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Posts Tagged ‘NHTSA’

How to Keep Your Car From Becoming a Theft Statistic

High-tech thieves create new challenges.

by on Aug.29, 2016

A thief uses a laptop computer, possibly to pair his own key to the Jeep's electronic ignition.

Police in Houston have finally nabbed two suspected crooks responsible for a rash of more than 100 car thefts. But what’s worrying authorities is that they introduced a new, high-tech wrinkle into their toolbox.

According to police, the pair used a laptop computer and software intended to allow Fiat Chrysler dealers to work on vehicles without having the owner’s key. There’s growing concern that sophisticated cyber-thieves are finding new ways to steal vehicles, something that could lead to a surge in car thefts after two decades of decline.

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Even though the numbers have been falling, FBI statistics show that about 500,000 cars, trucks and crossovers are stolen each year – about one every 44 seconds. And, all too often, owners make it all too easy – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting that roughly half of all car thefts are the result of owner error. (more…)

Honda May Recall 20 Million More Airbags; Supplier Takata Plunges into the Red

Size of airbag recall could more than double.

by on May.09, 2016

A Takata airbag after a vehicle crash.

Honda is reportedly getting ready to announce the recall of as many as 20 million more airbags due to the risk they could malfunction and injure, possibly kill occupants by sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.

The report, published by Japanese newspaper Nikkei, comes less than a week after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall of 35 million to 40 million more airbags using inflators provided by Japanese auto supplier Takata. The defect has so far been linked to hundreds of injuries while the death count last week rose to 13 worldwide.

In the Know!

Hammered by the recall, hit with hefty fines and facing numerous lawsuits, Takata said today that it is expecting to report a loss of about $120 million when it reports earnings on Wednesday. It originally had expected to show a modest profit.

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Fiat-Chrysler Reportedly Talking Autonomous Car Deal with Google

But prior rumors of Google-Ford deal failed to materialize.

by on Apr.29, 2016

Google is already testing its bubble-shaped prototype in California, Texas and Nevada.

Two partners in search of mates? Both Google and Fiat Chrysler have been open in their need to form alliances, and the two companies just might be ready to team up.

According to several online reports, they’re in advanced talks that could lead to Fiat Chrysler putting Google’s self-driving vehicle technology into production. The Silicon Valley firm is already testing its autonomous car software with a fleet of prototypes, but Google officials have repeatedly said they want to find a partner within the auto industry, rather than setting up their own manufacturing operation.

Tech Talk!

The talks have reportedly been underway for several months, according to the Wall Street Journal, while a separate online report on autoextremist claims negotiations are in late stages and could see Google’s autonomous technology used on a variety of different Fiat-Chrysler products.

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20 Automakers Commit to Standard Auto Braking by 2022

Industry-government consortium will now focus on additional safety breakthroughs.

by on Mar.17, 2016

A schematic showing how an AEB system advises a motorist approaching the vehicle ahead too quickly.

Calling it “a win” for consumers,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx confirmed that virtual all new cars, trucks and crossovers sold in the U.S. will be equipped with automatic emergency braking by September 2022.

A total of 20 major automakers, representing about 99% of the vehicles sold in the U.S., participated in a first-of-its-kind industry-government consortium aimed at bringing the technology to market faster than would be possible going through the normal regulatory process. A recent study suggests auto braking can reduce the number of reported collisions it’s designed to prevent by as much as 40%.

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Safety News!

“By proactively making emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent thousands of crashes and save lives,” said Transportation Secretary Foxx during a Washington, D.C. news conference Thursday. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

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Safety Watchdog Lobbies for New Warnings for Child Seats

Center for Auto Safety thinks safest spot is behind open seat.

by on Mar.10, 2016

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, wants changes in where parents to instructed to put child safety seats in vehicles.

Officials at auto safety advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety are taking federal regulators to task for not providing parents with more detailed information about the safest spot in a vehicle for a child.

The group filed a petition this week imploring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to provide information about where specifically to put a child in a vehicle.

