💡 Ford, GM Aim to Settle Over the Term “Cruise” For Hands-Free Driving

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Ford, GM Aim to Settle Over the Term “Cruise” For Hands-Free Driving

Automobile giants Ford Motor Company and General Motors are planning to settle a trademark fight over the branding of their hands-free driving technology out of court.

Attorneys for the auto manufacturers said that they are working on the terms of the settlement and have asked the court for conditional dismissal. Both parties will report back within 60 days if they cannot reach an agreement.

In April, Ford has announced BlueCruise as the name of its hands-free driver assistance feature.

The legal battle began in July, when General Motors filed a trademark violation lawsuit claiming the BlueCruise name was too similar to its autonomous vehicle subsidiary Cruise, in addition to Super Cruise, the name of GM’s hands-free driving technology introduced in 2017.

In August, Ford filed a petition to dismiss the case, arguing that the name “Cruise” had been “in ubiquitous use” for 50 years to refer to driver assistance features, a term consumers do not associate with any automakers.

Ford also argued that the whole auto industry should be able to freely use the word ‘cruise’ to describe driver-assist technologies.

Jeff Bezos Invests in E-Commerce Startup Ula

Indonesian-based e-commerce startup, Ula, has raised $87 million in its Series B funding round.

The funding round was co-led by Prosus Ventures, Tencent, and B Capital and also included investment from former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Other investors participating in this Series B funding include Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s investment firm Bezos Expeditions, Singapore-based private equity firm Northstar Group, in addition to Southeast Asian funds AC Ventures and Citius. Existing investors Lightspeed India, Sequoia Capital India, Quona Capital, and Alter Global also participated in the funding round.

The participation of Jeff Bezos in the funding round of Ula marks his first-ever investment in Southeast Asia’s e-commerce space.

The startup is currently serving over 70,000 traditional stores on its platform and offers more than 6,000 products.

Ula will use the latest funding to invest in increasing its presence across Indonesia as well as expand in the Southeast Asian market by adding new categories.

It also plans to use the funds to expand its “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) offering, as well as build new technology and a local supply chain and logistics infrastructure.

El Salvador Offers Fuel Subsidy of $0.20 Per Gallon to Citizens Who Pay in Bitcoin

El Salvador president, Nayib Bukele, took to Twitter on September 30 to announce that fuel stations will start giving a discount of $0.20 per gallon to consumers who pay using the Bitcoin Chivo wallet.

Expressing the news as “positive news for the pockets of Salvadorans,” Bukele said that starting September 30, locals can use the Chivo wallet to get the gas benefit.

The president also emphasized that there is no limit on the discounts, and any local people or business can get the rebate.

Additionally, he said that the discount will remove numerous increases in the international fuel prices and decrease transportation costs in supply chains.

On September 7, El Salvador became the first country to legally adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Days later, the president claimed that one-third of Salvadorans were already using the Chivo wallet in less than three weeks after its launch.

However, it will be interesting to see whether and to what extent the very vocal, and at times, violent opposition to Bitcoin in El Salvador changes when the price begins to increase over longer periods of time.

Facebook Whistleblower Reveals Identity

A former Facebook whistleblower who brought internal documents detailing the company’s research to The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. Congress unmasked herself ahead of an interview she gave to “60 Minutes,” which aired October 3.

Frances Haugen, who worked as a product manager on the vivid misinformation team at Facebook, revealed herself as the source behind the leaked documents.

Haugen, on her personal website, said that during her time at the company, she “became increasingly alarmed by the choices the company makes prioritizing their own profits over public safety — putting people’s lives at risk. As a last resort and at great personal risk, Frances made the courageous act to blow the whistle on Facebook.”

Facebook has been entangled in a firestorm brought about by Haugen, who as an unnamed whistleblower shared the documents with US lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal that showed detailed information on how the world’s largest social media platform knew its products including, Instagram was harming young girls.

Around The Web

🇳🇬 Nigeria Approves eNaira CBDC Rollout: The Nigerian Federal High Court joins the increasing list of regulators around the world to approve the rollout of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as a legal tender. The digital currency named “eNaira” will be issued by the central bank and supported by a homegrown eNaira wallet.

🚀 LeadIQ Raises $30 Million in Series B Round: LeadIQ, a U.S.-based sales automation startup that simplifies lead management and sales prospecting, announced that it has raised $30 million in its Series B funding round. The funding was led by global venture capital firm Cathay Innovation with participation from Eight Roads Ventures, Draper Associates, Alumni Ventures, LAUNCH Fund, Fresco Capital, and Strong Ventures.

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