Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Archive for the ‘Autonomous Driving’ Category

Ford, VW Announce 1st in Promised Series of Joint Ventures

Carmakers will focus first on midsize pickups, light commercial vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.15, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal.

Confirming months of rumors, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen announced Tuesday that they will launch the first of what they suggested will be a series of joint ventures, focusing initially on midsize pickups and light commercial vehicles.

Moving forward, they anticipate adding projects that will pair their costly efforts on electrified and autonomous vehicles, while Herbert Diess, the CEO of VW, said during a joint teleconference that the new partners could work together on “other” products in the future.

Breaking News!

Alliances are becoming more commonplace in an industry where changing consumer tastes and emerging technologies are stretching thin the budgets of even the most well-funded manufacturers, said Diess, who added that, “In such an environment, it just makes sense to share investments, pool innovation capabilities and create scale effects that are clearly defined.” (more…)

Nissan Hopes To Electrify With Debut of IMs Concept

Detroit show car hints at expanded line-up of battery-electric vehicles.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.14, 2019

Nissan's IMs concept hits the Detroit Auto Show just after the company rolled out its longest-range Leaf ever.

Barely a week after unveiling the latest – and first truly long-range – version of its Leaf battery-electric vehicle, Nissan is offering a glimpse at where it is “imagining” its future in the form of the all-electric IMs “elevated sports sedan.”

The concept vehicle debuting at the North American International Auto Show pushes the envelope when it comes to three key trends: the shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs. It also features a pure BEV drivetrain, a technology Nissan promises will dominate its line-up moving forward. The show car also adds autonomous driving capabilities. Add them together and, Nissan suggests, its future models will feature a distinctly different approach to design, as well.

News Now!

“Advances in electric vehicle technology and autonomous driving have allowed our designers to break free of the platform and packaging rules that constrain traditional passenger vehicles, to create a completely new type of car,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for design at Nissan. “The IMs explores the limits of sedan design with an approach that elevates the category in both look and functionality.” (more…)

GM Expects Bigger Profits, More Transformation in 2019

Company wants to make workforce changes during strong labor market.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.11, 2019

GM CEO Mary Barra is leading the transformation of the company's manufacturing footprint.

General Motors Co. expects earnings to grow in 2019 as it restructures, picks up the pace of moving towards what Chairman Mary Barra described as an “all-electric” future, and maintains its market share in China.

“We will continue to strengthen our core business and invest in the technologies that will transform the future of mobility. Managing both well is critical to position General Motors for success for generations to come,” Barra said, adding that it was better to tackle this restructuring during a strong labor market.

News Now!

“We are committed to driving significant shareholder value over the long term as we drive the transformation,” she added. (more…)

Ford, VW Could Roll Out a Series of Deals Over Coming “Weeks and Months,” Says Farley

Automaker also looking to expand ties to Indian ally Mahindra & Mahindra.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.10, 2019

Ford's Jim Farley said the company is deep in talks with Volkswagen AG, but said there are plenty of small details that need to be worked out.

Ford Motor Co. is moving towards signing a series of new projects pairing it with Volkswagen AG, the first of those deals possibly being announced as early as next week. But a senior source tells TheDetroitBureau.com that final details haven’t yet been approved by the two automakers, something that could hold back a formal announcement.

And, with a variety of different projects now being negotiated, the new partners could spread out any news over a period of “weeks and months,” according to Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Global Markets.

News Now!

The tie-up with Volkswagen is not expected to involve any equity swapping, sources close to the talks emphasize, but the eventual relationship is likely to be significant. If the key projects now under discussion prove fruitful they could range from joint development of commercial vehicles, electrified vehicles and other products to global marketing alliances that would take advantage of the strengths of each company. (more…)

Ford and VW Ready to Announce New Partnership, Sources Say

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

by Michael Strong 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 TheDetroitBureau.com earlier today.

News Now!

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 Paul A. Eisenstein 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.”

(more…)

Daimler Spending $500M on Automated Truck Development

Company looking to push to Level 4 with big rigs.

by Joseph Szczesny 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

News You Can Trust!

“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…)

Israeli Tech Company Shows Off 4D Imaging Radar at CES

Arbe's new tech paves way for improved autonomous vehicles.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.08, 2019

Arbe Robotics new 4D imaging radar can tell the difference between moving and stationary objects.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mobileye, which has made its vision technology essential to automated vehicles, Israeli technology company Arbe is unveiling technology that could be used to enhance vehicle automation.

The aforementioned Mobileye is now part of technology giant Intel after accepting a $15 billion buyout, but Tel Aviv-based Arbe Robotics unveiled its Phoenix automotive 4D imaging radar powered by the company’s proprietary chipset technology during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Global News!

Kobi Marenko, CEO of Arbe Robotics, said the beta version of Phoenix enables evaluation and development towards production and full commercialization of 4D imaging radar for all levels of vehicle autonomy. Phoenix provides an image 100 times more detailed than other radars available to automakers and offers clear separation of stationary and moving objects in real time – an industry first, he said. (more…)

Toyota Wants to Share Potentially Breakthrough Safety Technology

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

by Paul A. Eisenstein 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…)

Byton M-Byte’s Videoscreen Will Be as Large as Seven I-Pads, Support a Very Different Business Model

Battery-car to “become the most important digital device in your life.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.07, 2019

The 48-inch display in the Byton M-byte will control most of its functions - and more.

At first glance, the Byton M-Byte looks a lot like other new battery-electric vehicles coming to market these days. It’s when you slip inside the SUV that you notice the big difference. Really big, as in a 48-inch videoscreen atop the instrument panel that stretches the full length of the windshield.

The screen can simultaneously display a virtual instrument cluster, navigation information, notes on the music you’re listening to – and still have plenty of room left over for a movie or TV show to entertain passengers. And that’s a key part of Byton’s business strategy.

Auto Show News!

“Our business model will not just be about selling cars, but using the car as a platform,” CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in an impromptu interview with TheDetroitBureau.com following a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “In the future, we will make more money selling digital content and shared mobility.”

(more…)