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Openbay Announces First-of-Its-Kind Connected-Car Repair Service

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today at the New York International Auto Show in New York City, Openbay,

the online marketplace for auto repair, launched OpenbayConnect,

a first-of-its-kind platform that leverages connected-car technology to

remotely diagnose automotive vehicle problems and deliver competitive

repair quotes to consumers from local mechanics. Consumers benefit with

OpenbayConnect and Openbay by the competitive choice and convenience

they offer for any automotive repair and maintenance service.

“We live in an on-demand society, and today’s connected consumers expect

immediate responses to their needs. Fewer people are raising a hand to

hail a cab or calling a restaurant to book a reservation, and now, we’re

eliminating the need to head to a mechanic to diagnose a check-engine

light,” said Rob Infantino, founder and CEO of Openbay. “OpenbayConnect

will remotely determine cause, cost and availability to perform the

repair by local mechanics, answering virtually every driver’s need for

efficient, affordable auto repair service.”

“Google Ventures looks to invest in companies that disrupt traditional

markets,” said Rich Miner, General Partner, Google Ventures. “Openbay’s

app solves the broken auto repair process in a few clicks, making

automotive repair easier for drivers and auto shops alike.”

OpenbayConnect In Action

When a vehicle experiences a problem, OpenbayConnect wirelessly gathers

and analyzes vehicle diagnostic data. The data is then analyzed,

translated from trouble codes into plain language, and, if the issue

warrants an immediate service, the information is delivered to local

auto repair shops all via the Openbay platform – all without human

intervention. Those shops assess the data and may respond with an offer

to complete the service, along with a binding price.

Choosing a shop – based on location, ratings and reviews, and price –

and securing an appointment via Openbay may be completed in as few as

three taps. Openbay processes payment, via credit card or Apple Pay,

only after the agreed-upon repair or maintenance is performed.

OpenbayConnect’s service is completely free to vehicle owners.

Then & Now: Vehicle Diagnosis

Of the 250-million vehicles in operation on U.S. roads, 72% of them are

more than five-years old, and in need of service between two and three

times per year.

When a mechanic encounters a modern-day vehicle with a problem, the

initial approach is to have the consumer bring the vehicle in for a

diagnosis. The mechanic almost always first connects a hand-held scanner

to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic (OBD) port. Those ports, often

located below the steering wheel, transmit vehicle error codes and other

important data generated by the car’s onboard computers, helping to

quickly pinpoint vehicle problems or better understand the cause and

effect of the problem.

The vehicle’s OBD port is a valuable central data source; it delivers

information gathered from a multitude of sensors, including those for

vital engine components, and is essential to troubleshooting issues in

today’s vehicles.

Now, by leveraging connected-car technology, OpenbayConnect eliminates

the need for consumers to bring the vehicle to a shop for a diagnosis.

OpenbayConnect will wirelessly gather vehicle data via a connection

established in one of two ways:

External Device: Self contained, consumer-installable wireless

communication device that plugs into a vehicle’s OBD II port. These

ports are available on vehicles manufactured on/after 1996.

Approximately 81% of vehicles on U.S. roads today are ready for


Built-in Vehicle Telematics: Original Equipment Manufacturer

(OEM) embedded telematics system.

OpenbayConnect Highlights

Receive competitive service offers for repair and maintenance — no

human intervention required

Remote diagnosis of vehicles’ problems; eliminates the need to bring a

vehicle to a mechanic to get scanned.

Automated alerts of problems in simple language.

Recommended simple solutions for vehicle owners to perform, e.g.

“tighten fuel cap.”

Automatic communication of urgent vehicle problems to local mechanics.

Competitive choice and convenience for automotive repair services

Delivers competitive, binding offers – not estimates – from local


Shops’ prices often range by 30-50%; there’s significant opportunity

to save while working with a well-rated shop.

Prices for quoted services are final, and include all fees; from oil-

and tire-disposal fees to taxes.

Select provider based on location, customer ratings and review, and


Schedule a service appointment and export to calendar.

