Kia took the top spot in J.D. Power's annual report card on vehicle quality for a second consecutive year, as industry ratings reached a new record and domestic brands maintained their edge over foreign rivals. Kia, with 72 problems reported per 100 vehicles, was able to retain its No. 1 position despite a shake-up in the 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study rankings that included significant shifts with the German and Japanese brands -- most notably, Toyota and Lexus -- falling behind many U.S. and Korean brands. "This is without question the best quality the world has ever seen," Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power, said when releasing the results at an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit.
Uber is enabling passengers to tip its U.S. drivers with a tap on its ride-hailing app for the first time, part of a push to recast itself as a company with a conscience and a heart. Besides the built-in tipping option announced, Uber is giving drivers an opportunity to make more money in other ways too. Riders will be charged by the minute if they keep an Uber car waiting for more than two minutes.
The driver behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S in self-driving mode when he died in a 2016 accident was warned seven times to put his hands on the wheel, according to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA uploaded more than 500 pages of documents related to the accident, which is believed to be the first involving a death with the car on self-driving mode. The documents range from studies on traffic patterns to interviews with the family of driver Joshua Brown and a report on what happened during the accident.
A new global survey on consumer preferences for automotive technology finds more consumers desire advanced technology in their next new vehicle. However, their willingness to pay for technology demonstrates a wide variety of viewpoints from consumers across leading global markets, says the survey from business information provider IHS Markit. More than 5,000 vehicle owners intending to purchase a new vehicle within the next 36 months were surveyed in the 2017 Automotive Connected Services and Apps Consumer Analysis , representing five key automotive markets – the U.S., Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Lyft Inc. on blasted Uber Technologies Inc. for bringing it into Waymo LLC’s trade secrets suit against Uber in California federal court, saying Uber's subpoena is a thinly veiled attempt to get access to a competitor's confidential information, not a legitimate litigation tactic. Lyft, which is not a party to the lawsuit, asked the court to quash the subpoena and issue a protective order, arguing that Uber hasn’t justified the need for the requested information. Although Waymo and Lyft in had previously said they entered into a collaboration regarding self-driving cars, that doesn’t entitle Uber to its competitor’s secrets, the motion states.
Takata Corp, the Japanese company facing billions in liabilities stemming from its defective air bag inflators, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week as it works toward a deal for financial backing from U.S. auto parts maker Key Safety Systems Inc, sources said. Takata, one of the world's biggest automotive suppliers, has been working for months to complete a deal with Key Safety. A person briefed on the matter told Reuters Key was expected to acquire Takata assets as part of a restructuring in bankruptcy.
In the near future, your phone might be smart enough to know whether you are driving a car, or going along for the ride. Anti-distraction software by a tech startup called Cellepathy would automatically go into a restrictive “driver mode” when a phone is within a moving vehicle. Online features such as texts, video, games and social media would be blocked, as well as some or all nonemergency telephone calls.
California and other states would be barred from setting their own rules governing design and testing of self-driving cars, while federal regulators would be blocked from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous vehicle technology, according to a U.S. House Republican proposal reviewed by Reuters. The draft legislation, while far from becoming law, still represents a victory for General Motors Co., Alphabet Inc., Tesla Inc. and other automakers and technology companies seeking to persuade Congress and the Trump administration to pre-empt rules under consideration in California, New York and other states that could limit deployment of self-driving vehicles.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that will officially allow self-driving vehicles to operate freely on state roads, with or without human supervision. Though there weren’t any prior regulations against autonomous vehicles in Texas, Republican Sen. Kelly Hancock’s Senate Bill 2205, effective in September, explicitly ensures that these automakers will be able to innovate in the state's driverless realm. “The Texas economy fosters innovation,” Hancock said in a statement when the bill was passed by the Texas Senate Transportation Committee.
Lyft Inc. is expanding its roster of automotive partners as the second-largest U.S. ride-hailing company tries to capitalize on missteps by Uber Technologies Inc. Jaguar Land Rover said it’s working with Lyft on autonomous-driving technology and will offer vehicles for rent to the San Francisco-based startup’s drivers. The automaker, which is a subsidiary of Tata Motors Ltd., also disclosed an investment of $25 million in Lyft as part of a funding round that closed earlier, valuing the business at $7.5 billion.
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