Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Safety Titan Claybrook Wants to Rein in Autonomous Vehicles

Former NHTSA leader says self-driving cars have too many shortcomings.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Joan Claybrook (left) during a panel discussion in Detroit said she doesn't trust autonomous vehicles and they should be tightly regulated.

Self-driving cars are not yet roadworthy and could pose a lethal threat to motorists unless they are carefully regulated said Joan Claybrook, the former chief of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and longtime critic of the auto industry’s safety record.

“The excitement around autonomous cars is very interesting, we have had massive problems with failures in the auto industry with airbags and with the GM ignition switch and they have killed people,” Claybrook said during a panel discussion on Autonomous Vehicles and regulation held as part of Automobili-D sponsored by Politico and held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.

Auto Show News!

In addition, for a long time to come what NHTSA has deemed as Level 3 autonomous vehicles that can cruise on auto pilot under certain circumstances but require driver intervention in an emergency situation, will mix with conventional vehicles on streets and highways. (more…)

Live From Detroit!

Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

Convince Public Autonomous Cars Are Good Chao Tells Automakers

Transportation Secretary says DOT's role is safety.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shows the latest finding from the department on automated driving. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

The Trump Administration will not be in the business of “picking winners and losers” when it comes to automotive technology, particularly automated or self-driving systems, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao told a crowd in Detroit.

During a visit to the North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobiliD exposition, Chao repeatedly said the department’s top priority was safety. However, she was also just as clear about how much her agency would be involved in the process.

News Now!

“We are not going to be top down,” she said. “We’re not going to be command and control. We are tech neutral and the technological advances we see are very exciting. Our preeminence as a nation, as far as technology, is something we should strive to preserve.” (more…)

GM Asks Feds to OK 2019 Launch of Driverless Robo-Cabs

Automaker aims to put as many as 2,500 on the road annually during test program.

by on Jan.12, 2018

GM will use an updated version of this Chevrolet Bolt EV - sans steering wheel and pedals - for the robo-cab test program.

General Motors wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019, a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Company officials said they would roll out as many as 25 vehicles annually under the pilot project, if given approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM ultimately hopes to provide the vehicles to ride-sharing services such as Lyft – in which it is a major investor – as well as its own service, Maven.

Breaking News!

Unlike the autonomous prototypes GM and many competitors are currently testing, the vehicles would be completely driverless and not even be equipped with pedals or a steering wheel. That is something the automaker’s President Dan Ammann called “a major milestone, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”

(more…)

“Hey, Mercedes!” German Maker Lets You to Have a Conversation With Your Car

New user experience will use natural speech, 3D graphics.

by on Jan.10, 2018

Global Design Director Gorden Wagener talks about the advantages of the company's new MBUX infotainment system.

Most of today’s cars are now equipped with voice recognition systems that can be used to pair a phone, change the radio station or enter a destination. But the systems are often balky and require motorists to learn arcane commands.

Mercedes-Benz says it will make the process easier, more intuitive and more accurate with the debut of its new MBUX infotainment platform, a technology senior officials not-so-modestly dubbed a “revolution” during its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Set to debut on the next-generation A-Class model next month, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience will let you have “the best conversation you’ve ever had with a car,” said Ola Kallenius, a board member with Mercedes’ parent, Daimler AG.

News You Can Trust!

The new system is more in line with new voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. MBUX can recognize more conventional speech and even figure out that when you ask if you can wear flip-flops to the beach tomorrow that you actually want to know what the weather will be like. (more…)

China Seeks to Add AI to 50% of Vehicles by 2020

Government looking to become world leader in AI development and use.

by on Jan.05, 2018

The pollution in China has gotten so bad due, in part, to scenes like this. The government is implementing plans to cut it down.

China continues to set the pace when it comes to implementing new technology. The National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, wants to implement artificial intelligence technology in at least half of all its new cars by 2020.

The government also plans to cover 90% of its large cities and highways with a wireless network so the cars can talk to each other and the roads, according to the government agency.

Global Auto News!

These actions are part of a comprehensive national smart car strategy the NDRC is seeking public feedback for, it said in a statement. It’s part of the country’s plan to be the world leader in AI by 2025, with the goal of China’s automakers being seen as producing quality smart cars by 2035. (more…)

Is This the Apple Car?

Patent application hints at Apple’s plans.

by on Dec.26, 2017

A sketch of a possible Apple Car interior helped illustrate the tech giant's patent application.

Despite the company’s traditional reticence to discuss projects in the works, it’s widely believed that Apple is working on a major automotive project – speculation that took on new life when CEO Tim Cook described self-driving vehicles as “the mother of all AI.”

As expected, Apple isn’t saying anything, but it gave another hint as to what’s apparently in the works this past week when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published the company’s application for a patent on a new “autonomous navigation system” last week.

News You Can Trust!

Many of the autonomous systems being developed are intended to operate by linking up a broader network that would provide things like weather and traffic information. The Apple filing, which actually occurred in 2015, appears to focus on ways to make self-driving technology more efficient and able to operation on its own, rather than depending on a link to other vehicles or a highway infrastructure system.” (more…)

Ford Denies Plan to Move Next-Gen Fusion to China

Wire report claims midsize model will follow Focus as Ford cuts costs.

by on Dec.14, 2017

The Fusion has lost momentum in a U.S. market increasingly focused on SUVs and CUVs.

Ford Motor Co. says it has no plan to consolidate production of its next-generation Fusion and Mondeo models in China for shipment to markets around the world, countering a report by Reuters.

On Wednesday, the news service referenced automotive suppliers and other sources to indicate the midsize sedans would move out of their current plants in Europe and Mexico with a facility in China taking over as Ford’s single production source. Ford earlier this year announced a similar strategy for the smaller Focus model.

Industry News!

“We have no plans to export the next-generation Fusion/Mondeo from China to North America and Europe,” Ford said in a statement responding to the wire report. “Fusion/Mondeo are an important part of the Ford car lineup. We will have more information to share about the next Fusion/Mondeo at a later date.”

(more…)