Marketing buzzwords and questionable advertising practices have led many to believe that self-driving cars are a real thing that people can go out and buy today. However, despite the fact that some automakers literally call their driver assistance tech “self-driving,” there are precisely zero fully autonomous cars on sale. While it will be years before truly self-driving cars become a reality, automakers are developing more advanced systems that have much of the autonomous experience with some caveats. Mercedes is set to be the first company to offer a Level 3 system, which enables hands-free driving in most situations but requires a human’s attention at all times.
Though EV fires receive a tremendous amount of attention in the news, they are far less common proportionally than gas vehicle fires. Sure, we’ve seen a few massive recalls for EV fires in recent years, including a massive campaign involving every Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV made between 2017 and 2023, but gas vehicles are still more likely to catch fire. Hyundai and Kia are the latest manufacturers to issue a fire-related recall, this time for millions of gas vehicles with faulty hydraulic electronic control units (HECU) and antilock brake modules.
Ferrari has filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that leverages augmented reality to allow real-world racing to crossover into the virtual realm. By using wireless networks and the real vehicle’s positional data, Ferrari thinks it can replicate it on screens at home with a high degree of accuracy.
But the really slick stuff comes into play once that experience is replicated the other way round. The special interface device the automaker has filed its patent for also replicates virtual vehicles competing against it via an advanced head-up display (HUD) and some feedback features made possible by electronic controls.
The chairs of three U.S. House of Representatives committees have demanded Ford turn over documents pertaining to its partnership with Chinese battery company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) while threatening to call in CEO Jim Farley to testify before Congress.
This comes after Ford elected to pause work on its $3.5-billion Michigan battery plant using technology. While the official reason given was that the facility may not be able to operate competitively depending on how contract negotiations progressed with the United Auto Workers, there seems to be members of Congress fretting over the prospect of U.S. tax subsidies benefiting Chinese businesses.
Despite electrification taking over the national conversation, the automotive world isn’t going electric overnight. The transition to an electrified future will be a multi-step process that includes shifting away from fuel-thirsty powertrain configurations in favor of more efficient turbocharged and hybrid engines. Some automakers are taking that step already, and a new report suggests that Jeep could be next.
Thieves targeting older Hyundai and Kia models have gotten so brazen that some insurers have stopped issuing policies for the cars. Despite efforts to retrofit a solution for the cars’ missing immobilizer systems, the cars are still being stolen in crazy numbers. One mother in Columbus, Ohio, is fed up with her son’s thieving ways, begging police to lock him up for his crimes.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden went to Michigan to join the United Auto Workers auto workers on the picket line after the union expanded striking to 38 additional GM and Stellantis facilities. While Ford has made significant headway with the UAW, even stalling construction of a Michigan battery plant as talks progress, it’s likewise still subject to strikes.
Considering UAW leadership has been extremely clear that it doesn’t want politicians interfering with negotiations since day one, it’s unclear what Biden will be doing during his trip. Thus far, he’s given a few speeches and pledged his support for unionized labor. But his position on electric vehicles has left the UAW with a lukewarm attitude.
Pricing for the 2024 Toyota GR Corolla has dropped. But that probably won’t matter much due to the fact that the model will undoubtedly be subjected to horrid dealer markups. Though that issue may be improving as Toyota ramps up production and adds a new trim that’s clearly targeting how most people were already configuring the rally inspired hatchback.
Polestar’s EVs are elegantly styled and offer great tech and safety equipment, but the automaker only has one model on sale in the U.S. right now. That’s about to change, as the Polestar 3 is nearing the completion of its development phase, and the U.S. model is expected to enter production early next year.
There may be some debate as to whether the Cayenne saved Porsche, but there’s no denying its popularity. The growing number of powertrain and configuration options attest to that fact, and Porsche recently announced another. The Cayenne S E-Hybrid will land for the 2024 model year and will be available in coupe and SUV body styles.
Yes, we know – news of a crossover with ‘coupe-like’ styling isn’t likely to raise the pulse of many commenters, especially one painted approximately the same color as the pavement on which it is driven. The new GLC Coupe may be a stern German shown in a dour shade of paint, but its 671 horsepower and 752 lb-ft of torque make it anything but boring.
Toyota may have revealed the design of the next Camry sedan in an unrelated video. The supposed leak comes via a rather straightforward clip from the automaker explaining the difference between buying and leasing. It uses the Camry as its demonstration vehicle, usually represented by die-cast toys scaled to fit in the palm of the hand.
Nobody likes bureaucratic red tape or waiting on payment and this seems to have become a sticking point for retailers nervously waiting to see how the United States’ updated EV tax credit scheme plays out.
According to a report from Automotive News, dealers are getting worked up about the prospect of not receiving money swiftly enough — mimicking some of the hardships endured during the Cash-for-Clunkers period.