Service History Maintained Online

Vehicle repair and maintenance history is automatically maintained

online. Openbay’s web and mobile app sync for anytime access to

service history.

Being able to demonstrate regular repair and maintenance via

electronic records could serve as a used-vehicle selling point.

Additional Savings on Future Repairs with Openbay

Openbay Rewards are earned for each completed service.

OpenbayConnect Availability

OpenbayConnect will be made available, beginning this spring, to a

select user base, both directly from Openbay and through its partners.

Consumers, as well as businesses fleets, are encouraged to apply for

access to OpenbayConnect at

About Openbay

Openbay is an award-winning online marketplace helping consumers

comparison shop for automotive repair and maintenance service saving

upward of 50% by shops competing for their business. Openbay is

headquartered in Cambridge, MA, is privately held and its investors

include Google Ventures, a16z seed, Boston Seed Capital, Stage 1

Ventures and several individual investors.

Connecting with Openbay and OpenbayConnect:





App download:





OpenbayConnect, Openbay and the Openbay and OpenbayConnect logos are

trademarks of Openbay, Inc. Other company and product names may be

trademarks of their respective owners.

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Technology News |

Seagate Technology Plc has invited ValueAct Capital in as an investor, selling a roughly 4 percent stake to the activist hedge fund, which will also get a front-row view of its board meetings, the hard-drive maker said on Friday.

BRUSSELS Facebook’s problems with European privacy regulators do not mean that the social network has breached the bloc’s competition rules, EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Friday.

HONG KONG Global ride-hailing company Uber Technologies has aborted plans to pull out of Macau, citing support from residents in the Chinese-ruled gambling hub.

8:55am EDT

WASHINGTON The White House on Thursday named a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general as the government’s first federal cyber security chief, a position announced eight months ago that is intended to improve defenses against hackers.

WASHINGTON Owners of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Galaxy Note 7 smartphones should stop using the devices and turn them off because of the threat of a battery fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Friday.

4:35pm EDT

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Safest Cars for Teens, Seniors

Almost 34,000 people died in traffic accidents in the United States last year.

In general, the two groups of drivers most at risk on the road are teens and seniors.

And Consumer Reports just named the vehicles it deems the safest ones for them.

On “The Early Show”, David Champion, the senior director of the magazine’s Automotive Test Center in East Haddam, Conn., pointed out that teens often want flashy, fast cars that wouldn’t be their wisest choice, and many seniors aren’t aware of many of the newer brands and models that could help as their mobility fades and other aging issues arise.

Teen Motorist Must-Haves

* Reasonably Sized

* Good Crash Test Results

* 4 Cylinder Engine Without Too Much Power

* Numerous Safety Features

For teens, Champion explained, you want to find a car, even a used car, that’s a reasonably-sized sedan with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags, and good crash-test results, but that don’t have too much power. Make sure the car has a strong structure.

Electronic stability control, he adds, has been around since 1998 and basically keeps the car from going out of control. It takes electronic traction control a step further. The technology helps keep the vehicle on its intended path during a turn, to avoid sliding or skidding. It uses a computer linked to a series of sensors that detect wheel speed, steering angle, sideways motion and spin. If the car starts to drift, the stability-control system momentarily brakes one or more wheels and, depending on the system, reduces engine power to keep the car back on course. This technology is currently available on many high-end vehicles, but will be standard on all 2012 cars. It’s important technology and will save thousands of lives, many of them those of teens and less experienced drivers.

When you’re looking for cars with electronic stability control, note that it comes under different names. Consumer Reports hopes “ESC” will become a standard abbreviation in the future (the Society of Automotive Engineers has asked that all manufacturers use electronic stability control, or ESC, as common terminology when referring to their stability-control systems), but automakers are using a variety of proprietary names and acronyms. You might see it called Stabilitrack, Vehicle Stability Assist, or AdvanceTrac, or with variations abbreviations such as ESP, VSC, VDC, and many more.

Parents often think putting their child in the biggest car is the safest way to go, but that’s not so. Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, so you don’t want to put them in big, heavy cars that are more difficult to control. Instead, choose something that handles well, is agile and has as many safety features as possible.

