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News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Communication Is Key, According to Toyota's Talking Cars

Feeling chatty? Your car might soon be conversing too. Toyota recently announced plans to roll out vehicles that can communicate by short-range wireless technology in the US in 2021. The move comes as the US Department of Transportation considers adopting a proposal that would require all future vehicles to come standard with this technology. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are expected to significantly reduce the amount of accidents on the road each year.

VR Hits the Roadshow

The now-quaint arcade car driving simulator has reemerged with fully immersive VR technology. In the competitive expo landscape, VR stands out for its ability to create hard-to-replicate experiences. From seat vibrations to wind in your face, every detail is accounted for to blur the line between the vision and reality. Look for the New York International Auto Show to be one for the books.  

Arent Fox Automotive Group chair Aaron Jacoby speaks at National Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention

On Friday, March 23, Automotive Group chair Aaron Jacoby spoke on the floor of the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA) annual convention, the industry’s largest annual convention. His presentation, titled “Disruptive Influences in the Car Industry,” discussed how these influences such as online sales, direct to consumer sales, and autonomous vehicles affect automotive manufacturing, distribution and retail delivery of vehicles.

Your Next-Gen Boombox May Be Your Car

Speaking of boomboxes, anyone still have cassette tapes lying around? A new sound system technology invites drivers to get in and feel the music as the car itself becomes the speaker. Continental, a German auto-components supplier, has developed what they’re calling Ac2ated Sound- a system that leverages parts of the car’s interior as speaker components. Transducers implanted in the car’s interior help turn the rear window into a subwoofer; the floor, windshield, dashboard, and seat frames into the midrange, and posts between the windshield and doors become the tweeters.

FedEx Hurries Up to Wait for Tesla Trucks

You get a Tesla Semi! You get a Tesla Semi! Everybody gets a Tesla Semi! FedEx recently joined the likes of UPS, Walmart, PepsiCo, and Anheuser-Busch in reserving a fleet of Tesla Semi electric trucks for its freight division. The shipping company, which reserved 20 of the still-to-be-produced vehicles, cited their sustainability initiatives as part of the reasoning behind the investment. Better late than never to the waiting game.

Waymo Doubles Down on Driverless Commitment with 20,000 Jaguars

From mini-vans to Jaguars? We see you, Waymo. Alphabet’s autonomous technology company is charging ahead with its driverless ride-hailing program, investing in up to 20,000 luxury, all-electric Jaguar compact SUVs despite recent competitor setbacks. The Jaguar I-Paces, which are expected to compete against Tesla’s previously uncontested all-electric luxury cars, will join Waymo’s commercial fleet in 2020. Waymo’s purchase would help it handle 1 million rides per day in addition to the capacity they already have through “thousands” of hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

Uber Heats Up Autonomous Trucking Market from Arizona Deserts

“Travel my way, take the highway” – lyrics Uber probably didn’t quote about their work in Arizona. For several months, Uber’s self-driving trucks have been carrying cargo on Arizona highways, according to a recent company statement. While the trucks still have a licensed truck driver available at the wheel for now, Uber intends to eventually integrate fully autonomous trucks into their Uber Freight service, which matches truckers and trucking companies with cargo.

Waymo Gives Atlanta a Freight

There’s no need to be alarmed, but that semi only being supervised, not driven, by a human. Waymo has rolled out self-driving trucks on the roads around Atlanta for testing as they carry cargo to Google data centers. Analysts see the truck market as a strong strategic move for Waymo given price and data sensitivities in the autonomous passenger car space as well as openings in the trucking market.

Humans Not Required: California Clears Fully Self-Driving Cars

Ah, California driving – coastal highways, slow traffic, and human-less cars. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles has announced that autonomous cars without a human driver in the vehicle can be tested on public roads as soon as April 2. The regulations only apply to cars, and companies involved will need to meet numerous criteria for safety, car communications, and testing notifications before sending their vehicles on the roads solo.

Monetizing the Drive: Buying a Car and Selling the Data

Truly nothing is ad-free anymore. The surge in software and sensors in new vehicles and the ever-growing role of AI technology means new profits are within reach for automakers through data use. If consumers opt in for data-driven services – such as maps for finding charging stations, discounts on car insurance, coupons at gas stations – they’ll also opt-in to sharing their valuable driving data with third parties. Big Brother, meet Big Auto.