Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Alonso and Toyota at Le Mans?
Ever since Fernando Alonso ran at Indy in May, he's been talking about running and winning the so-called 'triple crown' of motorsports. Monaco and Indy are two of the three, with the third being Le Mans. Alonso is getting his first taste of sports car racing in one of Zak Brown's United Autosport P2 entries at Daytona in January. Now it appears he could be in line for a seat at Le Mans with Toyota.
Racer reports that Alonso was recently at the Cologne, Germany HQ of Toyota's WEC team . That seat fitting is expected to lead to a test in after the season ends in Bahrain in November. It is also believed that with Toyota if the opportunity is offered. And, somehow, before the driver lineup for Le Mans is even announced, Alonso is in early contention to be the talk of the event.
Waymo On Its Own
Waymo, the company formerly known as Google's self-driving car project, has a fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids that have been out and about, but with a driver ready to take over... just in case. Now, .
The video above shows a few Waymo Pacificas running around Chandler, Arizona with no driver of any kind behind the wheel. I find this freaky beyond belief. I'm also not patient enough to ride around in a minivan going 14 mph, so being in there would drive me insane. But this is a big deal, it's the first step towards more widespread adoption of driverless tech.
Jones's Ganassi Decision
Ed Jones, Chip Ganassi Racing's newest driver, has said that it would have been the biggest if he didn't take the seat. Jones, who was expected to be back with Dale Coyne in 2018, said that while he and Coyne had a handshake agreement for another season together, they just couldn't reach a deal. Part of the reason being the Jones had lost his funding from winning the Indy Lights title in 2016.
So Ganassi calling was a boon to Jones. He replaces Tony Kanaan in the number 10 car next year.
Tesla Knew About Dyson
When vacuum cleaner maker Dyson announced that it was going to build cars, it was surprising to pretty much everyone. Everyone but Tesla, that is. And that's because the company knew about Dyson's plans for two whole years.
A Dyson engineer was hired by Tesla right at the same time as Dyson started its electric car project. Dyson sought an injunction to keep him from working for Tesla, and an email to a Tesla lawyer revealed Dyson's electric car plans. This means that Tesla knew about Dyson's plans for two years.