Advocacy groups urge Congress to deal with tech giants’ car field focus

A coalition of tech advocacy teams is warning associates of Congress and federal antitrust enforcers from the prospective potential risks posed by tech giants increasing into the vehicle field. 

“Make no miscalculation: the growth of Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook into the vehicle sector spells difficulty for employees and buyers,” the teams wrote in a letter despatched Tuesday, according to a duplicate shared completely with The Hill. 

The letter was despatched by almost 30 groups, like the American Financial Liberties Project and Need Development, to Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Biden celebrates ‘right to repair’ wins Advocacy groups urge Congress to deal with tech giants’ vehicle marketplace concentrate Bipartisan Senate group discusses modifications to election legislation More (D-Minn.) and Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineAdvocacy teams urge Congress to deal with tech giants’ auto market target Meeks leading bipartisan journey to Ukraine amid Russia tensions Democrats keen to fill electric power vacuum soon after Pelosi exit Additional (D-R.I.), Federal Trade Fee (FTC) Chair Lina KhanLina KhanHillicon Valley — Biden celebrates ‘right to repair’ wins Advocacy groups urge Congress to deal with tech giants’ vehicle sector concentrate Little ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed Far more and the Justice Department’s antitrust head Jonathan Kanter. 

It details fears about tech giants’ progress in the vehicle business as the vehicle sector transitions to emphasis on electrical and autonomous vehicles. 

For example, Google’s self-driving vehicle task, now known as Waymo, is staying examined in some sections of the place.  

In 2020, Amazon acquired the autonomous car organization Zoox and previous 12 months expanded into exams all through Seattle. Apple has also verified that it is operating on an “Apple Car” merchandise, even though few particulars have been introduced by the business. 

The advocacy groups mentioned the tech industry’s development into the auto sector could injury the protections American automobile staff have traditionally had from unions.

“As automation expands, these work opportunities are at hazard and Big Tech are unable to be reliable to direct that transition,” they wrote. 

The teams also lifted concerns about details and privateness protection if tech businesses could “monetize our habits guiding-the-wheel.” 

“They know the place we go, what we research for, and now they’ll know how often we use our change indicators or go five miles above the limit,” they wrote. 

“We really encourage you to keep these concerns in brain as you look at Huge Tech’s monopolistic actions, system a route forward on legislation reining in Significant Tech, and use your oversight powers and system moving ahead,” the letter proceeds. “Exclusively, we hope that you raise these with the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice just before they approve any potential mergers or acquisitions and encourage them to go after vigorous antitrust enforcement.”

The letter builds on antitrust momentum in Washington. The Justice Office and the Federal Trade Fee have embarked in lawsuits and investigations into the industry giants, and the two the FTC and Justice Department’s antitrust division are now headed by critics

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Tech giants join new energy auto trend

A resident gets on a Baidu Apollo minibus at the Shougang Park in Beijing on May 2, 2021. Photo: VCG

A resident gets on a Baidu Apollo minibus at the Shougang Park in Beijing on May 2, 2021. Photo: VCG

The development of the new energy automobile industry is in full swing, and more companies are joining the sector, including tech firms such as Baidu and Xiaomi. 

On Thursday, Baidu held an event in Beijing dedicated to its Apollo autonomous driving technology. The company announced an expansion of the Baidu Apollo robotaxi fleet, a tripling of the available safe road test mileage for autonomous vehicles and a significant update to its 5G Remote Driving solution.

First unveiled in June 2021, Apollo Moon is Baidu’s 5th generation of robotaxis for fully autonomous ride-hailing services in the smart transportation industry. Compared to the 4th generation of Apollo robotaxis, the Apollo Moon models have half the manufacturing cost and a tenfold performance increase. 

With the introduction of three models to its robotaxi fleet – Apollo Moon Arcfox, Apollo Moon WM Motor and Apollo Moon Aion – Baidu hopes to expand the options for Apollo Go customers in cities across China and lead the robotaxi market by 2030, when it is expected to be worth 1.3 trillion yuan ($203 billion).

Baidu is not alone. Since the announcement of car production in March, Chinese technology giant Xiaomi has accelerated its move into the automotive industry and has invested in a number of companies in the field of autonomous driving and power batteries.

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi Group, announced in October that the company’s electric vehicles will officially enter mass production in the first half of 2024. He also said the company has made more progress on vehicles than he was expecting. 

Lei revealed that the electric vehicle manufacturing plant has received more than 20,000 resumes and has recruited a 453-person strong research arm. Lei said that Xiaomi’s electric vehicle business has, at the present stage, no plans for an IPO. 

Apple iPhone assembler Foxconn Group has also announced its plan to develop electric cars, and last month it unveiled three new models – an SUV, a sedan and a bus – which are being produced by Foxtron, a joint venture between Hon Hai and Taiwan Yulon Motor Co.

CNBC reported in September that Alibaba has made investments worth more than $300 million into Chinese autonomous driving start-up

The Shenzhen-based start-up makes self-driving systems for vehicles that involve hardware and software. runs a fleet of autonomous taxis with some operated by its partners including ride-hailing firm CaoCao and automaker Dongfeng Motors. But the company is also developing technology for logistics.

Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co has said it will not build its own cars but that it is helping auto companies build new energy autos.

It has launched a series of intelligent car components and solutions including a 4D imaging radar, another foray into the vehicle sector that analysts said could help it offset the impact of the US’ suppression of its mobile business.

Wang Jun, president of Huawei’s Intelligent Automotive Solution

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