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Uber Fatality Now Deemed “Entirely Avoidable”

Safety driver was watching television right before crash.

by on Jun.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

After initially faulting the pedestrian killed in a crash with an autonomous Uber car in March, the Tempe (Arizona) Police Department is calling the collision “entirely avoidable” after determining the safety driver was streaming Hulu on her phone while behind the wheel.

According to the department’s 318-page report, the driver, Rafaela Vasquez, was watching a television show on her phone for 5.3 seconds prior to looking up and seeing 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg crossing the road in front of her.

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Vasquez applied the brakes just 0.5 seconds before the collision. The report says that Vasquez could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. She was watching the television show “The Voice” for 42 minutes with it ending at 9:59 p.m., which is about the time that Herzberg was struck. (more…)

Jeep Tops “Most American” Vehicle List for 2018

Honda takes No. 2 and 3 spots with Odyssey and Ridgeline.

by on Jun.22, 2018

Cars.com tracked where the top 10 most American vehicles are built.

With the importance of where a vehicle is built dominating today’s political climate, some political leaders should be happy with the news that two of the top three “Most American” are produced by Japanese automakers.

The most American car produced, according to a new survey by Cars.com, is the Jeep Cherokee, which is made at the company’s plant in Belivdere, Illinois.

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The Cherokee, last year’s No. 2 car on the index, has a domestic parts content of 72% for the 2018 model year — and all engines and transmissions from the U.S., the Illinois-built Cherokee topped more than 100 vehicles to top the list. (more…)

Trump Doubles Down on 20% Tariff Threat on EU Imported Vehicles

President tweets threat, pushes for more cars to be built in U.S.

by on Jun.22, 2018

President Donald Trump issued another threat to place a tariff on EU-build vehicles coming into the U.S.

U.S. President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to impose a 20% tariff on all European Union-assembled cars coming into the United States in a tweet this morning.

“Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

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The move comes a little more than a month after Trump asked the Commerce Department, led by Wilbur Ross, to investigate whether or not auto imports pose a national security threat. (more…)

GM Revamps Responsibilities for Ammann, Reuss

Ammann focusing on autonomous vehicles, Reuss leads products, Cadillac

by on Jun.21, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann (right) with Cruise Automation co-founders Kyle Vogt (center) and Daniel Kan (left).

Two of General Motors top executives are getting new responsibilities with GM President Dan Ammann focusing on the company’s development of autonomous vehicles and Executive Vice President Mark Reuss taking on oversight of Cadillac and GM’s product portfolio planning.

Ammann will now be able to focus his efforts on the company’s ever-growing collection of autonomous vehicle subsidiaries, such as GM Cruise, as well as the deployment of these vehicles through a variety of outlets, such as Lyft.

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In the meantime, Reuss will bear down on the company’s global enterprises, product development as well as Cadillac. The luxury brand’s oversight comes a critical time as the company parted ways with Johann de Nysschen and replaced him with long-time GM executive Steve Carlisle. (more…)

No More What If: Mazda Bringing Out a Faster Miata

Engineers squeeze out a 17% power increase.

by on Jun.20, 2018

The 2019 Mazda Miata gets a bunch of new safety tech, but more importantly: a 17% boost in power.

The Mazda Miata has always been a “but what if…” car.

The “what if?” What if it had more power? It’s a roadster and that generally means that the car is more about the experience of driving rather than how far back are you being pressed into your seat when you push the go pedal to the floor.

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Well, Mazda’s heard enough “what ifs” apparently since it it’s now upping the power in the latest iteration of the MX-5, known casually as the Miata. Mazda’s engineers enriched Miata’s SkyActiv-G 2.0-liter engine with the goals of improved response, performance, feel and efficiency.  (more…)

Hyundai, Audi Latest Automakers to Partner Up

The pairing is just the latest in a growing line of partnerships.

by on Jun.20, 2018

Hyundai and Audi are partnering up to develop fuel cell technologies.

The automotive industry is increasingly becoming reliant on partnerships, the latest being the tie-up between Hyundai Motor Group and Audi AG.

Like so many other companies before them, the South Korean and German automakers are looking to find a way to get to the promised land of alternative fuel vehicles. In this case, the makers are partnering on the development of fuel cell electric vehicles.

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Unsurprisingly, whatever patents, technologies and revolutionary breakthroughs resulting from this new coalescence will trickle down, well, more like over to Kia Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Kia is Hyundai’s sibling and VW is Audi’s parent companies. These advances can also be shared among other affiliates within either group. (more…)

Ford Plants the Blue Oval in Detroit

Bill Ford says move isn't a gesture, company expects a return on its investment.

by on Jun.19, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and Bill Ford share a laugh after the announcing the company's plans for the Michigan Central Station in Detroit.

In a ceremony that was equal parts pep rally, political rally and outdoor concert, Ford Motor Co. officially told the world it would be putting its new most precious resource – its mobility campus – in the city of Detroit in a yet-to-be-renovated train station.

The automaker purchased the Michigan Central Station, once the hub of train travel in and out of Detroit, for an undisclosed sum. Bill Ford Jr., founder Henry Ford’s great grandson and current company chairman, also declined to say how much the company would spend renovating the structure.

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Ford also was quick to note that even through the company was in the midst of a cost-cutting effort that was initially set at $14 billion and has since gone up to $25 billion, the acquisition of the building and some of the surrounding ones and property parcels fits within the company’s belt-tightening measures. (more…)

Ford Plans for Historic Detroit Rail Station Becoming Clear

Automaker plans to have 2,500 employees on the campus by 2022.

by on Jun.18, 2018

Ford's acquisition of the Michigan Central Station will serve at the catalyst for the company's new mobility-centered campus.

Ford Motor Co. acquired Michigan Central Station last week in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood for an undisclosed sum and undisclosed plans — until now.

The automaker, which has said it will remain headquartered in nearby Dearborn, Michigan, plans to unveil its long-term plans for the former train station and several surrounding properties it also purchased to the public tomorrow.

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However, a few important details were revealed today, including that it will serve as an innovation hub for Ford’s vision for the future of transportation. (more…)

NTSB Investigating Latest Tesla Fire

Blaze started "out of the blue."

by on Jun.18, 2018

This Tesla Model S caught on fire "out of the blue." The NTSB is investigating.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a Tesla Model S fire that occurred in West Hollywood, California, last week.

While Tesla vehicles have been in the news lately for a series of fires for the Model S and Model X vehicles, this time the fire was a bit unusual: it was spontaneous. Previous vehicles caught on fire after being involved in an accident.

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The Model S is owned by film director Michael Morris and his wife, actress Mary McCormack, managed to film the vehicle going up in flames, and tweeted it to Tesla. (more…)

Back-to-Roots Ford Mustang Raises Money for Charity

The Eagle Squadron Mustang debuts at Goodwood Festival of Speed.

by on Jun.15, 2018

The Eagle Squadron Mustang GT draws inspiration from American fighter pilots who served with the Royal Air Force in World War II.

The Ford Mustang was a hit when it was introduced in 1964. The pony car, as it became known, was emblazoned with a horse on the grille and other parts of the logo. However, Lee Iaccoca’s best-known contribution to Ford wasn’t named after a wild horse at all.

The name for company’s best-selling sports car ever was derived from the P-51 Mustang, a fighter plane from World War II … or at least that how some of the legend goes.

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However, at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, attendees will get see to a Mustang truly inspired by fighter planes and pilots: the one-off Eagle Squadron Mustang GT. (more…)