Archive for the ‘Semi-autonomous Driving’ Category

Despite Problems, Musk Promises Tesla Profit in Second Half of 2018

Stock up, but not everyone convinced.

by on Apr.13, 2018

CEO Elon Musk shown exiting the back seat of a Model 3 at its debut. Musk still needs to dig out of trouble caused by Model 3 delays.

It’s been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing nearly 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

But that has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of CEO Elon Musk. After earlier this week suggesting Model 3 production isn’t delayed but in a “time shift,” the South African-born exec on Friday tweeted a promise that Tesla will be both profitable and produce positive cash flow by the second half of this year.

Promises, Promises!

Musk’s latest tweet came in response to a harsh Twitter post by British news magazine The Economist, which warned Tesla would need to raise more cash this year. “The Economist used to be boring,” Musk responded, “but smart with a wicked dry wit. Now it’s just boring (sigh). Tesla will be profitable & cash flow+ in Q3 & Q4, so obv no need to raise money.”

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Family of Tesla Model X Fatality Hires Law Firm, Plans to Sue

San Franciso-based law firm points to Autopilot as cause of death.

by on Apr.12, 2018

A fatal March crash involving a Tesla Model S in Mountain View, California. Pic courtesy KTVU.

As the investigation into the death of a Model X owner continues, Tesla is taking a familiar stance when it comes to where the fault lies in the collision with a concrete median: the driver.

Walter Huang died in a crash and vehicle fire in a Model X near Mountain View, California, last month. The family hired law firm Minami Tamaki LLP to explore legal options, and the firms said it believes the Autopilot feature in the electric carmaker’s vehicle probably caused his death.

News Now!

Tesla notes that according to its readings from the vehicle, Huang did not follow the procedure for using Autopilot. The company said he went longer than six seconds before touching the steering wheel. The system requires drivers to touch the wheel every five seconds. (more…)

Tesla Recalling Half of All Cars It Has Ever Built

Latest setback affects half of all vehicles company has ever built.

by on Mar.30, 2018

Tesla's Model S has now faced three recalls.

Tesla has announced that it is recalling 123,000 Model S sedans, almost half of all the vehicles it has produced since going into business.

The move, signaled by a letter sent to customers Thursday, was triggered by problems with steering bolts that could cause the failure of the power steering system on vehicles built prior to April 2016.

Breaking News!

This is at least the third instance in which Tesla had to recall a sizable share of its products due to a safety-related problem. Service actions have become more commonplace in recent years as manufacturers have come under pressure to quickly address safety problems. But the new Tesla move is significant both for its size and due to the fact that the automaker has been experiencing a series of setbacks, including the loss of roughly a third of its value in the stock market in recent weeks.

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Nissan Aims to Add 8 New EVs, Boost Electrified Vehicle Sales to 1 Mil Annually

Japanese maker also planning 20 autonomous models.

by on Mar.23, 2018

One of the new EVs will be based on the Nissan IMx concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Already the world’s largest seller of battery-electric vehicles, Nissan is targeting sales of 1 million electrified models by 2022, a five-year, six-fold increase, officials said Friday at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama.

The second-largest of Japan’s automakers also plans to add 20 new autonomous models by 2022, while having all of its vehicles, both under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, equipped with connected car technology.

Plug In - For Free!

“The heart of our strategy in terms of electrification is battery EVs and e-Power technology,” Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein told reporters during a media briefing. E-Power is the company’s term for vehicles using gasoline engines to extend range.

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New Senior Personnel Departures at Ford Comes at Awkward Time

Key players in smart mobility push leave company even as Ford ramps up autonomous, electrification programs.

by on Mar.22, 2018

Musa Tariq, Ford's chief brand officer was hired away from Apple just 14 months ago.

Ford Motor Co. has been hit with another round of senior level departures, a development that not only continues the turmoil touched off by the ouster of CEO CEO Mark Fields last May but threatens to shake up the carmaker’s push into advanced mobility services.

Musa Tariq, the chief brand officer Ford lured away from Apple just 14 months ago, will be leaving the company, Ford has confirmed. And he’s not alone. Raj Rao, the CEO of Ford Smart Mobility, will also depart the automaker on May 1st.

Industry News!

“Musa is a proven leader of brand transformation, having led similar work at some of the world’s most admired brands before coming to Ford, and he is a leader known for creativity and social media expertise,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “Over the last year, he has been helping to drive the same transformation at Ford.”

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Live from Geneva!

Electric SUVs, hybrid sports cars, hot hatches and more.

by on Mar.08, 2018

The 88th edition of Geneva International Motor Show is basically over for the media and the show will open its doors to the public after dozens of new products from makers like Ferrari, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and others made their debuts.

