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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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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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Autonomous Trucks Could Radically Transform US Logistics Within a Decade

McKinsey & Company, a global logistics think tank based in the United States and Europe, predicts that in about eight years autonomous trucks with no humans on board could be routinely operating in North America. That finding is the first of a five-part report on near-term technological disruption in global logistics. The report’s look at autonomous truck trends notes that trucking moves about two-thirds of all goods shipped in the US and that truck driving is currently the most common occupation in more than half of all US states. Moreover, the report cautions that trucking remains a...
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How GM, Ford and Volkswagen Are Reacting to the Electric Car Revolution

Conventional wisdom says the only constant in life is change. Those who create change often think their innovations will be permanent, but they never are. The auto industry has enjoyed a long and successful history of building vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Many car company executives assumed the merry-go-round ride would never end. Then along came Tesla and suddenly everything changed. Traditional auto manufacturers are seeing their comfortable worldview upended by the approaching revolution in electric and autonomous cars. According to some, the action in the future will...
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Subprime Auto Lending Hits 11-Year Low

Despite an increase in subprime loan volume in the third quarter, auto loans to consumers with the riskiest credit histories hit their lowest overall share of the market in 11 years, according to Experian. Subprime and deep subprime originations accounted for 21.19% of the total auto loan origination market, down 1.5% from the year earlier, Experian said in its latest report, released December 5. Experian defines subprime borrowers as those with credit scores between 501 and 600. Deep subprime borrowers have scores between 300 and 500. Read the full...
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The vote by the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission enacts a June executive order by Gov. John Hickenlooper. NHTSA Terminates Self-Driving School Bus

Federal safety regulators last month demanded that the community stop carrying students on an autonomous shuttle designed to look like a school bus. A cease-and-desist letter sent by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials said using the vehicle for that purpose “puts the safety of children and others at risk.” Since the order, the shuttle has stopped its three-block route. The demand abruptly ended an experiment that leaders in Babcock Ranch, a planned development northeast of Fort Myers, had begun five weeks earlier as part of an effort to incorporate innovative...
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Colorado Adopts California Emissions Standards

Colorado has adopted vehicle emission rules that incorporate California standards. Under the rules, new vehicles sold in Colorado must average 36 mpg (15 kilometers per liter) by 2025. That’s about 10 mpg (4 kilometers per liter) over the existing standard. Colorado now joins several other states in taking proactive steps to avoid any weakening of federal standards by the Trump administration.
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How Insurance Markets Will Expand in the Age of Autonomous Vehicles

Though it’s estimated that by 2025 auto insurance premiums will drop by $25 billion as a result of the adoption of driverless cars, the insurance market is expected to recover through new lines of coverage, according to a report by market analyst Accenture released last year. In fact, new coverage lines will generate substantially more premiums than are lost – to the tune of almost $81 billion. During the recent annual Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) conference in San Diego, Jamison Narbaitz, senior counsel with Clyde & Co., discussed three areas of insurance that will...
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BlackBerry Buys Cylance for $1.4 Billion

BlackBerry Ltd. executed a $1.4 billion purchase of California-based cybersecurity company Cylance, which further illustrates how tech companies are involving their operations in the autonomous vehicle space. Under John Chen, BlackBerry has shifted to selling software to manage mobile devices, as well as systems in driverless cars. The company’s QNX software allows carmakers to offer a range of features such as infotainment, connectivity, in-car network security, an advanced driver assistance system and an over-the-air software update platform. Privately owned Cylance’s software will...
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Ford and Walmart to Test Self-Driving Cars in Miami

Ford continues to double-down on its self-driving-car testing program in Miami-Dade, announcing a new grocery delivery partnership with Walmart. Ford will work with Walmart’s existing partnership with Postmates to deliver Walmart groceries to customers. The catch: They’ll arrive in vehicles designed to mimic the behavior of an autonomous vehicle. (Backup safety drivers are still behind the wheel.)
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