Posts Tagged ‘paul eisenstein’

Lyft Launches Autonomous Test in Boston

Long-term goal is to go fully driverless.

by on Dec.08, 2017

An autonomous prototype developed by nuTonomy, one of the models Lyft will begin using in Boston.

Lyft has become the latest ride-sharing service to begin testing autonomous vehicles.`

The pilot program, launched in Boston this week, is being run in partnership with self-driving tech firm nuTonomy. Lyft has also been working with both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, two carmakers that share its long-term goal of going completely driverless in a bid to slash costs while also improving safety.

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“Based on back from pilot participants, nuTonomy’s engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable,” nuTonomy said in a statement.

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Ford Moving EV Production From Michigan to Mexico

Move will open up plant to build new line of autonomous vehicles.

by on Dec.07, 2017

“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley.

Ford plans to shift production of electric vehicles from a suburban Detroit plant to a factory in Mexico, a top company official said. That move will make room at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant for Ford to launch a new line of driverless vehicles that will be used by ride-sharing and delivery fleets.

The move could create some political headaches for the second-largest of the Detroit Big Three automakers. During his campaign for the White House, then-candidate Donald Trump repeatedly bashed Ford’s plans to move small car production from Michigan to a second assembly plant it was building in Mexico. It ultimately scrubbed that facility and will shift production of the Focus model to China, instead.

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“You’re starting to see the foundation of Ford’s bet on AVs (or autonomous vehicles),” said Jim Farley, the president of global markets for Ford.

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Rinspeed Snap Offers Lego-Like Flexibility to Driverless Vehicles

Concept pairs autonomous EV platform with mix-and-match pods.

by on Dec.06, 2017

This rendering show the Rinspeed Snap's platform and passenger pod before docking.

Think of it as a sort of motorized Legomobile. Swiss think tank Rinspeed is known for coming up with creative – and sometimes wacky – concept vehicles and the one it plans to bring to the Consumer Electronics Show next month would allow a user to plug different bodies onto a flat, skateboard-like electric vehicle platform.

Rinspeed is by no means the first to adopt an essentially self-contained platform that could be used with a variety of different bodies. General Motors first revealed that concept more than a decade ago in the form of its hydrogen-powered Hy-Wire. And most modern electric vehicles now mount their batteries and other key components in or below the load floor.

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But the appropriately named Rinspeed Snap would allow the passenger compartment to separate from its electrified, autonomous platform and be used for other purposes. “(The) pod can even be useful when stationary,” says a release. “it can be anything from a variable shopping pod or a spacious camping pod to a cozy cuddling pod and even provide a breathtaking, fully connected user experience for the occupants of the passenger cabin. The sky is here the limit for the possible applications.”

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Ford to Test Online Sales in China

Expected to announce partnership with Chinese online giant Alibaba on Thursday.

by on Dec.06, 2017

Up til now, Ford and its Lincoln brand have relied on a relatively conventional dealer model in China.

The vast majority of car buyers around the world now rely on the Internet during at least some part of the shopping process, according to industry data, but Ford Motor Co. is expected to take the next big step this week as it announces a new partnership with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett and Chairman Bill Ford are expected to attend a ceremony in Hangzhou on Thursday where they will be joined by representatives of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to announce new venture that could include the use of a new “auto vending machine” store concept, reports the Reuters news service.

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The tie-up, which is also expected to involve at least some of Ford’s existing Chinese dealers, will come just days after the Detroit-based automaker announced plans to launch 50 new vehicles in the booming Asian nation, 15 of them to rely on electrified propulsion technology. Ford is making an aggressive push to expand its presence in China where it lags well behind rivals General Motors and Volkswagen. (more…)

Ford Adding 50 New Vehicles in China, 15 of Them “Electrified”

Detroit automaker hopes to regain momentum in world's largest auto market.

by on Dec.05, 2017

Ford's Peter Fleet faces a tough challenge gaining share in a slowing Chinese market.

Ford, a latecomer to the booming Chinese automotive market, said Tuesday it will launch 50 new models there by 2025, 15 of them “electrified.”

The announcement, made in Shanghai on Tuesday, is meant to shore up the company’s presence in the world’s largest automotive market — Ford’s Chinese sales sagging in recent months. It also indicates the Detroit-based carmaker will fall in line as Chinese regulators push the industry to introduce more low and zero-emissions vehicles in an effort to deal with endemic pollution problems.

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“Between now and 2025, we will launch 50 new vehicles in China, and of those 50 new vehicles, 15 of them will be all-new electrified vehicles,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s head of Asia Pacific operations.

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GM Marketplace Will Let You Order Coffee, Donuts, Even Make Reservations While Driving

Automakers look for new revenue sources; see big opportunities when driverless vehicles come to market.

by on Dec.05, 2017

A customer places an order for coffee to go using the new GM Marketplace service.

