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US Postal Service Using Autonomous Trucks to Haul Mail

USPS partners with TuSimple to deliver mail.

by on May.22, 2019

The United States Postal Service is partnering with TuSimple, using the company's autonomous trucks to haul mail across three states in a two-week trial.

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds — however, poor lane markers might be problematic for the United States Post Office’s latest “courier.”

The USPS entered into an agreement with TuSimple to use the San Diego-based company’s autonomous trucks on a two-week trial to deliver mail between postal centers in the southwest United States.

Business News!

The self-driving trucks, which will have a safety driver behind the wheel and an engineer in the passenger seat, will haul mail between USPS facilities in Phoenix and Dallas. The program is designed to see if autonomous technology could improve delivery times and lower costs.  (more…)

Uber, Lyft Drivers Have Poor Recall Repair Record

Taxis and other for-hire vehicles just as bad.

by on May.22, 2019

A new study shows that Lyft and Uber vehicle owners have terrible records when its to getting recall repairs completed.

Less than a week ago, the world discovered that Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing service vehicles are the dirtiest ways to get someone to drive you somewhere. Now it may also be that they are the least safe, according to a new study.

Consumer Reports claims that one out of six Uber and Lyft drivers in the New York City and Seattle areas are driving vehicles with outstanding recalls. However, unlike the search for a more sanitary ride, taxis may not be a better option.

News You Can Trust!

The magazine says that nearly a quarter of all for-hire vehicles in the Big Apple also need to have their vehicles brought in to address a recall of some sort. Recalls can range from something as simple as a faulty light or sensor to – as we’ve seen recently – more dangerous problems such faulty airbags, engine fires and seat-belt problems. (more…)

Automakers Still Looking for Top Price on Full-Size Pickups

Trucks continue growing bottom line for automakers.

by on May.21, 2019

The Sierra HD 3500 makes an audacious debut pulling 225,000 pounds of yacht and trailer. It also gets an audacious price tag.

Truck sales are booming, which is good news for automakers since they result in big profits. Only adding to their bottom-line delight is that the fastest growing area are the highly profitable “luxury” trucks with price tags zipping past $60,000.

New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive, according to CarGurus.com. In fact, the top end of the market has trucks passed the $80,000 mark, and the good news is that there is probably room for even more expensive pickups, according to one truck executive.

Product News!

“I think there’s still an opportunity (in vehicles) for traditional luxury items, like more materials, audio systems, things like that,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC, recently during a meeting with journalists. (more…)

General Motors Debuts New Digital Brain for Future Vehicles

New architecture allows for future connected car tech.

by on May.21, 2019

GM's new digital vehicle platform can process 4.5 terabytes per hour and will debut on the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan.

General Motors is pushing to remain a leader in autonomous technology with new vehicles and mobility services; however, it’s latest development may be the most critical to ensure it remains at the front of the pack.

The company unveiled its new all-new digital platform architecture, designed with the needs of future, such as connected cars, autonomous electric vehicles and other technologies, in mind. Until now, GM has been loading up its previous gen architecture with new tech, despite the fact it is more than 20 years old and comes with limitations.

Product News!

The new architecture, which will underpin the 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan and its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature, should be available across nearly all GM product lines by 2023, the company says. (more…)

Tesla Stock Getting Hammered as NTSB Investigates, Investors Fret

Musk tells employees that cash burn rate is high.

by on May.20, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk has ordered employees to rein in spending on virtually everything.

Just a few days after safety regulators revealed that Tesla’s Autopilot system was engaged during a fatal crash of a Model 3, Tesla’s stock has fallen 11% – including nearly 4% today – to the low $200 range.

Adding to the concerns of stock and bond investors in the California-based EV maker, CEO Elon Musk revealed the company’s first-quarter cash burn rate has put it in a precarious position.

News Now!

