Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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BMW, Intel, Mobileye to test 40 driverless cars in second half of 2017

BMW's alliance with Intel and Mobileye aims to put a fleet of around 40 self-driving test vehicles on the road in the second half of this year, the companies said. The premium carmaker announced its partnership with the two technology firms in July with the goal of developing the capability of introducing autonomous vehicles to the market by 2021. BMW's 7-Series test vehicles will be fitted with the latest technology from Intel and Mobileye and prepared for test drives worldwide starting in the United States and Europe, the three firms said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

[Reuters]

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Ford, Toyota form consortium to help build in-car apps

Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. are forming a nonprofit consortium to focus on developing an industry standard for in-vehicle apps. The SmartDeviceLink Consortium will work to manage an open source software platform with the goal of “giving consumers more choice in how they connect and control their smartphone apps on the road,” officials said in a statement. Open source means companies provide source, or base, code of a program to the public to allow them to use and modify the code from its original design.

[Detroit News]

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Toyota unveils concept car with artificial intelligence

Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled a concept vehicle at the CES technology trade show that has an artificial intelligence system that the automakers says can “build a relationship” with a driver. The Japanese automaker says the Toyota Concept-i can learn driving patterns and schedules as well as use advanced technologies to measure emotion. The latter could allow the “AI agent” — nicknamed “Yui” — to monitor a driver for self-driving technologies and map emotions against where and when the driver travels.

[Detroit News]

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Ford cancels Mexico plant, to invest $700M at Flat Rock

Ford Motor Co. said it is canceling plans to establish a $1.6 billion in plant in Mexico to build the Ford Focus. It plans to invest $700 million at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant and create 700 new jobs in Michigan as it adds production of a new electric small SUV and a self-driving hybrid vehicle. Ford President and CEO Mark Fields cited the company’s recent decision on a shift in buyer preferences as compact car sales have fallen.

[Detroit News]

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Used-car prices fall for 1st time since recession

After years of climbing higher, used-car prices have been heading down. This year, used-car prices declined about 4 percent on average compared with 2015, and the trend may continue for another year or two, industry watchers said. “This is the first material decline we’ve seen since the recession,” said Jonathan Banks, an analyst at J.D. Power.

[Detroit News]

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Takata could settle U.S. criminal probe next month: source

Japan's Takata Corp, maker of defective air bags that have been linked to 11 U.S. deaths, could settle criminal charges with the U.S. Department of Justice before the current administration leaves office next month, a source briefed on the ongoing talks told Reuters. Part of a settlement would include Takata pleading guilty to criminal misconduct, the source told Reuters. The Justice Department has investigated whether Takata hid information from safety regulators and issued misleading statements about the dangers posed by the air bags. 

[Reuters]

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Industry Interests, Litigation
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Arent Fox Partner Russell McRory Mentioned in Article About Dealer Beating GM in Battle Over Franchise Agreement

Posing a threat to the practice of punishing car dealerships for sales numbers perceived as low, the Second Circuit on Thursday ruled for a plucky Yonkers franchise that sued the auto giant.

Beck Chevrolet operated just off the Major Deegan for more than half a century until GM’s system for judging dealerships — known as the Retail Sales Index — almost forced the company to close up shop.

The system divides a dealer’s actual total retail sales during a time period by the expected sales.

[Courthouse News]

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FCA named in second diesel engine lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit alleging that diesel-powered heavy-duty pickups made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV used defeat devices intended to cheat emissions testing was filed in the United States District Court in Detroit. At least one other lawsuit involving the heavy-duty pickups had been filed earlier. The latest lawsuit names FCA US, the company’s North American-based operations, as well as engine supplier Cummins Inc.

[Detroit News]

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Ford to triple size of autonomous test fleet in 2017

Ford Motor Co. will triple the number of autonomous test vehicles in its fleet in 2017, the company announced. The expansion builds on the addition of 20 second-generation Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Development Vehicles to its original 10-car fleet in 2016. The company will expand the fleet to 90 total vehicles by the end of next year with the addition of 60 more cars.

[Detroit News]

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AI-aided device records commercial drivers’ every move

San Diego tech company Netradyne is on the cusp of launching a sophisticated technology system that will either act as friend or foe to the 6 million people who operate commercial vehicles in the U.S. The 1-year-old firm has invented a small device that’s designed to be mounted behind the rear-view mirror of a pickup, tractor-trailer, van or other commercial vehicle. It essentially acts like a computerized command center, perpetually capturing 360-degree video of the car’s surroundings, automatically identifying everything on the road from other cars and pedestrians to red lights.

[Detroit News]

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