TTAC commentator Arthur Dailey writes:
We all understand that developing a new vehicle requires hundreds of millions of dollars and a number of years. However between the early ’50s and late ’70s, the Detroit Three unveiled multiple “new” vehicles on an annual basis. I remember eagerly watching the first episode of Bonanza, each September through most of the ’60s because that’s when Chevrolet would unveil its new cars to the public.
The split-window Corvette, the Corvair Monza, the Caprice and the Camaro, all seen for the first time on Sunday nights.
Earlier this summer, headlines flew fast and furious around Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system, and the often hazy crashes associated with it.
Now, the electric automaker plans to tweak the system to cut down on driver misuse, according to a report in Elektrek. (Read More…)
From the everyone’s a winner! file comes this story. Soon, whenever a Massachusetts resident hails an Uber, the state will hand part of their fare to their direct competition.
Reuters reports that Massachusetts lawmakers are poised to levy a five-cent-per-trip levy on ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft — a new corporate welfare initiative that is the first of its kind in the U.S. (Read More…)
Apparently, the 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and General Motors doesn’t impress Honda, because it wants a gearbox with more cogs.
The Japanese automaker recently filed a patent for an 11-speed, triple-clutch transmission, AutoGuide reports. (Read More…)
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…)
Infiniti has a revolutionary new engine in the works that’s both a high-compression mileage-maker and a low-compression pavement burner, giving drivers the option of being lean or mean at any given time.
The world’s first variable compression engine, dubbed the VC-T, ate up 20 years of design work before Infiniti went public with its achievement. The automaker plans to unveil the revolutionary engine next month, at the Paris Auto Show. (Read More…)
Apple loves it when people buy its toys, but doesn’t appreciate it when other companies try to muscle into its technology playpen.
Whether the tech giant likes it or not, the Volkswagen-owned Seat brand just became the first automaker to design and market an app that is compatible with Apple CarPlay. (Read More…)
Two decades’ worth of Volkswagen Group vehicles are vulnerable to a simple, cheap hack that can unlock their doors.
A research paper released this week (first reported by Wired) describes how multiple Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda models built since 1995 can be unlocked using a handmade radio that copies key fob signals. (Read More…)
The search for better fuel economy takes engineers down weird paths, and the latest plan to wring out extra mileage is no different. It involves an unlikely part of the vehicle — the suspension.
Audi just announced a new suspension system that harvests wasted energy and turns it into electricity, capable of adding juice to a vehicle’s 48-volt electrical subsystem. (Read More…)
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…)