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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

US Postal Service Using Autonomous Trucks to Haul Mail

USPS partners with TuSimple to deliver mail.

by on May.22, 2019

The United States Postal Service is partnering with TuSimple, using the company's autonomous trucks to haul mail across three states in a two-week trial.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds — however, poor lane markers might be problematic for the United States Post Office’s latest “courier.”

The USPS entered into an agreement with TuSimple to use the San Diego-based company’s autonomous trucks on a two-week trial to deliver mail between postal centers in the southwest United States.

Business News!

The self-driving trucks, which will have a safety driver behind the wheel and an engineer in the passenger seat, will haul mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas. The program is designed to see if autonomous technology could improve delivery times and lower costs.  (more…)

General Motors Debuts New Digital Brain for Future Vehicles

New architecture allows for future connected car tech.

by on May.21, 2019

GM's new digital vehicle platform can process 4.5 terabytes per hour and will debut on the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan.

General Motors is pushing to remain a leader in autonomous technology with new vehicles and mobility services; however, it’s latest development may be the most critical to ensure it remains at the front of the pack.

The company unveiled its new all-new digital platform architecture, designed with the needs of future, such as connected cars, autonomous electric vehicles and other technologies, in mind. Until now, GM has been loading up its previous gen architecture with new tech, despite the fact it is more than 20 years old and comes with limitations.

Product News!

The new architecture, which will underpin the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan and its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature, should be available across nearly all GM product lines by 2023, the company says. (more…)

Tesla Updating Software After Latest Battery Fire

Two recent incidents raise new concerns about EV safety.

by on May.16, 2019

A security camera caught images of a Tesla spontaneously catching fire in a Hong Kong garage.

Responding to the latest in a series of fires involving its electric vehicles’ battery packs, Tesla will updated its digital control software.

The move comes in the wake of a pair of fires in China, a critical market for the manufacturer, both involving parked vehicles. Since the original Tesla Model S was introduced, the company’s products have been involved in more than a dozen vehicle fires.

Electrifying News!

“As we continue our investigation of the root cause, out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity.” Tesla said in a statement released on Wednesday.

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Tesla Cars Now Can Diagnose Problems, Even Pre-Order Parts

EV maker adds still more OTA update functionality.

by on May.08, 2019

Tesla is now making it possible for its vehicles to self-diagnose some problems with its vehicles, eliminating some maintenance headaches before they happen.

It’s the sort of headache every motorist dreads: a problem that crops up unexpectedly, leaving them stranded on the side of the road.

But Tesla thinks it may be able to prevent at least some of those sudden breakdowns from occurring by introducing a new feature to its vehicles that not only can diagnose problems, but also, in some cases, send an alert to a the Tesla Service Center to pre-order the necessary repair parts.

Product News!

“Our cars can keep tabs on certain components to let you know if they need replacing and order parts ahead of you next service visit,” the company said this week. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Audi Q8 Quattro

A seamless blend of design, performance and functionality.

by on May.03, 2019

The 2019 Audi Q8 features a number of distinctive tweaks to the brand's familiar cues, including the signature singleframe grille.

Audi made its reputation building sleek, road-worthy sedans that have earned their way into the hearts of motorists around the world. The A8 is a great example of the sort of benchmark-setting model, one that has done well challenging competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

But that’s becoming a smaller and smaller segment of the premium luxury market as buyers around the world continue migrating from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. The good news for Audi is that, among its impressive stable of utility vehicles it has an alternative to the flagship A8. Like the sedan, the Q8 crossover is flush with all the industry’s latest and most advanced technology. And it also boasts the solid driving characteristics for which the German automaker has won over a legion of loyal fans.

Reviews You Can Use!

We had a chance to spend a full week getting to know the 2019 Audi Q8 and while its base price of around $70,000 certainly would stretch the budget for most buyers, we found it an attractive, lavishly equipped and fun-to-drive alternative to the classic luxury sedan.

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Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

Financial News!

FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

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FCA Partnering With Google, Samsung on Connected Car Tech

System will include over-the-air updates and support future autonomous vehicle efforts.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Fiat Chrysler is partnering with Google and Samsung to upgrade its in-car infotainment, including Uconnect.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will team up with Google and Samsung in a push to put connected car technology in all of its vehicles by 2022, the automaker announced on Tuesday.

The new system being developed by the three partners will use and update FCA’s current Uconnect system and rely on the Google Android operating system. It will allow the automaker to offer a common system worldwide, rather than an infotainment system that is currently tailored to individual markets.

Business News!

“The modern, in-vehicle experience must be designed for seamless connectivity and digital content, and provide an integrated, but familiar experience for the on-the-go consumer,” said Patrick Brady, vice president of Engineering at Google. (more…)

Are Motorists Willing to Sell Their Privacy?

JLR offers some buyers cryptocurrency for driving data.

by on Apr.29, 2019

Jaguar Land Rover is offering owners in Shannon, Ireland, cryptocurrency rewards in return for "useful data."

How much are you willing to let outsiders know about how, and perhaps even where, you drive? That’s becoming an increasingly serious question in an era when businesses crave getting as much information as possible about customers.

Pretty much where and when you drive, your phone will be tracking your movements. And Progressive and several other insurance companies are offering motorists discounts if they’re willing to use a device that tracks how a customer drives. The more sedate you operate your vehicle, they promise, the lower your insurance rates.

Beyond the Headlines!

Now, Jaguar Land Rover is teaming up with the IOTA Foundation, a German cryptocurrency group. It is rolling out a program that would let motorists trade what it describes as “useful” data in return for crytofunds that could be used to pay for such things as parking, electric car charging, or even coffee.

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Rear-Seat Occupants at Higher Risk of Death, Injury, Warns IIHS

Manufacturers need to “solve this puzzle,” says IIHS president.

by on Apr.25, 2019

Rear-seat occupants are less likely to survive some frontal crashes than those up front, warns the IIHS.

Automotive manufacturers have made significant improvements in safety in recent years, but rear-seat passengers may be getting left behind, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The insurance industry trade group studied more than 100 fatal crashes, while conducting a series of its own tests, and found that passengers seated in the rear are less likely to survive a frontal collision because they often don’t have access to effective safety systems such as frontal airbags.

Breaking News!

“Manufacturers have put a lot of work into improving protection for drivers and front-seat passengers,” IIHS President David Harkey said in a statement. “We hope a new evaluation will spur similar progress in the back seat.”

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NHTSA Analyzing 12.3M Non-Takata Airbags Due to Possible Defect

ZF-TRW produced airbags for six automakers.

by on Apr.24, 2019

The 2011–13 Kia Optima has already been recalled once for an airbag problem.

As U.S. auto safety regulators are attempting to wind down the ongoing Takata airbag debacle, they are now investigating nearly 12.3 million vehicles with airbags that may not inflate during a collision.

The vehicles are equipped with airbags produced by ZF-TRW, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and could be responsible for as many as eight fatalities. The airbags do not inflate due to faulty control units.

News You Can Trust!

The investigation involves 2010-2019 model year vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi and Toyota. (more…)