Apple scientists share rare peek at autonomous vehicle research

Apple's internal research on how self-driving cars can better spot cyclists and pedestrians with fewer sensors has been posted online, in what appears to be the company's first publicly disclosed paper on autonomous vehicles.


Tesla invites Model 3 reservation holders to design their cars

Tesla started summoning non-employee Model 3 reservation holders to configure their cars, a sign of progress for the sedan plagued by production problems.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Time to organize around empowering women

Dealership-sponsored female leadership groups could give women the empowerment and camaraderie they need to stay in auto retail and reap its benefits.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Are some privacy concerns overblown?

Consumers are used to the sharing culture. A dealer I talked with recently said his stores handle the entire F&I process on the showroom floor - with little negative feedback.

BLOG: James B. Treece
Nontraditional no more

Ford Credit's decision to use nontraditional approaches in assessing consumers means the industry needs to reconsider what it now considers traditional.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Car supermarkets are a step backward

The future of vehicle retail and F&I could take a variety of forms, but another type of brick-and-mortar store would be an unexpected route. Advancements toward an online transaction would serve the industry better.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Wells Fargo's GAP refund problem offers a lesson

Wells Fargo found itself in hot water again last week for possibly neglecting to refund consumers' guaranteed asset protection payments after they paid off their auto loans. But there are two sides to every story, and in this case, the law isn't as clear as it seems.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Used sales bring F&I opportunity

Most of the six public new-car dealership groups focused on the growing used-vehicle market in their second-quarter earnings calls. That could be a plus for their F&I results.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Lease falloff goes beyond customer apathy

Leasing fell in the first half of the year, the first such drop since January-June 2012, according to Edmunds. But lack of consumer interest was only part of the reason.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
The best F&I managers have a knack for people

F&I is a people person job. It may sometimes hide under the guise of being a numbers profession, but most effective F&I managers succeed because they are good with people.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Auto financing via smartphone is smart move

Consumers have long been able to check their credit and get preapproved for financing through a dealership or lender website, but getting approved on-the-go through mobile devices may become many consumers' first choice when considering an auto loan.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
A flat tire taught me a warranty lesson

One of the several lessons I learned from a flat-tire experience last week was be more aware of my warranty. But an occasional reminder from the dealership or automaker that summarizes common occurrences the warranty covers would go a long way, giving customers more peace of mind and improving their relationships.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Are consumers' vehicle aspirations too high?

Consumers may be trying to bite off more than they can chew. Swapalease.com approved fewer than half of lease applicants in May because consumers applied for leases on out-of-budget, high-end vehicles.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
A case for recapping F&I

At the end of the car-buying process, many customers want to rush through F&I, get in their new car and drive away. It may pay off to visit F&I again later.

BLOG: Hannah Lutz
Women and F&I -- let's talk

One finance director says most of the successful F&I managers she knows are women. Yet the assumption lingers that the F&I world is unwelcoming to women and mothers.

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