Rivian says it’s still on track to produce 25,000 vehicles despite production woes

Moreso than most automakers, Rivian has had a tough 2022. At the start of the year, the company, blaming inflation and component shortages, raised the base price of its quad-motor R1T pickup truck by a whopping $12,000. And while it went on to quickly backtrack, the decision led to a shareholder lawsuit

Despite those early woes, Rivian says it’s still on track to produce 25,000 vehicles in 2022. The company reiterated the prediction in a statement it shared on Wednesday. Rivian said it built 4,401 R1T trucks, R1S SUVs and Amazon delivery vans at its factory in Normal, Illinois and delivered 4,467 vehicles during fiscal Q2.

“Supply chain and production are ramping,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe tweeted after the announcement. “We just announced production of 4,401 vehicles for Q2 bringing our cumulative total since start of production to 7,969 — keeping us on track to reach our year-end goals.”

While 4,401 vehicles is a modest tally, it is an improvement for Rivian. In the first three months of the year, the startup built 2,553 cars. Just as noteworthy is that the company managed to scale production while facing many of the same issues that have slowed its competition. On Saturday, Tesla announced its first quarter-over-quarter production decline in two years. In Q2, the company saw a 15 percent drop in manufacturing volume due to ongoing parts shortages and multiple COVID-19 shutdowns at its critical Shanghai Gigafactory.

Increasing production capacity will be critical to Rivian’s survival. In addition to an approximately 71,000 vehicle preorder backlog, the company has a 100,000 van order it needs to fulfill for minority owner Amazon. Late last year, Rivian announced it would build a second factory in Georgia, but that facility won’t be operational until sometime 2024. Until then, the startup is dependent on its single factory in Normal, which it says will eventually produce 200,000 vehicles annually.

Rivian says it’s still on track to produce 25,000 vehicles despite production woes

Moreso than most automakers, Rivian has had a tough 2022. At the start of the year, the company, blaming inflation and component shortages, raised the base price of its quad-motor R1T pickup truck by a whopping $12,000. And while it went on to quickly backtrack, the decision led to a shareholder lawsuit

Despite those early woes, Rivian says it’s still on track to produce 25,000 vehicles in 2022. The company reiterated the prediction in a statement it shared on Wednesday. Rivian said it built 4,401 R1T trucks, R1S SUVs and Amazon delivery vans at its factory in Normal, Illinois and delivered 4,467 vehicles during fiscal Q2.

“Supply chain and production are ramping,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe tweeted after the announcement. “We just announced production of 4,401 vehicles for Q2 bringing our cumulative total since start of production to 7,969 — keeping us on track to reach our year-end goals.”

While 4,401 vehicles is a modest tally, it is an improvement for Rivian. In the first three months of the year, the startup built 2,553 cars. Just as noteworthy is that the company managed to scale production while facing many of the same issues that have slowed its competition. On Saturday, Tesla announced its first quarter-over-quarter production decline in two years. In Q2, the company saw a 15 percent drop in manufacturing volume due to ongoing parts shortages and multiple COVID-19 shutdowns at its critical Shanghai Gigafactory.

Increasing production capacity will be critical to Rivian’s survival. In addition to an approximately 71,000 vehicle preorder backlog, the company has a 100,000 van order it needs to fulfill for minority owner Amazon. Late last year, Rivian announced it would build a second factory in Georgia, but that facility won’t be operational until sometime 2024. Until then, the startup is dependent on its single factory in Normal, which it says will eventually produce 200,000 vehicles annually.

Grab ‘The Matrix Awakens’ Unreal demo before it’s delisted on July 9th

Time is running out to download Epic Games’ The Matrix Awakens. The free open-world interactive demo made with Unreal Engine 5 will be removed from the PlayStation and Xbox stores on July 9th. Luckily, players can still access the game an unlimited amount of times once it’s downloaded. The tie-in experience to The Matrix Resurrections debuted last year, and was one of the first examples of what Epic’s next generation game engine can do. UE5 has since been released to the wider developer community.

While The Matrix Awakens isn’t a full game, it’s still a memorable introduction to UE5’s immersive visuals and natural lighting. Players are essentially given free rein to roam through the titular Matrix and soak in the visual effects. The game was written by Lana Wachowski, the co-writer and director of The Matrix trilogy films, and features performances by both Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves.

If you’ve already dipped your toe into the world of The Matrix Awakens and are interested in experiencing more games using UE5, a number of new titles have been announced, including a new Tomb Raider game, ARK 2, the upcoming Witcher game and Black Myth: Wukong. You can check out gameplay footage from The Matrix Awakens (available on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S console) below.