Also, rather than handing down and old car to a teen, parents should get him or her a new one, with all the safety features. Parents are the skilled, experienced drivers and know all the idiosyncrasies of their vehicles. This is one time in their lives when you’re not there to supervise what they’re doing. It’s the most dangerous part of their lives, so give them the safest car possible.

To get more of the magazine’s take on the safest cars for teens, click here.

Among Consumer Reports’ picks:

Small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010), Mazda3 (2007 – ), Scion xB (2008 – )

Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-), Honda Accord (2008 – ), Kia Optima (2007 – )

Small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005 – ), Nissan Rogue (2008 – )

The Mazda3, Champion says, is a very nice small call. It has good stability, good size, good crash test results, side curtain air bags and good brakes. The handling is precise and responsive, and the ride is firm and comfortable. The pleasant, practical, fun-to-drive Mazda3 uses a 2.0-liter engine that’s relatively quick and stingy with fuel. It’s been one of Consumer Reports’ top-scoring small cars for several years and, with a price tag of $13,025 – $19,070, is an excellent car for teens.

2010 Honda Accord EX, Champion says, has been a perennial top pick of the magazine The Accord is one of the best sedans on the market. It has enough performance, agile handling, and good crash test results. All models have standard stability control. The Accord is the only vehicle to make both lists: It’s a best for teens as well as a Best Family Sedan for Senior Drivers. For seniors, it works well because of its wide seats, and because it’s easy to get in and out of. The controls are simple and well-marked (controls go across the center of the dash). The driving position is excellent, the seats are supportive, visibility is impressive, and the rear seat is very roomy. It lists for $22,795.

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5 DIY Home Auto Repairs


There aren’t enough sources, whether it’s via the Internet or in person, that encourage people to attempt to make some of their own auto repairs. To be clear, we’re not talking about any type of transmission repairs, any major engine repairs, electrical, etc. Those types of repairs are best left to a professional for a reason. They’re extremely complicated, dangerous (for certain repairs), and time consuming under the best of circumstances. That doesn’t tell the complete story of auto repair though. There are some repairs that can be done pretty easily at home, and will save you some money and time. When I say that these repairs will save you time, I mean that you don’t have to drive anywhere, you don’t have to wait around in a customer lounge for someone to get your car looked at, and finally to get it repaired and brought back to you.

The saving money part is pretty straight forward as well. If you do the labor yourself, you won’t pay as much for that repair, and we can all agree on that. There is another money-saving aspect that can get overlooked in certain circumstances – the parts. Just about every repair shop that you can take your vehicle to will charge a markup on the parts they install on your car. I want to be completely fair to the repair shops on this; this is a common practice by pretty much the entire industry, and they deserve to mark those parts up to maintain a profit. My point with that is that you’ll pay less for the parts of any repairs you can do on your own. So here’s a list of 5 DIY auto repairs for you to consider. Be sure to check here for a list of tools that you’ll need to do these repairs.

Note: there are more than 5 repairs that can be done at home. It will depend on your skill level and comfort with auto repair. These 5 are very basic and can be done by people with just about any skill level.

1. Engine air filter and cabin air filter (if equipped).

Let’s start with one of the absolute basic, easiest repairs anyone can do. For almost all engines you can buy an air filter from the local auto parts store for $15 or less, and replace it in 10 minutes or so. The average price at the repair shop will be between $20 and this one is pretty harmless. If it’s not immediately evident where the air filter is, or how to get it out, a quick search on YouTube will show you how and what to do. The cabin air filter is something that not nearly enough people know about. This filter helps to clean the air that you breathe while inside of your vehicle. It will be mounted in the incoming air stream for the HVAC housing. Again, YouTube will provide a quick and easy answer to changing this. Most places I’ve seen charge close to $50 for this repair and you can buy the part for around $20. It will only take about 20-30 minutes to replace on your own, and could easily be less as some only take about 5 minutes.

