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California’s Proposed Autonomous Testing Rules Rile Google, Automakers

Companies claim proposed rules make development difficult.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Google and several automakers expressed concern about California's proposed testing rules for self-driving cars.

As Tesla’s Elon Musk announced all of the maker’s new vehicles will be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving, other automakers were expressing their concerns about the state of California’s proposed rules for testing self-driving vehicles in the Golden State.

During a public hearing outlining the proposed rules Google and several automakers objected to a variety of mandates, claiming that they would hinder the ability to conduct effective testing, including requiring compliance with the guidelines that federal regulators made voluntary last month.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automated Vehicle Policy was devised to insure that automated vehicles or vehicles that can take over some or all of the driving task can pass a series of uniform tests to ensure the safety of the public, according to information supplied by The White House. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla’s Musk Claims Autonomous Car Critics Are “Killing People”

Too much attention to crashes scares off the public, CEO claims.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the media is complicit in the 1.2 million global traffic deaths each year because it writes stories about autonomous vehicle crashes.

Critics of self-driving cars may be “killing people” by building consumer resistance to the technology, said Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

Proponents of autonomous vehicles – including not only Musk but also U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx – contend the technology could eventually result in the elimination of most, perhaps all, highway deaths. But early prototypes, as well as vehicles equipped with semi-autonomous systems, have been involved in a number of crashes, including a May 9 accident in Florida in a Tesla Model S that resulted in the death of a former Navy SEAL.

Safety News!

Nonetheless, the South African-born Tesla founder, said that reporting on such events is counterproductive because when, “you write an article that effectively dissuades people from using an autonomous car, you’re killing people.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ghosn to Add New Duties as Chairman of Mitsubishi

“It is going to be difficult.”

by on Oct.20, 2016

Saving Mitsubishi "will require tough decisions," said new Chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Already serving as the CEO of both French automaker Renault, as well as its Japanese alliance partner Nissan, Carlos Ghosn will now become chairman of embattled automaker Mitsubishi.

It will put the Brazilian-born executive in a familiar role. He became chief operating officer at Nissan in 1999, following a $6 billion investment by Renault, and helped turned the then-struggling Japanese company around. Following a series of scandals, Mitsubishi now needs similar help.

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And it could also help boost give a big boost to the Renault-Nissan Alliance, adding just enough volume for the Franco-Japanese partnership to brush aside rival Toyota to become the world’s best-selling auto company.

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Faraday Future Set to Reveal First Car at CES

LeEco’s autonomous debut short-circuited when its car wouldn’t run.

by on Oct.20, 2016

The LeEco LeSee concept.

Tesla Motors isn’t the only automotive upstart attempting to make news about electric and autonomous vehicles. Several potential competitors have their own, futuristic models to reveal – though, as Chinese-owned LeEco demonstrated Wednesday, there are plenty of pitfalls along the path.

With billionaire investor Jia Yueting on hand for a public unveiling in San Francisco, LeEco’s event went off the rails when the LeSee, its prototype autonomous electric vehicle, couldn’t drive down the runway, forcing Jia to run down the ramp on his own.

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Jia, who made a fortune in the Chinese electronics industry, is clearly hoping to do better with a second automotive start-up he is funding, California-based Faraday Future. That company made its debut last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and will be back at the 2017 CES in less than three months to unveil its first production model.

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Tesla Wins Race to Full Autonomy

Musk declines to speculate on regulatory approvals.

by on Oct.20, 2016

All Tesla models going forward will be capable of fully autonomous driving once regulatory approvals happen.

The race to be the first automaker to produce a fully autonomous vehicle is over … according to Tesla’s Elon Musk anyway.

Tech News!

Effective immediately, all Teslas rolling off the production line are being equipped to be fully self-driving, including the maker’s first entry-level sedan, the Model 3, when it goes into production late next year, the CEO noted. Read the rest of this entry »

Gas Prices Starting to Fall in October

Some parts of country still over $2.50 a gallon.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Unexpected refinery maintenance has caused prices in some areas to rise slightly, but gas prices are down on average.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nearly two weeks after a brief spike during September, according to the information collected by AAA.

