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Ola Electric becomes India’s newest unicorn with new $250 million investment from SoftBank – TechCrunch

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India’s Ola is further widening its lead over Uber in the nation — and getting the help it needs from their mutual investor. Ola Electric has raised $250 million from SoftBank as India’s largest ride hailing firm pushes to scale its electric vehicles business in the country.

The Series B financing round, details of which emerged in a filing to the local regulator on Tuesday, valued Ola Electric at $1 billion, a source familiar with the matter said.

The infusion comes as New Delhi looks to take a serious step in electrifying the existing fleet of cabs and scooters in the country as it attempts to curtail air pollution and carbon emissions. The country has set an ambitious goal to convert 40% of the fleet to electric by 2026.

Just so it happens, Ola has been working on electric vehicles for several years. The company is currently running several two-wheeler and three-wheeler electric vehicles pilot programs across the nation. It is also building charging infrastructure and swappable battery systems for these vehicles.

Ola Electric, which raised $56 million earlier this year, plans to bring 10,000 e-vehicles to road by end of this year and deploy a million similar vehicles over the coming years. The parent group, which raised $300 million from Hyundai and Kia to expand its mobility solutions and electric vehicles programs as part of an ongoing Series J round earlier this year, is also partnering with original equipment manufacturers to scale the EV business.

The active participation of SoftBank in Ola quells speculations that the Indian firm was trying to distance itself from the conglomerate fund. Ola Electric has become the first EV business in India to gain the unicorn status. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

The firm, which already has presence in the UK, New Zealand, and Australia, last month announced that it will set shop in Uber’s backyard. Ola said it will build a new advanced technology center in San Francisco and employ more than 150 engineers there.

“As we think of the next decade, we want to invest in and we want to be very relevant on the global scale business front as well as building new-age, cutting edge technology which impact the new age business model of the future, there is no better place in the world to do it than here in the Bay area, we have made a small start, we will be hiring close to around 100-150 people here this year and from there we will take it beyond,” Ola cofounder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said at a recent conference.

Uber, meanwhile, currently has little to no electric vehicles play in the nation. Just two months ago, it partnered with electric bicycle sharing platform Yulu to conduct a trial in Bangalore. Globally, however, Uber ATG span out of the San Francisco-headquartered firm and raised capital for its self-driving business. China’s Didi is reportedly eyeing going the same route.

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The 12 Fastest Ways To Travel On Land

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The L0 Series Maglev train is a high-speed magnetic levitation (maglev) train developed by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central) in Japan. The train, also known as the “Linimo,” is the world’s first commercial maglev train to enter revenue service. The train was first introduced in 2011 and currently operates in the city of Nagoya (via Tanken Japan).

The L0 Series trains are powered by superconducting magnets, which lift the train off the tracks and propel it forward. This technology allows the train to reach speeds of up to 374 mph (601 km/h) without the need for wheels, gears, or friction. This results in a smoother and faster ride compared to traditional trains.

On April 16th, a manned seven-car L0 series trainset reached a speed of 590 km/h (370 mph) breaking the previous world record of 581 km/h (361 mph) set by a Japanese MLX01 maglev trainset in December 2003. The speed of 590 km/h was sustained for 19 seconds. Just five days later, on April 21st, a manned seven-car L0 series trainset recorded a top speed of 603 km/h (375 mph). The train hit its top speed at 10:48 am, about 4 minutes into the run, with 49 JR Central employees on board. The train sustained the speed for 10.8 seconds, traveling 1.8 kilometers (1.1 mi) during that time.

One of the unique features of the L0 Series is its ability to operate on both elevated and ground-level tracks. This is made possible by its ability to switch between levitation and contact modes. The train also has a smaller environmental footprint than traditional trains as it emits less noise and vibration.

In addition to its use in Nagoya, JR Central has plans to introduce the L0 Series on the Tokyo-Osaka route. This will reduce travel time between the two cities from 2 hours and 25 minutes to just 1 hour and 7 minutes.

Overall, the L0 Series Maglev train is a technological marvel that showcases Japan’s leadership in high-speed rail technology. It offers a faster, smoother, and more efficient mode of transportation for passengers, and also has a lower environmental impact than traditional trains. With plans to expand its usage to other routes, the L0 Series is set to revolutionize the way we travel in Japan and potentially the world.

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The Dodge M80 Was A Throwback Truck Concept Ahead Of Its Time

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If Fisher-Price made combat vehicles in World War II, it might look like the Dodge M80 concept. The M80 was a retro-inspired vehicle in the same way that the PT Cruiser and Plymouth Prowler harkened back to the old days of motoring. Although unlike the PT Cruiser and the poor Prowler, the M80 didn’t make anyone who looked at it think cars in general were a bad idea. 

As reported by Canadian Driver in 2002, the Dodge M80’s exterior was entirely new, but it had familiar bones as it was based on the Dodge Dakota and was powered by a 3.7-liter 210-horsepower V6. With an estimated weight of just 2,500 pounds, it would have been a featherweight next to other trucks at the time. For comparison, a Ford Ranger from the same year had a curb weight of 3,085 pounds (via Edmunds). Where the M80 really shined was its proposed simplicity and capability. The interior was spartan and therefore easy to clean. Pictures of the concept show compartments galore, including a rear window that allowed either access to the bed while in the truck or effectively lengthened the truck bed. GMC is currently putting a similar feature to use in the EV version of the Sierra.

The Dodge M80 unfortunately never came to pass. As such, it was not able to breath life into the floundering compact truck market at the beginning of the new Millenium. Fortunately, the future is bright for small trucks with the introduction of the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. 

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Why You Need To Use Google Chrome’s Enhanced Safe Browsing Mode

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First, the basics. Activating Enhanced Safe Browsing in Chrome is a simple process: just click Settings, scroll to Privacy And Security > Safe Browsing, and select the Enhanced option. The importance of Enhanced Safe Browsing is a somewhat longer story. In short, no security is foolproof, and Google has historically erred on the side of making simple, accessible tools for consumers. Incognito Mode in particular is allegedly considered a bit of a joke over at Google HQ; some users are even suing over its limitations.

By contrast, Enhanced Safe Browsing focuses on the security holes hackers are most likely to exploit. Per Google, Enhanced Safe Browsing uses multiple strategies to guarantee user safety: it checks websites against a constantly updated list of unsafe locations, examines unusual URLs for potential phishing scams, and inspects downloads for dangerous or corrupted files. It even takes a sampling of potential threats a given user has encountered and syncs it with their Google Account, allowing for personalized security focused on the risks that the user is most likely to face. All this happens in real time, as the user goes about their browsing session.

Note that Enhanced Safe Browsing’s real-time service means sending more user data to Google than browsing in normal or Incognito Mode. That’s a concern worth being aware of: big companies have security breaches, too, and are by no means universally trustworthy when it comes to user data. That said, participating in the digital world more or less requires users to operate within the ecosystem of one of a handful of large companies. If your home or office is a Google shop, Enhanced Safe Browsing is unquestionably the most secure option available.

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