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Power Study Finds “Total Lack of Trust” in Autonomous Vehicle Technology

More than four in ten say they “would never ride” in self-driving vehicle.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Looks like its going to take Waymo rides, er, way more rides in Waymo's autonomous minivan to change opinions.

Even as automakers rush to bring autonomous and completely self-driving vehicles to market, perhaps as soon as the end of the decade, there’s a deep distrust of the technology, with more than four out of 10 Americans saying they “would never ride in a fully automated vehicle.

The lack of trust runs deep, according to Robert Lajdziak a researcher with J.D. Power and Associates, which conducted the new study in partnership with the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, or NAMIC. Significantly, just as federal regulators have announced plans to ease restrictions on testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, those surveyed by Power and NAMIC questioned whether the government – as well as automakers and tech companies – can properly ensure the safety of the public.

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The new study likely reflects the fact that “people’s opinions have been swayed” by recent incidents involving semi- and fully autonomous vehicles, including a fatal Uber crash earlier this year in Tempe, Arizona, said Lajdziak, in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com ahead of the release of the new study. (more…)

Jeep to Launch Renegade Plug-In Hybrid in 2020

Automaker set to have 12 electrified models in productions by 2022.

by on Oct.09, 2018

In 2020, Fiat Chrysler will offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade to kick off its electrification program.

After a slow start, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is plugging into battery power in a big way, the Euro-American automaker confirming plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of the Jeep Renegade in early 2020.

That follows the launch of a so-called “mild” hybrid system on the all-new Jeep Wrangler launched last year. The system, known as eTorque, is also being used on the completely overhauled 2019 Ram 1500 pickup just now rolling into U.S. showrooms.

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The Jeep Renegade PHEV will mark a major push into battery power for FCA, the company recently announcing that its various brands will introduce a dozen more advanced electrified models by 2022, ranging from conventional “full” hybrids to plug-ins to all-electric offerings. They will cover a wide spectrum of models and price segments, including the all-new plug-in supercar being developed by the Alfa Romeo brand. (more…)

Faraday Fritters Away Funding, Future Fading Fast — Again

Company not paying vendors while fighting with investor.

by on Oct.08, 2018

More than 300 Faraday workers gathered at the plant last weekend to help clean it up.

Less than a year after it was rumored to be out of money, budding electric vehicle maker Faraday Future appears to be out of money again — even after getting an $800 million infusion from a Chinese conglomerate.

According to a filing with Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the healthcare division of Chinese real estate group Evergrande is accusing Faraday Future founder and CEO Jia Yueting of trying to back out of the deal the two sides made in January.

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Evergrande officials claim that Jia blew through the $800 million and wanted another $700 million, and say they will take “all necessary actions” to protect itself and its shareholders. Conversely, Jia claims the company agreed to make two payments and after making the first, is trying to get out of the second, a $700 million payment due in 2019. (more…)

Honda Implementing New Tech to Make Smart Intersections

Automaker working with Marysville, Ohio, to test technology.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Honda's Smart Technology uses V2X technology to make drivers aware of potential hazards in an intersection.

Honda has demonstrated its “Smart Intersection” technology that connects a vehicle to its surroundings to help reduce traffic collisions at intersections, which account for 20% of the 35,000 traffic deaths that occur annually in the U.S. and 40% of all collisions.

The technology was developed in partnership with Marysville, Ohio, the home of Honda’s Research and Development unit where, as part of a Smart Mobility Corridor project that addresses the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors in reducing traffic collisions at roadway intersections.

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“Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society,” said Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas Inc.  (more…)

Polestar Moving Ahead With Development of New EV

Company testing verification prototypes in Sweden.

by on Oct.05, 2018

The all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV is taking another step toward production with verification prototypes being tested in Sweden.

The development of the battery electric vehicles from Polestar, Volvo’s emerging battery electric vehicle brand, has taken another step forward.

The development of the Polestar 1 has moved off the computer and drawing board “with the production of the first series of “road-going” verification prototype, or VP, cars in Sweden.

