Both sides in the Waymo v. Uber lawsuit have reached a settlement, and the case is being dismissed with prejudice. Judge Alsup granted the motion to dismiss, and with that, the case is, in his words, “ancient history.”
Waymo gets 0.34 percent of Uber’s equity at the company’s $72 billion valuation, which works out to a value of around $245 million. Waymo had originally sought a $1 billion settlement last year before the trial got underway, but Uber rejected that deal. Both sides are responsible for paying their own legal fees. “This is all equity; zero cash,” said a source familiar with the settlement. Meaning, Waymo is invested in Uber’s future.
According to a source, Uber cannot use any of Waymo’s hardware or software trade secrets as one of the conditions of the settlement. That’s interesting, especially since the trade secrets at the heart of the case were all related to hardware. Judge Alsup had instructed Waymo to bring a separate lawsuit against Uber if it wished to block the company from using its software.
Uber sees this as a big win, especially since it clears the deck for the company ahead of its expected public offering and avoids years of costly appeals and lastly, the settlement reflects the difference between Uber’s old and new leadership.
Dutch company PAL-V is now taking orders for the world’s first commercial flying car,called the Liberty. The company says that the Liberty models are fully compliant with safety regulations set by global governing bodies, and that deliveries will begin by the end of 2018.
The first 90 copies are designated as Pioneer Editions, boasting special exterior and interior details. For the personalized touch and additional standard features such as power heating, buyers will have to pay $599,000. After the Pioneer Edition sells out, PAL-V will start selling the standard model, known as the Liberty Sport, for $399,000.
Buyers should have a license for both driving and flying. On the road, the Liberty can lower its suspension and make use of its tilting cockpit for better maneuverability. PAL-V lists top speed on the road as 100 mph, while 0-62 mph is estimated to take less than 9 seconds. In the air, it can travel at up to 112 mph.
“Book by Cadillac” is a subscription service that gives users access to short-term rentals of different vehicles for a flat monthly fee via app. Similar to the Audi On Demand and Audi At Home services that is already available in certain markets, Book by Cadillac aims to give subscribers the flexibility to choose whatever vehicle they want at the moment, without the so-called hassles like lease or finance payments, insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
Three of the largest U.S. sellers of replacement parts are seeing sales surge, sending their stock prices on a roll. AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts and O’Reilly Automotive have all gained at least about 20 percent this year.
The retailers are benefiting from the fact that Americans’ cars are aging, as well as a new wave of technologically advanced cars that’s boosting sales to professional mechanics. Auto-parts sellers also have so far proven immune to the e- commerce threat from Amazon that has plagued other merchants.
“The auto-repair industry is well-positioned because it’s not being disrupted by places like Amazon. The lingering effects of the most recent recession, has caused the average age of vehicles to climb to 11.4 years, the highest ever. While simultaneously, lower gas prices and higher employment have drivers putting more miles on their cars, creating a booming market for oil and replacement tires.
Kia has announced the recall of around 87,000 of its 2014 Forte cars, after discovering a defective part that could lead to vehicle fires. Confirmation from the automakers suggests that in those Forte models affected, a resistor within the cooling fan can dangerously overheat and in the worst instances melt, or perhaps even trigger a fire. 87,000 vehicles currently on US roads will have to be brought in for repairs. Depending on the exact manufacture date of each Kia Forte, the auto may have to be fitted with a new multi-fuse unit alone or undergo an engine software upgrade at the same time. All repairs and upgrades will be free of charge at licensed Kia service centers. Affected owners will be contacted by Kia ahead of the scheduled February 24 recall commencement.