Wirtschaftswoche: Trouble for Tesla?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday that it is advancing an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system, which uses cameras and other sensors to steer vehicles with little input from drivers. The agency had conducted a preliminary assessment of the system but upgraded to a technical analysis to examine whether the autopilot is failing to keep drivers’ attention on the road. The new analysis entails a more in-depth scrutiny covering 830,000 vehicles sold in the United States between 2014 and 2021 and including all four Tesla models; It is also a necessary step before a recall can be ordered. Tesla urges drivers to remain vigilant while using the system, but many experts worry that Autopilot and similar technologies can mislead drivers into believing their vehicles are fully self-driving.

Fresh inflation data dashed any hopes that inflation had started to moderate. The CPI rose 1 percent in April-May, much faster than the March-April rise, and monthly core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, was 0.6 percent. Prices rose 8.6 percent for the year through May, also an uncomfortably fast pace. The numbers make talk of “peak inflation” moot: It’s becoming increasingly clear that high prices could be here to stay, economists say, a reality that has become extremely difficult for many Americans, particularly those on low incomes. An index measuring the price of food consumed at home rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier, the biggest increase in over 40 years.

Wells Fargo is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York over whether its interviewing practices violated federal law. The New York Times reported in May that the bank conducted fake interviews with minority and female candidates to appear to diversify its workforce, according to current and former employees. In mid-2020, Wells Fargo adopted a “diversity” policy that requires at least half of applicants applying for six-digit jobs to be members of a disadvantaged group. But some employees said the sham interviews ran long before that because of a similar unwritten policy of interviewing candidates for jobs that had already been promised to others. A bank employee said she didn’t think the fake interviews were “a systematic problem”.

The Federal Reserve will announce new interest rate hikes on Wednesday in a bid to cool inflation. The central bank will almost certainly hike rates by half a percentage point, as it did in May, which was the largest rate hike since 2000. In an interview this month, Lael Brainard, the Fed’s vice chairman, said expectations for June and July rate hikes, which would be double the typical quarter-point, were “reasonable”. Because investors know they need to brace themselves, markets may not react too violently. But they’re still watching the Fed’s moves closely.

Amazon will appear before the National Labor Relations Board this week to present its objections to the Amazon Labor Union’s victory in a union vote at a Staten Island warehouse in April. Despite the retail giant’s determination to stop organizing at the warehouse known as JFK8, workers there voted by a large majority to form a union. Amazon submitted a list of more than two dozen objections to the NLRB; They include allegations that the union “purposefully created hostile confrontations” by disrupting company-ordered gatherings, which Amazon used to oppose the union. Experts say it’s rare for the NLRB to annul an election result.

More than 19 million viewers and counting watched Thursday’s prime-time hearing of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Capitol Bombings, the first of several to take place in the coming weeks. According to preliminary figures from Nielsen, the number of visitors was comparable to that of events such as a “Sunday Night Football” game or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. ABC, CBS, and NBC all aired the hearing as special reports, but Fox News, the most-watched cable news network, chose not to broadcast any of the hearings live (although Fox Business Network, which draws a much smaller audience, did). Instead, his star commentators played the hearing live on a split screen as they chimed in. “It’s disrupted and we don’t play along,” Tucker Carlson said.

Target said it would make a profit to clear inventory if shoppers’ habits change. Spirit Airlines delayed a shareholder vote to merge with Frontier Airlines as JetBlue Airways seeks to meddle with a competing bid. Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz said he was considering ending a policy that would allow non-customers to use bathrooms in stores.

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