Car Tech News: Google Maps, Volvo, Spotify, Tesla

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Summer is here and the news continues in-car tech and related fields. From Tesla’s embattled production goals to Apple caving into competitor apps for Carplay, and Spotify release of its Lite version, there is a lot to cover.

Here is what’s going on:

Volvo is getting reading to take on the ridesharing market with their new M “Mobility Brand.” Hey, hold on Volvo! BMW already has an M series! Unfortunately, Volvo does not care about BMW. Volvo is convinced the carsharing market is lucrative and their M series is about getting mobile when necessary. The idea of carsharing, as described by Zip Car, is like a better way to do a car rental. Reserve your vehicle on your time for as long as you need it—whether an hour or a day. It’s all done through apps. Volvo sees the future and is partnering with Swedish carsharing service Sunfleet. Watch out Zip Car!

volvo car

Photo Source: The Drive

IPhone owners rejoice! You don’t have to use Apple Maps if you don’t want to! With the OS 12 update to the iPhone operating system and the latest version of CarPlay, owners can now have access to either Google Maps or Waze—which of course is owned by Google. Before users with an iPhone that had CarPlay installed were limited to Apple Maps. Now, Apple has given up the ghost, allowing users to access other mapping apps such as Waze. Owners will have to have OS 12 to make it happen but once updated, your iPhone will be the new home for all the crowdsourced fun that is Wave mapping.

apple carplay

Photo source: ExtremeTech

Tesla just announced it hit its production goal right on the money, producing 5,031 Model 3s of the last week of the second quarter. Now, Musk is raising the bar further as he makes his company’s goal to produce 6,000 Model 3 cars ever week by late next month. Tesla had previously dropped the ball to its investor’s boos, which makes this a big deal. What happens next is hard to foresee but Musk is making a hell of a show out of it after reportedly sleeping on his office couch, which led to a bunch of Musk groupings setting up a GoFundMe page to raise money for new couch for the dog-eared CEO.

tesla model 3

Photo source:

The rumors are all true: Google Maps has absorbed Waze’s incident reporting feature! This tool, which has been the trophy element of Waze, notifies owners of road work, accidents, or police cruisers. It’s all about the crowdsourcing, so incidents are reported by other Waze’s owners through the app. Now this is going to happen for Google Maps users. This has been the heart throbbing feature for Wave users for a long time with over 100 million active monthly users sending reports about everything from traffic congestion to closed roads. Google is rolling on the update to groups of user in segments. Look for the update soon on your mobile device!

google maps waze

Photo source: Digital Trends

Spotify is lightening things up with a new app called Spotify Lite. This app will be data friendly for users who want to cut down their phone bill. It was designed specifically to consume less space in your smart phone and less data from your plan, Spotify Lite is just 15MB, which a fraction of the 100MB full version, and tracks the amount of data it eats. Here’s the catch: owners will not have access to offline playback or stream to other devices, nor can they select specific songs. Owners will only have access to the shuffle button, even Premium subscribers. The good news is the app is still in beta testing and the final version is yet to be released.

spotify lite

Photo source: GettyImages