Archive for the ‘Semi-autonomous Driving’ Category

Cadillac Expanding Coverage of Hands-Free Super Cruise

Luxury marque adds 70,000 miles of territory.

by on Jun.06, 2019

Cadillac will add another 70,000 miles of roadway to Super Cruise's coverage by this fall.

Cadillac is adding more highway miles to range of its Super Cruise feature, which allows for hands-free driving on limited access roadways.

Super Cruise will now be availability for travel to an additional 70,000 miles of compatible, divided highways in the United States and Canada. This expansion will make the industry’s first true hands-free driver assistance feature available on more than 200,000 total miles of compatible highways by the fourth quarter of 2019, according to official from General Motors.

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“We are constantly working to make Super Cruise the most beneficial system for our customers,” said Mario Maiorana, Super Cruise chief engineer. “Expanding our offering of compatible highways will allow people the ease and convenience of traveling hands-free more often.” (more…)

Nothing Mild About Mercedes’ First Mild Hybrid, the GLE 580 4Matic

Gas-electric model rivals AMG version of the midsize SUV.

by on May.24, 2019

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic gets a big boost out of its 48-volt assist system.

Mercedes-Benz is getting serious about electrification, as it demonstrated earlier this month by launching sales of its first long-range battery-electric vehicle, the EQC.

The German automaker plans to introduce at least 10 BEVs in the coming years, as well as an assortment of plug-in and conventional hybrids. To that list of electrified options you now can add the first mild hybrid, the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580 4Matic.

Product News!

Mild hybrids typically come with small lithium-ion battery packs powering a relatively low-power electrical architecture. Even at 48-volts, however, the technology can be quite useful. In the case of the GLE 580, it powers the new active suspension system, as well as the Stop/Start integrated starter/generator, or ISG. But the biggest surprise is that it adds a performance boost that, at least briefly, lets the new variant outperform the AMG 53 version of the midsize SUV.

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General Motors Debuts New Digital Brain for Future Vehicles

New architecture allows for future connected car tech.

by on May.21, 2019

GM's new digital vehicle platform can process 4.5 terabytes per hour and will debut on the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan.

General Motors is pushing to remain a leader in autonomous technology with new vehicles and mobility services; however, it’s latest development may be the most critical to ensure it remains at the front of the pack.

The company unveiled its new all-new digital platform architecture, designed with the needs of future, such as connected cars, autonomous electric vehicles and other technologies, in mind. Until now, GM has been loading up its previous gen architecture with new tech, despite the fact it is more than 20 years old and comes with limitations.

Product News!

The new architecture, which will underpin the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan and its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature, should be available across nearly all GM product lines by 2023, the company says. (more…)

Mercedes’ Electric, Semi-Autonomous ESF 2019 Concept Debuts Over a Dozen Potential Safety Breakthroughs

Even autonomous vehicles will occasionally crash.

by on May.20, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is rolling out its ESF 2019 to show off the semi-autonomous concept car.

The new Mercedes-Benz ESF 2019 started life out as just another midsize crossover, but the familiar GLE has undergone an array of modifications that could significantly improve the safety of passengers and pedestrians, the German automaker says.

These include changes to airbags, seatbelts and a child safety seat meant to make them more effective in a crash, as well as a steering wheel and pedals that retract when the ESF is operating in autonomous mode, and even an outside communications system meant to signal pedestrians and bicyclists what the vehicle is going to do next. There’s even a built-in robot that pops out of the back of the vehicle to warn oncoming traffic in the event of a crash.

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Some of the more than a dozen different innovations “are very close to series production,” said Ola Kallenius, the Daimler AG Executive Board member overseeing Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, though others “look well into the future.” (more…)

BMW Earnings Hit Big by Anti-Trust Probe

No plans to purchase stake in rival Daimler, says CEO.

by on May.07, 2019

BMW's earnings fell despite a global increase in sales.

BMW earnings tumbled 75% for the first quarter, its automotive earnings plunging into the red, due to a $1.6 billion set-aside to cover fines resulting from a European antitrust probe, as well as higher investments in autonomous and electrified vehicles.

BMW actually saw an increase in vehicle deliveries during the first quarter of the year, but revenues slipped 1% to 22.5 billion euros, or $25.1 billion. Meanwhile, the anticipated antitrust fine and other factors drove group earnings down to 561 million euros, or $627 million.

Breaking News!