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“The assembly of the VP cars means that the Polestar 1 has taken its next step towards production,” says Thomas Ingenlath, chief executive officer of Polestar.  (more…)

Cadillac’s Super Cruise Outperforms Tesla’s Autopilot

Driver monitoring system the key differentiator.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Cadillac Super Cruise outperformed Tesla's Autopilot during track and on-road testing by Consumer Reports.

A large part of the notoriety surrounding Tesla’s vehicles is the much-publicized Autopilot semi-autonomous system. However, a recent comparison of the existing systems reveals that while Autopilot might be best-known, it is not best.

That honor, according to Consumer Reports, belongs to Cadillac’s Super Cruise technology.

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The magazine claims Cadillac’s system does “the best job of balancing high-tech capabilities with ensuring the car is operated safely and that the driver is paying attention.” The technology will be available on all GM brands by 2020. (more…)

Acura Launching New Iteration of ILX Sedan

Redesigned model now gateway for the luxury brand.

by on Oct.04, 2018

The Acura ILX gets a major exterior update for 2019 as the brand looks to attract millennials.

Acura is ready to launch the 2019 Acura ILX with a design that was influenced by the Precision Concept vehicle as Honda’s luxury brand continues the design transformation of its line-up.

The revamped ILX also is equipped with the “AcuraWatch” active safety and driver-assistive technology now standard on the ILX and now standard on all Acura sedans and SUVs. It also is equipped with a dual-screen user interface with new graphics, quicker response as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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At the same time, Honda has reduced the price, boosting the ILX’s position as the gateway to the Acura brand. (more…)

EZ-Ultimo: A Design Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, Could Enjoy

Autonomous ride-sharing concept would target only the most elite customers.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Renault designers must have been given the freedom to indulge themselves with the EZ-Ultimo concept shown in Paris.

Only the French could have gone to market with vehicles like the DS9 and the 2CV – the deux chevaux, as it was better known. And only the French could have rolled out some of the wild and crazy concepts that populated this year’s Paris Motor Show.

As the media days wrap up, the public will be treated to the retro-futuristic Peugeot e-Legend concept, as well as the DS E-Tense, an electric supercar. But easily one of the most talked-about cars at an otherwise light Paris show was also one of the strangest, Renault’s EZ-Ultimo, which has alternately been compared to the Batmobile and “a rolling palace.”

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But the best way to think about this fully driverless prototype is the marriage of a personal jet and a ride-share vehicle – one that is completely autonomous. (more…)

Electrify America Set Expand EV Charging Infrastructure

Stations designed to raise awareness for EVs.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Electrify America is getting ready to build $200 million worth of new EV fast chargers.

Electrify America, the organization created out of the Volkswagen diesel scandal to promote the use of electric vehicles, plans to invest $200 million in Zero Emission Vehicle infrastructure primarily in California.

The investment, which will start next summer and take 30 months to complete, will follow a plan outlined originally by the California Air Resources Board to raise awareness of electric-charging capacity.

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Electrify America was established to implement the $2 billion ZEV Investment Commitment outlined in Volkswagen’s court-approved settlement involving 2.0-liter TDI diesel vehicles. (more…)

Honda Partnering with GM in Race to Develop Self-Driving Cars

Japanese maker will invest $2.75 billion, including stake in GM’s Cruise Automation unit.

by on Oct.03, 2018

Cruise, GM and Honda will join forces to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of uses.

Honda Motor Co. will invest about $2.75 billion to enter into a partnership with General Motors aimed at developing self-driving vehicles.

That will include a $750 million investment in Cruise Automation, GM’s San Francisco-based autonomous vehicle subsidiary that was expected to launch its first product sometime next year. Together, the two carmakers plant “to develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of use cases and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment,” according to a joint statement released Wednesday.

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The announcement marks the second major collaboration between GM and Honda, the two announcing in January 2017 plans to work together to develop an advanced hydrogen fuel-cell system that would be produced at a facility in suburban Detroit already assembling battery packs for use in vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV. (more…)