Good morning and welcome to Quick Spin, your one-stop guide to everything that's happened in the weird world of tech and transportation in the past 24 hours. We are launching this new feature during CES, because we're not dumb. There is a ton of tech and autos news coming out of Las Vegas again this year, so let's dig right in.
-- Sharon Silke Carty
CES is a big deal. We've all been saying it for a few years: CES has become one of the most important auto shows in the world, which is particularly impressive because it's not an auto show. The folks over at PC Magazine put some perspective on how the show has changed. "Given my long history with CES, I also get the question of what auto tech was hot 30 years ago, and the short answer is CD changers," writes Doug Newcomb, who jokingly says he started going to CES as a teenager. Newcomb says the watershed moment for automakers at CES was 2007, when Ford unveiled Sync at the show. More than 180,000 people attended CES in 2017, and Lyft and Uber drivers all over town say it's the biggest conference they see all year.
What do we expect to see here? Well, we're taking a ride in a self-driving Lyft. We're talking to about two dozen startups, suppliers and automakers about lots of things, but a lot of it is going to be about self-driving cars. And we may sneak out and see Penn & Teller, who celebrated 17 years in the Rio hotel last week.
Dockless bike sharing is so 2000-and-late. Crunchbase says it's taken a look at investments in dockless bike sharing, and it's becoming clear that unless your company is named ofo or Mobike, you're going to have trouble raising money. The Crunchbase piece is an interesting look at where the money has gone following a big surge in funding in the first quarter of 2017. Separately, it turns out that Google is having a bit of trouble keeping tabs on its dockless bike sharing program for employees. It loses about 250 bikes a week.
Elon's new restaurant plan. Tesla CEO Elon Musk jokingly tweeted last week that he was thinking about starting a drive-in roller-skate restaurant equipped with Tesla chargers so owners could eat and charge at the same time. But if you're on the Model 3 wait list, it could take a very long time to get your car and your root beer float.
- This smart bike helmet can notify family members if you take a spill.
- Roadshow drove Hyundai's fuel cell from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for CES. (Get ready for a lot of clicking -- the story is a slideshow with one sentence per picture.)
- Norway is experimenting with self-dimming street lights to save energy.
- Tired of hearing about V2V technology? How about Nissan's B2V (brain-to-vehicle) tech?
- Here's a simple use for self-driving cars: Pulling over when the driver falls asleep.
- Take a look at Byton's EV concept.
- Nvidia's self-driving processors will reach customers in a couple of months.
- Visteon sees gold in self-driving cars too.
- The Garmin Speak adds some actual useful driver assist tech to an Amazon Alexa in-car device.
- Here's a handy alphabetized list of all the companies at CES showing off self-driving cars.
- All of our CES 2018 coverage throughout the week can be found here.