Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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BMW and Volkswagen Try to Beat Apple and Google at Their Own Game

European carmakers and suppliers are trying to build the computing capacity they will need as vehicles digitize and become driverless.

[New York Times]

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Kia tops J.D. Power quality rankings amid shake-up

Kia took the top spot in J.D. Power's annual report card on vehicle quality for a second consecutive year, as industry ratings reached a new record and domestic brands maintained their edge over foreign rivals. Kia, with 72 problems reported per 100 vehicles, was able to retain its No. 1 position despite a shake-up in the 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study rankings that included significant shifts with the German and Japanese brands -- most notably, Toyota and Lexus -- falling behind many U.S. and Korean brands. "This is without question the best quality the world has ever seen," Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive at J.D. Power, said when releasing the results at an Automotive Press Association meeting in Detroit.

[Automotive News]

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Uber CEO Kalanick quits under pressure from investors

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned after a series of controversies that rocked the world's largest technology startup and exposed deep problems with its male-dominated culture. The man most closely identified with the ride-hailing giant's meteoric global ascent said he was ceding to investors' wishes that he step aside, in part to avoid yet another conflict. Uber has been hit by scandal after scandal this year, from allegations of sexual harassment and the use of "Greyball" software to bypass regulators to the mishandling of a 2014 Indian rape case.

[Automotive News]

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Uber adds option to tip drivers

Uber is enabling passengers to tip its U.S. drivers with a tap on its ride-hailing app for the first time, part of a push to recast itself as a company with a conscience and a heart. Besides the built-in tipping option announced, Uber is giving drivers an opportunity to make more money in other ways too. Riders will be charged by the minute if they keep an Uber car waiting for more than two minutes.

[Detroit News]

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Driver in Tesla crash ignored 7 warnings, NHTSA docs say

The driver behind the wheel of a Tesla Model S in self-driving mode when he died in a 2016 accident was warned seven times to put his hands on the wheel, according to documents released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA uploaded more than 500 pages of documents related to the accident, which is believed to be the first involving a death with the car on self-driving mode. The documents range from studies on traffic patterns to interviews with the family of driver Joshua Brown and a report on what happened during the accident.

[Law360]

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Consumers want in-vehicle technology, but willingness to pay for it varies, IHS Markit says

A new global survey on consumer preferences for automotive technology finds more consumers desire advanced technology in their next new vehicle. However, their willingness to pay for technology demonstrates a wide variety of viewpoints from consumers across leading global markets, says the survey from business information provider IHS Markit. More than 5,000 vehicle owners intending to purchase a new vehicle within the next 36 months were surveyed in the 2017 Automotive Connected Services and Apps Consumer Analysis , representing five key automotive markets – the U.S., Canada, China, Germany and the United Kingdom.

[IHS Markit]

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Lyft fights Uber subpoena in Waymo trade secrets case

Lyft Inc. on blasted Uber Technologies Inc. for bringing it into Waymo LLC’s trade secrets suit against Uber in California federal court, saying Uber's subpoena is a thinly veiled attempt to get access to a competitor's confidential information, not a legitimate litigation tactic. Lyft, which is not a party to the lawsuit, asked the court to quash the subpoena and issue a protective order, arguing that Uber hasn’t justified the need for the requested information. Although Waymo and Lyft in had previously said they entered into a collaboration regarding self-driving cars, that doesn’t entitle Uber to its competitor’s secrets, the motion states.

[Law360]

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Air bag maker Takata to file bankruptcy this month: sources say

Takata Corp, the Japanese company facing billions in liabilities stemming from its defective air bag inflators, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as early as next week as it works toward a deal for financial backing from U.S. auto parts maker Key Safety Systems Inc, sources said.  Takata, one of the world's biggest automotive suppliers, has been working for months to complete a deal with Key Safety.  A person briefed on the matter told Reuters Key was expected to acquire Takata assets as part of a restructuring in bankruptcy.

[Reuters]

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Software locks your phone while behind the wheel

In the near future, your phone might be smart enough to know whether you are driving a car, or going along for the ride.  Anti-distraction software by a tech startup called Cellepathy would automatically go into a restrictive “driver mode” when a phone is within a moving vehicle.  Online features such as texts, video, games and social media would be blocked, as well as some or all nonemergency telephone calls.

[The Detroit News]

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U.S. states could not set self-driving car rules under Republican plan

California and other states would be barred from setting their own rules governing design and testing of self-driving cars, while federal regulators would be blocked from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous vehicle technology, according to a U.S. House Republican proposal reviewed by Reuters. The draft legislation, while far from becoming law, still represents a victory for General Motors Co., Alphabet Inc., Tesla Inc. and other automakers and technology companies seeking to persuade Congress and the Trump administration to pre-empt rules under consideration in California, New York and other states that could limit deployment of self-driving vehicles.

[Reuters]

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