Unleaded gasoline was selling for $2.23.5 cents per gallon this week, AAA reported. The average price represents a decrease of two cents per gallon compared to one week ago, but remains five cents more than last month.

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Drivers across the country continue to see savings at the pump and are paying an average of three cents less per gallon year-over-year while the price of crude oil remains well below its historical highs, AAA said. Read the rest of this entry »

Surprise! All New Tesla Models Fully Autonomous

Musk says all models equipped for Level 5 autonomy.

by on Oct.19, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced tonight that going forward all Tesla models will be capable of Level 5 autonomous driving.

Tesla’s Elon Musk announced tonight that all of the company’s vehicles going forward will be equipped to be fully autonomous, including its mass-market car, the Model 3, when it debuts late in 2017.

Musk, who delayed the announcement by two days, said the vehicles are Level 5 autonomy capable, which means they are capable of dealing with all environments and traffic conditions. The new vehicles now utilize eight cameras providing 360-degree coverage around the car.

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He believes that the safety level of the fully autonomous vehicle is “twice that of a person, maybe better,” he said during a late evening conference call. “I think that it’s unexpected by most people.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ghosn Likely to Lead Mitsubishi Board After Acquisition

Adding Mitsu may put Renault-Nissan at top of the sales heap.

by on Oct.19, 2016

Carlos Ghosn is likely to be named chairman of Mitsubishi Motors after Renault-Nissan acquires a controlling stake in the maker.

Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn appears to be adding another title to his business card: Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

The move, reported by Reuters, is expected to come after Renault-Nissan completes the $2.2 billion acquisition of a controlling stake – expected to be about 34% – in Mitsubishi in the weeks to come. Ghosn will helm a company, Mitsubishi, whose shares have fallen more than 40% this year.

Global Auto News!

Ghosn, who helped pull Renault out of a financial ditch in the 1990s and improve Nissan’s earnings in the decade following, orchestrated the ongoing purchase of Mitsubishi after its sales plunged in the wake of its fuel economy rating crisis earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Chevy Bolt Predicted to Hit 30K Sales Mark in 2017

U.S. EV sales soaring toward new record in 2016.

by on Oct.19, 2016

LG Chem VP Kang Chang Beom told his shareholders that Chevy Bolt sales would exceed 30,000 units in 2017. The supplier produces the batteries for the Bolt.

Just as Tesla revealed that the initial deliveries of its first mass-market EV, the Model 3, will be slow, one of the car’s competitors, the Chevrolet Bolt, appears to be ready to sprint out of the gate in 2017 with 30,000 deliveries.

The Bolt prediction comes from LG Chem Vice President Kang Chang Beom, whose company makes the batteries for Chevy’s new EV. His forecast that it would be raining Bolt EVs came during a conference call with the company’s shareholders, according to Bloomberg.


Sales of the new five-door plug-in EV begin later this year with production ramping up in early 2017 at General Motors’ plant in Orion, Michigan. However, Tesla’s first Model 3s won’t hit the streets until late next year … and even that’s considered a big assumption given the company’s past adherence to deadlines. Read the rest of this entry »

Lear Opens Innovation Center in the Motor City

Supplier hoping to capture city's buzz.

by on Oct.19, 2016

Lear opened its new "Innovation Center" in downtown Detroit hoping to capture some of the energy and creativity driving the city.

Mega-supplier Lear Corp. opened its new “Innovation Center” in downtown Detroit hoping to capture some of the energy and creativity sparking a renaissance in the old urban heart of the Motor City.

Matt Simoncini, Lear’s president and chief executive, told reporters Lear plans to use the new center to work on advanced products that are three to seven years away from production.

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One example of that type of product is the company’s intelligent seat that fits a driver’s contour and is also capable of monitoring a motorist’s physical condition. The seat also comes equipped with features such as individualized entertainment options and white noise. It is already in development, Simoncini said. Read the rest of this entry »