2. Throttle body cleaning.

We’re going to follow the air intake process one step further up the line, and talk about a throttle body cleaning. The idea here is to remove the carbon buildup at the air inlet (throttle body) for your engine. This is almost always packaged as a part of a fuel system service that costs between $190 and $250. A can of throttle body cleaner will cost you about $15. You just remove the air tube that runs from your air filter box to the engine and you’ll see the throttle body right there. You’ll also see where the carbon buildup is. Be sure to read your owner’s manual to make sure your throttle body can be cleaned with a cleaning agent. A small percentage will have a coating on them that effectively prevents a carbon buildup, but it’s a pretty small percentage. As for the other parts of the fuel system service, they aren’t needed. There have been multiple studies that have shown that fuel tank additives to clean carbon from the valves cause more problems than they fix, and the same goes with pressurized fuel injector cleaners. If it’s not clogged, why clean it? The port on a fuel injector that sprays fuel is so small it’s barely visible. If a hole that small was clogged, believe me, you’d know about it.

Now we’ll keep following the same flow into the engine. For the large majority of new vehicles, a tune-up consists only of replacing the spark plugs. On older vehicles, a tune-up consists of replacing the following: spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor. The second version of a tune-up that I’ve listed is a more complicated repair. Unless you’re pretty comfortable under the hood of your car, I recommend taking that to a professional. However, in the early 2000s, auto makers started using a secondary ignition (this is the system that has the spark plugs) that has a coil-on-plug design. That means there’s an ignition coil for each spark plug and they don’t need to be replaced unless they happen to malfunction. So a tune-up for most modern vehicles means just removing the ignition coil and replacing the spark plug underneath. Four-cylinder engines are very easy, while 6- and 8-cylinder engines can be a little more time-consuming. It all depends on the type of car you have. Again, YouTube will be your best friend for this. For reference, a 4-cylinder tune-up usually costs $115 and up, and spark plugs are about $3 each. The more cylinders you’ve got, the more expensive the repair, but the price of the spark plugs stays the same. You can see how you could save a good bit of money by doing this yourself. One quick note about the price of spark plugs – platinum-tipped plugs are more expensive. Those will cost around $12-$15 per plug, so make sure to factor that into your decision.

This repair is surprisingly easier than most anyone would ever believe. You jack up the front of the vehicle, remove the tire, remove the caliper and/or mounting bracket that goes over the rotor, and then remove the rotor. Be sure to observe all proper safety precautions when jacking up the vehicle and removing any brake components, but it really is just as easy as the steps I’ve listed. Almost all repair shops will try to have you pay to have the rotors resurfaced. That hasn’t ever really made sense to me. If the rotors are warped, you’ll feel a brake pulsation when you apply the brakes. This is definitely a safety issue and resurfacing the rotors will take away the pulsation, but it’ll also take away some of the thickness of the rotor, which makes it easier for the same thing to happen again. It also adds to the labor the shop is charging in theory. Unfortunately, a lot of shops will charge you the same labor to replace the rotors as they will to resurface, and you pay a higher price for the rotors to boot. For a normal passenger car, you can buy front brake pads and 2 new rotors from the local parts store for $100 or less. At the repair shop, you’ll pay $220 and up for a front brake job that doesn’t include replacing the rotors. It will be somewhat time-consuming but should only take an hour or two out of your Saturday afternoon and potentially save you over $100.

5. Rear differential service.

This repair doesn’t apply to any front-wheel-drive vehicle; this is only for rear wheel drives. This is a very basic service that’s along the same lines as an oil change and transmission service. You remove the cover from the read differential and allow all of the fluid to drain out, replace the gasket or scrape off the old sealer and clean to be able to apply new sealer, install the cover and fill with fluid. If you do this service every 35,000-40,000 miles, it will greatly extend the life of your differential gears. This service for a basic rear wheel drive vehicle starts at $100 and easily goes up from there. The differential doesn’t hold much fluid, only 2.5-3.5 quarts when it’s completely full. You can buy 4 quarts of differential fluid for about $7 a quart and the sealer will cost you about $10-$15. The fluid may cost more if it’s synthetic fluid, but you’ll still come in under the $100 mark and save yourself some money.

