Vehicle Technology

Calif. considers a plea for plug-in hybrids

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 28, 2015

Ford, Honda, GM and Toyota fear they’ll need to offer large incentives to meet California’s mandate for zero-emission vehicles. So they are pushing the state to rewrite its formula to offer more credit for plug-in hybids such as the Chevy Volt.... Read More »

Valeo's self-driving systems learn from military drones

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 28, 2015

Valeo plans to draw on drone software and other military technologies from partner Safran to offer self-driving vehicle platforms to carmakers by the end of the decade.The French supplier said the first applications may reach automaker customers within three years.... Read More »

Cadillac CT6 to pack 34-speaker Bose sound system

3:20 pm U.S. ET | March 27, 2015

Cadillac's new flagship sedan will come with a new sound system that will leave nothing uncovered inside the cabin.... Read More »

Tesla presses Japanese battery suppliers to innovate, take risks

12:19 pm U.S. ET | March 27, 2015

A Tesla executive courted partners in Japan for its so-called gigafactory, praising local companies for top-notch quality and technology while cautioning against slow decision-making and risk aversion.... Read More »

Valeo's self-driving systems learn from military drones

March 27, 2015 17:55 CET

Valeo plans to draw on drone software and other military technologies from partner Safran to offer self-driving vehicle platforms to carmakers by the end of the decade.The French supplier said the first applications may reach automaker customers within three years.... Read More »

Automakers exceed U.S. fuel-economy rules for 2nd straight year, EPA says

11:04 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2015

Automakers exceeded their targets for improving fuel economy and tailpipe emissions by "a wide margin" for the second year in a row, the EPA said. Vehicles sold in the U.S. are on average the most fuel efficient they've ever been, averaging 24.1 mpg in 2013, a 0.5 mpg increase from the previous year.... Read More »

Toyota targets big savings in factory, product-development spending

12:30 am U.S. ET | March 26, 2015

Toyota outlined bold savings targets in factory investment and vehicle development, along with gains in fuel efficiency, through an aggressive restructuring being launched this year. The overhaul, part of a switch to new modularized product platforms, has been years in the making and is designed to fuel the company's expansion.... Read More »

Average U.S. gasoline usage lowest in 3 decades, study says

2:09 pm U.S. ET | March 25, 2015

With improvements in vehicle fuel economy, U.S. drivers’ average gasoline consumption is the lowest it’s been in at least 30 years, according to research by the University of Michigan released today.... Read More »

New generation of cheaper batteries adds power to hybrids, cut fuel use

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 25, 2015

A new generation of hybrid cars that combine electric and gas power in new ways are emerging as a low-cost alternative for automakers and consumers as batteries get cheaper and more efficient. The new microhybrid systems are coming on line just as automakers face a U.S. goal of 54.5 miles per gallon on average by 2025.... Read More »

Automakers race to double the driving range of affordable electric cars

March 25, 2015 12:06 CET

Automakers are readying a new generation of mass-market electric cars with more than double the driving range of today's Nissan Leaf, betting that breakthroughs by battery suppliers will increase demand and help them compete better with Tesla.... Read More »

Store tweaks sales, F&I strategy for Gen Y

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 25, 2015

Dealership managers Austin Salinas and Chris Gottselig know how to sell to Gen Y. That's because they fall into that category themselves. The two developed a speedier, more transparent vehicle sales and finance process at Friendly Ford of Crosby, near Houston, that's boosting the store's profits and reputation.... Read More »

RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: The latest tech is great -- until you have to replace it

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2015

There is a downside to rapidly advancing automotive technology: Break something, and you'll pay an eye-popping amount to get it fixed.... Read More »

Chevrolet's Teen Driver safety feature to debut on redesigned Malibu

11:15 am U.S. ET | March 24, 2015

Chevrolet says Teen Driver is the first feature in the industry to offer what is essentially a report card that allows parents to view on a display how their teens drive. Teen Driver automatically mutes the radio until the front seat belts are fastened. Parents can set the radio's maximum volume to a lower level and select a maximum speed between 40 and 75 mph, which activates a visual warning and audible chime if exceeded.... Read More »

WHAT A DRAG

Designers use new tricks, and the wind tunnel

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Automakers facing stiffer global fuel economy and emissions standards are increasing efforts to improve fuel efficiency. After powertrain improvements and weight reductions, slippery aerodynamics is the hottest area of research to boost efficiency.... Read More »

Remote updates speed Tesla's Autopilot push

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Tesla doesn't have the r&d budget of rivals such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the Palo Alto, Calif., startup sees its ability to send over-the-air software updates as a crucial edge in the race to self-driving cars because it can quickly roll out technology to vehicles that have already been sold.... Read More »

Technology makes vehicles slipperier

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Drag coefficient measures the resistance of an object as it moves through air or fluid. The lower the number, the slipperier the vehicle, and the less fuel it burns. The drag coefficient for new vehicles has been dropping fast as designers and aerodynamicists use powerful new computer simulation software.... Read More »

An Audi obstacle, and a lesson in creating self-driving cars

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

The tale of an Audi prototype and a piece of desert tumbleweed illustrates one of the most daunting challenges in designing self-driving cars: teaching them to deal with the unexpected. It’s all part of the field of “deep learning,” which aims to train computers to process data in a way that mimics the human brain.... Read More »

Cars hear you, but when will they get you?

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Almost all vehicles sold in America today are programmed to respond to a driver's voice commands. But still on the frontiers of automotive research are vehicles that can determine what a driver really wants -- and respond intelligently. Getting to that point is a profound engineering challenge that is leading researchers beyond voice recognition and into the realm of artificial intelligence.... Read More »

IT'S ABOUT TIME

Automakers see Apple Watch as chance to widen acceptance of connected-car features

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 23, 2015

Smartwatches are in their early days, but automakers see the rollout of the Apple Watch as a seminal moment. If any company has the clout to make smartwatches desirable to the masses, clearing the way for automakers to pitch new connected-car features, they say, it is the company that invented the iPod and iPhone.... Read More »

Why a Japanese supplier is upping its game

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

Aisin Seiki, the world's fifth biggest auto supplier, is doubling the size of its global design division as it expands into new products and targets new customers.... Read More »

In era of streaming music, radio rocks on

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 22, 2015

Radio has proved incredibly resilient, and the auto industry has taken notice, investing in digital radio even as CD players disappear from the dash. This year in the U.S., about half of new cars sold will be outfitted with a service called HD Radio, which offers a crisper signal and thousands of extra stations.... Read More »

BMW wants 1,000 Geniuses in coming years

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 21, 2015

To date, BMW stores have a total of 500 product Geniuses -- customer advisers who explain features and do vehicle deliveries but don't sell cars. Peter Miles, vice president of sales channel development and customer relations, expects that number to grow to 750 by the end of the year and to 1,000 in coming years.... Read More »

Cadillac will fit CT6 with a new twin-turbo V6

10:48 am U.S. ET | March 20, 2015

Cadillac has promised that its forthcoming CT6 will form the tip of its technological spear, packing features such as an autonomous-drive system and a rearview mirror that streams video from a rear camera.... Read More »

Honda launches $1 million campaign to draw Ohio students to manufacturing

12:15 pm U.S. ET | March 20, 2015

Honda is joining a push in Ohio to interest middle and high school students in manufacturing careers, a move stemming from increasing concerns about possible future shortages of qualified workers.... Read More »

Porsche seeks better 'connected car' technology, exec says

March 19, 2015 15:47 CET

Porsche is working to develop a more "connected car" that better integrates mobile technology into vehicles without distracting drivers.... Read More »

 
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