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Tesla Is Turning Cars Into Phones. Other Car Makers Better Catch On.

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Courtesy Aptiv

Cars are slowly becoming less about hardware and more about software. That shift has the power to change the automotive industry as much as any other trend, including vehicle electrification and autonomous driving. Automotive investors should start paying more attention to software.

If a “software defined vehicle,” as the industry calls it, is difficult to grasp, all consumers need to do is look at their phones. Then, perhaps, visit their grandparents.

Phones used to be all about hardware. A rotary phone from Ma Bell didn’t have a lot of features constantly updating. Innovations were push-button numbers and extra long cords. But a new iPhone from

Apple

(AAPL) regularly has new apps and operating systems making it go a little bit better day by day.

Cars are still in the rotary phone stage—or perhaps the flip phone stage. But that is changing.

Tesla

(TSLA)

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200 vehicles catch fire at New Haven auto salvage yard | Police/Fire

The New Haven-Adams Township Fire Department and three other departments worked two hours to bring a fire at an auto salvage company in New Haven under control.

The fire was reported about 9:40 a.m. Friday at Stein Auto Salvage, New Haven-Adams Township Fire Chief Joshua Hale said. At the yard at 6405 Parrot Road, flames reached 50 feet high. The business is in an unincorporated area in Adams Township. 

About 200 cars in the area were billowing huge clouds of dark smoke and fumes, but the air quality was monitored and deemed safe for nearby residential areas, Hale said. No injuries were reported.

“There was no major wind. A lot of smoke was dissipating up into the air,” Hale said.

The fire is the second one at Stein Auto Salvage this year, although the first one was smaller. Hale blamed the fire on a malfunction in the salvage process, but

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