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Archive for the ‘Safety’ 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.

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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…)

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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…)

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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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…)

Mini Upgrades the Mite that Started It All for 2018

Small, but significant exterior upgrades highlight the redo.

by on Jan.10, 2018

The the new year, Mini gave its original two-door and four-door model as well as the convertible a freshening.

Mini’s been tweaking much of its line-up for the past two years adding more space, new technology or a mix of both, but it’s finally gotten to the original two- and four-door hardtop and convertible with a few new updates.

Perhaps the most noticeable update will be the new LED tail lamps with the Union Jack design, which were created as a supplement to the new LED headlights. The optional lighting provides brighter lighting, improving safety and enhancing performance.

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Not far behind is an updated Mini logo, which appears on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, central instrument display, remote control and optional driver’s side puddle lighting all models. It is a re-interpretation of the existing logo and now features a two-dimensional “flat design.” (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.

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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…)

Hyundai Hitting Market with Autonomous Fuel Cell Vehicle This Year

New FCEV can travel 370 miles and park itself.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Hyundai revealed its second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle at CES 2018, the NEXO.

Hyundai finally revealed the name for its next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle, Nexo, at CES 2018, after it gave the world a look at the crossover late last week, but provided no details.

Nexo not only comes equipped with a revolutionary propulsion system, it also gets the South Korean automakers intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance System, which Hyundai calls “a glimpse at the future of transportation.”

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“The zero-emission FCEV runs on hydrogen and proves that even an eco-friendly powertrain can fully support the energy demands of autonomous driving,” officials say in a statement. (more…)

Toyota Paints the Future of Mobility With e-Palette Concept

“A multi-purpose moving space.”

by on Jan.08, 2018

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda introduces the company's new e-Palette battery-electric van at CES 2018.

Think of the concept vehicle Toyota unveiled at CES Monday as something of a blank canvas. The e-Palette can serve as anything from a driverless ride-sharing vehicle to an automated delivery van – even a mobile store where commuters can shop on their way to work.

The battery-drive prototype will make the transition from concept to reality two years from now when Toyota puts several versions of the e-Palette into service during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And the giant automaker has already signed up several e-commerce partners, including Amazon, Pizza Hut and the ride-sharing service Uber.

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Think of e-Palette as a “multi-purpose moving space,” said Akio Toyoda, the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. and grandson of its founder. “Every e-Palette can be reconfigured for different purposes within a single day.” (more…)

Takata Airbag Recall Expands Again

Largest recall in U.S. history only getting larger.

by on Jan.08, 2018

Takata is recalling another 3.3 million airbags as part of the largest recall in U.S. history.

The largest recall in U.S. history only continues to expand as Takata announced the recall of 3.3 million more faulty airbag inflators.

The newest action from the now bankrupt supplier covers frontal airbags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla models.

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Automakers will provide details about the specific models in paperwork that will be filed later this month with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The expanded recall notice was posted on NHTSA’s website. (more…)

CES Focus Shifts From Smartphones, Smart TVs to Smart Cars

“The potential applications of...technology are incredible."

by on Jan.08, 2018

A Nissan engineer monitors a volunteer's brain activity while testing new brain-to-vehicle software.

Anyone who has driven a relatively recent-vintage vehicle has probably experienced the benefits – and occasional snags – of using voice control to plug in a destination, dial a call or change the radio station. But Nissan’s IMx concept vehicle aims to take things a step further. It uses brain-to-vehicle technology to respond to what the driver is thinking.

“The potential applications of the technology are incredible,” helping motorists relax more while driving, while also improving vehicle safety, said Dr. Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at the Nissan Research Center in Japan.

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While you’re not likely to see Nissan’s B2V technology wind up in showrooms for at least five to 10 more years, the automaker plans to demonstrate its potential during the CES show in Las Vegas next week. And Nissan won’t be alone. Formerly known as the Consumer Electronic Show, the annual gathering traditionally focused on gizmos and gadgets, smartphones, TVs, computers and drones. But over the last few years, it has become a showcase for the auto industry, as well.

(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.

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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…)