R&D

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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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GM steps up supplier courtship

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 14, 2015

GM purchasing chief Steve Kiefer’s courtship of suppliers at an awards ceremony underscores how heavily General Motors and its rivals are leaning on their supply base for innovation....
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Toyota to step up hiring at home in the next fiscal year

10:45 am U.S. ET | March 12, 2015

Profit-rich Toyota is plowing more of its cash into new hires in the coming year, especially in the engineering and technical fields crucial to its expansion. Toyota aims to add 2,275 employees in Japan in the fiscal year beginning April 1, a 30 percent increase over the 1,744 hires added a year earlier....
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Robot orders surge as vehicle output climbs

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

In a bid to keep pace with rising production, automakers and suppliers are ordering record numbers of robots. Last year, companies ordered 17,678 automotive robots in North America, up 45 percent from 2013, said the Robotic Industries Association. Manufacturers are hustling to boost output now that annual North American light-vehicle production is topping 17 million units....
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S.C. testing center plans expansion

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

The International Transportation Innovation Center in Greenville, S.C., is expanding in hopes of attracting work on advanced technology such as wireless charging, automatic parking and zero-emission vehicles....
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Apple hiring patterns, patents signal automotive r&d plans

3:55 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 20, 2015

A year and a half ago, Apple had applied for just eight patents related to auto batteries. Recently, it has hired a bevy of engineers, just one of whom had already filed for 17 in his former career, according to a Thomson Reuters analysis....
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NEWS ANALYSIS

Apple's electric car dreams may bring auto industry nightmares

6:53 am U.S. ET | Feb. 17, 2015

Before Apple decides to move ahead with its Project Titan project and build an electric car, the company may want to look at the menu of challenges that come with being in the automobile business these days....
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Hyundai to enter U.S. commercial vehicle market as part of $1.8 billion offensive

7:38 am U.S. ET | Feb. 16, 2015

Hyundai plans to spend around $1.8 billion by 2020 on a major offensive in commercial vehicles, including entering the race in the United States, to catch up with rivals in a rapidly growing global market....
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Honda CEO Ito resists moves for his ouster, report says

6:37 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 11, 2015

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, under fire for how he is dismantling the traditional way the Japanese car maker sources parts and technologies, has resisted moves for his ouster and will fight on for another two-year term, four people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters....
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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Does FCA have a new small turbodiesel coming to the states? Why, it's a mystery

1:19 pm U.S. ET | Feb. 4, 2015

Break out the Scooby Snacks, because I've got a mystery that might even stump Velma: Is Fiat Chrysler secretly developing a new 16-valve, 2.2-liter turbodiesel engine for its passenger cars? Jinkies....
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DOE announces $55 million in funding for green car research

4:12 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 22, 2015

More than $55 million in new funding from the Department of Energy will go toward projects that aim to reduce and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel and conventional vehicles....
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Ford to open r&d lab in Tesla's backyard

4:16 pm U.S. ET | Jan. 21, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields, seeking to burnish his company's high-tech credentials, will announce Thursday the opening of a Silicon Valley r&d center that is believed to be one of the auto industry's largest....
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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE E-MAGAZINE

Mercedes increases emphasis on China in bid to pass BMW, Audi

Jan. 13, 2015 06:01 CET

Mercedes could become the first luxury carmaker to launch new models in China before rolling them out in Europe and the U.S. after it strengthened its local r&d operations in a bid to narrow the gap with Audi and BMW in the market....
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JCI battery powers vehicle stop-start systems

12:01 am U.S. ET | Jan. 12, 2015

Johnson Controls Inc. has developed a small lithium ion battery that boosts the efficiency of vehicle stop-start systems. The battery is about the size of a tissue box and weighs around 9 pounds....
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Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest $73 billion by 2018

6:38 am U.S. ET | Jan. 7, 2015

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest automaker, said it would spend $73 billion over four years on expanding capacity, building a new headquarters and developing new vehicles....
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Toyota to invest $126M to expand powertrain operations, consolidate vehicle development in Mich.

11:10 am U.S. ET | Dec. 18, 2014

Toyota said today that it will invest $126 million to expand its powertrain operations in Ann Arbor, Mich., and consolidate vehicle development operations at a new facility in nearby York Township, Mich....
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Q&A

Eaton on the prowl for software engineers

12:01 am U.S. ET | Dec. 15, 2014

Eaton Corp. is well known for transmissions, clutches, differentials and other robust industrial products. So it's surprising that software development is a significant bottleneck for the supplier. Staci Kroon, 41, president of Eaton's vehicle group in North America, explains the problem....
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LUCA CIFERRI

BLOG: Why Audi over-engineered its fuel cell

12:01 am U.S. ET | Nov. 28, 2014

Audi r&d boss Ulrich Hackenberg provided a concise answer when asked why the carmaker's fuel cell also needs plug-in hybrid technology....
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Chinese supplier to hire 176, open plant near Detroit

2:52 pm U.S. ET | Nov. 19, 2014

Chinese automotive electronics component supplier Shanghai SIIC Transportation Electric is establishing its first North American operation near Detroit to supply General Motors....
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PSA may take low-cost step with Moroccan outsourcing

Nov. 6, 2014 15:36 CET

PSA will open an engineering center in Morocco and may build cars in the country as part of CEO Carlos Tavares' plan to reduce costs and return the automaker to profit, sources said....
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Daimler opens China r&d center to help Mercedes close gap with Audi, BMW

Nov. 3, 2014 14:55 CET

Daimler has opened an r&d center in Beijing tasked with further tuning its Mercedes brand to wealthy Chinese tastes and closing the sales gap with Audi and BMW....
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GABE NELSON

BLOG: Why Honda is venturing into Oculus' virtual world

11:56 am U.S. ET | Oct. 23, 2014

From the back seat of an Acura MDX, I peered out at a stone house on a cliff, fields of wind-swept grass and blue butterflies close enough to touch. All of it was a mirage. In reality, I was in the parking lot of the Honda Silicon Valley Lab in Mountain View, Calif....
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