Headlines for Friday, October 11, 2013

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Imagining an autonomous world -- in-car gym and showers, the end of billboards, and rolling hotels

11:23 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
As automakers, suppliers and tech companies continue to break ground with autonomous vehicle technology, an author hopes to spark a conversation about how this fully automated future will be shaped.

VIDEO: AutoNews Now: High time for hydrogen?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
Toyota, others work to usher in fuel-cell age; cheaper than hybrids?; U.S. sells more GM shares; BMW's salute to cities.

Cadillac prices ELR plug-in hybrid at $75,995

2:05 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
The 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid will go on sale in January with a sticker price of $75,995, including destination charges.

EPA: Nothing final on change in fuel blend as ethanol backer cries foul

2:22 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
The EPA on Friday sought to calm a furor over its apparent proposal to reduce ethanol use in gasoline next year, saying that no final decisions had been made about the contentious mandate.


Next-generation Mini could have up to 10 variants

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
The Mini brand is set to undergo a major change as up to 10 next-generation models adopt the front-wheel-drive UKL architecture from parent BMW.

Fisker loan heads to auction block as U.S. seeks bids

1:00 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
The Department of Energy will consider bids to purchase Fisker Automotive's government loan on Friday in what could be the start of a lengthy and expensive process to revive the dormant green-car startup.

For automakers, a threat from tech giants on road to autonomous cars

11:42 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
Most Americans are receptive to the idea of a driverless car, a new study says. But results from the KPMG survey also raise red flags for the auto industry as consumers rank Google, which has a self-driving car program, and Apple as brands they would trust most for such vehicles.

Air bag supplier Key Safety Systems up for sale, report says

12:35 pm U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
Crestview Partners is seeking a buyer for Key Safety Systems, a Michigan supplier of airbags, seat-belt systems and other car safety components that could be valued at more than $800 million, according to several people familiar with the matter.

China auto sales surge on Japanese rebound

4:49 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
China auto sales rose 21 percent in September to an eight-month high, as Japanese automakers rebounded from a consumer backlash sparked by a territorial dispute last year. The Ford Focus was the best-selling sedan last month.

Volkswagen says group sales rise 7% as China offsets Europe drop

Oct. 11, 2013 12:13 CET
VW said group vehicle sales for its brands, which include Audi and Porsche, increased 7 percent in September as strong demand from China outweighed declining deliveries in Europe.

U.S. unloads $570 million in GM shares

8:56 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
The U.S. Treasury said it sold another $570.1 million worth of GM common stock last month as it moved toward exiting its holdings in the company by the end of March 2014.

VIDEO: First Shift: Big legal win for Toyota

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 11, 2013
California jury finds fatal crash not linked to defect; Chrysler Mexico boost; for these cars, Apple, Google are brands to beat.

Toyota cuts fuel cell costs by nearly $1 million for new hydrogen car

Oct. 11, 2013 12:54 CET
Toyota reduced the cost of the fuel cell system in its next hydrogen-powered car by almost $1 million. The mid-sized sedan will launch in 2015 in Europe, the U.S. and Japan, with a price below $100,000.

Volkswagen's top execs split on unionizing U.S. plant, report says

Oct. 11, 2013 06:01 CET
VW's top executives are said to be divided over whether and how workers at the company's U.S. assembly plant should be represented by a union.

Toyota plans radar-based safety system to prevent car collisions

Oct. 11, 2013 06:01 CET
Toyota will introduce safety systems in about two years enabling cars to communicate with each other to avoid collision. The move is another step toward self-driving cars, analysts said.

Toyota not at fault in fatal crash of Camry, U.S. jury finds

Oct. 11, 2013 06:01 CET
Toyota wasn't at fault in a fatal accident in which a 66-year-old woman crashed her Camry into a tree after it sped out of control in the wrong direction on a one-way road, a U.S. jury said.


Mercedes tech boss expects B-class EV to top BMW i3, others

Oct. 11, 2013 06:15 CET
Daimler r&d chief Thomas Weber believes that the Mercedes B-class Electric Drive will outpace the BMW i3 and other competitors in the fast-growing EV segment.