It seems like this year just keeps getting worse and worse for the ride-hailing company. After allegations of rampant sexism within their ranks and a lawsuit from google over self-driving technology, it really seems like Uber just can’t catch a break. Earlier today, an Italian court ruled that the corporation had to completely leave the country or be forced to pay a $10,600 fine for each day they remain active. Luckily the company has been given a 10 day grace period to remove their operations, but that’s still not a lot of time to completely shut down their operations and move elsewhere.
$10,600 may not seem like a lot when you consider Uber’s gigantic valuation of $70 Billion, but the company has been less profitable than they had hoped in the past year, bleeding billions in revenue in 2016. It will probably be in Uber’s best interest to remove themselves from the country even if they could afford the fine, but the company is committed to fighting the ruling and seeking to re-open their business in Italy as soon as possible.
“Thousands of professional, licensed drivers use the Uber app to make money and provide reliable transportation at the push of a button for Italians.” The company said in a statement, expressing their shock and disappointment at the ruling.
The opposition to the company has been fierce in several European countries, with taxi organizations largely the entities behind the pushback citing Uber as “Unfair competition”
It remains to be seen whether this string of setbacks will knock Uber over or if they will just be a momentary setback for the alternative-taxi behemoth.
The Crew Motorfest is PS5’s Forza Horizon
The Crew Motorfest is the perfect time to return to Ubisoft’s The Crew series if you quit after its second installment or are intimidated by its many updates. The Crew 3 takes what worked in The Crew 2—its big open world and vehicle variety—and adds Forza Horizon 5-style casual racing, car culture, and open world fun. After the publisher’s June presentation, we played the racer and were impressed by its detail and new playlist system.
Ubisoft’s take on Forza Horizon is clear. You’ll race on and off the track at a festival on the tropical island of O’ahu, loosely based on Hawaii, to become the best driver. Our demo was a supercar, but you can drive bikes, boats, and planes.
The Crew Motorfest’s ability to control other vehicles may set it apart from the Playground Games series, but we can’t confirm. Playlists offer races and game progression. In our hands-on session, four themed races awarded currency and motors. One covered Japanese cars, another off-road, another F1 car, and the last Lamborghini. The new Revuelto supercar is on the game’s cover, so it’s no surprise it has its own section.
Ubisoft has taken extra steps to make each Playlist unique. The Made in Japan series prioritizes nitrous oxide and local cars. Hills, jumps, and mudslides make off-roading harder. The vintage Playlist removes the track map, and the F1 saga (called Motorsports) makes you worry about tyre wear.
During our demo, that last one stood out, giving you something to think about other than accelerating, braking, and turning. If you go off the track, crash into another racer, or spend a long time on one set of tyres, the wear gauge will deplete and your car will become less responsive. Spinouts are common as the gauge approaches zero. To finish on the podium, you’ll need to strategically pit to refill the meter and get new tires. Do you risk another lap to get back in front or pit early to avoid tyre wear for the rest of the race?
As you complete races, these Playlists unlock special edition cars with upgraded specs and custom decals to drive around the exotic island with optional activities. Feats and Photo Ops are two side tasks we found in the UI.
Our hands-on session briefly showed the Car Meet scene, a walkable hub for the game. Since Ubisoft is revealing more, we couldn’t explore it. Other observations included cool live-action clips to introduce each Playlist and billboards around the open world to jump directly into a race from the Playlists you’ve unlocked. A rewind function lets you scrub through the last 15 seconds of gameplay to find an appropriate place to return to the action, unlike other games’ pre-determined points.
Our 45-minute demo gave us a taste of The Crew Motorfest, so we’re excited to play the final version on PS5 and PS4 in September. We didn’t explore the open world that links all these playlists or any other modes or features. However, the game’s race structure has impressed us, and with Forza Horizon finally on PS5, we can enjoy the atmosphere as well as the races. The Crew Motorfest is great if this is the whole game.
The Crew Motorfest debuts on PS5 and PS4 on September 14, 2023. You excited?
BMW predicts a drop in sales as rising prices reduce consumers’ purchasing power
FRANKFURT — BMW’s quarterly net profit increased 23 percent to 3.18 billion euros ($3.1 billion), largely due to high car prices, but the company cautioned that rising inflation and interest rates will start to impact on sales in the coming months.
Increased profits are being seen despite decreased sales volumes caused by problems in the supply chain, such as the lack of semiconductor chips, which has slowed production for automakers throughout the world.
CEO Oliver Zipse stated in a statement that the company was on track to reach its annual goals because “our outstanding third quarter results highlight that flexibility fosters resilience.”
BMW and other automakers have been able to hike prices because to robust demand and low inventories, but economists believe that consumers will begin to rein down significant purchases as recession chances increase and central banks raise interest rates.
BMW predicted that its above-average order books will “normalize, especially in Europe” in the coming months as a result of rising inflation and interest rates, which would reduce the purchasing power of consumers.
BMW’s finance director Nicolas Peter, though, said the company anticipates its “good momentum” to carry over into 2023, despite full-year sales being somewhat lower than in 2021 and sales of full-electric vehicles expected to treble.
The company said that it expects an operating margin of between 7% and 9% for the full year.
However, the manufacturer saw a 35% increase in revenue to 37.18 billion euros ($36.49 billion) in the third quarter despite global sales falling 9.5% from the same period last year.
BMW’s pretax profit of €4.1 billion was higher than the consensus estimate of €3.4 billion.
Higher costs for raw materials and energy, as well as the price of gaining control of the Chinese joint venture Brilliance, contributed to the 2.7 billion euro increase in costs reported by the firm compared to the same time in the previous year.
By 2035, all new car sales in New York and California will be hybrid or electric vehicles.
According to Governor Kathy Hochul, New York will follow California’s lead and require that all new automobiles, trucks, and SUVs sold in the state be either electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrids. By 2026, 35% of new cars must be zero-emission vehicles, and by 2030, 60% must be. By 2035, all new school buses must have zero emissions. The rules won’t go into effect until after a public hearing. According to Governor Kathy Hochul, New York will follow California’s lead and require that all new automobiles, trucks, and SUVs sold in the state be either electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrids. By 2026, 35% of new cars must be zero-emission vehicles, and by 2030, 60% must be. By 2035, all new school buses must have zero emissions. The rules won’t go into effect until after a public hearing.
Hochul directed the state’s environmental agency to establish regulations resembling those imposed by California, which bans the sale of all vehicles powered only by fossil fuels by the year 2035. These regulations, which went into effect this month, with the goal of selling 9.5 fewer internal combustion engine (ICE) only vehicles by 2035 while reducing passenger vehicle pollution by 25% by 2037.
“We had to wait for California to take a step because there’s some federal requirements that California had to go first — that’s the only time we’re letting them go first,” in a press conference yesterday, the governor said.
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