Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
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Waymo's next challenge is making driverless passengers feel safe

For years the Google coders and roboticists working on driverless cars have focused on making sure their creations could drive safely around California roads. Now, comes the next big test: getting regular civilians comfortable passing the wheel to a machine. This month, Waymo, the mobility division created by Google parent Alphabet Inc., is starting a free, experimental service that will ferry people around Phoenix, Ariz.

[Automotive News]

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BlackBerry working with automakers on anti-hack tool: analyst

BlackBerry Ltd is working with at least two automakers to develop a security service that would remotely scan vehicles for computer viruses and tell drivers to pull over if they were in critical danger, according to a financial analyst. The service, which would also be able to install security patches to an idle car, is being tested by luxury automakers Aston Martin and Range Rover, Macquarie analyst Gus Papageorgiou said in a note to clients. Auto security is among several areas that BlackBerry is betting will boost its revenue after the Canadian company lost its dominance of the smartphone market to Apple Inc and others over the past decade.

[Reuters]

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Delphi joins self-driving alliance with BMW, Intel

German automaker BMW AG, U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp and parts maker Delphi Automotive PLC said they would collaborate on development of a highly-automated self-driving platform for BMW, with Delphi handling integration of components and software. BMW said the new platform is intended to be sold to other vehicle manufacturers, which in turn may choose their own systems integrators to customize the platform to suit their vehicles. The cost, complexity and accelerated pace of development of self-driving vehicles continue to spark sweeping alliances between automobile manufacturers and suppliers.  

[Reuters]

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U.S. judge grants partial injunction against Uber in Waymo car case

A U.S. judge granted a partial injunction against Uber Technologies Inc in a high-profile trade secrets case with Alphabet's Waymo self-driving car unit, ordering Uber to promptly return any Waymo files downloaded by a former Waymo engineer. The ruling from U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, said Uber "likely knew" or should have known that the engineer, who now works at Uber, took Waymo materials while Uber was contemplating buying the engineer's company. However, the judge also said few of Waymo's alleged trade secrets have been traced to Uber's self-driving car technology, and that Waymo's patent claims against Uber have proved "meritless." 

[Reuters]

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Lyft partners with Waymo to launch self-driving car pilots

U.S. ride services company Lyft Inc and Alphabet Inc's self-driving car unit Waymo have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber Technologies Inc.  Lyft, the No. 2 U.S. ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving car service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places". Neither offered many details of the agreement, which was reported earlier by the New York Times.

[Reuters]

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Partner Aaron Jacoby Quoted in Automotive News on "Maryland limits automakers' sales-effectiveness mandates"

Automotive practice group chair Aaron Jacoby recently spoke with Automotive News about House Bill 1120, which was signed into law on May 5. This Maryland bill fortifies dealers against uniform sales standards, setting rules on how automakers can measure retailer performance in the state.

Aaron, who was involved in advising Maryland state representatives in the drafting of the legislation, said “There's a long laundry list of components that dealers perform to. There's customer satisfaction. There's number of sales, hitting certain performance thresholds.” He went on to say, “Dealers are expected to all be above average -- which is a ridiculous standard, because it's not possible mathematically.”

[Automotive News]
 

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Nvidia says Toyota will use its AI technology for self-driving cars

Nvidia Corp announced a partnership with Toyota Motor Corp, saying the Japanese car maker would use Nvidia's artificial intelligence technology to develop self-driving vehicle systems planned for the next few years. Toyota will use Nvidia's Drive PX artificial intelligence platform for its autonomous vehicles planned for market introduction, Nvidia Chief Executive Jensen Huang said in his opening keynote at the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose. Nvidia came to prominence in the gaming industry for designing graphics processing chips, but in recent years has been a key player in the automotive sector for providing the so-called "brain" of the autonomous vehicle.  

[Reuters]

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Prosecutor probes Porsche SE executives over market manipulation allegations

Prosecutors in the German city of Stuttgart are looking into whether several executives at the holding company that controls Volkswagen (VW) manipulated markets by delaying the disclosure of VW's emissions scandal in 2015. The inquiry is similar to one launched by prosecutors last year in Braunschweig, near VW's Wolfsburg headquarters, into current and former VW board members over whether they delayed the release of information about the cheating of diesel emissions tests.  The Stuttgart prosecutor's office declined to give details about its probe, but said it was in response to a complaint from markets regulator BaFin about current and former Porsche Automobil Holding SE board members Matthias Mueller, Hans Dieter Poetsch, Martin Winterkorn and Philipp von Hagen.

[Reuters]

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New York to allow self-driving vehicle testing: governor

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state will allow testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, potentially leaving perplexed New Yorkers wondering who to flip off when they jaywalk in front of a car without a driver. "We are taking a careful yet balanced approach to incorporating autonomous vehicles on our roads to reduce dangerous driving habits, decrease the number of accidents and save lives on New York roadways," Cuomo said in a statement. New York is accepting applications from companies interested in testing the vehicles through a year-long pilot program. 

[Reuters]

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VW investors demand faster progress in dieselgate reforms

Volkswagen needs to do more to regain the confidence of investors in the wake of its emissions scandal, despite a swift recovery in earnings, several shareholders told the German carmaker at its annual meeting. The world's largest automaker reported better-than-expected first-quarter profits and has announced a raft of plans to recover from the biggest business crisis in its history, including cost cuts and investment in cleaner cars. But some shareholders said its emissions test cheating on diesel engines would continue to haunt it for years if it did not publish the results of an investigation into the scandal, address outstanding claims and improve corporate governance.

[Reuters]

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