He told employees last Thursday he would increase cost-cutting and that $2.7 billion in capital the company recent raised would give Tesla just 10 months to break even at the rate it burned cash in the first quarter. (more…)

U.S. Ending Steel, Aluminum Tariffs on Mexico, Canada

Move design to prevent import of Chinese steel into U.S.

by on May.17, 2019

The Trump administration agreed to lift the steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada in order to keep out Chinese steel.

Seeking to secure Congressional approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal, or USMCA, U.S. negotiators secured tough new measures against Chinese steel by agreeing to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum from Mexico and China.

The deal avoids quotas on steel from the two countries, which Canada and Mexico had opposed, according to the Washington Post. The tariffs will end in 48 hours.

The Last Word!

“We came to an agreement that benefits both parties: the tariffs are lifted, without quotas on steel and aluminum,” according to a statement from the Mexican president’s office, adding that it reinstated a tariff-free commercial relationship for those products. (more…)

GMC Tightens Up Premium Truck Segment with 2020 Sierra 1500

More technology and engine choices highlight new truck.

by on May.17, 2019

For 2020, the GMC Sierra gets a slew of new technology as well as a new engine offering.

The competition to produce the best-equipped pickup truck continued to get tighter today with GMC’s announcement that its “taking premium to the next level” for its 2020 Sierra 1500.

GMC’s full-size light-duty pickup can now get a slew of new options to take it up a notch, including expanded availability for its carbon fiber bed, 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel and 10-speed automatic transmission, additional technology like Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera.

Product News!

While options are great, functionality is still king among truck users and GMC is looking to make a statement in that arena too. For 2020, the Sierra 1500 will be available with the upgraded ProGrade Trailering System introduced earlier this year on the 2020 Sierra HD. The updated system offers 15 camera views – the class leader –  an in-vehicle Trailering App which has been enhanced to simplify the trailering process. (more…)

Tariff Talk Put on Hold for Six Months by Trump Administration

Formal structure to delay expected soon.

by on May.16, 2019

President Donald Trump believes raising tariffs will bring U.S. manufacturing back to prominence, but has put off a decision on new national security-related levies.

President Donald Trump’s decision to delay any action on new auto tariffs related to national security gives automakers a chance to make some choices about how they’re going to deal with new tariffs if Trump elects to implement them down the road.

Trump has six months to decide whether or not to slap levies on vehicles and parts from other countries under Section 232, a national security law that gives the president broad powers to implement tariffs on goods from other countries that may affect America’s national security.

Global News!

He used it last year on steel and aluminum imports, much to the chagrin of automakers and other manufacturers.  (more…)

All Grossed Out and Nowhere to Hide: Ride-Hailing Cars Nastiest

What's cleaner than a toilet? Not a rental car!

by on May.16, 2019

There were more than 6 million germs in the ride-hailing vehicles tested by NetQuote.com.

Rental cars are often considered almost throw away items. We’ve all heard the old axiom: People will do things in a rental car that they won’t do in their own. According to new testing, that’s not true: ride-hailing vehicles – typically owned by the driver – are the grossest thing on four wheels.

Insurance aggregator Netquote recently conducted tests to see just how nasty some modes of transport can be, specifically, taxi cabs, rental cars and ride-hailing cars. While many would have put money on the taxi being the most disgusting, those vehicles are subject to rules, including cleanliness.

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What vehicles aren’t? Yup. Ride-hailing vehicles. (more…)

Buying a Car and Safety is the Top Requirement? Skip These!

Mitsubishi Mirage tops list of dangerous vehicles.

by on May.15, 2019

The Mitsubishi Mirage tops the list of dangerous vehicles using U.S. DOT data.

Buying a used vehicle can be an exercise in frustration, especially since the number of factors that go into such a purchase can be astronomical. Fuel economy, color, price, type of vehicle, etc. can create real problems.

However, one factor often leads the pack: safety. Cars, trucks and SUVs produced in the last decade are the safety vehicles ever produced, but there are some that seem to be more dangerous than others, and iSeeCars.com has put together a list of the most dangerous vehicles from 2013-2017.

Product News!

Using the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, each is at least two times as likely as the average auto to be involved in a deadly accident, the site noted. (more…)

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