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Lyft Founder Predicts Death of Car Ownership by 2025

Zimmer believes people in large cities will give up having a car.

by on Sep.22, 2016

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer, right, suggests that car ownership could be extinct in large cities by 2025.

The idea or concept of privately owned cars in trucks is headed for history’s scrap heap, according to the co-founder of the ride-sharing service Lyft.

John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder, predicted in a blog post this week that private ownership of cars could disappear from some major cities as soon as 2025. He noted that the what it costs to own a car, i.e. fuel, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc., is just more than some folks want to deal with.

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“As a country, we’ve long celebrated cars as symbols of freedom and identity. But for many people — especially millennials — this doesn’t ring true. We see car ownership as a burden,” he wrote, observing that statistics show that for the average American the cost of car ownership runs approximately $9,000. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple’s Car Play Might be McLaren

Tech giant may be interest in British supercar maker.

by on Sep.21, 2016

If the rumors about Apple and McLaren are true, this could end up being the result of Project Titan.

After months of actions indicating that Apple may be unwilling to actually be an automotive manufacturer, it’s possible the technology behemoth is changing its mind … by throwing some of its billions of unspent cash around to acquire McLaren.

The British sportscar maker has been flirting with its own demise for years, but recently seemed to find solid footing, including unveiling new products. However, Apple approached the McLaren Technology Group about a possible acquisition, the Financial Times reported Wednesday without citing sources.

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The new report runs counter to earlier stories suggesting that Apple has fired “dozens of employees” involved in Project Titan. Those moves were in sharp contrast from the aggressive hiring program that had been in places for the past year. Apple had hired a number of industry veterans from conventional automakers, as well as high-tech auto firm Tesla Motors. Read the rest of this entry »

Bentley Debuts First Diesel with 2017 Bentayga

Better mileage – and it becomes the world’s fastest diesel SUV.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Though available for just a short time, Bentley is adding a new wrinkle to its Bentayga SUV: a diesel.

The Bentley Bentayga has barely had a chance to find its niche in the super-premium market, but the British automaker is already announcing a major update.

Bentley is about to roll out its first diesel engine and stuff it under the hood of the big SUV. It will not only boost Bentayga’s fuel economy but transform it into the world’s fastest diesel SUV, capable of launching from 0 to 100 kmh, or 62 miles an hour, in just 4.8 seconds.

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The launch of the triple-turbocharged Bentley Bentayga Diesel could be seen as especially significant considering that parent Volkswagen AG has been backing away from oil-burner technology in the wake of the ongoing legal problems over its rigging of diesel emissions tests. The Bentley diesel is an entirely new package, however, and the brand is not expected to be tainted by the scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

VW Facing $9 Bil in Investor Claims Over Diesel Scandal

Shareholders lost billions once scam was revealed.

by on Sep.21, 2016

VW's costs continue to grow as a result of its diesel emissions scandal.

After already agreeing to claims and penalties worth nearly $20 billion, Volkswagen now faces more than 1,400 investor lawsuits that could cost it another $9 billion.

A flood of lawsuits have landed on the doorstep of the regional court in Braunschweig, Germany as a one-year deadline for filing claims approaches. It was on September 18, 2015 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused the automaker of rigging 475,000 vehicles equipped with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel to pass American emissions tests.

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The automaker quickly acknowledged the subterfuge – which involved a total of 11 million vehicles sold worldwide – and also admitted using a so-called “defeat device” on a higher-end 3.0-liter diesel sold by the Audi and Porsche brands, as well as through VW.

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Toyota: No Plans to Give Up on Cars

Despite shift by buyers to utility vehicles, cars big part of portfolio.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Toyota's Bill Fay said that despite the ongoing shift from cars to trucks and utility vehicles, the automaker plans to have robust car line-up.

Sales of new cars in the U.S. are in flux as trucks and utility vehicles claim an increasing share of the market.

Toyota, the most popular Asian brand in the United States, is headed for record truck sales of more than 1.4 million units in the U.S. this year. But despite the shift, Toyota, which has produces some of the most popular passenger cars in the United States, isn’t about to give up on cars

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“We aren’t giving up on passenger cars,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Motor Sales vice president in charge of the Toyota Division. Read the rest of this entry »

Tesla Updates Software After Chinese Hackers Take Control of Model S

Researchers take complete control of vehicle from up to 12 miles away.

by on Sep.21, 2016

Chinese researchers take control of a Model S, even remotely popping open its rear hatch.