Grab ‘The Matrix Awakens’ Unreal demo before it’s delisted on July 9th

Time is running out to download Epic Games’ The Matrix Awakens. The free open-world interactive demo made with Unreal Engine 5 will be removed from the PlayStation and Xbox stores on July 9th. Luckily, players can still access the game an unlimited amount of times once it’s downloaded. The tie-in experience to The Matrix Resurrections debuted last year, and was one of the first examples of what Epic’s next generation game engine can do. UE5 has since been released to the wider developer community.

While The Matrix Awakens isn’t a full game, it’s still a memorable introduction to UE5’s immersive visuals and natural lighting. Players are essentially given free rein to roam through the titular Matrix and soak in the visual effects. The game was written by Lana Wachowski, the co-writer and director of The Matrix trilogy films, and features performances by both Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves.

If you’ve already dipped your toe into the world of The Matrix Awakens and are interested in experiencing more games using UE5, a number of new titles have been announced, including a new Tomb Raider game, ARK 2, the upcoming Witcher game and Black Myth: Wukong. You can check out gameplay footage from The Matrix Awakens (available on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S console) below.

Ubisoft is killing online support for 15 games on September 1st

If you have fond memories of older Ubisoft games with online components from the early 2010s, you might want to check in on them soon. That's because on September 1st 2022, Ubisoft is dropping support for online services in 15 different games including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

In a post on Ubisoft's website, the company says it's decommissioning online services in some of its older games in order to "focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles." Depending on the title, gamers will no longer be able to access multiplayer modes or even download and install additional content (DLC). 

Affected games are spread across various platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, HTC Vive, Oculus and Wii U, with notable titles including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, the 2012 release of Assassin's Creed 3, Anno 2070 and more. And in some cases like Space Junkies, which is a multiplayer-only title, the game will be completely unplayable. Meanwhile, for others such as Ghost Recon Future Soldier, you'll need to put your console in offline mode just to play the solo campaign. 

While most of these games enjoyed 10 to 12 years of support since their release, it's still a bit sad to see Ubisoft drop support for online services for some of its most iconic franchises — especially in titles where DLC will no longer be accessible. For a full list of games that are being decommissioned on September 1st, please visit the company's help page here for more information. 

Ubisoft is killing online support for 15 games on September 1st

If you have fond memories of older Ubisoft games with online components from the early 2010s, you might want to check in on them soon. That's because on September 1st 2022, Ubisoft is dropping support for online services in 15 different games including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

In a post on Ubisoft's website, the company says it's decommissioning online services in some of its older games in order to "focus our resources on delivering great experiences for players who are playing newer or more popular titles." Depending on the title, gamers will no longer be able to access multiplayer modes or even download and install additional content (DLC). 

Affected games are spread across various platforms including the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, HTC Vive, Oculus and Wii U, with notable titles including Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, the 2012 release of Assassin's Creed 3, Anno 2070 and more. And in some cases like Space Junkies, which is a multiplayer-only title, the game will be completely unplayable. Meanwhile, for others such as Ghost Recon Future Soldier, you'll need to put your console in offline mode just to play the solo campaign. 

While most of these games enjoyed 10 to 12 years of support since their release, it's still a bit sad to see Ubisoft drop support for online services for some of its most iconic franchises — especially in titles where DLC will no longer be accessible. For a full list of games that are being decommissioned on September 1st, please visit the company's help page here for more information. 

Xiaomi 12S Ultra has a Leica camera with a massive 1-inch sensor

Merely six months after its previous flagship launch, today Xiaomi announced a trio of familiar-looking smartphones to mark the beginning of its partnership with Leica. The new 12S Series features MIUI 13 based on Android 12, and it runs on Qualcomm's allegedly more efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship processor, with the headlining 12S Ultra packing a massive 1-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 main sensor. This translates to a generous pixel size of 1.6um, which then doubles to 3.2um via pixel binning for a supposedly boosted color accuracy and low light performance. And unlike the Sony Xperia Pro-I, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra apparently uses the entire portion of its 1-inch sensor.

According to CEO Lei Jun, Xiaomi took part in the Sony IMX989's development, and the $15 million cost was also split evenly between the two companies. Interestingly, the sensor won't be exclusive to Xiaomi; Lei added that it'll be made available to his local competitors after the launch of the 12S Ultra, in order to "promote the advancement of mobile imaging together."

A close-up of Xiaomi 12S Ultra's rear camera module, co-engineered with Leica.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi

As for Leica's part on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, you get a "Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system" covering all three rear cameras: the aforementioned 50.3-megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9), along with the 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm, f/2.2) and the 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1). Both 48-megapixel cameras use a 1/2-inch Sony IMX586 sensor. The entire circular camera island — now with "Leica" co-branding — benefits from some coating magic to mitigate lens glare and improve image consistency across each lens. Oh, and there's a 23K gold rim here as well.

