R&D

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

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

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

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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Pulling the plug: EV battery module exchange put to test

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
A team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego, plans to make a cross-country trip in an electric vehicle -- without plugging the car in once. Instead of going by the traditional plug-and-wait protocol for EVs, the engineers will swap out rechargeable, briefcase-size battery modules on the fly as they travel from San Diego to the coast of South Carolina in less than 60 hours....
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

China, UC Davis collaborate on EVs

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 20, 2014
In China and the U.S. alike, the commercialization of EVs is happening through a collaboration of automakers and government policymakers to produce and incentivize their increased adoption by consumers....
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NEW PROVING GROUNDS

Where will autonomous cars prepare for urban challenges?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 19, 2014
The advent of autonomous cars is forcing automakers to rethink the traditional proving ground and strike a balance between existing test tracks and the realities of today's bustling cities. The big hurdle for self-driving cars remains urban America, where the environment is more complex and the range of risks -- cyclists, stray dogs, children running into the street -- is greater....
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Toyota supplier celebrates Nobel Prize winners

7:34 am U.S. ET | Oct. 10, 2014
A Toyota-affiliated supplier is applauding two of its researchers as winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics....
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After 4 Fit Hybrid recalls, Honda adds another r&d gate

12:01 am U.S. ET | Oct. 6, 2014
Burned by four recalls of its redesigned Fit Hybrid in just nine months, Honda Motor Co. is overhauling its r&d process to intercept problems better....
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VW hit by labor, tech problems in push for top spot

Sept. 27, 2014 06:01 CET
VW Group's quest to be the world's top-selling automaker is being threatened by a host of problems at its massive Wolfsburg plant that include strained labor relations, spiraling costs and technical problems with production....
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