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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Lyft Wants to Be a Part of It, New York, New York

Is Silicon Skyline the next Silicon Valley or Silicon Beach? Lyft is opening a New York City office, and while the company did not confirm they would be bringing autonomous cars to NYC’s famous traffic, some of its engineers in the Big Apple will be working on self-driving technology. The company also noted that the diversity of New York’s neighborhoods and urban layout makes it an ideal place to test out its technology. Other employee focus areas will be infrastructure and marketplace efforts.  

Let's Talk Vehicle to Vehicle

That's the ask in a new a new, man to man letter. The ranking Democrat of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) sent the request to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget's Mick Mulvaney, urging him to act on rulemaking involving the standardization of vehicle to vehicle, or V2V, communication. A 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking  involved requiring dedicated short-range communications, or DSRC, that would be inter-operable in all new vehicles.

Automotive Practice Group Chair Speaks with the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Automotive practice group chair, Aaron Jacoby recently spoke with San Fernando Valley Business Journal about several topics pertaining to autonomous vehicles, including how a small company located in Northridge, CA is developing a “black box” for the autonomous or driverless vehicle market.

NHTSA Prepares to Let Loose on Self-Driving Regs

Car safety regulations requiring human hands and feet may be getting the boot. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked industry players to share their feedback on “any unnecessary regulatory barriers to automated safety technologies.” The agency aims to “encourage innovation without reducing safety.” The effort follows actions taken by the Transportation Department and Congress to change safety demands on self-driving vehicle developers. Regulators are clearly indicating that there’s no foot needed to put the pedal to the metal.

Automakers Streamline and Save Today to Spend on Self-Driving Future

A couple million dollars saved is a few technology advancements earned. Identifying and reducing day-to-day costs on the traditional side of the automaker business is set to fund the more futuristic innovations in the industry. Focusing on strong performers in mass-market vehicles like trucks and sports-utility vehicles, companies like GM, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler recently reported strong earnings in their core business. These earnings are expected to be critical in financing efforts for electric and autonomous offerings.

Another Self-Driving Headline: Delphi Buys Startup nuTonomy

Have we mentioned that everyone is getting together over self-driving cars? In a $450 million transaction, Delphi Automotive will buy self-driving software startup nuTonomy to accelerate their commercial autonomous rollout. The companies’ main testing ground has been Singapore, a leading country in the push to reduce cars on city roads and replace them with autonomous vehicles to reduce congestion. Seems like a match made in… a city.

For Automakers, the Future is Global and Gasless

Foreign markets are top-of-mind for automakers, and neither the market nor the auto brands are being shy about it. Major international markets are announcing initiatives or full-out bans against gas and diesel engines, and automakers are willing to adapt to capture or maintain business in these cities or countries. Most recently, Paris officials announced a plan to ban gas-powered cars from the city by 2030 this month, following an announcement that diesel cars would be banned by 2024. China, India, Britain, and California have also announced similar intentions.

Survey Says: Consumers Ready to Buy in on Self-Driving Tech

Gotta love a good survey. According to Edmunds, consumers are ready to spend on early-stage automotive autonomy technology even if they’re still unsure about fully self-driving cars. Drivers highly value features like blind-spot detection and are ready to pay thousands of dollars extra for them. Active safety features are currently one of the most adopted forms of autonomous technology in use. Also gotta love a good safety breakthrough.

A Cartel, a Raid, and Investigations at BMW HQ

It seems like cartels are not just popular on Netflix these days. In documentary-worthy drama, EU authorities raided BMW headquarters to investigate an alleged cartel among German automakers. Rival Daimler reportedly blew the whistle on BMW after a Der Spiegel article and tip that Daimler, BMW, VW, and its Audi and Porsche offshoots conspired to fix diesel and auto technology prices over several decades.

Lyft Picks Up $1 Billion with Help from the Capital G

No need to spell it out if you can just use Alphabet. The Big G’s CapitalG investment fund helped Lyft raise $1 billion in new funds. With the latest boosts, Lyft says its valuation has increased from $7.5 billion to $11 billion. Talk about cashing in the Gs. If you’re thinking that we just shared another major Alphabet or Lyft partnership, you’re right. Lyft has a partnership with Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, but Alphabet has previously invested in Uber. Lyft also has a separate partnership with GM, and Waymo is now suing Uber.