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Continental Boss Putting Brakes on Autonomous Vehicles

Degenhart believes self-drivers are farther away than automakers say.

by on Jan.15, 2019

Continental AG Chairman Elmar Degenhart said he believes that self-driving cars are much further way than automakers suggest will happen.

While automakers may have you believe that self-driving vehicles are right around the corner, at least one auto supplier believes that it will be well into the next decade before autonomous vehicles will be capable of venturing beyond a well-defined area and take to the open road.

Instead, drivers will continue to adapt to advanced driver assistance systems, also known as ADAS, which will help make the transition to self-driving cars easier for uneasy vehicle owners.

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Elmar Degenhart, chairman of Continental AG, one of the auto industry’s leading suppliers of driver assistance systems, told reporters during the North American International Auto Show, that the adaptation of driver assistance systems such as blind spot detection has been encouraging.  (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Unveils New Ram Heavy Duty at NAIAS 2019

New truck may be most important intro in some time.

by on Jan.14, 2019

Ram has six variants, or trim levels, for its new heavy-duty truck platform, including the 2500 HD Longhorn Edition.

Once upon a time, they talked about the cars built in Detroit.

But now pick-up trucks are the king of the road in the Motor City and the appearance of the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup, with its blend of technology and power, fitted into a body that’s been completely re-engineered, will be one of the most important vehicles revealed at the 2019 edition of the North American International Auto Show.

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Executives from Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. describe the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty as the most powerful, most capable pickup in hotly contested and enormously profitable segment, which commands the full attention of not only FCA but also its local rivals General Motors. (more…)

Cadillac Reshapes Line-up with new XT6 Crossover

Utility vehicle will replace CT6 sedan as premium offering.

by on Jan.13, 2019

Cadillac's new XT6 will go up against a tough set of competitors, including the Acura MDX, the three-row Lexus RX and the new Lincoln Aviator.

Cadillac has been in the midst of a “renaissance” for nearly two decades, but it’s a turnaround that has never quite taken hold, especially in the home U.S. market where sales took another 1.1% dip last year.

The big problem has been the lackluster success of the marque’s sedan models, something that is leading to a sharp cutback over the next couple years, with the CTS and ATS models effectively being consolidated and the flagship CT6 set to vanish by the end of 2019.

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The real test for Cadillac comes on the light truck side of the ledger where it has fared a bit better. The new XT4, its smallest SUV, has been a solid hit since its autumn launch. And now, Caddy is pushing upward, with the all-new XT6 that will essentially replace the CT6 sedan as its premium offering.

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Ford, VW Could Roll Out a Series of Deals Over Coming “Weeks and Months,” Says Farley

Automaker also looking to expand ties to Indian ally Mahindra & Mahindra.

by on Jan.10, 2019

Ford's Jim Farley said the company is deep in talks with Volkswagen AG, but said there are plenty of small details that need to be worked out.

Ford Motor Co. is moving towards signing a series of new projects pairing it with Volkswagen AG, the first of those deals possibly being announced as early as next week. But a senior source tells TheDetroitBureau.com that final details haven’t yet been approved by the two automakers, something that could hold back a formal announcement.

And, with a variety of different projects now being negotiated, the new partners could spread out any news over a period of “weeks and months,” according to Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Global Markets.

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The tie-up with Volkswagen is not expected to involve any equity swapping, sources close to the talks emphasize, but the eventual relationship is likely to be significant. If the key projects now under discussion prove fruitful they could range from joint development of commercial vehicles, electrified vehicles and other products to global marketing alliances that would take advantage of the strengths of each company. (more…)

Ford and VW Ready to Announce New Partnership, Sources Say

Auto giants to form alliances in multiple areas, Reuters reports.

by on Jan.09, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and Chairman Bill Ford earlier confirmed the talks with Volkswagen. Might they announce a deal next week?

The lengthy talks between Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG to forge some sort of money-saving, product-expediting partnership appear to be coming to a conclusion with an announcement coming sometime next week during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“A global alliance is expected to be announced,” one person familiar with the talks told Reuters, adding that the pact will be unveiled next Tuesday during the Detroit auto show. Another official echoed similar sentiments to TheDetroitBureau.com earlier today.

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It’s possible that an announcement could come as early as this evening as Ford is hosting an event tonight in Detroit. (more…)

Daimler Spending $500M on Automated Truck Development

Company looking to push to Level 4 with big rigs.

by on Jan.08, 2019

Daimler AG is investing more than $500 million into the development of automated big rigs.