License plates are an ever-present part of our vehicles’ exteriors, but they aren’t always in the best shape and aren’t always visible. Some states have introduced digital license plates as a way to combat poor legibility, and now automakers are jumping on board. Ford and Reviver, a digital license plate manufacturer, have teamed up to install the technology on new vehicles at the dealer.
Toyota announced the all-new Tacoma a while ago, but we’ve yet to see details on the truck’s available configurations. That changed over the weekend, as The Drive found a leaked Canadian order guide for the pickup that shows the trims and options for Toyota’s newest ‘ute.
Hyundai is offering customers willing to buy an all-electric vehicle a Level 2 home charger for no extra cost. While the ChargePoint device is framed as being free, it does require the purchase of a new automobile through the automaker’s captive finance arm Hyundai Capital America.
That makes the $33,550 (before any federal tax credits or state incentives) Kona Electric the most affordable way to take advantage of the deal. But you’ll still have to find someone to install the unit into your home, to which the manufacturer has offered a $600 credit toward installation.
Ramifications from the UAW's strike against Detroit automakers was always going to reverberate throughout the industry and suppliers are asking for some concessions. But the reason isn’t wholly down to some of the obstacles created by the recent work stoppages and the long term implications are beginning to mount.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday that he’s delaying bans the government had previously made for gasoline-powered vehicles. The scheme was to have the United Kingdom restrict citizens from purchasing new combustion vehicles by 2030. But Sunak has questioned the previous timeline’s viability, opting to push things out to 2035.
This probably isn’t a huge surprise for anyone with at least one foot planted in reality. EV mandates have frequently been accompanied by target dates that are wholly ridiculous. Manufacturers aren’t producing these vehicles in sufficient quantities, the supportive infrastructure isn’t in place, and there's a significant portion of consumers that appear disinterested in buying non-traditional powertrains.
Hyundai’s EVs are some of the most strikingly styled vehicles around, but its N Vision 74 concept car previewed a future with even wilder designs. We’re now learning that the car may make it to production, as a recent patent application suggests the automaker might actually build and sell it.
Polestar recently announced that it would sell smartphones in China, home of its parent company, Geely. Though odd, the move wasn’t a total surprise, given the automaker’s move to electrification and the often tight integration between owners’ phones and their vehicles. We poked fun at the announcement, but Polestar forum users took things a step further with a survey on whether owners would buy the phone should it be offered here.
It’s no secret that Volvo wants to become a completely climate-neutral company, and the automaker has promised to go fully electric by the end of the decade. As part of that transition, Volvo is completely phasing out its iconic diesel powertrains by early next year.
Minivans are undefeated as family haulers, but a recent announcement from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) casts doubt on their ability to protect the precious cargo in their back seats. The crash-testing organization gave all four American minivans below-acceptable ratings in its new moderate front overlap test, which was recently updated with a stronger focus on back-seat protection and safety.
Fuel prices have been climbing this year and continue to do so. However, consumer demand can no longer be blamed as we enter into the autumn months when consumption consistently drops. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Americans were burning through a million fewer barrels of oil last week than they were the week before.
What isn’t dropping is oil prices and that seems to be making all the difference.
America’s automotive union has committed itself to expanding strikes if leadership feels meaningful progress has not been made by the end of this week. UAW President Shawn Fain has said more factories would be called up to picket if the state of contract negotiations are still deemed lacking on Friday.
While the union hasn’t indicated which (or how many) facilities would be joining the strike, messaging from the UAW has tried to convey to the public that it’s serious about having its demands met and will do whatever it takes to reach its contract goals.
With crash statistics having taken a turn for the worse in recent years, analysts have been pouring over the relevant data to determine why. Though the resulting statistics can tell a lot of different stories, including which U.S. cities tend to boast the best and worst drivers.
Having a visible license plate is a big deal in most places, but the paint and coatings on the plate can wear and become hard to see over time. Here in Maine, it’s a common sight, as the road salt and sand can quickly shave off the more visible parts of a license plate. Colorado receives similar winter weather, and lawmakers in the state want to change the type of plates allowed to be more durable and visible over time.
A revamping of this nation’s best-selling vehicle (well, the half-ton portion of those numbers, anyway) is always worth a few words. The build-and-price tool for the 2024 Ford F-150 is now live, meaning we can poke around in what Ford asserts is a streamlined ordering process in which the number of buildable combinations has been cut by 90 percent compared to last year.
Odometer rollbacks were a thing back in the day when cars had mechanical components tracking mileage instead of advanced computers. Despite the complexity involved in tampering with modern vehicles, one Ohio dealership group is accused of rolling back the mileage on used vehicles and deceiving buyers about the condition of its inventory.
Contract negotiations between Detroit automakers and the UAW resumed over the weekend with union leadership signaling that little progress had been made. Despite Stellantis having matched the 20-percent raises offered by GM and Ford over the weekend, UAW President Shawn Fain has said the overall agreements remain unsatisfactory.
