Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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Arent Fox Attorneys Aaron Jacoby and James Westerlind Talk on Privacy, Cybersecurity, Connected Cars and Driverless Vehicles

Arent Fox attorneys Aaron Jacoby and James Westerlind participated in an Expert Analysis Q&A which appeared in the November 29 Westlaw Journal Automotive (published by Reuters) titled, “Privacy, cybersecurity, connected cars and driverless vehicles.”  During the Q&A, Aaron and James talked about how cybersecurity and privacy are primary concerns in American life, from hacks of the internet through robot devices to vehicle communication and connectivity, and how that relates to driverless vehicles.

To read the entire article, click here.

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EU takes action against UK, Germany over VW emissions scandal - sources

The European Union will take action against seven nations including Germany and Britain for failing to police car emissions rules, EU sources said, after the Volkswagen cheating scandal showed suspicious behavior in the industry. Amid frustration in Brussels over nations' responses to diesel vehicles flouting pollution limits, the European Commission is resorting to the strongest legal action it can take against members of the 28-nation bloc - potentially ending in court. Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) pollution from diesel engines, which power half of all cars in Europe, lead to respiratory illness and the premature death of 72,000 people per year, European Environmental Agency data shows.

[Reuters]

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This device may allow a thief to steal your car

A device that lets thieves steal cars that use key fobs has been identified by a national watchdog group. The device, which allows a person to open car doors, start vehicles and drive them away suggests the auto industry is entering a perilous new frontier in which tech-savvy criminals can bypass the keyless theft-prevention countermeasures installed on certain recent models. The National Insurance Crime Bureau said it had purchased the device "via a third-party security expert from an overseas company" that developed it "to provide manufacturers and other anti-theft organizations the ability to test the vulnerability of various vehicles' systems."

[Detroit Free Press]

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Toyota to expand hybrid system development to further cut emissions

Toyota Motor Corp said it will expand the development of its gasoline-hybrid technology over the next five years to speed up the introduction of lower-emission engines in the face of stricter global emissions standards. The announcement was the latest by the Japanese firm aimed at making cars "greener" as global automakers face tighter regulations in China, the United States and other regions that will require more environment-friendly cars in the coming years. Toyota is also stepping up the development of longer-range battery-electric cars, in a shift from an earlier strategy of promoting hydrogen fuel-cell technology as the future of zero-emission vehicles.

[Reuters]

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Contact lens technology could revolutionize Evs

A plastic based on soft contact-lens technology may solve some of the biggest challenges facing electric vehicles by letting them recharge in seconds and travel more than 400 miles without stopping, scientists say. Researchers at the University of Surrey developed a polymer that may dramatically boost the performance of supercapacitors, lightweight electronic components that store and distribute high volumes of power. “We believe that this is an extremely exciting and potentially game changing development,” said Ian Hamerton, who tested the technology at Bristol University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering.

[Detroit News]

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Mexico overtakes Canada as No. 2 U.S. exporter

Mexico is overtaking Canada as the No. 2 exporter of goods to the U.S. this year, in large part due to car manufacturing. Shipments from Mexico totaled $245 billion in the first 10 months of the year, according to Commerce Department figures released, ahead of Canada’s $230 billion. If the trend continues, it would be the first time ever the U.S. bought more imports from its neighbor to the south.

[Detroit News]

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Car lobby moves to put the brakes on mpg rules

The group that lobbies for automakers in Washington is moving to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing stringent gas mileage rules. The EPA said it is moving to finalize new greenhouse gas emission rules that will require automakers to produce car and truck fleets averaging more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025; those rules originally were subject to review in 2018. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which lobbies for U.S. automakers in Washington, is pushing lawmakers to add language to a must-pass bill that will fund the federal government’s operations. 

[Detroit News]

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U.S. judge throws out emissions fraud lawsuit against Mercedes

A U.S. judge in New Jersey threw out a proposed class action lawsuit alleging that automaker Mercedes misled consumers about emissions standards in "BlueTec Clean Diesel" vehicles. U.S. District Judge Jose Linares said the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring the case. Plaintiffs claimed Mercedes falsely advertised the BlueTec vehicles as having lower emissions. 

[Reuters]

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Panel explores how humans, robot cars will interact

At a Capitol Hill roundtable, industry reps and lawmakers grappled with potential safety issues concerning how human drivers will interact with emerging autonomous technologies on roadways. The discussion, organized by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, drew a standing-room-only crowd on a rainy day in Washington. David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, sounded optimistic that autonomous technologies could one day reduce the incidence and severity of crashes but said there is “no guarantee” the technologies will deliver on that promise.

[Detroit News]

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House panel quizzes EPA on VW zero emission vehicle fund

A U.S. House panel questioned the Environmental Protection Agency's diesel emissions settlement with Volkswagen AG, which requires the German automaker to invest $2 billion in zero emission vehicle efforts over 10 years. Representative Tim Murphy, who heads a House Energy and Commerce panel, raised doubts about the government's oversight of the fund to boost electric vehicle charging stations and other green vehicle efforts. The settlement "raises the potential that VW's penalty for bad behavior may not be entirely without benefit for VW's own future operations," he said at the hearing.

[Reuters]

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.