That’s the entirety of the list that I’ve got for you. You’ll notice I made one glaring omission from my list – an oil change! The reason I left this off of the list is because of the cost. All modern engines, and the vast majority of older engines, hold at least 5 quarts of oil. The standard price for a quart of oil is about $6. So you’ll pay $30 plus tax for enough oil to refill your engine, assuming you don’t have an engine that holds 6, 7, or even more, quarts of oil. All of that before you buy the oil filter — that will cost you about $10-$20. So if you go to the parts store and your engine has the cheapest oil change parts available, you’re going to pay about $40. Repair shops, especially dealerships, are always offering oil changes at greatly discounted prices. Sometimes as low as $18. They actually take a small financial loss on this repair, just to get you in the door and try to sell you other repairs when they do the free inspection. So, just take your vehicle to one of these places for an oil change and you’ll save yourself time and money, while having someone else do the work for you. It doesn’t get much better than that!

For more advanced repair info, technical assistance, and much more, be sure to visit

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Technology News |

Ireland’s cabinet agreed on Friday to join Apple in appealing against a multi-billion-euro back tax demand that the European Commission has imposed on the iPhone maker, despite misgivings among independents who back the fragile coalition. | Video

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG The Chinese government said on Friday it was investigating two high-profile takeover proposals involving U.S. companies, the latest sign of its growing influence on whether deals are approved – even those appearing to have little impact in China. | Video

SHANGHAI China will gradually eliminate customs duties for 201 information technology products covered by a $1.3 trillion World Trade Organization (WTO) deal under a bill passed on Saturday by its legislature, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Sep 02 2016

SAO PAULO Brazilian telecom provider Oi SA is set to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan with a Rio de Janeiro court on Monday, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

TORONTO BlackBerry Ltd said on Friday that its encryption technology is being used to toughen a “spy-proof” Samsung tablet that is being used by German government agencies dealing with classified information.

Sep 02 2016

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a shy student who found religion | Reuters

By Maria Tsvetkova

| IKON-KHALK, Russia

IKON-KHALK, Russia When Rahim Bulgarov graduated from college in southern Russia with a diploma in tourism, his teacher expected him to go on to further study, or fulfil his dream of opening a car repair shop.

Instead, Bulgarov started going to the mosque with followers of a pious strain of Islam, and, according to a close relative and Egyptian security sources, went to Cairo last year to study Arabic.

Turkish state media have identified Bulgarov, 23, as one of the suspected suicide bombers who attacked Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on June 29, killing 45 people and wounding hundreds.

Several of the attackers were from Russia or ex-Soviet countries, making it the deadliest foreign attack by militants from that region since the Boston marathon bombing in 2013, carried out by two young ethnic Chechen brothers.

In the space of two years, Bulgarov changed from a shy young man who led a secular lifestyle to a suspected jihadist bomber, according to Reuters interviews with his teacher, an imam, a classmate and the close relative.

His case shows the challenges that Russian security agencies face identifying potential security threats out of the thousands of young people in Russia who are turning to ultra-conservative forms of Islam.


Three Egyptian security sources told Reuters Bulgarov spent 7 months and 12 days in Cairo, leaving in January this year, and that he signed up for Arabic classes at Al-Azhar University, an Islamic centre of learning.

“He lived in a flat with another young Russian man in the Ain Shams area,” said one of the sources, referring to a suburb of Cairo.

Bulgarov was not on the radar of Egyptian security services until Russian authorities contacted them around a week ago seeking information on him and any other Russians he mixed with in Cairo, said the same source.

Bulgarov left Egypt on Jan. 13 for Turkey, according to the three Egyptian sources.

Some time after that, he returned to Russia and was interviewed by the Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counter-terrorism, and had to undergo a lie detector test, according to the relative, who did not want to be identified.

The relative said Bulgarov was then allowed to go home.

“He passed the test, he was fine,” said the relative.

