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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Another Type of Drone Warfare?

It’s not just planes and subs that will be unmanned. Detroit carmakers say autonomous vehicles will change transportation forever. The US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center here is using that technology to reshape the future of warfare. Secretary of the Army Mark Esper is seizing the opportunity of a larger budget and slowing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to pump money and other resources into the modernization of the Army’s tanks, transport vehicles and weapons.

A Few Leaders Have Emerged from the Pack

The checkered flag hasn’t come out yet, but in the race to start the world's first driving business without human drivers, everyone is chasing Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo.

Unusual Step Leads to Regulatory Rollback

The dealers (and lenders) got a big win when the US House voted to strike down an Obama-era auto-lending safeguard a novel maneuver that consumer watchdogs warn could expose decades of federal regulation to the same fate.

Car makers want to ride with the cool kids too

Jump on the bandwagon and go for a ride …. Car makers BMW, General Motors, Ford and Renault are the big names behind a new group announced to explore the potential of the blockchain in the automotive and mobility space. MOBI — the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative — launches with over 30 founding members that also include Bosch, Blockchain at Berkeley, Hyperledger, Fetch.ai, IBM and IOTA.

Is there safety in numbers?

Big brother is starting to watch and pay attention. Advocates for automation have maintained that the recent tragedies involving autonomous cars shouldn't detract from the likelihood that driverless technology is eliminating human error and making driving safer.

Not your parent’s college class …

Who said that science was boring? Students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn are building a self-driving vehicle system from scratch. It’s the only way to learn, their professors say.

Time to Budget or Bust Say Auto Dealers

A few pennies saved could be a net profit earned. Dealerships are making savvy moves to combat the pressures of narrowing margins, rising insurance costs, higher wages, and an expected downturn for the personal vehicle. The main areas for cost-cutting include advertising, personnel, and inventory. Read the full Automotive News analysis.

Crashes Cool Senate Autonomous Vehicle Push

Conditions are icy, and we're not talking about the road. Recent autonomous technology incidents involving Uber and Tesla have hit the breaks on the AV START Act's progress in Congress. Prior to the Uber accident, five senators had already publicly expressed concerns about the measure, and now the ongoing NHTSA and NTSB investigations as well as the approaching campaign season may further halt the bill. Read the full Detroit News article.

Communication Is Key, According to Toyota's Talking Cars

Feeling chatty? Your car might soon be conversing too. Toyota recently announced plans to roll out vehicles that can communicate by short-range wireless technology in the US in 2021. The move comes as the US Department of Transportation considers adopting a proposal that would require all future vehicles to come standard with this technology. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are expected to significantly reduce the amount of accidents on the road each year.

Navya Charts Newest Course on Campus

Only this course runs on self-driving technology, not a syllabus. Two self-driving, electric shuttle buses are expected to join University of Michigan's bus service fleet this spring. The 15-seat, Navya-designed shuttles will run on a short course on the university's North Campus with safety drivers on board and are open for use by anyone with a university bus pass. Read the full Detroit Free Press article.