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Archive for the ‘Autonomous Driving’ Category

Government Panel Wants Lower Drunk Driving Threshold

Drunk driving deaths “entirely preventable.”

by on Jan.19, 2018

There is a movement underway to lower the legal blood-alcohol content limit for drunk driving to 0.05.

You might have to skip that extra beer or third glass of wine, at least if you’re planning to then get behind the wheel of a car. A new government report recommends states significantly lower the level of alcohol in the blood that would be considered driving under the influence of alcohol.

In recent decades, a crackdown on drunk driving has had a significant impact, but an estimated 10,000 people a year still die in alcohol-related accidents and the figure has begun creeping back up, warned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The worst part, a panel added, is that those deaths are “entirely preventable.”

Stay Plugged In!

In the U.S., all states now count a blood alcohol level of 0.08% as driving under the influence. By comparison, the figure has dropped to 0.05% in much of Europe and as little as 0.02% in Norway and Sweden. The National Academies panel wants to see all U.S. states drop to 0.05%, the same figure went into effect in Utah Dec. 30. (more…)

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…)

No Sale: FCA Not Negotiating with Chinese Nor Willing to Sell Off Jeep, Says Marchionne

Exec plans to release his final 5-year plan this quarter and then name his successor.

by on Jan.15, 2018

Marchionne plans to reveal his successor a few months from now but confides no women are in the running.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn’t open to selling off its Jeep brand nor has it fielded any offers for a complete takeover by a Chinese company, FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said during a media roundtable at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday.

Marchionne said he wanted to clear up reports that have, in recent months, suggested Fiat Chrysler was up for sale – or that it was willing to let go of some key assets, such as the Jeep or Ram brands. But the executive did not rule out a closer relations with GAC, the Guangzhou-based automaker that serves as its partner in the Chinese market.

Breaking News!

“Without them we could not have gone as far as we have in China,” said Marchionne, who stressed “We are not going to break up (the company and) we are having no discussions with anyone in China interested in acquiring us.”

(more…)

Infiniti Inspired: But What to Make of the New Q Inspiration Concept

Is this the long-awaited successor to the Q45?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The Q45 Inspiration Concept may not show up in the Infiniti line-up but will influence future product design, officials said.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit?

Have we finally gotten a glimpse of the long-awaited successor to the brand’s original halo car, the 1990 Q45? Or is the new Inspiration just there to tease us with hints of the direction Infiniti will take after a recent shake-up in corporate design management?

What a Concept!

“Our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of Infiniti,” is all we’re getting from Alfonso Albaisa, the long-time Infiniti stylist who recently was named global design director for parent Nissan Motor Co. The Q Inspiration, he added, it meant to demonstrate Infiniti’s approach to “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains.”

(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…)

Henrik Fisker Officially Reveals Autonomous EMotion EV

Danish designer reveals plans for a “menu of mobility” that will later include affordable electrics and driverless shuttles.

by on Jan.12, 2018

The gull-winged Fisker EMotion makes its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show.

After months of teasers, Henrik has finally pulled the wraps off his latest project, the autonomous EMotion battery-eletric vehicle making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The second attempt by the Danish designer to launch his own battery-car company, the EMotion is a stunning, gull-winged sports sedan that reportedly will offer a range of up to 400 miles, even while delivering blistering performance – top speed 161 mph – thanks to a new generation of solid-state batteries.

The Last Word!

The EMotion isn’t due to market until sometime late in 2019. But in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, Fisker revealed that he is already working on future products as part of a “menu of mobility” that will include a much more affordable Tesla Model 3 fighter and even a driverless shuttle along the lines of the Toyota e-Palette concept that also debuted at CES.

(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…)

Traditional Automakers Could Be Left Out in the Cold By the Rise of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Ride-sharing services could turn car manufacturing into a low-profit commodity business, says new study.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Waymo is already testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and will soon add fully driverless ones.

A century of growth seems likely to come to a screeching halt for the global auto industry, and that spells potentially serious trouble for major automakers, according to a new study – though the report also anticipates big opportunities for ride-sharing services.

It is widely expected that the auto industry will go through more radical changes in the coming decade or so than it has since Henry Ford fired up his first moving assembly line. Among other things, the report by the Boston Consulting Group, or BCG, anticipates that electrified vehicles will soon become commonplace, while millions of motorists in the U.S. and abroad will switch from owning a car to relying on ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

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The Future is Now!

So, while global auto sales will continue to grow to around 108 million annually, “We will (then) reach a plateau around 2029 or 2030,” forecast Thomas Dauner, the head of the auto practice at BCG. “An industry that has been growing over the past century will stop.”

(more…)

Ford CEO Hackett Pushes Maker’s Vision of Future at CES

Maker using technology to improve human interaction.

by on Jan.10, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett describes the Transportation Mobility Cloud during his keynote address at CES 2018.

Ford has been attempting to fashion a spot atop the “mobility” mountain through acquisitions and innovation; however, the entire plan hasn’t been revealed — until now.

Ford CEO Paul Hackett attempted to lay out the vision of the company’s Transportation Mobility Cloud during the keynote of CES 2018 in Las Vegas with mixed results.

Market Trends!

If one looks at the investor community, message not received as the automaker’s stock dropped slightly overnight. However, there are some industry observers who seemed to understand what he was talking about, although they are less excited about it than Hackett is. (more…)