Archive for the ‘Semi-autonomous Driving’ Category

Apple Cuts Over 200 Jobs at Autonomous Vehicle Project

Move raises questions about what will remain of Project Titan.

by on Jan.24, 2019

Apple Tim Cook had called self-driving vehicles "the mother of all AI projects."

Apple has cut at least 200 jobs at Project Titan, its autonomous vehicle project, sources told bingdb.info, a report now confirmed by CNBC.

The operation has been underway in near secrecy for several years and had previously gone through several upheavals, according to sources, as the tech giant tried to figure out exactly what its long-term goals would be. While it appeared committed to the idea of developing self-driving vehicle technology, the big question was whether Apple should also build the cars that would use that technology and, if so, how they would be used.

Breaking News!

“We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple,” a company spokesperson told CNBC overnight. “As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple.”

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Ford Backs SUV Push With All-New 2020 Explorer

"A beacon for the future."

by on Jan.10, 2019

Ford executives are joined by the development team at the 2020 Ford Explorer debut.

From the pint-sized EcoSport up to the yacht-like Expedition, a visit to a Ford showroom reveals an array of utility vehicles wearing the Blue Oval badge, but none carries the gravitas of the Ford Explorer. Since the original rolled out for the 1991 model-year, the Detroit automaker has sold more than 7.7 million of them, making it the best-selling SUV in automotive history.

No wonder, then, that the automaker took over the Ford family-owned Ford Field stadium in downtown Detroit for the first public showing of the all-new 2020 Explorer which will be reaching U.S. showrooms a few months from now.  “This vehicle is a beacon for the future” of Ford, said Executive Vice President Jim Farley, as the first of the new SUVs rolled out onto the field.

Auto Show News!

Starting at $33,000, a modest $400 bump up from the outgoing model, the fourth-generation Ford Explorer is more than just a modest update. Practically everything is new, as the old line goes, from the ground up, starting with a new rear-wheel-drive platform that will be shared with an assortment of other Ford products going forward, starting with the also-new Lincoln Aviator that generated its own buzz during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.

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Ford and VW Ready to Announce New Partnership, Sources Say

Auto giants to form alliances in multiple areas, Reuters reports.

by on Jan.09, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and Chairman Bill Ford earlier confirmed the talks with Volkswagen. Might they announce a deal next week?

The lengthy talks between Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG to forge some sort of money-saving, product-expediting partnership appear to be coming to a conclusion with an announcement coming sometime next week during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“A global alliance is expected to be announced,” one person familiar with the talks told Reuters, adding that the pact will be unveiled next Tuesday during the Detroit auto show. Another official echoed similar sentiments to bingdb.info earlier today.

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It’s possible that an announcement could come as early as this evening as Ford is hosting an event tonight in Detroit. (more…)

Nissan Boosts Range, Performance With New Leaf Plus

World’s best-selling battery-electric vehicle breaks 200-mile barrier.

by on Jan.09, 2019

The 2020 Nissan Leaf Plus.

It’s been the world’s best-selling battery-vehicle since its introduction nearly a decade ago, but the Nissan Leaf had been losing ground as competitors like Tesla have rolled out an array of new competitors.

Now, the Japanese automaker is aiming to regain momentum with the introduction of a critical update to the battery-electric vehicle, the new Nissan Leaf Plus set to increase both range and performance by about 50 percent. That will position the five-door model, to be sold as the Leaf e+ in most other markets, as the latest BEV to top the 200-mile mark.

Stay Charged Up!

“This is a big psychological barrier,” said Denis LeVot, the CEO of Nissan North America, during the debut of the Leaf Plus at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Along with the improvement to Leaf’s traditionally anemic performance, he added, that should prove to potential buyers that “these are more than real cars.”

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Daimler Spending $500M on Automated Truck Development

Company looking to push to Level 4 with big rigs.

by on Jan.08, 2019

Daimler AG is investing more than $500 million into the development of automated big rigs.

Daimler AG plans to invest $570 million and create 200 jobs at its truck-oriented technical center in Portland, Oregon, to expedite the development automated driving for heavy-duty commercial trucks.

