The Morning After: Ford and Tesla sign EV-charging pact
Ford has become the first major automaker to leap into bed with Tesla after the US government pushed to make EV charging more widely accessible. The carmaker has signed a deal, starting spring 2024, so selected Ford EVs can slurp down power at some Tesla Supercharger stations. As part of the pact, Ford said, from the 2025 model year, it’ll switch to Tesla’s open-source North American Charging Standard (NACS) on its vehicles. Meanwhile, existing models that still use the (more or less) global standard Combined Charging System (CCS) will be able to pick up a Tesla-designed adapter to bridge the gap.
The deal is surprising, especially given the relative power, size and prestige of the two companies involved. Ford, one of the world’s biggest car makers, is ceding control of its charger future to a relative minnow, albeit one that built a sizable own-brand charging network. Not to mention it runs the risk of creating a NACS–CCS EV-charging format war, which may erode consumer faith in EVs. After all, if you pull up at a gas station anywhere in the US, there should be a one-size-fits-all way to get fuel in your tank without worrying about the size of the pipe.
– Dan Cooper
The biggest stories you might have missed
At least for those who signed up for the Search Labs waitlist.
At I/O, Google showed off SGE, its experimental system to incorporate generative AI inside its search results. Now, the company’s answer to Bing AI is open for testing, at least to users who signed up to the Search Labs waitlist. Once they’ve received the email saying they have access, they can type into the Google search bar – there’s no separate chat window like Bing – to get AI-generated search results, which they can either expand or choose to ask follow-up questions.
It’s a small but vital step on the road to Elon Musk getting wires into people’s brains.
Neuralink, Elon Musk’s controversial brain-to-computer interface startup, claims the FDA has approved it to begin human trials. The regulator hasn’t yet confirmed the claim, and while the company has said it’s not yet recruiting for a human trial, this approval makes one possible. In a tweet, Neuralink wanted to celebrate the “incredible work” taken by its team to secure the FDA’s blessing, not mentioning it was rejected back in March after it was revealed that more than 1,500 animals implanted with the technology had died.
$10 a month for three movies ain’t such a bad deal.
After months of testing, MoviePass’ all-you-can-eat cinema subscription has relaunched itself across the US. This new version will offer you a tiered subscription plan, with the lowest offering charging you $10 a month for three screenings. It might not be the crazy bargain the previous version offered, but it’s still a damn sight cheaper than most single tickets. And if you’re a real cinephile, you can pay up to $40 a month for 30 screenings, which is staggering on a per-movie basis.
The further delay will enable developers to give the title more polish.
Homeworld 3, the long-awaited second sequel to the groundbreaking space-based RTS, has been further delayed until February 2024. It’s the second time the title has been pushed back, with developers Blackbird Interactive asking for more time to polish and refine the title. Given that Homeworld 2 debuted in 2003, the two-decade wait for a true follow-up (yes, I’m ignoring Deserts of Kharak) is going to test the idiom “good things come to those who wait” to its very limits.