Reuters could not confirm that the interview, a routine procedure in Russia that does not necessarily mean the authorities thought he was a security threat, took place. Local police and the FSB did not respond to requests for comment.


Bulgarov grew up in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, a Russian region on the northern slopes of the North Caucasus mountains where many people are Muslim.

But unlike other parts of the North Caucasus, such as nearby Chechnya and Ingushetia, there was no strong tradition of hardline Islamism or rebellion against Moscow’s rule.

Bulgarov’s family home is in the village of Ikon-Khalk, a settlement of the Nogai people, a Turkic ethnic group.

His upbringing was comfortable. His father is a tractor driver. His grandmother owns a deli store in the village which, among other items, sells food cooked by his mother.

Putting Bulgarov through college to get his tourism diploma would have cost his family nearly $3,000, according to Mardjan Dagujieva, the director of the college, a substantial sum by local standards.

At the college, Bulgarov was shy.

“When he dared to say a word in class, that was already a shock for us,” said Yevgeny Romanenko, a classmate.

He said Bulgarov at that time smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol – both habits which are forbidden according to most interpretations of Islam.

His teacher at the college, Gor Kurginyan, said Bulgarov was one of his best students with a dream to start a small business.

“He planned to launch a car repair shop along a road in his neighbourhood,” said Kurginyan.

Bulgarov graduated from the college in 2011, and his teacher expected him to either pursue the workshop plan or keep studying, maybe at university in the nearby city of Pyatigorsk.

But when Kurginyan met up with some of his ex-students about two years ago, he heard the unexpected news that Bulgarov had devoted his life to Islam.

“I asked the guys: ‘And how is Rahim?'” said Kurginyan. “They told me he had … turned to Islam.”


After Bulgarov graduated from college, he had been working on a farm and in construction in his Ikon-Khalk, according to his close relative.

But the village was changing. In 2013 or 2014, young local men started visiting the mosque at the end of his street, drawn to practising Islam for the first time in their lives, and in particular to a very strict interpretations of the faith.

This mirrors a trend throughout the North Caucasus. According to a report this year by the International Crisis Group, poverty, corruption and police crackdowns in the region have left many young people feeling angry and persecuted.

Some of them have been drawn to radical forms of Islam which they feel offers a way to address injustices.

“More people started going to mosque,” said the imam at the mosque in Bulgarov’s village, Abdulla Kumykov. “It had been very few, about 10 people at Friday prayer. And now it’s 40-50, (taking up) about half of the prayer room.”

When a Reuters reporter visited last week, several men in their 20s and 30s hung around the mosque. They refused to speak with the female reporter, and insisted she did not cross into the mosque’s courtyard, saying women were not allowed in.

The imam, who could not explain why there had been an influx of new worshippers, spoke to the reporter outside the perimeter of the mosque.

He said Bulgarov had first come to the mosque around 18 months ago, and had prayed there regularly until he left for Egypt.

The close relative said Bulgarov left home for a second time in March this year, telling his family that he was travelling to find work in Labytnangi, a Russian mining settlement near the Arctic Circle.

The next time the relative knew of his whereabouts was when they learned he was a suspect in the Istanbul airport bombing.

(Additional reporting by Lin Noueihed and Ahmed Mohammed Hassan in CAIRO and David Dolan in ISTANBUL; Editing by Christian Lowe and Anna Willard)

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Tesla puts pedal to the metal, 500,000 cars planned in 2018 | Reuters

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, but warned that spending will ramp up in tandem.

The company, which three months ago aimed to make a net profit in the final quarter of this year, gave no profit target on Wednesday and said capital spending would rise about 50 percent more than previously forecast this year, to around $2.25 billion.

New shares and debt will likely be issued at some point, Chief Executive Elon Musk added.

Tesla, which produces the luxury Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle, aims to become a high-volume automaker in a matter of years and already is valued on par with some of the biggest car companies in the world.

Shares of the company, run by tech entrepreneur Musk, rose more than 5 percent in after hours trade after it announced its first-quarter results and beefed-up production targets.

