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Camry Came to Play Edition

June 23, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends

The beige, vanilla-flavored Camry, ‘Old Reliable’ itself, has some life breathed back in to it and it’s about time. All of the reviewers seem to love it. And that is saying something since it is the reviewers who’ve been calling the old Camry “beige” for some time now.

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Innovation Without Government Intervention Edition – Cellepathy

June 16, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Automotive Technology

Cellepathy is a tech company that has developed anti-distraction software for drivers that would automatically go into “driver mode” and disable key features on the phone like texting, calls, videos and games as soon as a car begins driving.

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Safety Features for Our Carelessness? Edition

June 9, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Driving Safety

Do we need the government mandating that cars have safety features to curb our own carelessness? Or is it up to the individual automaker to install safety features and, ultimately, the responsibility of the parent to remember that they have a child in the backseat?

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Missing the Mark? Edition – American Automakers

June 2, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Diesel

There is some interesting news this week in the way of lawsuits against automakers.

GM is being sued by truck owners for allegedly cheating on diesel emissions on its 2012-2016 Duramax diesel engines.

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The Fall Guy Edition – Ford and Fields

May 26, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, EVs

In a bit of an industry shocker, Ford fired its CEO, Mark Fields, earlier this week. Fields was only on the job for less than three years after former CEO Alan Mulally retired.

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We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby Edition – Increase in Horsepower

May 19, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, Automotive Technology

Many average cars today have more horsepower than some of the most powerful cars from 1976. Case in point, the 1976 Aston Martin DBS, the most powerful car at the time, had 285 horses. The 2016 Toyota Camry—not exactly known for tire squealing power–has 268 horsepower. No, that isn’t more than the Aston Martin, but it’s pretty close.

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Thinking Outside the Car Edition – Humans

May 12, 2017

Categories: Driving Safety, Automotive Technology, Autonomous Cars

One of the main challenges for self-driving cars is the fact that the Level 5 autonomy we expect and think of when we hear “self-driving” is a long way off. Until the time when Level 5 autonomy arrives humans will still have to be part of the equation.

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To Punish and Coerce Edition – American Citizens

May 5, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry

In Michigan, it is no longer against the law to warm your car up in your driveway and I applaud I applaud State Rep. Holly Hughes for seeing the error of government’s ways.
Why was leaving a car to idle in your driveway ever against the law? To protect people from vehicle theft, of course. No, really. The Michigan Vehicle Code allows authorities to ticket citizens for leaving vehicles idling on public roadways AND private property, to protect them from auto theft.

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Exorcist Edition – Dodge Demon

April 28, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends

Automotive News needs an old priest and a young priest to exorcise the Dodge Demon from our roads. So sayeth the editorial. In other words, it is Unsafe at Any Speed, so they say.

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New York, New York Edition – Start Your Engine

April 14, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, Automotive Technology

The New York Auto Show is well underway and as the trend continues, it has been an SUV and crossover kind of show with some muscle car highlights. Of course, by muscle car highlights I mean the Dodge Challenger Demon

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Hubris? Edition – Model 3 to Production

April 7, 2017

Categories: Automotive Technology

When I read this article about Tesla not going through preproduction testing on its Model 3, I have to cringe. Tesla is an innovator. No doubt about it, but is this the best course of action?

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Distracted Walking Edition – Pedestrian Deaths

March 31, 2017

Categories: Driving Safety

According to the article pedestrian deaths are up 11 percent or about 620 people from the year previous. And what’s more, pedestrian deaths have been a growing trend in the last few years.

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The Green Divide Edition – CAFE versus EVs

March 17, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Auto Industry Trends, EVs

This week has seen some interesting division in the auto world over CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) and EVs. In the first instance, Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he wanted to review the midterm 2025 CAFE standards and seek the input of the auto industry, something the last administration promised but didn’t deliver on.

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Possible, Probable, Plausible Edition – Car Hacking

March 10, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Driving Safety, Vehicle Security

But is car hacking plausible? An overwhelming yes, in my opinion. As of right now, there are a lot of vulnerabilities in car connectedness that a skilled, perhaps government-sponsored, hacker can exploit to get into your car.