Every morning, millions of American commuters stop for fuel or coffee on the way to work, and the new GM Marketplace is designed to make that process even quicker and easier.

Now, with the tap of a button on their vehicle’s touchscreen, motorists driving late-model General Motors vehicles will be able to order coffee or food from several popular fast food chains, such as Starbucks, locate a nearby gas station, even make dinner or hotel reservations using the Priceline service. It’s part of a push by GM and other automakers to provide new, in-vehicle features that could become major sources of revenues as autonomous and fully driverless vehicles come to market in the near future.

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“The average American spends 46 minutes per day on the road driving,” said Santiago Chamorro, vice president for global connected customer experience at GM. “We have an opportunity to make every trip more productive and give our customers time back.”

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Lamborghini Officially Enters Super-SUV Market With Debut of 2019 Urus

Italian exotic maker expects first ute to double its sales.

by on Dec.04, 2017

Lamborghini will deliver the first Urus models to showrooms by spring of next year.

We can expect the new Lamborghini Urus to be quick – and that’s not only on the track. The Italian exotic automaker is looking to more than double its size with the launch of the long-awaited SUV.

Lambo joins a growing list of ultra-premium and supercar manufacturers that have bowed to the seemingly inevitable dominance of the sport-utility vehicle, joining such brands as Bentley and Porsche, while Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and even Ferrari have now confirmed plans to add ute models. For the moment, only McLaren remains a hold-out.

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“The Lamborghini Urus is a visionary approach based on the infusion of Lamborghini DNA into the most versatile vehicle, the SUV,” proclaimed Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer during a preview at the company’s headquarters in suburban Modena, Italy. “It is the culmination of intensive development and passionate skill to create a new breed of bull (that) opens the door to new possibilities, for both our brand and our customers.”

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Nissan Gets its Kicks With New SUV

New crossover is “gateway” to the maker’s expanding line-up.

by on Nov.29, 2017

Nissan unveiled its new Kicks crossover vehicle targeted at millennials moving up a vehicle.

Nissan hopes buyers will get their Kicks on Route 66 – as well as I-405, the New York Throughway and pretty much everywhere else – in the maker’s newest sport-utility vehicle.

The 2018 Nissan Kicks becomes the latest in an expanding line-up of crossover models the Japanese maker has been rolling out and arrives at what would seem the perfect time, with utes now accounting for nearly half of the overall U.S. new vehicle market.

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Targeting millennials and others who might otherwise opt for an entry-level sedan or hatchback, the Nissan Kicks targets “buyers moving up,” and, said U.S. sales and marketing chief Dan Mohncke, will be “the new gateway to our CUV line-up.”

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Exclusive: Major Changes Coming for Electrified BMW’s i Brand

Specialty models like i3, i8 will be phased out, head of brand reveals.

by on Nov.29, 2017

BMW mobility chief Klaus Froehlich with the new i8 Roadster, Next Vision concept and i3s.

BMW is using this week’s L.A. Auto Show to reveal its new i8 Roadster, the latest in a dedicated line-up of plug-based models that also includes the new i3s battery-electric city car.

But the debut marks something of a swan song for BMW i – at least in the form the brand was initially conceived. The original goal was to use it to market a line-up of specially designed plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models. But in a major shift reflecting the rapid evolution of battery technology, the head of BMW’s electric mobility program told TheDetroitBureau.com, those dedicated models will be “phased out.”

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“For us, electrification is the new normal,” explained Klaus Froehlich, during a conversation at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Going forward, he continued, Going forward, “We will not do dedicated architectures. Instead “all fully-electric models will be (badged) BMW i.”

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All New Yet Surprisingly Familiar: Jeep Formally Unveils 2018 Wrangler

The archetypal SUV is now lighter, more fuel-efficient, more capable.

by on Nov.29, 2017

The 2018 Jeep Wrangler family shown alongside some classic Wrangler of the past.

It takes a second to realize that the Jeep Wrangler sitting on the stand at the Los Angeles Convention Center is new from the ground up. And that’s not by accident. When you’re redesigning an icon, Jeep officials explained, you have to respect tradition.

But don’t let looks fool you. A closer inspection reveals that the 2018 Jeep Wrangler isn’t just a light update. It really is a complete remake of the ultimate off-roader, a vehicle that traces its heritage back to the revolutionary off-roader that crisscrossed battle-scarred Europe and Asia during the dark days of World War II.

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“Wrangler is instantaneously recognizable anywhere around the world,” said Michael Manley, the head of the Jeep brand, during a preview of the new ute ahead of its official debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The challenge, he said, was to make it even better, addressing the issues that even the most dedicated Wrangler loyalists hoped to improve.

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