It certainly sounds like Ford is close to selling a self-driving Fusion real soon.
That, Matthias Müller finally comes to the U.S. to ask “You mad, bro?” Nissan has no love for Takata, and business is hot south of the border … after the break!
Ford is bumping up its autonomous herd
Ford will add 20 more cars to its autonomous fleets in Michigan, California and Arizona this year to test its next-generation sensors, the automaker announced Tuesday.
The cars, which will be Fusion Hybrid models equipped with LiDAR sensors from Velodyne, will be the automaker’s third-generation of autonomous vehicles. According to Ford, the second-generation autonomous Fusion vehicles achieved SAE’s Level 4 automation, which means they could drive without human interaction and were highly automated.
Ford said the new generation of sensors are smaller, more compact and can be fitted on side-view mirrors. There are fewer sensors, too, from four down to two sensors per car.
Nissan has not plans to bail out Takata
Nissan joined Honda in saying it has no plans to bail out embattled auto supplier Takata, whose faulty airbags have led to the company losing millions to fines and recalls, Reuters reported (via Automotive News).
“Nothing has been decided. There’s not much we can do at the moment,” Nissan COO Hiroto Saikawa told Reuters.
Takata was fined $70 million by regulators in the U.S., but that fine could grow substantially if the parts supplier can’t complete its recall on time. Many automakers including Honda, who owned part of Takata, have backed away from the supplier since the scandal and fine.
Volkswagen execs coming to smooth things over
Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller and brand chief Herbert Diess will meet with U.S. officials to discuss the automaker’s cheating scandal and apparent schism with regulators, Bloomberg reported (via Automotive News).
Diess, who’s already in Las Vegas for the automaker’s presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, will also appear at the North American International Auto Show. Müller will travel to the U.S. next week, although his schedule is unclear.
On Monday, authorities in the U.S. filed a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against VW for its cheating diesel cars and signaled that regulators may be at an impasse with the automaker on how to fix those cars. Officials in Germany have already approved a fix for diesel cars there, which would apply to cars in other countries as well.
Nvidia’s first computer for self-driving cars going into a Volvo
Computer-chip manufacturer Nvidia announced Monday that it has a lunchbox-sized supercomputer for self-driving cars, and that its first application would be Volvo cars, Reuters reported.
Nvidia said its Drive PX 2, which is geared for automotive applications, could process 24 trillion operations per second, or had the computing power of 150 Mac laptops, according to Reuters.
Automakers and computer-makers have turned their attentions to computers in cars as a fast-growing source of revenue.
Mexico’s car business is hot, hot, hot
The car business is good business in Mexico, according to Bloomberg.
The domestic auto sector grew almost 20 percent and demand is climbing thanks to low inflation, cheap credit and more domestic cars. For brands like Volkswagen, who have long built cars in Mexico, that’s helping balance sagging sales in other parts of the world.
“For generations, families at one time or another have owned a Volkswagen and have a first impression of the brand,” Guillermo Rosales, director of that Mexico’s car dealer association, told Bloomberg. “They say, ‘It’s never conked out on me, it’s a car I can trust.’ The scandal doesn’t have the same impact it’s had in other markets.”
Other automakers such as Mazda and Honda are reducing exports from that country and selling more cars to buyers in Mexico, according to the report.