Separately, the Bavarian automaker’s CEO Harald Kruger said he “can rule out” the possibility of taking even a small stake in its German rival Daimler, despite the two companies announcing a series of recent joint ventures, including one designed to share self-driving vehicle development efforts.

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First Drive: 2019 Audi Q8 Quattro

A seamless blend of design, performance and functionality.

by on May.03, 2019

The 2019 Audi Q8 features a number of distinctive tweaks to the brand's familiar cues, including the signature singleframe grille.

Audi made its reputation building sleek, road-worthy sedans that have earned their way into the hearts of motorists around the world. The A8 is a great example of the sort of benchmark-setting model, one that has done well challenging competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series.

But that’s becoming a smaller and smaller segment of the premium luxury market as buyers around the world continue migrating from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. The good news for Audi is that, among its impressive stable of utility vehicles it has an alternative to the flagship A8. Like the sedan, the Q8 crossover is flush with all the industry’s latest and most advanced technology. And it also boasts the solid driving characteristics for which the German automaker has won over a legion of loyal fans.

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We had a chance to spend a full week getting to know the 2019 Audi Q8 and while its base price of around $70,000 certainly would stretch the budget for most buyers, we found it an attractive, lavishly equipped and fun-to-drive alternative to the classic luxury sedan.

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Product Launches Hammer FCA’s Q1 Earnings

But Ram pickup sales provide a cushion.

by on May.03, 2019

CEO Mike Manley needs to prove he can maintain the pace set by his former boss, Sergio Marchionne.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported profits dropped 41% in the first quarter as a slump in sales in key markets cut the company’s revenues by 5 percent.

The automaker attributed the decline to the normal production challenges related to an array of new product launches in North America, as well as pricing pressure in China and South America.

Financial News!

FCA CEO Mike Manley, however, reaffirmed the company’s guidance for the full year. “We expect earnings to grow in the following quarters,” he said as FCA completes the launch of the new Jeep Gladiator and the Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck.

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Tesla CEO Musk Set to Announce “Full Self-Driving” Vehicle Today

But what that means remains unclear.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by the end of the year.

Today could prove to be a transformative day for Tesla and the auto industry at large, at least if Elon Musk delivers the “full self-driving” vehicle that the battery-carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk has promised to unveil.

Tesla has long been a proponent of autonomous driving, its Autopilot allowing limited hands-free operation on well-marked, limited-access roadways. Although the automaker has so far been faint with hard details, it has dropped plenty of hints that the updated Autopilot system could operate without direct driver involvement in most, if not all situations.

Product News!

If that proves to be the case, observers suggested, it could put Tesla in the forefront of an extremely competitive field, leapfrogging key players like Google spinoff Waymo and General Motors. But considering the problems the original Autopilot system has had, there remain plenty of skeptics. (more…)

Ford Shakes Up Senior Management Ranks – Again

Move meant to help “accelerate” its “transformation.”

by on Apr.10, 2019

Joe Hinrichs and Jim Farley shown together during the launch of the Ford Shelby GT 350.

Ford is shaking up key elements of its top management team, the automaker announced on Wednesday morning, a move it says will “accelerate” the changes that began with the appointment of Jim Hackett as CEO two years ago, with an emphasis on “smart vehicles for a smart world.”

The changes will see Hackett’s two top lieutenants, Jim Farley and Joe Hinrichs, take on broader responsibilities. At the same time, Ford’s highest-ranking woman, Marcy Klevorn, will retire from her post as head of mobility services after 36 years with the automaker.

Breaking News!

“In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and are working to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” CEO Jim Hackett said. “With this strong foundation in place for our auto and mobility businesses, we can now accelerate our transformation.”

(more…)

Tesla Sues Former Employees for Theft of Autopilot Code, Trade Secrets

Engineer swiped info before leaving to join Chinese company.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Tesla is now fending off corporate espionage from competitors like Zoox and Xiopeng by filing suits against employees for stealing corporate secrets.

Just days after bragging about the company’s plans in China, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is suing former employees for stealing from the EV maker as they left to join Chinese automakers Zoox and Xiopeng Motors.

The company filed two suits against separate sets of former employees in California. In the case of Zoox, automaker claims that four former employees stole “proprietary information and trade secrets to help Zoox leapfrog past years of work needed to develop and run its own warehousing, logistics, and inventory control operations.”

News Now!

Scott Turner, Sydney Cooper, Christian Dement, and Craigh Emigh “absconded with select proprietary Tesla documents useful to their new employer,” according to the filing. Additionally, one of the four used the info to recruit other Tesla employees.  (more…)


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