In addition to some Leica filters, users will be able to switch between two photographic styles: "Leica Authentic Look" for natural-looking shots with stronger three dimensional depth, and "Leica Vibrant Look" which adds Xiaomi's input on vibrancy while preserving authenticity (somehow). You can also toggle the watermark banner at the bottom of your photos, which will add Leica's iconic red logo, photo metadata and location coordinates to the right, along with phone model and timestamp on the left.

A sample shot taken with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, featuring a cyclist on a river bank in the early morning before sunrise.
Xiaomi

On the other side of the phone, there's a 32-megapixel selfie camera powered by an unknown RGBW sensor. Most of these cameras are capable of Dolby Vision HDR video recording (up to 4K@60fps) and playback, thus making the 12S Ultra the first Android device to sport these features. Some also utilize the motor-based "HyperOIS" for more stable footage. As for still shots, the entire 12S Series supports 10-bit RAW format calibrated by Adobe Labs, with color correction metadata embedded in the files for easier post-production with the likes of Adobe Lightroom.

The 12S Ultra also happens to carry two proprietary Xiaomi Surge chips: a Surge P1 fast-charging chipset and a Surge G1 battery management chipset. These provide support for 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging and 10W reverse charging for the 4,860mAh single cell silicon oxygen anode battery. Note that some fast-charging solutions use a dual cell battery instead to split the current load, which is why it's a good thing that the Surge P1 can handle an output current of up to 16A here, and apparently with 96.8% conversion efficiency. Like Oppo's and ASUS' recent handsets, the 12S Ultra offer adaptive charging as well, which allegedly increases the number of charge cycles by 25 percent.

Keeping the phone cool is also key to a healthier battery, not to mention a more stable performance while gaming. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is equipped with a "three dimensional cooling pump" which moves cooling liquid across warm surfaces using a capillary mechanism similar to that on leaves. This apparently improves thermal conductivity significantly, compared to conventional vapor cooling modules.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Xiaomi

The rest of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is standard flagship affair. For the display, you get a 6.73-inch Samsung E5 AMOLED panel (3,200 x 1,440, 522ppi; LTPO 2.0), with a peak brightness of up to 1,500 nits, a 1-120Hz AdaptiveSync Pro refresh rate, native 10-bit color depth and support for P3 color gamut. As you can tell from the camera features, the screen can handle Dolby Vision, as well as HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG; these will go well with the Harman Kardon speakers which also support Dolby Atmos audio. The device is IP68-rated, meaning it should survive accidental dives into sinks and pools. You'll also find an infrared remote port at the top for controlling home appliances.

Options include up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage — featuring Xiaomi's self-developed FBO (File-Based Optimization) storage refresh tech, which supposedly maintains the same read/write performance for at least four years (and Lei added that FBO has already been written into the next-gen UFS 4.0 storage specification). Buyers can choose between a "Classic Black" and a "Verdant Green," both wrapped in vegan leather. 

A close-up of the Xiaomi 12S Pro's Leica Vario-Summicron 1:1.9-2.4/14-50 ASPH camera system, with all three cameras featuring a 50-megapixel sensor.
Xiaomi 12S Pro
Xiaomi

The lesser Xiaomi 12S Pro shares the same 6.73-inch display and Surge P1 fast charging-chipset as the 12S Ultra, though it supports a whopping 120W wired charging for its smaller 4,600mAh battery, but lacks 10W reverse charging. It features a more regular (but apparently still pricey) 1/1.28-inch, 50-megapixel Sony IMX707 main sensor, which is a variant of the IMX700 previously found on Huawei's Mate 40 Pro series. This still offers a good pixel size of 1.22um (or 2.44um after pixel binning), and it matches the resolution of its ultra-wide camera (14mm) and telephoto camera (50mm) — all fine-tuned by Leica as well, of course. 

As for the "basic" Xiaomi 12S, it has the same main camera as the 12S Pro and the same fast-charging features as the 12S Ultra, but with a smaller 4,500mAh battery in a more palm-friendly body under the 6.28-inch 120Hz display. Apparently there is still a sizeable demand for small flagship phones, according to Lei.

The Xiaomi 12S Series is now available for pre-ordering in China ahead of retail launch on July 6th. The 12S Ultra is priced from from 5,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 256GB storage; around $900) to 6,999 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $1,000). The 12S Pro is cheaper, asking for 4,699 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; around $700) to 5,899 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $880). The 12S is the most affordable option here, starting from 3,999 yuan (8GB RAM, 128GB storage; around $600) and capping at 5,199 yuan (12GB RAM, 512GB storage; around $780). We'll keep an eye out for international availability later.

Summer Games Done Quick 2022 raises $3 million for charity

In its first in-person event since 2020, GDQ’s Summer Games Done Quick 2022 raised more than $3.01 million for Doctors Without Borders. In all, some of the world’s best speedrunners descended on Bloomington, Minnesota to complete 134 different playthroughs of games like Doom Eternal, Tunic and Control. Across seven days of programming, Games Done Quick collected more than 42,000 individual donations.

