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Five Takeaways from KPMG’s 2019 Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index

KPMG recently released its second annual Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Index. The purpose of the document is to assess countries’ preparedness for autonomous vehicles. KPMG ranked a total of 25 countries on four different categories as they pertained to AVs: (1) Policy and Legislation; (2) Technology and Innovation; (3) Infrastructure; and (4) Consumer Acceptance. Here are five takeaways from the report: Netherlands ranks as the country most prepared for autonomous vehicles. The country’s infrastructure and acceptance of AV technology make it particularly likely that the Dutch will accept AVs...
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“AI Farms” Are at the Forefront of China’s Global Ambitions

Yin You doesn’t look like a key strategic asset. He weighs a little over 100 pounds, has auburn dyed hair, and wears a hoodie emblazoned with catchy phrases. But in China’s rise to superpower status, the 20-year-old student is a foot soldier playing a vital role. This Time article details how China is turning to technology to arrest an economic slide. Read the full article.
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Insurtech Grabs $5 Million in Funding For Autonomous Vehicle Coverage

A startup focused on rewarding drivers and fleet owners that use autonomous vehicles and semi-autonomous car safety features has raised $5 million in seed funding. California-based Avinew’s technology uses artificial intelligence and telematics to gather driving data that can tell when a vehicle is in autopilot mode or is using advanced safety features. That data can then be used by insurers to offer coverage that rewards drivers and fleets using these vehicles and features. Read the full...
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Six Used Vehicle Trends to Watch in 2019

Automotive News released its outlook for 2019 and believes that it will closely mirror 2018. Like last year, analysts warn that what has gone up since the Great Recession must surely come down—at least a little. The tepid outlook reflects macroeconomic concerns, such as the government shutdown, rising interest rates and the threat of tariffs—in addition to record-high vehicle prices. Read the full story.
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Waymo to Build Plant in Michigan

On January 22, Waymo announced that the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) voted to approve its effort to establish a manufacturing presence to build self-driving vehicles in the state, creating hundreds of jobs along the way. Waymo develops hardware and software in-house so that its self-driving technology works as a seamless, single system. A vital part of that process is integrating Waymo’s self-driving system into the vehicles purchased for its fleet, including Fiat Chrysler automobiles and the Jaguar Land Rover.
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Russia Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicles

On November 26, 2018, the government of the Russian Federation issued a regulation that permits the testing of driverless cars on regular roads to begin. The new Regulation is the first piece of national legislation that regulates the use of autonomous vehicles. The government will conduct the experimental testing through March 1, 2022, on the roads of two constituent components of the Russian Federation—the capital city of Moscow and the Republic of Tatarstan, a territory located about 500 miles to the east of Moscow. Simultaneously, the government approved the Rules of the Experiment,...
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Autonomous Vehicles May Create More Jobs Than Can Be Filled

According to research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Detroit Mobility Lab (DML), self-driving and electric cars will help create more than 100,000 US mobility industry jobs in the coming decade, including up to 30,000 jobs for engineers with degrees in computer-related subjects. But the demand could be as much as six times the expected number of such graduates, exacerbating the industry’s already significant talent shortage. Like the US mobility industry, other industries are modernizing and looking to attract and retain such engineers and skilled trade workers. “Companies...
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States Fight for Their Right to Follow California Car Rules

States’ efforts to protect their authority to adopt California’s vehicle greenhouse gas limits could be futile if the Trump administration succeeds with its proposal to strip that power from them. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates vehicle emissions, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with jurisdiction over fuel efficiency, want to eliminate state authority to deviate from federal standards as part of a broader push to freeze fuel economy limits nationwide at 2020 levels. In its August proposal, the EPA suggested reinterpreting the Clean Air Act to...
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New Autonomous Vehicle Coalition to Educate the Public

A diverse group of automakers, non-profits and other industry stakeholders have launched a new coalition dedicated to educating the public and policymakers about the safety benefits of advanced vehicle technologies and self-driving vehicles. The National Safety Council and Audi of America are co-chairing the coalition, which is known as Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE). The coalition plans to hold events nationwide to introduce driver assistance and self-driving technology to consumers and policymakers. In addition, the group will offer educational workshops to guide federal,...
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Amazon Will Get Into More US Cars With a New Alexa Partnership

Your Alexa at home and your navigation in your car both tell you how to find things, but in different ways. Now they’ve been integrated by a major automotive vendor offering car companies a suite of “contextual” assistance features to help sell its models. That means Alexa will answer your questions and find your desired products with an emphasis on help related to your current location. This development could be huge. HERE Technologies reports its location data powers four out of five cars in the US and Western Europe and more than 100 million cars globally. Meanwhile, more than 100 million...
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Five Ways Smartphones Could Impact Driverless Cars

With early tech adopters such as Google, Tesla and Uber already experimenting with driverless cars—and recording impressive results, at that—there are no more doubts that the world is staring at the greatest revolution in both the transport and tech sectors. Many changes are imminent. Human drivers are likely to pave the way for computers, traditional car steering will be replaced by tech-rich algorithms, and roads will become safer and more organized. Read the full...
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Commissioner Issues Regulations Prohibiting Gender Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rates

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has issued new regulations that prohibit the use of gender in private passenger automobile insurance ratings in California. The Gender Non-Discrimination in Automobile Insurance Rating Regulation became effective on January 1, 2019. “My priority as Insurance Commissioner is to protect all California consumers, and these regulations ensure that auto insurance rates are based on factors within a driver’s control, rather than personal characteristics over which drivers have no control,” said Commissioner Jones. This is not the first regulatory action...
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NHTSA Streamlines Autonomous Vehicle Approvals

On December 18, 2018, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it issued a final regulation streamlining the review process. NHTSA eliminated a requirement that calls for the agency to determine that a petition is complete before publishing a summary for public comment. Deputy NHTSA Administrator Heidi King said in a statement that the “rule improves both the efficiency and transparency of the process to focus on the safety review.” Under the law, automakers can petition for an exemption for up to 2,500 vehicles for vehicle safety standards as long as they are at...
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Honda Looking for Business Partners Regarding Autonomous Work Vehicle

Honda will be seeking potential business and technology partners for its prototype off-road vehicle, the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle, at CES 2019. Combining Honda’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and emerging advanced autonomous technology, the Autonomous Work Vehicle was designed by Honda R&D Americas to enhance efficiency and safety for public, commercial and consumer enterprises. Since introducing the Autonomous Work Vehicle as a concept under the name 3E-D18 at CES 2018, Honda has worked with a variety of partners to beta-test and evaluate potential uses in a broad array of...
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