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The Captain of the Ship Edition – Takata Airbags

March 3, 2017

Categories: Driving Safety, Vehicle Security

The Takata airbag saga continues. Vehicle owners, victims and families of victims are suing five different auto manufacturers claiming they knew about the faulty airbags but installed them anyway in the name of saving a buck.

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Example? Edition – Is VW Executive a Flight Risk

February 24, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Driving Safety

I am conflicted about this. Not about him being a flight risk, but the rest of it. On the one hand, Oliver Schmidt is the exec who allegedly knew about the cheating. I think that if convicted he should be punished. On the other hand, he faces 11 felony counts for his alleged role in the emissions cheating scandal, which could land him in prison for 169 years. You read that right,169 years.

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Boardroom Brainstorming Edition – Changes to the Smart Fortwo

February 22, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, Electronic Vehicles

The bad ideas abound. “Remove the passenger seat,” Tim from accounting says. “Maybe,” Marla from design says, “we switch to an eco-friendly porcupine pleather seat.” “AM radio only,” Tom, a VP, says with certainty. Mark from engineering wants to make the Smart an even five feet wide. Robert from R&D offers making the Fortwo front-wheel drive. The chairman is not pleased. “No, you’re aren’t being revolutionary enough,” he says. “That’s it. I’ve got it. Let’s get rid of the gasoline engine.” Applause. Murmurs of approval.

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Call It What You Want Edition – VW Forced to Invest in EV Infrastructure

February 13, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Automotive Technology, Diesel, Electronic Vehicles

VW’s latest penance for the diesel cheating scandal is to “invest” $2 billion into EV infrastructure. Yes, invest is in quotations. You can call it what you like, but investment is voluntary. What VW is doing is not. Therefore, the “investment” is closer to extortion made legal because our government said so. I guess that answers my earlier questions about where the money from the settlement will go.

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Super Bowl LI Edition – Super Bowl Car Commercials

February 3, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, Entertainment

Folks, it’s that time of year again. The Super Bowl is here and that means so are the commercials. The commercials, especially, the automotive ones, are one of my favorite things to see. No matter which team wins, or even if yours didn’t make it at least the commercials are entertaining.

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Enthusiast Edition

January 27, 2017

Categories: Auto Industry Trends, Entertainment

Let’s talk a break from policy, politics, industry and recalls. Instead let’s focus on things on which we can all agree. One of the best things about car culture is the enthusiast. And in this post, I have curated some newsworthy items that will satisfy the enthusiast in all of us.

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Rules Review Edition- Tump Reviews Vehicle Emissions Rules

January 23, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry

President-elect Trump’s EPA nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said that he will review the Obama administration’s decision to solidify federal fuel efficiency rules through 2025.

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Emissions Cheating Scandal

January 13, 2017

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Automotive Technology

FCA stands accused of allegedly violating the Clean Air Act by cheating on emissions test in about 100,000 vehicles. This is really starting to get weird. A quick Google search will tell you that FCA was already accused of similar acts in Europe. Daimler has also been accused, so has Audi. Mitsubishi has too. And, of course, we know VW. But Opel, which is a GM subsidiary, also has been accused of emissions violations in Europe. This makes one wonder: Are they all in on it?

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The Lone Voice of Reason – Toytota’s Reservations on Self-driving Cars

January 6, 2017

Categories: Driving Safety, Auto Industry Trends, Automotive Technology, Autonomous Cars

In a surprise announcement, Toyota says it is not going to bet the farm on self-driving cars. Since the loudest voices are applauding, and dare I say rushing, the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles—read the U.S. government, Tesla, and Google to name a few—Toyota’s announcement is one of those moments that makes you take notice.

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Uber Showdown in San Francisco Edition

December 23, 2016

Categories: Government & Auto Industry, Driving Safety, Automotive Technology, Autonomous Cars

It looks like Uber and its self-drivers might have a showdown with San Francisco and California. California and San Francisco say companies that wish to test autonomous tech must have permits issued by the state. The permit costs $150 and the companies that have applied have received them. Uber says it doesn’t need the permit because the vehicles have drivers in them and cites Tesla’s Autopilot as an example of a non-permitted self-driving vehicle company.

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