The dialogue from Tesla wasn’t all rainbows and puppies this week.
In oddly coordinated diatribes, CEO Elon Musk and his vice-president of business development took off the soft driving gloves and laid into their competition and the country’s regulators. The message? Put up, pay up, or shut up. (Read More…)
A headlamp supplier wants U.S. regulators to approve its new design, which eliminates the need for drivers to switch their high beams on or off.
Varroc Lighting Systems, Inc., the U.S. division of the India-based company, developed a headlamp that automatically dims by shutting off individual LEDs, according to Crain’s Detroit Business (via Automotive News). (Read More…)
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…)
Drivers saw a tsunami of vehicle recalls in recent years, and many are choosing not to bother getting the fix.
J.D. Power and Associates tapped its SafetyIQ platform to analyze National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2013 to 2015, and found more than 45 million drivers who didn’t get their recalled vehicles in for repair. The NHTSA can kiss its 100-percent recall completion goal goodbye. (Read More…)
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…)
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…)
The federal agencies reviewing the country’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets are pleasantly surprised by the amount of fuel-saving technology in modern vehicles, and hint that the target they decided on back in 2011 is still doable.
Those agencies just released a technical assessment report (TAR) to guide the review process. In it, they figured that vehicles will average between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by the target year of 2025 — if gas stays stable and consumers continue buying SUVs and trucks.
That’s not too far off the original target, and judging by the optimistic tone of the report, it’s likely the 54.5 mpg mandate will stay intact. (Read More…)
Business is about to get much more expensive for automakers with thirsty fleets.
The penalties leveled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration against automakers who miss their annual corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are about to go up in August. Way up. (Read More…)
Tesla’s Autopilot system is many things to many people — an automated folk devil to safety and consumer advocates, or a nice thing to have on a long drive (according to Jack Baruth) — but it isn’t the cause of a July 1 rollover crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The automaker’s CEO took to Twitter yesterday to claim that the Model X driven by a Michigan man wasn’t even in Autopilot mode at the time of the crash. Elon Musk said that data uploaded from the vehicle shows that Autopilot wasn’t activated, and added that the “crash would not have occurred if it was on.”
Tesla then released those digital logs to the media. (Read More…)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has no plans to remove the Autopilot feature from his vehicles, despite demands from safety and consumer groups.
Musk told the Wall Street Journal that lack of education is the problem, not the technology behind the semi-autonomous driving system. The executive’s comments come after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration delivered a lengthy list of questions to Tesla as part of its investigation into the fatal May 7 crash of a Model S. (Read More…)
The National Transportation Safety Board plans to investigate the fatal May 7 Tesla crash to see if the trend of increased automation in driving functions has a dark side, Bloomberg reports.
Already, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the incident and the role the vehicle’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system played in the crash, but the NTSB has a broader scope in mind. As vehicles increasingly rely on electronic aids for safety, drivers could be letting down their guard. (Read More…)
Numerous reports of an exhaust smell in the cabin of late-model Ford Explorers prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open an investigation.
According to Reuters (via Automotive News), safety officials began looking into 2011–2015 Explorers last Friday after receiving 154 complaints of an exhaust odor. The issue, which is reported to be a factor in one crash (that didn’t result in injuries), persists in some vehicles even after they were repaired to correct the problem. (Read More…)
Safety advocates are claiming Tesla’s reputation as a leading innovator in the automotive world could breed overconfidence in its new technology, putting drivers in danger.
The May 7 death of a Tesla driver whose vehicle collided with a tractor trailer while in “Autopilot” mode sparked renewed calls for proper vetting of advanced technology in production vehicles — especially if the technology allows the vehicle to drive itself. (Read More…)
A recent fatal crash of a 2015 Tesla Model S operating in “Autopilot” mode prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to open a preliminary investigation into the model, Reuters is reporting.
Because the crash occurred when the vehicle was under the control of an autonomous driving system, the NHTSA said it is planning “an examination of the design and performance of any driving aids in use at the time of the crash.” (Read More…)
A group of automakers wants Big MPG to know they’re out of touch when it comes to fuel efficiency targets, and would really like it if they stopped paying so much attention to California.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a Washington lobbying group made up of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen and Toyota — wants to impact the midterm review of 2025 fuel economy targets set in 2011, Bloomberg reports. (Read More…)