As mentioned in our earlier coverage, the union is seeking a 40 percent raise across the board through 2027 — resulting in roughly $25 an hour (around $52,000 per year) for starting employees. Some of the benefits, many of which had been rolled back as concessions during the 2008 financial crisis, are also sticking points. Fain wants workers to see those benefits restored, claiming the industry can easily afford them.
On what was the 8th anniversary of Hyundai’s N efforts, the Korean brand hauled covers off its 2024 Elantra N sedan. Launched three years ago, the rip-roaring four-door has garnered plenty of attention (some of it from clueless cops) and for this model year earns some meaningful performance upgrades whilst adopting the regular Elantra’s improved styling.
General Motors is gearing up for the release of several new EVs over the next few years, starting with the Chevrolet Equinox EV this fall. Expected to land with a price tag of $30,000, the SUV could be the start of a new wave of affordable electric models, and we’re getting our first official look at the vehicle thanks to InsideEVs’ digging on China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) site.
Beyond tracking your credit score, Experian tracks trends and data in the automotive industry, including the most popular leased models. While the list is typically dominated by high-volume gas vehicles like the Ford F-150 and Nissan Rogue, the Tesla Model 3 is on a run that made it the first EV to make the top 10 most leased vehicles in the second quarter of 2023.
Pricing on the 2024 Nissan Z appears to have leaked on the requisite web forums and it’s a tad bit steeper than you might have been anticipating. Nissan has made the sport coupe a little more expensive for the coming model year. However, it’s the high-spec Nismo variant that’s really going to stretch your wallet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a stop-drive notice for plug-in versions of the Dodge Hornet and Alfa Romeo Tonale. Vehicles are alleged to pose a fire risk due to improperly installed battery connections. Stellantis and the NHTSA have warned that this could result in a fire hazard even when the vehicle is parked.
Automakers can work wonders with over-the-air software (OTA) updates, from increasing EVs’ range to adding new infotainment features and safety tech. Rivian’s recent software update improved its vehicles’ ride quality and ride height settings, showing that OTAs can deliver meaningful hardware updates without a tech ever touching the vehicle.
After weeks of speculation over whether the UAW and Big Three automakers would come to an agreement, we have our answer: They didn’t. Last night, the Union launched a strike against Ford, GM, and Chrysler/Stellantis, taking almost 13,000 workers off production lines and factory floors across the country.
Whenever the issue of vehicular privacy comes up, the discussion almost immediately pivots to individuals either defending or condemning the status quo. But this often happens without either side of the argument having a firm understanding of how much information is actually being obtained inside today’s automobiles.
While we’ve covered the topic frequently, articles have typically focused on specific issues rather than overall scope. But things are different this time, with the Mozilla Foundation recently issuing a study trying to assess just how far-reaching the automotive industry’s quest for data has become.
Listening to pundits and some media outlets, it’d be easy to believe that EVs are nowhere near as popular as their gas-powered counterparts. But, while it’s true that electric vehicles still make up a tiny portion of the overall market, their numbers are growing. The latest data from Experian shows that EV registrations rose 67 percent over 2022’s numbers to an impressive 655,986 vehicles.
Ford, Honda, and BMW have announced plans to create a new “vehicle-to-grid company” that’s aimed at standardizing vehicle charging via a singular platform. The service also seeks to return excess energy to the electrical grid, effectively converting EVs into publicly shared batteries.
The business will be known as ChargeScape and, according to the automakers' press release, seeks to “create a single platform that will seamlessly connect electric utilities, automakers and their interested EV customers to manage energy usage for a broad pool of EVs.” The scheme could be one way of addressing concerns that modern power grids couldn’t endure widespread electric vehicle usage while helping to position the involved companies in an industry that’s being heavily incentivized by the government.
The Nissan Frontier finally got the overhaul it needed in 2022 and has received generally positive reviews despite the fact that it’s not as refined or advanced as its rivals. As it stares down a 2024 model year in which all of its competitors are newer and more attractive, the Frontier is getting a new Hardbody Edition that piles on nostalgia and a few feature upgrades to some trims. Nissan also released pricing, which starts at a reasonable $29,770 before destination and taxes.
Midsize SUVs are many automakers’ bread and butter, so they work hard to keep the family haulers updated to stay competitive with the increasingly crowded field of alternatives. GMC’s midsize utility vehicle is getting an update for 2024, with increased exterior dimensions, updated tech, and a harder-core AT4 model with more off-road capability.
The Cadillac CT5 is getting an overhaul for 2025, bringing revised interior and exterior styling, new tech, and more standard safety features. The car’s powertrain remains unchanged, and there’s no word yet on a performance variant, but the updated sports sedan should still be compelling enough to be competitive in the new world of electrification.
