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Archive for the ‘Autonomous Driving’ Category

Ford Plans for Growth in New Product Segments

Exec says new EV should help spur battery-electric sales.

by on Mar.16, 2018

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's product development chief, says promoting better EVs will help spur sales of battery-electrics.

Ford Motor Co.’s product development chief says one way to make electric vehicles more popular is to give them wider appeal.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president for product development, said noted that even when gas prices were high, consumers didn’t especially gravitate towards EVs or hybrids. Thus, Ford is preparing to roll out a unique EV with the broad appeal of a crossover and more performance.

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“EVs have great instantaneous low-end torque,” Thai-Tang told after briefing by senior Ford executives, including CEO Jim Hackett. (more…)

GM Investing $100M in Tooling for Cruise AV, Autonomous Roof Racks

by on Mar.15, 2018

The Cruise AV will be built at the Orion Township, Michigan plant were GM builds the Chevy Bolt EV.

General Motors continues to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to autonomous vehicles, this time to the tune of $100 million.

The company is investing that cash in two Michigan facilities that will build its Cruise AV driverless car as well as the roof modules that contain all of the equipment needed to make the vehicle drive on its own, such as radar, LiDAR, cameras, etc.

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The new Cruise autonomous vehicles will be built at GM’s Orion Township assembly plant, north of Detroit. This makes sense as another self-driving vehicle produced by GM, the Bolt EV, is also built at the plant. (more…)

Waymo Lets Folks Peer Behind the Autonomous Curtain

CEO Krafcik promotes self-driving cars with videos at SXSW.

by on Mar.15, 2018

These girls commemorated their ride in Waymo's autonomous minivan with a selfie.

Surveys are showing that a majority of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of riding in an autonomous, or self-driving vehicle.

In fact, the most recent AAA study shows that 63% of Americans are reticent to get into an autonomous car. That number is down from 78% from the previous year.

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Although the numbers of nays are shrinking, its apparent that it’s going to require some heavy marketing on the part of automakers that are heavily investing in self-driving technology development, and Waymo CEO John Krafcik is helping to lead the charge. (more…)

Magna, Lyft Pairing Up to Develop Self-Driving Technology

Magna takes $200 million equity stake in Lyft.

by on Mar.15, 2018

Lyft and Magna are partnering up to develop self-driving vehicle technologies.

Magna is purchasing a $200 million equity stake in ride-sharing behemoth Lyft as part of a multi-year plan to develop a self-driving vehicle platform together.

The collaboration calls for the two companies to jointly fund, develop and manufacture self-driving systems. The establishment of this partnership subject to regulatory approval. This partnership positions Magna and Lyft to enable the development and manufacturing of self-driving systems at scale.

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In addition to self-driving vehicles that will be deployed on Lyft’s own ride-sharing network in the coming years, Magna can deploy the technologies across a wide range of uses to benefit the entire global mobility ecosystem. (more…)

Uber Expanding Autonomous Truck Testing in Arizona

Company is looking to resolve a couple of problems with testing.

by on Mar.09, 2018

Uber Freight is testing autonomous trucks in Arizona to see what their capabilities are and what system may work best for them.

Uber has moved from testing its self-driving cars in select markets to now putting its autonomous trucks through their paces on delivery runs in Arizona.

According to the company, it began its program in November, including contracting with trucking companies to use its own autonomous Volvo big rigs to take over loads as they traverse the state.

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The program calls for a trucker to meet the self-driving truck at the Arizona state border, which then takes the load across the state before handing it off to a second conventional trucker for the short-haul trip. During the autonomous trip, an Uber employee rides in the driver seat of the autonomous truck to monitor the truck and would only need to drive in the event of an emergency. (more…)

Live from Geneva!

Electric SUVs, hybrid sports cars, hot hatches and more.

by on Mar.08, 2018

The 88th edition of Geneva International Motor Show is basically over for the media and the show will open its doors to the public after dozens of new products from makers like Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and others made their debuts. is still working sources and looking to report news coming out of the show so be certain to check back often to see the latest. (more…)

GM Boosting Bolt EV Production as Demand Surges

CEO Barra asking Congress to expand electric-car tax credits.

by on Mar.08, 2018

There's significant room to expand Chevy Bolt EV production at GM's Orion Assembly Plant.

