Items tagged with Automobiles

Mobile chip maker Qualcomm has inked a definitive agreement to purchase NXP Semiconductors in a deal valued at around $47 billion. The board of directors of both companies gave unanimous approval for the acquisition, which will see Qualcomm buy all of NXP's stock at $110 per share, an 11.5 percent premium over NXP's closing price on Wednesday. Should the deal receive regulatory approval, Qualcomm will be in position to become a major player in the fast growing connected car market. NXP is a leading chip maker in the automotive industry with mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for in-vehicle infotainment,... Read more...
One thing that Google and automakers such as General Motors and Volkswagen can all agree on is that California's proposed rules on self-driving cars, while perhaps penned with good intentions, would hamper efforts to develop and test potentially life saving autonomous vehicle technologies. They could also lead to skewed reports regarding the safety of self-driving cars. For example, one of the rules (PDF) California proposed is that police wouldn't need a warrant or subpoena to extract any self-driving data within 24 hours. That one was one of many rules Google and automakers with vested interested... Read more...
Luxury automaker Maserati has avoided the whole electric vehicle (EV) craze that's been driving product design at its competitors, but not anymore. The mandate from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne is to build a Maserati EV as quickly as possible, so that's what engineering boss Roberto Fedeli is now focusing on, though he won't have anything ready before 2019. "I think that we could show something before 2020. Maybe 2019," Fedeli told Car and Driver during an interview at the Paris auto show. "We are working to be ready with something that we can show during the next couple of years."Fedeli... Read more...
Forget about flying cars, the next big thing in automotive design is autonomous technology. There's been a considerable amount of innovation and advances in self-driving vehicle technology over the past several years, but while that may have companies such as Google and Tesla super excited, new research from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) suggests that Americans aren't yet comfortable giving up control of their cars to a computer and a bunch of sensors. KBB commissioned the national study to better understand how consumers view autonomous vehicles. Market research firm Vital Findings conducted the survey,... Read more...
Google's been lucky in that it's avoided any major collisions involving its fleet of self-driving cars up to this point, though that changed heading into the weekend when an autonomous Lexus RX sustained significant damage from a commercial delivery van plowing into the passenger side of the vehicle. Initial reports suggest Google's self-driving technology was not at fault. The accident occurred in Mountain View as the Lexus RX was traveling northbound on Phyllis Ave. While going through an intersection, a commercial van traveling westbound on El Camino Real ran a red light and smashed into the... Read more...
Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer has an ambitious vision of the future. In his mind, there will come a day when most of the ride-hailing service is run by self-driving cars rather than flesh and blood drivers. Oh, and that day is coming sooner than you think—how does five years strike you? That's the bold prediction Zimmer made in a recent blog post, but it wasn't the only one. Zimmer also predicted that private car ownership would "all but end" by 2025 in major U.S. cities, noting that millennials don't celebrate cars as symbols of freedom and identity the way that previous generations... Read more...
Tesla is in the process of upgrading its Autopilot system to better 'see' the world surrounding world and discern from potentially dangerous objects that need to be avoided and those that don't require braking. Several of the changes that will ultimately lead to a smarter Autopilot system have been introduced in version 8 of its software. Version 8 contains dozens of small refinements, though the most significant upgrade is that of more advanced signal processing that taps the onboard radar to create a picture of the outside world. This represents a major change in strategy for Tesla and its Autopilot... Read more...
Artificially intelligent systems are becoming increasingly capable as companies like Amazon build in new functionality and team with partners for creative uses of these technologies. Case in point, Hyundai is the first automaker to launch an Alexa skill, allowing remote voice commands to control connected cars as part of its Geneses Connected Services. Hyundai's Genesis Connected Services links the Alexa service built into Amazon Echo, Tap, Echo Dot, and Fire TV with the Genesis G80 and G90 luxury sedans. The benefit for G80 and G90 owners is that they can bark out remote car commands from inside... Read more...
Self-driving cars might be the future of transportation, but for Uber, the time to pounce is now. Uber's ultimate goal is to replace the ride service's more than 1 million flesh and blood drivers with autonomous vehicles, and it wants to do it as soon as possible. While it seems premature to think about such a thing, Uber's going to let customers in downtown Pittsburgh virtually thumb rides from self-driving cars using their smartphones. Some riders who request rides will be picked up in specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles. The autonomous vehicles will sport an array of sensors... Read more...
Tesla Motors is working feverishly to finish constructing its $5 billion, 3,200 acre "Gigafactory" located outside Sparks, Nevada (near Reno). It's already semi-operational with 1,000 construction workers toiling away seven days a week in two shifts. The factory, which is two years ahead of schedule, will help meet what's anticipated to be high demand for lithium-ion batteries for Tesla's not-yet-released Model 3 sedan. "We have to be ready with cell and pack production well ahead of vehicle production," JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer and co-founder, told The Wall Street Journal during... Read more...
You're not supposed to know this but Apple is not-so-secretly working on an autonomous, electric vehicle project codenamed Project Titan. While Apple wants to keep its efforts on the down low, inside sources frequently spill the beans on the company's progress, and what they're saying now is that Apple's brought in Bob Mansfield, a former top executive, to lead the project.Mansfield's been involved with several hardware releases at Apple. He joined the company in 1999 and led  the development of products such as the MacBook Air and iMac before leaving the executive team in 2013. He had actually... Read more...
Yet another agency is looking into a fatal crash involving a 2015 Tesla Model S. The latest to don its detective cap is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is investigating whether Tesla ran afoul of securities regulations by not telling investors of the crash involving the company's self-driving car technology. The accident occurred in early May and took the life of Joshua Brown, the owner of the Model S that struck an 18-wheeler when the tractor trailer crossed in front of him on a divided highway. At the time of the accident, the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged. Unfortunately... Read more...
Tesla Motors could use a bit of positive publicity to offset the recent scrutiny over its autonomous vehicle technology. What better way to do that than to hint at something awesome (and super secret) through social media? Tesla co-founder and product architect Elon Musk attempted to do just that by referencing a "Tesla masterplan" on Twitter."Working on top secret Telsa masterplan, part two. Hoping to publish later this week," Musk tweeted out over the weekend. His tweet elicited a bevy of guesses and humorous responses on Twitter, some of the former being a flying car and an Iron Man suit. As... Read more...
Following the first fatal accident involving Tesla's autonomous vehicle technology, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is sending a team of five investigators to Florida next week to investigate the crash and the circumstances that allowed the accident to occur. That's in addition to a probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS). Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety advocacy group in Washington, told Bloomberg that NTSB's probe is "very significant," adding that "the NTSB only investigates crashes with broader implications." Indeed,... Read more...
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