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GM Partners With Shell to Offer In-Car Payment for Gas

Pay & Save makes getting gas easier.

by on Aug.17, 2018

Using Shell's Pay & Save app, GM Marketplace users can pay for gas from their car.

It’s an increasingly “mobile” world and General Motors is looking to make it a little easier through a partnership with Shell called “Pay and Save” allowing users to pay for and get discounts on gas using an imbedded app in the infotainment system.

Using the GM’s Marketplace app, users can now locate the nearest Shell station and pay for gas without having to get more than a foot away from their vehicle and without swiping a credit card or using a smart phone to complete the transaction.

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To use this feature, users will press the Shell icon within Marketplace and select their preferred station location. After a few taps on the in-vehicle touchscreen, a code will be generated that allows the user to activate a desired pump and start fueling. Payment is then automatically charged to the payment method on file, with Fuel Rewards savings applied. (more…)

Musk Laments “Excruciating” Toll He’s Faced at Tesla

But no plans to give up post as CEO.

by on Aug.17, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that he feels like this has been the toughest year of his life.

Forget the amusement park. Anyone who wants to ride a roller-coaster might be better off purchasing Tesla stock. But no one has faced more ups-and-downs during the last year than the automaker’s co-founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Even as Tesla appears to be resolving its production problems and seems poised to deliver a long-promised profit, the automaker and its CEO are facing a probe by the SEC, lawsuits filed by several short-sellers, additional investigations by the NLRB, NHTSA and the NTSB, and allegations of safety and quality problems by several self-styled whistleblowers.

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No wonder, “This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career,” Musk said in an interview newly published by the New York Times. “It was excruciating.” (more…)

Ford’s Autonomic Inks Deal in China With Alibaba Cloud

New deal boosts autonomous vehicle business potential

by on Aug.17, 2018

Liu Fei, director of Automobile Division, Alibaba Cloud (left) and Gavin Sherry, CEO and co-founder of Autonomic, after signing the deal.

Ford Motor Co. has taken another step toward bolstering its sinking operations in China with a new partnership to put autonomous vehicle technology into the Chinese market.

Autonomic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility LLC and the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s leading Internet-oriented companies, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bring to China the Transportation Mobility Cloud – a transportation and mobility solution for connected vehicles developed by Autonomic.

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“The TMC is positioned to help automakers succeed and meet growing demand for connected vehicles and mobility services in China,” said Gavin Sherry, co-founder and CEO of Autonomic. (more…)

Good News, Bad News: A Round-Up of the Latest Tesla Developments

Whistleblower reveals defects; SEC probing Musk tweets and a key analyst raises earnings forecast.

by on Aug.16, 2018

Former Tesla employee Martin Tripp tweeted images of what he claimed were faulty Tesla batteries.

Regulators, whistleblowers, analysts and investors? Oh, and did we leave out factories finally emerging from “production hell?” It’s been a busy 24 hours for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk, with a heavy mix of both good news and bad news.

Here’s a summary of key developments including claims for a quality cover-up, an SEC probe and the possibility that Tesla could wind up being more profitable this year than even its most bullish proponents had expected:

Whistleblower claims Tesla covered up battery problems, delivered defective cars to customers.

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Beyond the Headlines!

Tesla’s battle with Martin Tripp – a self-styled whistleblower whom the carmaker prefers to call a saboteur – is heating up. The former employee at the Gigafactory battery plant has tweeted out images of what he claims are defective lithium-ion battery packs that were nonetheless installed in sedans to help Tesla speed up production of the Model 3. Tripp also posted of vehicle identification numbers that he claims are equipped with the batteries which, among other things, may have punctures.

(more…)

First Drive: 2018 Nissan Titan

V8-powered beast is also nimble.

by on Aug.16, 2018

For 2018, Nissan offers a full range of rugged TITAN half-ton pickups, including Single Cab, King Cab and Crew Cab body configurations.

Everyone knows that the truck market is dominated by Chevrolet, Ford and Ram. It’s sort of a given.

But when all is said done Nissan also builds a very good full-size pickup truck, the Titan, which was updated for the 2018 model year. It is comfortable, maneuverable and rides well on everyday errands while offering a lot of the carrying capacity that has come to define the pickup truck over the past 100 years. It is also equipped with full complement of the latest technology.