Musk’s ambitions for clean cars, as well as rocket and solar businesses, have attracted a personal following often compared to that of the late Steve Jobs, but skeptics are also legion.

Tesla reported a wider first-quarter net loss, although results broadly beat Wall Street targets. It also said it was on track to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 electric vehicles this year, as it accelerated its target for Model 3 output.

Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth, who rates Tesla shares “neutral,” said growing pains were to be expected while Tesla ramps up, but the company’s cars were “close to perfect.”

“It’s going to be challenging, making cars is hard and there are all sorts of moving parts and competition will come from known and unknown places,” said Feinseth.

“I will suggest it’s going to take a lot of capital. But car manufacturing is a capital intensive business. (Musk) has had no problem raising money in the past.”

The Model 3 sedan, set to go into production in late 2017, has generated massive interest since its unveiling on March 31.

Some analysts have questioned Tesla’s ability to smoothly and quickly transition to higher-volume production, given the rocky start for its Model X. The technology-heavy SUV faced problems including parts shortages and quality issues, such as non-fastening doors.

Early on Wednesday, before announcing its financial results, Tesla said two top manufacturing executives were leaving the company.

Musk said the company had excelled at design and technology, but a new premium was being placed on manufacturing: “The key thing we need to achieve in the future is to also be the leader in manufacturing,” Musk said. “It’s the thing we obviously have to solve if we are going to scale and scale profitably.”

Standard and Poor’s Global Market Intelligence analyst Efraim Levy said the 500,000 unit production target sets a very high bar for Tesla.

“I would be betting that they don’t make it,” he said.

Musk also said a 2020 volume target was close to 1 million vehicles.

Tesla’s new 500,000 target is still a fraction of what traditional, full-line automakers produce annually. Ford Motor Co (F.N) sold nearly 800,000 of its best-selling F-Series pickups on the U.S. market last year.

Tesla’s net loss widened to $282.3 million, or $2.13 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $154.2 million, or $1.22 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 57 cents per share. Analysts had expected a loss of 58 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose to $1.15 billion from $939.9 million. ( Non-GAAP revenue of $1.60 billion just topped the analyst consensus, by about $5 million.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; additional reporting by Kshitiz Goliya in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr and Tom Brown)

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Build a space robot for NASA, earn $1M

Think you have what it takes to build a robot astronaut? NASA could use your help.

The space agency on Tuesday opened registration for a new competition aimed at developing “the capabilities of humanoid robots to help astronauts on the journey to Mars.” Teams competing in the Space Robots Challenge must program a virtual robot, modeled after NASA’s Robonaut 5 (R5), to complete a series of complex tasks in a simulated Mars environment. Winners will take home $1 million.

The competition will be held in a virtual environment, and each team’s R5 will be challenged to resolve the aftermath of a dust storm that has damaged a Martian habitat. Teams will have three objectives: align a communications dish, repair a solar array, and fix a habitat leak. Making things even harder, teams will have to overcome “periods of latency to represent communications delay from Earth to Mars.”

Sound interesting? Pre-registration is open already, and a qualifying round is slated to run from mid-September to mid-November. NASA will announce finalists in December and the final virtual competition will take place in June 2017. Winners will be announced at the end of that month.

NASA hopes the technology developed through this challenge will allow robots to participate in “precursor missions to selected landing sites” on Mars. The robots would arrive “long before astronauts to set up habitats, life support systems, communications and solar apparatuses, and even begin preliminary scientific research,” NASA said.

The agency explained that current Earth-based robots that leverage hydraulics technology for dexterity cannot be used in space “because of the below-freezing temperatures and the harsh environment of planetary surfaces.” Robonaut 5, on the other hand, uses elastics technology instead of hydraulics so it can operate in space.

“Precise and dexterous robotics, able to work with a communications delay, could be used in spaceflight and ground missions to Mars and elsewhere for hazardous and complicated tasks, which will be crucial to support our astronauts,” NASA’s Program Manager of centennial challenges Monsi Roman said in a statement. “NASA and our partners are confident the public will rise to this challenge, and are excited to see what innovative technologies will be produced.”

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