General Motors plans to expand production of its first long-range battery-car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, CEO Mary Barra said during an energy conference in Houston.

The Bolt has experienced stronger than expected demand in recent months, some analysts suggesting that is the result of the slow ramp-up of production for Tesla’s own mainstream EV, the Model 3.

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Demand has also been buoyed by $7,500 federal tax credits that bring the base price of the Bolt down below $30,000. But under the current rules, GM is expected to soon see the credits phase out, something that could cut into demand, leading Barra to say that, “We feel tax credits should be expanded so our customers continue to receive the benefits going forward.”


VW Squashing the Beetle at End of Current Generation

“You can’t have a new, new, new Beetle,” says R&D chief.

by on Mar.07, 2018

The Dune Edition of the latest Beetle is shown with a Baja version of the original Bug.

Get ready to say buh-bye to the Beetle. Oh, you didn’t know they were still building it? Well, that may explain why Volkswagen is getting set to phase out the once-iconic coupe when the current, third-generation model reaches the end of its lifecycle.

Now, Volkswagen wouldn’t be Volkswagen without at least one icon in its line-up, but Frank Welsch, the brand’s R&D chief, told Britain’s Autocar that the focus will shift to the soon-to-be-reborn I.D. Buzz, an all-electric take on the classic Volkswagen Microbus that is due to market early in the coming decade.

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Noting that VW tried to revive the Bug with the “New Beetle,” and then redid it one more time, Welsch said enough is enough. “You can’t do it five times and have a new, new, new Beetle,” ad infinitum. In fact, the VW board did consider a way to keep the Beetle alive, but it turned thumbs down to the idea of an all-electric version during a product meeting last November.


Rimac Concept Two EV Nudges 2,000 HP, Hits 60 in Under Two Seconds

Putting Croatia on the automotive map.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Rimac Concept Two will hit 60 in just 1.85 seconds and tops out at 258 mph.

Pause for a moment and think about where the world’s fastest and most powerful cars are built. Italy would almost certainly be on your list, and Germany. Detroit likely makes it, as well. But Croatia? Who builds cars in Croatia?

It turns out there are several local manufacturers in that Balkan republic, including Dok-Ing Automotiv and Đuro Đaković, as well a a bunch of factories owned by American and Western European manufacturers like Fiat, Ford and Renault. But one particular marque is making headlines out of the Geneva Motor Show this week – and no surprise considering Rimac Automobili, which was only founded in 2009, is showing off a sleek hypercar making nearly 2,000 horsepower and capable of launching from 0 to 60 in less than two seconds.

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But what’s drawing even more interest is the fact that the new Concept Two – like the Concept One before it, is powered entirely by batteries, with four motors, one for each wheel. The new model is already loaded with a suite of sensors, though Rimac is still working on its autonomous software. In the meantime, you can set its Driving Coach function for tips on how to manage your way around some of the world’s top race tracks, with tips on the best race lines and braking and acceleration points.


Aston Martin Goes to Extreme With Electric Lagonda Vision Concept and Track Ready Valkyrie AMR Pro

Lagonda set to become all-electric sub-brand.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Lagonda's modest exterior conceals the Vision Concept's unexpectedly large interior package.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show is going to extremes, from environmentally friendly EVs to exotic performance vehicles. And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than at the Aston Martin stand where two debuts cover both ends of that spectrum.

The British marque’s Valkyrie AMR Pro is a track-only version of the 1,000-plus horsepower Valkyrie hypercar. The Lagonda Vision Concept, meanwhile, reveals Aston Martin’s plan to not only revive the once popular Lagonda nameplate but transform it into a zero-emissions sub-brand.

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“Lagonda exists to challenge (conventional) thinking,” said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer, who noted that the show car also previews a new design language that will “potentially” return on two Lagonda models planned to reach market by 2023.