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On the outside the Nissan Titan is certainly a handsome with bold face and grille, tall cab and rear box that’s flanked by a pair of muscular wheel wells. Nissan’s focus on improved aerodynamics incorporates a front spoiler, roof and tailgate spoilers, front tow hook hole cover, underbody covers, rear tire wind deflectors and a seal between the cab and bed. The Titan also features an Active Grille Shutter, which helps reduce drag and LED headlights and taillights also are available as are puddle lamps. (more…)

Ford Builds on Racing Past With New Cobra Jet

New 'Stang ready in time for annual Dream Cruise.

by on Aug.16, 2018

The 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet debuted just in time for the ultimate muscle car gathering: the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Ford Motor Co. took advantage of the preparations for the Woodward Dream Cruise to unveil a drag-racing version of the Ford Mustang.

Eric Cin, director of vehicle performance and accessories, said the new Cobra Jet will be the quickest drag racing Mustang ever, capable of covering a quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range.

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The 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet is a limited-edition turnkey race car that honors the 50th anniversary of the original that dominated drag strips in 1968, according to Cin, who said Ford plans to build only 68 and the demand already exceeds the limited supply. (more…)

Infiniti Electrifies the “Classic Speedster” with Pebble Beach Concept

Japanese luxury maker offers a more revealing tease of Prototype 10.

by on Aug.16, 2018

The Infiniti Prototype 10 is meant to give the classic roadster a battery-powered kick.

Infiniti is doing a slow fan dance as it begins to reveal the “daring electrified speedster” it will formally unveil at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later this month.

It’s the latest in a series of extreme concepts and more conventional production models that the Japanese luxury brand has brought to the annual Pebble Beach event and the new Prototype 10 is meant to highlight Infiniti’s planned shift to electrifying future products.

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Electrifying!

“It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving,” says Karim Habib, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director. But while Prototype 10 may be meant to celebrate what Habib calls “some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high – powered single – seat competition cars,” it is anything but a retro-mobile. (more…)

Kroger Launches Driverless Delivery Pilot in Scottsdale

Debut echoes Waymo/Walmart partnership.

by on Aug.16, 2018

The Kroger project won't completely solve the "last mile" challenge. Customers still will have to go out and grab their bags from the delivery vehicle.

While it may take some time before you can hail a driverless ride-sharing vehicle, you may soon be able to have your groceries delivered autonomously – at least if you live in certain parts of greater Phoenix.

Kroger has teamed up with Nuro, a self-driving tech firm to launch a trial grocery delivery program in one part of the Southwest community, and could roll it out to other parts of the country if it proves successful. The move comes shortly after rival Walmart announced a similar pilot program pairing it with Google’s autonomous vehicle spin-off Waymo.

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“Kroger wants to bring more customers the convenience of affordable grocery delivery,” Kroger Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset said in a statement.

(more…)

Chinese EV Maker Nio Eyes $1.8B IPO on NYSE

EV maker joins other Chinese automakers on exchange.

by on Aug.16, 2018

Chinese EV maker Nio is preparing its $1.8 billion IPO for the New York Stock Exchange.

A Chinese electric vehicle start-up, Nio, which is backed by one of China’s largest technology companies, is preparing for a $1.8 billion initial public offering of its American depositary.

It represents the biggest U.S. listing by a Chinese automaker, according to reports from China.

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Nio is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, a company with holdings the internet, technology and gaming as well as other ventures, including the emerging automotive-oriented mobility industry, has is seeking a float of up to $1.8 billion, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It will go public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NIO.”  (more…)

Ford Spending $740 M to Revamp Dilapidated Train Station, Campus

Automaker hopes to get $250M in assistance for the project.

by on Aug.15, 2018

A rendering of what Ford's new campus, including Michigan Central Station, in Corktown will look like.

Ford recently unveiled its plan to move its electric and autonomous vehicle operations into a campus in southwest Detroit, anchored by a historic train station the company plans to refurbish during the next few years.

The move to reinvent the former Michigan Central Station was hailed by Detroit politicians and neighborhood advocates; however, other than a nebulous figure of $4 billion it planned to invest overall, no real dollar amount for the new campus was released.

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Ford disclosed Tuesday at a meeting with community leaders it plans to spend $740 million to revamp Michigan Central Station, as well as other neighborhood sites. The automaker aims to turn the building into a campus of offices for up to 5,000 employees. (more…)

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