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EPA and DOT Announce Three Public Hearings on the Proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will hold three public listening sessions on the proposed rulemaking, the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks (SAFE Vehicles Rule), in Fresno, California; Dearborn, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The SAFE Vehicles Rule would update and correct the current national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards to give the American people greater access...
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Blackmore Showcases First Doppler Lidar on the Road

Blackmore Sensors and Analytics confirmed that its system exceeded expectations in real-world scanning and mapping across the Bay Area’s roads. This test was designed to demonstrate how Blackmore’s Doppler lidar can deliver the performance needed to ensure autonomous vehicles are safer, smarter and more reliable than those equipped with traditional lidar. Read the full account of the...
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Toyota Expanding Alliance With Uber

A recent Los Angeles Times article provided details on the relationship between Toyota and Uber. Toyota is expanding an alliance with Uber by way of a new investment and a plan to get self-driving cars on the road, a person familiar with the matter said. The Japanese automaker will invest about $500 million in a deal that will value the ride-hailing company at $72 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are supposed to be private. As part of the pact, Toyota will manufacture Sienna minivans equipped with Uber’s self-driving technology, and another company...
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Elon Musk Keeping Tesla Public

Elon Musk said in a statement that investors urged him to keep the embattled electric carmaker on the open market, where it trades on the Nasdaq. “Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,’” he said. The Tesla board of directors released a separate statement, saying it agreed with the decision. The issue began on August 7 when Musk tweeted that he was “considering” taking the company private at $420 a share. He also stated that he had secured funding for the move. The...
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Automotive Trade Groups Unite Against Trump Tariffs

The Driving American Jobs Coalition, a group representing many facets of the US auto industry, has formed a new coalition to oppose potential new tariffs on imported automobiles and motor vehicle parts. The coalition—involving eight major auto industry trade groups—plans to inform policymakers and stakeholders about the negative effects of imposing new auto tariffs, including massive job losses and significant consumer price increases for virtually all motor vehicles and parts regardless of their national origin. Higher auto tariffs also will result in reduced capital for investments in...
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Will Young Truckers Be Taking the Wheel?

A new bill that would open interstate trucking opportunities to drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 was introduced in the US Senate on August 16. The Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy, or DRIVE-Safe Act, the same name attached to a similar House bill introduced in March, proposes a two-step program for potential young drivers to complete once they obtain a valid commercial driver’s license. The bill, designed to alleviate a serious shortage of drivers facing the trucking industry, will also enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. Like the...
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Elon Musk Taking Tesla Private?

Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce that he is considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share. A follow-up email to all Tesla employees was distributed outlining his strategy and hopes. View the email.
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Public-Private Partnerships Needed for Public Trust in Autonomous Vehicle Technology

While speaking at the Billington Global Automotive Cybersecurity Summit, Heidi King, deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, emphasized the need for public perception of autonomous and connected-vehicle technology to be comparable to domestic technologies in which the public already places trust. To accomplish this goal, King said cooperation between the government and private sector is critical, especially when it comes to reinforcing a culture that invests in threat management. Public mistrust, she said, could delay deployment of safer connected-vehicle...
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Texas Self-Driving Cars Will Communicate Messages to Pedestrians

A bright orange self-driving van with LED screens on the hood, above the tires and on the rear can be found driving through the streets of Texas soon. Drive.ai has announced the launch of a limited ride-hailing pilot in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. The company says its vehicles are designed to look differently for a reason. “They’re intended to look visually distinct,” said Sameep Tandon, co-founder and CEO of the Mountain View-based startup. The LED screens on the vehicle are designed to be noticeable because they will display messages that communicate the vehicle’s intent to...
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Renting Out Your GM Car

General Motors has developed a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform for owners of its cars. The program will allow owners of GM cars and trucks to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them. This is an expansion of GM’s existing car-sharing service. For now, the new program is being tested in limited locations in the upper Midwest. Other companies are already in the peer-to-peer car-sharing space (“Airbnb for cars”), and rental car companies have been pushing state legislatures to regulate these types of companies like rental car...
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Daimler Will Start Testing an Uber-Like Service Using Self-Driving Cars in 2019

Daimler will launch an autonomous ride-hailing service in California during the second half of 2019, the company announced. The automaker will partner with the auto manufacturer Bosch for the project and use self-driving technology from Nvidia. The service will operate in Silicon Valley on pre-selected routes, but Daimler did not announce which city it will use. The ride-hailing service will be free for users during its pilot phase, a Daimler representative confirmed. The representative also said the company will use Mercedes-Benz vehicles with human backup drivers for the...
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US Auto Sales Increase in June

US auto sales likely ticked upward slightly in June, compared with a year earlier, as the industry got off to a better-than-expected start for the first half of the year. With a strong job market and bustling housing market fueling consumer confidence, consumers bought about 2.1% more vehicles for the month than a year earlier, according to Cox Automotive analysts.
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Jaguar Land Rover Tests Smart Cars That “Talk” to Each Other

Conversations focusing on autonomous cars unsurprisingly discuss how these cars will communicate with each other and how they will navigate the roads ahead of them. Jaguar Land Rover is testing a fleet of smart and connected vehicles to prepare for self-driving cars in the UK. The trials are part of the more than $9 million UK Cite Project that is creating the UK’s first fully connected road infrastructure to prepare for self-driving cars. More than 40 miles will benefit from a world-first combination of wireless technologies including 3/4G mobile networks, WiFi and fiber optic networks,...
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Moody’s says Trump’s Tariffs Will Disrupt Supply Chain

Moody’s said American automakers will not be immune from the import tariffs. The firm noted that both General Motors and Ford depend on imports from Mexico and Canada. “Tariffs would be a negative for both Ford and GM. The burden would be greater for GM because it depends more on imports from Mexico and Canada to support US operations,” the report said. “In addition, a significant portion of GM’s high-margin trucks and SUVs are sourced from Mexico and Canada … Both manufacturers would need to absorb the cost of scaling back Mexican and Canadian production and moving some back to the US.”...
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