Vehicle Technology

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 »

LaSorda's venture capital fund invests in auto cyber-security firm

11:13 am U.S. ET | March 18, 2015

Tom LaSorda, the former CEO of Chrysler and Fisker, said his venture capital fund IncWell has invested in a global automotive cyber-security supplier called TowerSec. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.... Read More »

Jump-starting car sales from the service lane

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 17, 2015

Mike Bowsher uses software at the service desk to help him jump-start the sales process at his stores. The owner of Carl Black Auto Group says once his staff got the hang of using the software tools, new- and used-vehicle sales across his four dealerships rose 700 to 800 vehicles per quarter.... Read More »

BMW's sales crown scrutinized as profits shrink, rivals catch up

March 17, 2015 15:58 CET

BMW's record car sales have meant big profits that have funded incentives and investment in new technologies. But competitors are catching up and profits are shrinking. Some industry observers are wondering if the "sales grow, profits look after themselves" formula still works.... Read More »

Self-driving cars will prove safer than humans, Musk says

2:54 pm U.S. ET | March 17, 2015

It may become illegal for humans to take the wheel once self-driving cars have proven themselves, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said. “In the distant future, I think people may outlaw driving cars because it's too dangerous,” Musk said at a conference earlier today.... Read More »

All new EU cars will need emergency call technology from 2018

March 17, 2015 17:09 CET

All new cars sold in the European Union from 2018 will have to be equipped with technology to contact emergency services in the case of an accident.... Read More »

GUEST BLOG - DARON GIFFORD

BLOG: Why suppliers need to think differently or face extinction

1:56 pm U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Auto suppliers need to have a plan that accounts for likely scenarios 10 years from now that may include Silicon Valley giants engineering cars that drive themselves. This is no small change.... Read More »

Valeo open to acquisitions in growth areas

March 16, 2015 14:08 CET

Valeo is open to acquisitions that could bolster its product offerings in high-growth areas such as fuel efficiency and autonomous driving, CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said.... Read More »

WHY CASH IS KING

Profound technological change, uncertainty will test automakers' reserves

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

The world's major automakers are setting on tens of billions of dollars in cash. Given the uncertainties they face, they're going to need it. That's one reason why GM's decision to spend $5 billion on a stock buyback drew so much scrutiny last week.... Read More »

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Audi, Mercedes execs bullish on self-driving cars

March 16, 2015 06:01 CET

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche and Audi technical development chief Ulrich Hackenberg believe autonomous driving is the next big thing. But other industry leaders wonder whether customers really want cars to take over a task that many people still enjoy doing themselves.... Read More »

Today's Delphi focuses on smart technology, software

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

Delphi Automotive's brain trust thinks it has a winning business strategy -- smart technology with a heavy dose of software -- and it's likely to stick with that plan under its new CEO.... Read More »

A123 shifts focus to rebound from bankruptcy

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

A123 CEO Jason Forcier says he is focusing on starter batteries.... Read More »

O'Neal's goal: Smaller but stronger Delphi

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 16, 2015

When Delphi Automotive took journalists for rides in its driverless Audi SQ45 this winter during the International CES, the retrofitted crossover wasn't restricted to the highway.... Read More »

Tesla plans software update for Model S to address range anxiety

6:59 pm U.S. ET | March 15, 2015

Tesla will unveil a software update for the Model S on Thursday that is designed to quell fears that drivers will run out of power, CEO Elon Musk said Sunday.... Read More »

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