TheDetroitBureau.com is still working sources and looking to report news coming out of the show so be certain to check back often to see the latest. (more…)

Kia’s K900 Sticking Around – and Here’s a First Look

The “Gravity of Prestige.”

by on Mar.07, 2018

Expect to see the Kia K900 debut at the New York International Auto Show later this month.

Reports of the demise of the big Kia K900 luxury sedan? Well, you know what Mark Twain would say: they’ve been greatly exaggerated.

With the overwhelming response to the new Stinger, there’s no question that Kia is putting a lot of emphasis on that sexy new GT model. But company insiders have repeatedly emphasized to TheDetroitBureau.com that the K900 isn’t going away. And if you needed proof, check out these two renderings of the second-generation sedan that is expected to make a debut appearance in the coming weeks an roll into showrooms by mid-year.

Pushing the Envelope!

To further underscore its longevity, consider that the new model was a collaborative development pairing Kia’s global design headquarters in the Seoul suburb of Namyang, along with the automaker’s U.S. design center in Irvine, California.

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Rimac Concept Two EV Nudges 2,000 HP, Hits 60 in Under Two Seconds

Putting Croatia on the automotive map.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Rimac Concept Two will hit 60 in just 1.85 seconds and tops out at 258 mph.

Pause for a moment and think about where the world’s fastest and most powerful cars are built. Italy would almost certainly be on your list, and Germany. Detroit likely makes it, as well. But Croatia? Who builds cars in Croatia?

It turns out there are several local manufacturers in that Balkan republic, including Dok-Ing Automotiv and Đuro Đaković, as well a a bunch of factories owned by American and Western European manufacturers like Fiat, Ford and Renault. But one particular marque is making headlines out of the Geneva Motor Show this week – and no surprise considering Rimac Automobili, which was only founded in 2009, is showing off a sleek hypercar making nearly 2,000 horsepower and capable of launching from 0 to 60 in less than two seconds.

Stay Plugged In!

But what’s drawing even more interest is the fact that the new Concept Two – like the Concept One before it, is powered entirely by batteries, with four motors, one for each wheel. The new model is already loaded with a suite of sensors, though Rimac is still working on its autonomous software. In the meantime, you can set its Driving Coach function for tips on how to manage your way around some of the world’s top race tracks, with tips on the best race lines and braking and acceleration points.

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Aston Martin Goes to Extreme With Electric Lagonda Vision Concept and Track Ready Valkyrie AMR Pro

Lagonda set to become all-electric sub-brand.

by on Mar.06, 2018

The Lagonda's modest exterior conceals the Vision Concept's unexpectedly large interior package.

This year’s Geneva Motor Show is going to extremes, from environmentally friendly EVs to exotic performance vehicles. And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than at the Aston Martin stand where two debuts cover both ends of that spectrum.

The British marque’s Valkyrie AMR Pro is a track-only version of the 1,000- horsepower Valkyrie hypercar. The Lagonda Vision Concept, meanwhile, reveals Aston Martin’s plan to not only revive the once popular Lagonda nameplate but transform it into a zero-emissions sub-brand.

Geneva News!

“Lagonda exists to challenge (conventional) thinking,” said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer, who noted that the show car also previews a new design language that will “potentially” return on two Lagonda models planned to reach market by 2023.

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VW Confirms New I.D. Vizzion Concept Will Reach Showrooms “By 2022 at the Latest”

Electric sedan will eventually add full autonomy.

by on Mar.05, 2018

The Vizzion Concept is set to become the fourth model in the new Volkswagen I.D. sub-brand.

Volkswagen has rolled out the fourth in a series of concept vehicles meant to preview the all-electric I.D. family it will launch by the end of this decade and, as with earlier models like the Crozz and Buzz, you can expect to see the big I.D. Vizzion sedan roll into showrooms “by 2022 at the latest,” the automaker said, at the big sedan’s official Geneva Motor Show debut.

Something of a battery-electric replacement for the VW brand’s old flagship, the Phaeton, the I.D. Vizzion concept offers a range of cutting-edge technologies, as well as an interior that can be transformed into a mobile living room when operating in fully autonomous mode.

Product News!

“The I.D. VIZZION shows what our brand is capable of in terms of technology, design and quality,” said VW brand boss Herbert Diess, during a showcase of new products by the various marques operated by the parent Volkswagen Group. “ It is the most personal, most emotional and most individual Volkswagen of all times. And it also shows that, even in the electric, self-driving future, we will be using desirable, expressive and individual automobiles – and not just uniform tin boxes.”

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