And while the final tally fell short of the record-breaking $3.4 million the organization secured for the Prevent Cancer Foundation at Awesome Games Done Quick at the start of the year, it was more than the $2.9 million raised during SGDQ 2021. This year’s event saw the departure of Kasumi "Sumichu" Yogi. For the past eight years, Yogi has served as GDQ’s director of marketing and business development, helping the organization grow into the community cornerstone that it is today. Games Done Quick’s next fundraiser, the all-women Flame Fatales showcase, starts on August 21st, with proceeds from the event slated to go to the Malala Fund.

Summer Games Done Quick 2022 raises $3 million for charity

In its first in-person event since 2020, GDQ’s Summer Games Done Quick 2022 raised more than $3.01 million for Doctors Without Borders. In all, some of the world’s best speedrunners descended on Bloomington, Minnesota to complete 134 different playthroughs of games like Doom Eternal, Tunic and Control. Across seven days of programming, Games Done Quick collected more than 42,000 individual donations.

And while the final tally fell short of the record-breaking $3.4 million the organization secured for the Prevent Cancer Foundation at Awesome Games Done Quick at the start of the year, it was more than the $2.9 million raised during SGDQ 2021. This year’s event saw the departure of Kasumi "Sumichu" Yogi. For the past eight years, Yogi has served as GDQ’s director of marketing and business development, helping the organization grow into the community cornerstone that it is today. Games Done Quick’s next fundraiser, the all-women Flame Fatales showcase, starts on August 21st, with proceeds from the event slated to go to the Malala Fund.

The Morning After: Major League Baseball wants to deploy strike zone robo-umpires in 2024

Major League Baseball will "likely" introduce an Automated Strike Zone System starting in 2024, commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN. These robot umpires may call all balls and strikes then relay the information to a plate umpire, or be part of a replay review system that allows managers to challenge calls.

The comments come following outrage over umpires' missed calls in recent games, including a brutal low strike error during a Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins game. MLB has been experimenting with robo-umpires in the Atlantic League since 2019, using similar technology to golf speed-measurement devices.

There may be other benefits to introducing the tech. According to MLB data, mechanical systems have already made Atlantic league games mercifully shorter by a full nine minutes. And I say mercifully from the perspective of a Brit who’s watched cricket matches.

—Mat Smith

 

The biggest stories you might have missed

The best smartphones you can buy right now

Not just flagships.

TMA
Engadget

Here at Engadget, we test smartphones all year round and can help you make sense of what’s available and what to look out for. It’s time for our updated Best Smartphones guide and we’ve included all our favorite phones to help you whittle down your shortlist.

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An update makes the DJI Mavic 3 a much better drone

From ActiveTrack to Quickshots to an improved telezoom camera.

When it launched last year, the DJI Mavic 3 grabbed a lot of headlines with features like a Four Thirds sensor and a second 7X telephoto camera. But it launched without ActiveTrack and QuickShot features which meant potential buyers couldn’t get a full picture of the drone before paying up to $5,000 for one.

Following three major firmware updates in December, January and May, all the promised functions and more are finally here. How do they fare?

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Samsung Gaming Hub goes live today with Twitch, Xbox Game Pass and more

The game-centric menu is rolling out to 2022 Samsung smart TVs and smart monitors.

Samsung’s Gaming Hub is now live on its 2022 smart TVs and smart monitors, and it's adding two services from Amazon to its game-streaming lineup: Twitch and Luna. Twitch is available today, while Luna is coming soon. Gamers will also be able to access Xbox Game Pass now, as well as apps for NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia and Utomik in the same designated area on their TVs. The company plans to release details about the gaming hub's rollout to earlier Samsung smart TV models at a later date.

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Boring Company's underground Loop just hit the Las Vegas Strip

Why walk less than a mile?

TMA
The Boring Company

The Boring Company and Resorts World Las Vegas announced the official opening of the latest Loop station at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This spur off of the Boring Company's existing Loop network (which runs underneath the North and South halls of the LVCC) connects the convention center directly to a sister station underneath the World Resorts property on the other side of South Las Vegas Blvd. The trip should take just a few minutes.

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A swarm of Cruise robotaxis blocked San Francisco traffic for hours

The service launched last month.

A small fleet of Cruise robotaxis in San Francisco suddenly stopped operating on Tuesday night, effectively blocking traffic on a street in the city's Fillmore district for a couple of hours until employees were able to arrive. Cruise — which is General Motor’s AV subsidiary — only launched its commercial robotaxi service in the city last week. The rides feature no human safety driver, are geo-restricted to certain streets and can only operate in the late evening hours.

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