Eversheds Sutherland Up to Speed Blog
content top

GM to Expand Production at Flint Truck Plant

General Motors Co. announced they will be investing $150 million at the Flint Truck Assembly to increase production of the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups. This new investment follows GM’s May announcement to expand full-size pickup production capacity in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Specifically, the Flint expansion will go toward updating the tools used during production. GM’s plan to increase production of its full-size pickups began last year when the company launched the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty crew cabs assembled at the Fort Wayne...
Continue Reading

Driverless cars will disrupt airlines

As driverless cars become more capable and more common, they will change people’s travel habits not only around their own communities but across much larger distances. Our research has revealed just how much people’s travel preferences could shift and found a new potential challenge to the airline industry. Imagine someone who lives in Atlanta and needs to travel to Washington, DC, for business. This is about a 10-hour drive. A flight takes about two hours, assuming no delays. Add to that the drive to the airport, checking in, the security line and waiting at the gate. Upon arrival in DC, it...
Continue Reading

New York’s future is as a ‘smart city’

If you can imagine New York City in 25 years, what would it look like? Start by envisioning a super- connected and efficient metropolis. Your morning commute begins by walking to your curb where an underground waste disposal is hidden by manicured grass. Sensors trigger a notification that your bin is full and needs to be picked up. As you walk to the corner, a self-driving electric bus shuttle promptly arrives; it knows your stop from the smartphone app you wave as you enter. Streetlights will blaze green to prioritize the public bus you are on. The building you arrive at for work is...
Continue Reading

Siemens Unveils Simulation Tool for Testing of Autonomous Vehicles

Siemens AG last week rolled out a simulation tool that could help automakers reduce the vast number of physical test miles required for the validation of autonomous vehicles. Known as PAVE360, the new tool allows developers to design and test an autonomous vehicle System-on-Chip (SoC) and its surrounding electronic components in a completely virtual environment. The new product performs its simulations by combining virtual real-world scenarios with virtual models of cameras, radar, LiDAR, processors and other components. In essence, it sends the virtual data from the “sensors” to the...
Continue Reading

NHTSA and FMCSA open comment period for proposed rules

On May 22, 2019 the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers to the safe introduction of Automated Driving Systems (ADS) vehicles in the United States. NHTSA and FMCSA are seeking comments at this stage to ensure that all potential approaches are fully considered as the agencies move forward with these regulatory actions. Specifically, NHTSA is seeking comment on how they should go about...
Continue Reading

Post Office to test autonomous semi-trucks for hauling mail across state lines

The US Postal Service is testing its first long-haul self-driving delivery truck in a two-week pilot program that will use an autonomous tractor-trailer to deliver mail between distribution centers in Phoenix and Dallas. TuSimple, a self-driving truck company, is providing the vehicle and will have a safety engineer and driver in the cab to monitor its performance and take control if there are any issues, the company said in announcing the test Tuesday. The Postal Service has been exploring the idea for some time, recently soliciting bids to put semi-autonomous mail trucks on the road in a...
Continue Reading

Rhode Island begins autonomous vehicle pilot project

Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) Director Peter Alviti, Jr., along with state and local officials, kicked off the Little Roady autonomous vehicle pilot project in Providence. This research project to evaluate autonomous mobility technology went into service on Wednesday, May 15. The free service will be the focus of a research project to help the Department better understand the opportunities and challenges that come with integrating this new technology into RIDOT’s transportation planning. The research will help improve transit and provide...
Continue Reading

Nine major opportunities for electric buses and trucks

In 2016 The Greenlining Institute joined forces with The Union of Concerned Scientists to analyze the growing electric truck and bus industry, producing the report “Delivering Opportunity: How Electric Buses and Trucks Can Create Jobs and Improve Public Health in California.” While they focused on California, where electric buses and trucks are taking off rapidly, what they found has major implications for the whole country. Especially at a time when many transit agencies across the country are committing to 100 percent electric, many states are increasing their efforts to get...
Continue Reading

Lawmakers introduce bill to repeal Federal Excise Tax on new trucks

Two members of the US House of Representatives recently introduced legislation aimed at repealing the 12% federal excise tax on certain heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers. Reps. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) led a bipartisan effort on April 29 to unveil the Modern, Clean, and Safe Trucks Act of 2019, which would repeal the tax. The lawmakers emphasized in an announcement accompanying the legislation that, on average, the World War I-era federal excise tax could potentially add $12,000 to $22,000 to the sale of a new truck. Also, heavy-duty trucks on the roadways...
Continue Reading

General Motors confirms electric pickup truck

General Motors will introduce a battery-electric pickup at some point in the future, CEO Mary Barra told investors during the company’s April 30 conference call. “We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pickups,” Barra said during the call as reported by Seeking Alpha. Barra didn’t specify when the vehicle would be introduced. Earlier this year, Ford announced it would produce EV and hybrid versions of its F-Series. Ford will also produce a new vehicle out of its partnership with EV startup...
Continue Reading

Tax break for electric vehicles in Washington state

Washington state legislators revived a lapsed sales tax break for buyers of electric cars. The resurrected incentive will be similar in value to a publicly-funded rebate for battery-powered cars that Oregon now offers. The Washington sales tax break will be revived as of August 1, 2019. It was expanded from the previous version to also apply to sales of used electric cars. As before, electric vehicle leases also get a sales tax break. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles could also qualify for the tax break, but no Pacific Northwest dealers currently stock or sell new hydrogen-powered cars....
Continue Reading

Self-driving Cars Are Now on the Streets of Hamburg

Five electric Volkswagen cars fitted with the latest in autonomous technology are now driving on a section of Hamburg’s streets. The carmaker announced Wednesday that its first tests of vehicles with Level 4 automation in a major German city are underway. The e-Golf cars Volkswagen is testing are designed to handle complex urban traffic patterns without help from drivers, although they must be ready to intervene. Level 5 automation, the only higher category, requires the vehicle to perform all tasks, turning every rider into a passenger. The cars are driving three kilometers (1.9...
Continue Reading

Uber Gets $1B Investment Boost for Autonomous Vehicle Unit

Uber has raised another $1 billion. The investment is specifically going to Uber’s autonomous vehicle division with the goal of solving one of the biggest challenges in the fledgling sector of implementing hardware and software cheaply and at scale. Three organizations are behind the investment, including Toyota. Also backing the division are SoftBank Vision Fund and the Denso Corporation, an autonomous vehicle technology supplier. Toyota and Denso are fronting two-thirds of the investment and SoftBank will inject $333 million. Uber claims the investment will value it’s Advanced...
Continue Reading

Elon Musk Interviewed on AI and Self-driving Cars

Elon Musk was recently interviewed by Lex Fridman on the topic of AI and Self-Driving cars. Some of his comments included: Self-driving cars will be five to ten times more valuable than non-self-driving cars. Tesla has nearly 500,000 cars on the road with the full self-driving sensor suite. Regulators will need data proving the self-driving needs to be at least two or three times safer than human driving. The amount of increased safety will be up to regulators. Elon believes that having human monitoring of self-driving will start decreasing safety as the safety of self-driving increases....
Continue Reading