Tesla has issued an urgent update to the software controlling virtually aspect of its high-tech battery-electric vehicles, a move triggered by reports that a Chinese security team had managed to hack into the Model S sedan’s control system.

Researchers from Keen Security Lab were able to take remote control of the vehicle from distances of up to 12 miles. They were able to take control of functions such as the vehicle’s brakes and windshield wipers.

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The news only adds to growing concerns about automotive cybersecurity at a time when the industry is in the midst of what some are calling a “transportation revolution.” Just this week, federal regulators issued the first national guidelines for the development of autonomous and even more advanced driverless vehicles. Some observers fear hackers could make such vehicles a target for criminal efforts and even for terrorist activities.

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Mini Muscles Up with 2017 JCW Clubman

Five-door model gets a performance upgrade.

by on Sep.20, 2016

The 2017 John Cooper Works edition Mini Clubman puts out 228 horsepower and 258 ft-lb torque.

The brand that showed “small is beautiful” has been playing a different tune lately, the newest additions to its line-up suggesting “bigger is better.”

And that goes for power and performance, as well as interior space when it comes to the new John Cooper Works edition of the 2017 Mini Clubman. The JCW model gets what the maker is describing as a “motorsport-inspired turbocharged four-cylinder engine” that pumps out an impressive 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the highest-performance engine Mini has yet offered.

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“Performance and versatility are part of our DNA and our heritage,” said Thomas Felbermair, vice president of operations in the Americas region for the British maker. “So, naturally, there has always been a plan to bring the John Cooper Works variant to the Mini Clubman model.” Read the rest of this entry »

With Autonomous Guidelines, Feds Take Crucial Step Towards “Third Transportation Revolution”

by on Sep.20, 2016

U.S. Transportation Anthony Foxx wants to see regulations keep up with technological change.

Government regulators are often accused of holding up progress. But with the release of the first-ever federal guidelines for autonomous and self-driving vehicles, they could help spur what is being described as a transportation revolution.

At the federal level, the new rules will cover the development, testing and eventual sales of self-driving vehicles, while also providing guidelines for state regulators. The first semi-autonomous vehicles are already on the road and models capable of driving entirely hands-free are expected in showrooms by the beginning of the next decade. Several automakers even hope to have fully driverless cars in production within five years.

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“This is just the first step,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who said the initial model “will be updated annually to ensure it remains relevant and timely.”

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Chevy Prices New Bolt EV at $37,495, Under $30k After Tax Credits

Maker beats Tesla Model 3 on range and availability.

by on Sep.20, 2016

Chevy says its 2017 Bolt EV will come in at $37,495 or just under $30k with government tax credits.

Chevrolet released the price on its new Bolt electric vehicle, coming in under the $37,500 before tax incentives executives had been suggesting for months: by $5. The new EV costs $37,495.

After the aforementioned government sweeteners, the Bolt will cost $29,995, according to Chevy officials. The new battery-powered car is the first to market for less than $30k with the ability to travel more than 200 miles on a single charge.

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The new Bolt will go 238 miles, which means it tops its chief competition in two ways: distance and availability. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama Administration Setting New Policies for Autonomous Vehicles

Guidelines try to make testing safer while melding state and federal interests.

by on Sep.20, 2016

The Obama Administration is releasing new policies for autonomous vehicle development and testing.

The Obama Administration, which has played an active role in the car business since taking office, is releasing a new policy initiative to promote the development of automated vehicles in hopes of making American roads and highways safer and more efficient.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Automated Vehicle Policy was devised to insure that automated vehicles or vehicles that can take over some or all of the driving task can pass a series of uniform tests to ensure the safety of the public, according to information supplied by The White House.

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“Realizing the full potential of automated vehicles requires Americans to be confident that they will be safe – and the federal government has a critical responsibility on that front,” a White House briefing paper circulated prior to the official announcement noted. Read the rest of this entry »