GM Drops Over $1 Billion On A Startup | Crunch Report


General Motors drops mad skrilla on a self-driving
car startup, President Obama talks tech and civic innovation at SXSW, NASA announces next
trip to Mars and more… It’s Friday, March 11, and this is Crunch
Report. General Motors reportedly spent over $1 billion
on a startup called Cruise Automation to get into the self-driving car game. Cruise Automation
doesn’t actually build cars, but it makes sensors that transform regular boring cars
into ones that can drive themselves. The big tech giants — Apple and Google — are doing
it, so if car companies want to stay relevant, getting into the autonomous car space should
be a no-brainer. Cruise will remain an independent company, but GM plans to integrate the startup’s
technology into its fleet of cars STAT. The startup had raised over $18 million from investors
like Spark and Y Combinator. Instacart, the grocery delivery startup worth
billions, has slashed prices for its shoppers by 50%. And people are rightfully pissed off.
Starting on Monday, Instacart shoppers are going to make significantly less money per
delivery and per item picked up in the store. Instacart is trying to remedy the cut by giving
shoppers 100% of their tips, as opposed to just half the tips. But one Instacart shopper
told me that people don’t always tip, so it probably won’t make a huge difference. Instacart
notified the shoppers about the change earlier this month, saying that their success is important
to them and blah blah blah. In a statement, Instacart said, “We have made some recent
rate changes to reduce variability in how much shoppers earn, and we are constantly
innovating to help shoppers get more orders. After these changes our shoppers will earn,
on average, an effective rate of $15 to $20 per hour, which is both in line with historical
levels and strongly competitive within our markets.” When will this end?! The Apple versus the
FBI saga around unlocking an iPhone continues. Yesterday, the department of justice released
a massive, 43-page document that accuses Apple of engaging in “False” and “corrosive” rhetoric
around the case. Apple general counsel, Bruce Sewell, of course disagreed, saying the tone
of the brief read like an indictment and felt like a “Cheap shot.” He said, “In 30 years
of practice, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a legal brief that was more intended to smear
the other side with false accusations and innuendo, and less intended to focus on the
real merits of the case.” Apple says it will file a response to the DOJ’s brief by Monday
and is set to appear before a judge later this month. President Barack Obama made an appearance
at SXSW today..the first sitting president to ever do that. TechCrunch had a team live
on the ground to hear Obama talk about how tech can be used to solve some of our country’s
issues like voter turnout and civic engagement. He opened up his talk by outlining three ways
tech can improve the U.S.: The first was making the government work better through tech, noting
how the government has used tech to cut down the time it takes to apply for FAFSA student
aid. Secondly, tech can help tackle big problems like disease in new, innovative ways. Third
of all, Obama said we need to use big data and tech to make it easier to vote…noting
that it’s easier to order a pizza than vote. He went on to say that it’s not enough to
just focus on the next cool thing. Tech needs to start solving bigger problems. Regarding
the Apple versus FBI case, Obama said he couldn’t comment. What he did say was that all of us
value our privacy and our society is built on a healthy skepticism about government overreach. NASA is not giving up on its quest to better
understand how Mars formed and has evolved. Today, NASA announced today that it’s sending
its next lander, called the InSight Mars lander, to Mars in May of 2018. The mission was originally
supposed to go down this month, but a technical issue discovered late last year put the InSight
Mars lander launch on hold. NASA engineers now believe they have a solution to the problem
and should be able to fix it in the time leading up to the 2018. This robotic mars mission
is part of NASA’s broader goal to send humans to the red planet. That’s the report for today. I’m Megan
Rose Dickey. Crunch Report airs every weekday at 7 pm Eastern,
4 pm Pacific, on Techcrunch.com. You can also find us on iTunes, and on YouTube. We will
see you on Monday!

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30 thoughts on “GM Drops Over $1 Billion On A Startup | Crunch Report

  1. She's not so bad… only needs to breathe more, and make it more obvious that she's transitioning to the next headline. Otherwise, good job.

  2. Omg I miss Sarah Lane 😭!, TechCrunch I love you but plz (put yourself together) and choose one person to give the news, so unprofessional and so frustrating having random people give TC news, Megan Rose seems to be good with this, she might be the one, but if you are going to use a different person each episode I'm out, plz choose one person TC and keep it for a while.

  3. Sarah was great ! But shes left tech crunch so cant be the host again , anthony did a good job but i think Megan is the best replacement that we have for The Crunch Report

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