“As a leader of our industry, we’ve been pioneering automated trucking,” said Martin Daum, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses

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“In 2015, our Freightliner Inspiration Truck got the first road license ever for an automated commercial vehicle. Now we take automated trucking to the next level: we’re ready to launch the first partially automated new Freightliner Cascadia in 2019 – and next, we tackle highly automated trucks,” Daum said. (more…)

Toyota Wants to Share Potentially Breakthrough Safety Technology

Guardian system designed to catch, correct mistakes made by human drivers.

by on Jan.08, 2019

Toyota's tech chief Gil Pratt is talking with other automakers about using the company's Guardian technology.

While tires may blow out and steering systems might fail, drivers are responsible for at least 90% of all motor vehicle accidents, according to federal data. But what if a vehicle can be equipped with a digital safety system that is constantly watching what the human driver does, ready to step in to correct a potentially dangerous mistake?

That’s the idea behind the Guardian technology Toyota aims to have ready for production by early in the coming decade. Unlike autonomous, or even semi-autonomous driving systems, Guardian isn’t meant to replace the driver but simply wait on vigilant standby, ready to step in and reduce the risk of a crash.

CES News!

Toyota is so confident about the strategy it has been meeting with competitors to see if they might be interested in using Guardian on their own vehicles, Gil Pratt, head of the Toyota Research Institute, announced during an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (more…)

Senate Ignores Important Automotive Legislation

EV tax credit, autonomous vehicle testing bills on hold until 2019.

by on Dec.20, 2018

Michigan Senator Gary Peters is concerned by the delay of legislation that would set guidelines for testing autonomous vehicles.

The news out of Washington just got worse for automakers as two pieces of legislation they’d hoped would be passed by the end of the year won’t even be considered, putting off them off until 2019.

The two measures – one to accelerate the adoption of self-driving car technology and a second to extend the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles – were not attached to last funding bill for 2018, thus will not get approved in 2018.

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Sens. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) were pushing legislation that would allow exemptions to automakers for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. The goal was to homogenize the rules for all states, making it easier to get the testing complete in more states. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Kia Sorento SUV

Practical, yet stylish and laden with technology.

by on Dec.14, 2018

The 2019 Kia Sorento offers practicality, but with plenty of upgrades.

Practical is usually the word associated with sport-utility vehicles and that practicality makes them appealing to a wide cross section of consumers.

The Kia Sorento certainly is practical, but in a segment crowded with a lot of very good vehicles it is also stylish, loaded with features and comes with an interior that looks as if it might belong in a more traditional luxury vehicle.

Reviews to Trust!

The up-level version of Sorento that I drove carried a sticker price of $48,020, which includes the $990 transportation charge so it can hardly be considered inexpensive. (more…)

Negotiating Deal VW is a “Delicate Dance,” Says Ford CEO Hackett

First project could be announced before year-end.

by on Nov.15, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett described the talks with Volkswagen as a "delicate dance."

A deal between Ford and Volkswagen focusing on joint efforts in the light commercial vehicle market could come together quickly, but in his first official acknowledgement that the two carmakers are exploring a wide range of additional options, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said those negotiations involve a “delicate dance.”

Like a growing number of competitors, Ford has opened up to the possibility of teaming up with erstwhile rivals on a variety of projects. And, in recent weeks, sources have indicated it is discussing deals that also could see them team up on everything from autonomous and electrified vehicles to joint production and marketing efforts in markets such as Europe and Latin America.

Insight!

“(VW CEO) Herbert (Diess) and I had a great discussion” about a possible alliance on commercial trucks, Hackett said in an interview with the Reuters news service, noting that things are “going better than we thought it would.” (more…)

Ford Partnering With Walmart on Autonomous Deliveries

Initial pilot taking place in Miami.

by on Nov.14, 2018

Through the collaboration with Walmart and Postmates, Ford is exploring how self-driving vehicles can deliver many groceries and other goods.

Ford continues to grow its mobility business, announcing a new partnership with Walmart to use autonomous vehicle to make deliveries to Walmart customers.

The automaker will partner with San Francisco-based Postmates, a delivery service company, to develop the delivery service initially using vehicles driven by people to deliver goods. Those initial delivery runs will help develop the routing for autonomous vehicles.

Business News!

“Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them,” Tom Ward, Walmart senior vice president for digital operations, said in a statement on Thursday. (more…)