Daimler AG plans to invest $570 million and create 200 jobs at its truck-oriented technical center in Portland, Oregon, to expedite the development automated driving for heavy-duty commercial trucks.

“As a leader of our industry, we’ve been pioneering automated trucking,” said Martin Daum, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses

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“In 2015, our Freightliner Inspiration Truck got the first road license ever for an automated commercial vehicle. Now we take automated trucking to the next level: we’re ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019 – and next, we tackle highly automated trucks,” Daum said. (more…)

Israeli Tech Company Shows Off 4D Imaging Radar at CES

Arbe's new tech paves way for improved autonomous vehicles.

by on Jan.08, 2019

Arbe Robotics new 4D imaging radar can tell the difference between moving and stationary objects.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mobileye, which has made its vision technology essential to automated vehicles, Israeli technology company Arbe is unveiling technology that could be used to enhance vehicle automation.

The aforementioned Mobileye is now part of technology giant Intel after accepting a $15 billion buyout, but Tel Aviv-based Arbe Robotics unveiled its Phoenix automotive 4D imaging radar powered by the company’s proprietary chipset technology during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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Kobi Marenko, CEO of Arbe Robotics, said the beta version of Phoenix enables evaluation and development towards production and full commercialization of 4D imaging radar for all levels of vehicle autonomy. Phoenix provides an image 100 times more detailed than other radars available to automakers and offers clear separation of stationary and moving objects in real time – an industry first, he said. (more…)

Toyota Wants to Share Potentially Breakthrough Safety Technology

Guardian system designed to catch, correct mistakes made by human drivers.

by on Jan.08, 2019

Toyota's tech chief Gil Pratt is talking with other automakers about using the company's Guardian technology.

While tires may blow out and steering systems might fail, drivers are responsible for at least 90% of all motor vehicle accidents, according to federal data. But what if a vehicle can be equipped with a digital safety system that is constantly watching what the human driver does, ready to step in to correct a potentially dangerous mistake?

That’s the idea behind the Guardian technology Toyota aims to have ready for production by early in the coming decade. Unlike autonomous, or even semi-autonomous driving systems, Guardian isn’t meant to replace the driver but simply wait on vigilant standby, ready to step in and reduce the risk of a crash.

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Toyota is so confident about the strategy it has been meeting with competitors to see if they might be interested in using Guardian on their own vehicles, Gil Pratt, head of the Toyota Research Institute, announced during an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (more…)

NHTSA Moves to Accelerate Autonomous Vehicle Petitions

Agency also seeks comment on vehicle communications technology.

by on Dec.18, 2018

GM plans to introduce a fully driverless version of the Bolt EV in 2019 for ride-sharing fleets.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will no longer need to determine if a petition complete to issue summary for public comment, hoping to accelerate the process for getting autonomous vehicles on the road.

The agency cut the requirement wanting to improve “the efficiency and transparency of the process to focus on the safety review,” according to Reuters. Now the agency can zero in on the safety of a vehicle without a driver or steering wheel and brakes.

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Automakers currently meet nearly dozens of auto safety standards, often based on the assumption that a licensed driver would be able to control the vehicle using traditional human controls, Reuters noted. (more…)

First Drive: 2018 Ford Ranger

Reborn midsize picking aims to make a big splash.

by on Dec.18, 2018

Making a splash: the 2019 Ford Ranger FX4 wraps up an off-road run with a mud bath.

(Midsize truck wars heat up with arrival of Ranger, Jeep Gladiator. Click Here for more.)

It’s been more than six years since the last truck rolled out of Ford’s ancient assembly line near Minneapolis, bringing to a seeming end production of the automaker’s archaic Ranger pickup. While Ford was getting ready to launch a new model for international markets, however, it decided to let the venerable Ranger name die in the U.S.

It apparently seemed a good idea at the time. The midsize market was all but dead and even Detroit rivals General Motors and Fiat Chrysler were quitting the segment. Ford execs, all the way up to then-CEO Mark Fields, insisted they could move Ranger buyers up to the larger – and far more profitable – F-150. But a funny thing happened that threw Ford’s strategy into disarray. For the 2015 model-year, GM launched two all-new trucks, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, triggering a rapid rebound to the seemingly moribund midsize pickup segment.

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After hemming and hawing, Ford finally acknowledged its error and raced to bring the Ranger back to life, heavily modifying the model already on sale in markets as diverse as Abu Dhabi and Thailand. Finally, the 2019 Ranger is getting ready to roll into U.S. showrooms and we had a chance to test its mettle during an extensive on- and off-road drive event in and around San Diego last week.

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