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Officials “encourage parents to place their children in the rear seats of passenger cars without providing parents any recommendation on where in the rear seat the child should be placed,” Clarence Ditlow, executive director, wrote in his petition. (more…)

Feds Investigating 420,000 Ford F-150 Pickups for Brake Problems

Some owners report complete brake failures.

by on Mar.04, 2016

A 2014 Ford F-150.

A slew of complaints has triggered an investigation into possible brake failure problems on Ford Motor Co.’s popular F-150 pickup.

The investigation is targeting about 420,000 of the trucks produced during the 2013 and 2014 model-year. The problem specifically appears to involved F-150 models using the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, according to a new post on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Safety News!

It is unclear why the investigation is targeting that specific model, as Ford says the same braking system is used on a variety of other F-150 models. The F-150 is the light duty version of the Ford F-Series. That has routinely been ranked both America’s best-selling truck and the best-selling vehicle overall.

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Google Gets Major Endorsement from NHTSA for Autonomous Test Program

Feds say AI system is equivalent of human driver under federal law.

by on Feb.10, 2016

No humans required?

Google’s autonomous vehicle program has achieved a significant milestone as it moves closer to being production-ready.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has told the high-tech firm that the artificial intelligence system used in its prototype vehicles can be considered the same as a human driver according to federal regulations.

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Google had sought that ruling in a letter sent to NHTSA last November in which it claimed the vehicles have “no need for a human driver.” The high-tech project is in the midst of rolling out about 100 specially designed prototypes designed to test the latest version of Google self-driving technology under real-world conditions. The company wants to remove even the traditional steering wheel and pedals from some of those prototypes.

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Feds, 18 Automakers Agree to Form Broad Consortium to Improve Auto Safety

First joint project to focus on cyber-security; concept modeled after successful aerospace effort.

by on Jan.15, 2016

U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx, surrounded by industry leaders, at the news conference.

© 2016 TheDetroitBureau.com

In an unprecedented move, 18 global automakers have agreed to form a broad consortium aimed at not only developing advanced safety technology but also bringing it to a broad a range of consumers as quickly as possible.

The concept was modeled after a similar and successful program developed by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration to work with aerospace manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.

The Last Word!

The first of what could become a wide range of projects is already underway, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned. The members of the new consortium agreed earlier this month to pool resources in an effort to thwart the threat of hackers. Cyber-security is considered a critical issue as the industry adds more digital technology to vehicles and works towards a collective goal of putting autonomous vehicles on the road.

The new safety consortium is a “strong start,” and a “new approach,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, surrounded by senior executives from all 18 automakers.

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Transpo Sec. Fox Set to Announce “Historic” Autonomous Vehicle News

Setting the stage for rapid change.

by on Jan.14, 2016

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox is planning to announce what is being described by his office as “new actions on vehicle automation,” though a senior member of his department has also hinted that it will be part of a “potentially history-making” series of steps in terms of improving highway safety.

With the support of both the auto industry, as well as many state and regional regulators, Fox is expected to announce that the Department of Transportation will take steps to make it easier for the industry to develop, test and eventually bring to market a new generation of semi- and fully autonomous vehicles. The ultimate goal is to sharply reduce the number of deaths on U.S. highways.

Insight!

It’s one of three announcements set to come from Washington in a matter of weeks designed to spur innovation and improve safety, Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said this week, noting that, “These actions going forward (will) change the nature of the auto industry.”

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Holiday Traffic Fatalities Expected to Rise

Record number of travelers hitting holiday roadways.

by on Dec.21, 2015

This holiday season is expected to see an uptick in traffic fatalities and injuries, according to the National Safety Council.

Predictions call for a record number of travelers this holiday season and with more people on the roads, there are bound to be more accidents. Officials expect traffic deaths and injuries will be their highest levels since 2009.

The National Safety Council expects 307 people will be killed and 37,200 seriously injured in traffic crashes during the three-day Christmas holiday period. The group also estimates 346 will be killed and 41,900 seriously injured during the three-day New Year’s holiday period.

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More than 100 million people are expected to travel for the holidays with more than 90% of those expected to be climbing behind the wheel to get to their holiday destinations. (more…)