Believe it or not, Honda’s been around in the U.S. for decades, and to Celebrate, the automaker opened the American Honda Collection Hall to show some of its most iconic models. The display will be open during regular "Cars and Coffee" events starting in October.
In Detroit, the Truck Wars never sleep. All the players enjoy nothing more than beating each other over the head with power outputs, towing capacity, and what they think is the Next Great Gadget™. For 2024, Ford is re-upping the F-150 with a midcycle refresh – and answering GM and Ram with an innovation of its own.
Pickup trucks have been all the rage for years now, and automakers have reveled in the opportunity to make as much money as possible with new models. Ford can’t make the compact Maverick fast enough to keep pace with demand and rumors have floated for years that Ram would bring its compact 700 pickup north from Mexico. Toyota, whose Tacoma has led its segment for a while now, is hearing from its dealers that it’s time to act with a competing smaller pickup. Automotive News reported that Toyota dealers are pressuring the automaker to retake the compact truck crown it established in the U.S. back in the 1970s.
Large automakers save money by sharing platforms and engineering designs across individual brands, but the practice means that problems affecting one model tend to impact related vehicles. Porsche and Audi recently issued a recall that illustrates that point, as the vehicles share most of their underlying engineering and could have batteries with insufficient sealant.
In its current guise since 2016, the ninth-gen Chevrolet Malibu is no spring chicken; the rumor is an all-new model will arrive in 2025. And after three days and some 700 miles behind the wheel of a 2023 example, your author has a few observations and a strong overall opinion on the very last domestic midsize sedan in production. Let’s hop in and journey east, through the Appalachian Plateau.
Last week, Stellantis slid the United Auto Workers (UAW) a contract proposal that would raise hourly workers' pay by 14.5 percent over the next four years. The deal is roughly on par with the 15 percent initially offered by Ford and 16 percent from General Motors. It likewise said it would provide workers $10,500 in inflation-related bonuses while GM offered $11,000 at GM and Ford said it could swing $12,000. Though Stellantis doesn’t appear to be offering any contract ratification bonuses, whereas others manufacturers said they’d be happy to throw in another $5,500.
Can manufacturers tend to enjoy shrouding their upcoming vehicles in a cloud of ranchland dust or billowing tire smoke – depending on what they’re trying to keep under wraps, of course. Pickup trucks often get the former, which is exactly what was deployed for a brief teaser video for the next F-150 which popped up on Instagram just one day before the entire thing is revealed in Detroit.
We know there are more than a few members of the B&B who look upon the era of small trucks with no small amount of fondness. Nissan Hardbody, Toyota Pickup, Mitsu Mighty Max – they all hold a place in the minds of many.
Nissan seems to be on the cusp of reintroducing something with the Hardbody name, releasing this image just the other day and promising answers next week.
Automakers and companies of all types frequently survey their customers to develop ideas for new products and get feedback on existing items. But while that information is valuable and should be considered when creating new products, some companies seem to bypass the process altogether and end up rolling out something unexpected. Apple did a great job of that with the iPhone, creating a whole world of new products that people didn’t know they needed, but BMW didn’t have the same luck when it made the move to package popular vehicle features in added-cost subscription services. Though it’s not ditching the controversial practice altogether, BMW walked back the heated seat subscription after receiving scathing feedback from customers.
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- El scotto It's said that many military regulations are written in blood. Every ship's wheel or aircraft joystick has a human hand on it at all times when a ship or aircraft are under power. Tanks, APC's and other ground vehicles probably operate under the same rules. Even with those regulations accidents still happen. There is no such thing as an unmanned autopilot, ever. Someone has to be on the stick at all times.I do not think MB understands what a sue-happy nation the USA is. The 1st leased MB in a wreck while this Type 3 "Semi-Autonomous" driving, or whatever it is called, will result in an automatic lawsuit. Expect a class action lawsuit after the 1st personal lawsuit is filed. Yes, new MB owners can afford and ever are lawyers.Mercedes Benz; "The best wrecks or nothing!" Oh and has anyone noticed that Toyota/Lexus and Honda/Acura, the gray suit with white shirt and striped tie, automobile companies have stayed away from any autonomous driving nonsense?
- Merc190 Very streamlined but not distinctive enough for a Mercedes. And besides, the streetcar of the early 20th century seems a far more efficient and effective method of people moving in essentially an autonomous manner. A motor car is meant to be driven with proper attention to what's important in every situation. To design it otherwise is idiotic and contradictory.
- Abqhudson Passenger seating in recent accords has been unacceptable with my 5’2” wife forced to look at the dash while sitting in the hole provided.
- ToolGuy Real Subarus are green and coated with dust from at least three different National Parks (Gateway Arch doesn't count).
- ToolGuy Good for them.(And their customers. $2500 first-year subscription on top of the system cost? That ain't me)