By on August 23, 2016

Iraqi remote control gun car

Mosul is the largest population center in northern Iraq, but it has been in ISIS hands since extremist militants overran the city of 2.5 million in June of 2014.

Taking the city back has proven a challenge, but the Iraqi Army, backed by Allied forces, plans to deploy a new tool to make it happen. It’s no longer than a Mazda MX-5, and not nearly as sexy, but Iraq thinks this four-wheeled robotic death car gives them a big advantage. Read More >

By on August 18, 2016

Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

Volvo is partnering with ride-hailing service Uber, a $300 million deal expected to spawn a fleet of self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads.

Both companies plan to develop their own autonomous technology using a Volvo “base” vehicle, but Pittsburgh will see a crop of self-driving Swedes by the end of the year, Automotive News reports. Read More >

By on August 10, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

In his Master Plan, Part Deux, some of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s visions make a lot of sense, like a compact SUV based on the Model 3 platform, and a pickup truck, which will presumably have more than enough torque to haul around a big load (and plenty of space for a big battery pack).

That’s not at all what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to talk about some of the more speculative parts of the Musk vision: the self-driving vision. (I first wrote about some of the dystopian aspects of self-driving cars for TTAC in 2010.)

Musk wants you, the owner of a Tesla, to click a button and have your self-driving car go off and Uber itself during the day while you’re at work, earning you money. It will come back to you at the end of the day, ready for you to use again. This vision is going to have a very harsh collision with reality. Read More >

By on July 30, 2016

2016 Tesla Model S

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s drive to develop and market new driving technology is well known, but former employees say he brushed aside their concerns about the safety of the company’s Autopilot system.

Several employees, including a former Autopilot engineer, told CNN Money that their concerns fell on deaf ears, as Musk always reverted back to a “bigger picture” position on safety. Read More >

By on July 28, 2016

Apple Logo Circa 2005

Apple’s annoyingly mysterious self-driving unicorn car project has a new team member.

Dan Dodge, founder and former CEO of Blackberry’s QNX automotive software division, has already joined the ranks of Apple’s shadowy “Project Titan” team, Bloomberg reports. After endless speculation about the future iCar (and what it will look like), sources close to the company say the project is now moving in different direction.

Is the Apple car fading from view? Read More >

By on July 28, 2016

Mercedes E-Class ad

A glitzy Mercedes-Benz commercial that touts the 2017 E-Class as a vehicle that “can drive itself” has consumer and safety advocates fighting mad.

A number of groups are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the automaker, saying Mercedes mislead the public. In a letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the groups claim the E-Class doesn’t come close to being a self-driving vehicle, and fine print doesn’t cut it. Read More >

By on July 27, 2016

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

The National Transportation Safety Board didn’t assign any blame in its initial report into the fatal May 7 crash of a Tesla Model S, but did confirm new details.

The agency claims Joshua Brown’s vehicle was in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash, and was travelling above the 65 mile per hour speed limit before colliding with a tractor-trailer, according to Reuters. Read More >

By on July 25, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

His company’s product is under investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk likes the favorable press the NHTSA gave to its Autopilot system.

Musk tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal report that quotes NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind praising the semi-autonomous driving system at a Detroit conference last week. The NHTSA is investigating what role Autopilot played in a fatal Florida crash on May 7. Read More >

By on July 21, 2016

Tesla Building Circa March 2015

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision for his company’s future covers all the automotive bases, from personal vehicles to commercial trucks and transit fleets.

In a blog post on Tesla’s website, Musk spelled out the steps of his “Master Plan, Part Deux” — a long-term update of his previous decade-long business plan. With the Model 3 on the way in late 2017, the old plan has come to an end, so the company’s founder is looking for other things to power with electricity. Read More >

By on July 19, 2016

2017 Audi Q7 Grille, Image: © 2016 Alex Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Audi is apparently about to embrace electric vehicles with all the intensity of a daughter greeting her father on the tarmac after the war.

According to Reuters, company sources say the automaker plans to make EVs account for 25 percent of sales by 2025 — a move that would erase the environmental stigma of its parent company and challenge Tesla in the fledgling luxury EV field. Read More >

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