up a small percentage of the overall driving market.

Cruise, GM subsidiary, begins BETA testing autonomous cars with ride hailing service.

GROM Audio News Blog Cruise Autonomous Car General Motors


Sorry, but don’t bother signing up to participate; its exclusively being offered to Cruise employees. The program, called Cruise Anywhere, is already being utilized by employees as their primary means of transportation. Cruise says that at least 10% of its staff in San Francisco is using the beta program with more enrolling each week. Participants are able to access the service from 16 to 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Cruise uses Chevy Bolt EV cars that are equipped to operate as driverless-vehicles with the appropriate modifications to make it happen.

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