It’s not all about COVID-19: NMA Auto Tech News for March 15, 2020

By Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director

Coronavirus or COVID-19 has already started to dominate the auto tech news sector, but before we do a deep dive, here are two other stories that grabbed my attention over the past three weeks.

I was shocked when I read this story from Transport Topics: Starsky Robotics Exits Autonomous Truck Space. Starsky seemed like one of the leaders of the Autonomous Trucking movement after it had completed in June the first test on a public highway with no human driver. The company had raised $17 million in 2018 but has not been able to raise any cash since then. The AT truck space is crowded, and analysts insist that this will not be the last to fall.

I drive a small car, and I can sure attest to this first story. I parked in my grocery store parking lot recently and noticed that a new pickup was hanging out of the space. It was too long. USA Today recently reported that Bigger and bigger SUVs, pickups are outgrowing home garages, public parking spaces, and I concur. Will homeowners, private parking lots owners, and cities accommodate this new trend, or will it become a problem for everyone if vehicles do not fit into regular parking spaces? With the current War on Parking in America, I highly doubt any accommodation from cities will be made for these bigger vehicles.

This story from Hot Cars might bring you back to a different time: Why the Ford Pinto Was One of the Worst Cars of All Time. I neither drove nor was a passenger in a Pinto, but many folks owned them in the day, and they seemed to be everywhere until they weren’t. 

COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken over our personal lives, and the repercussions will reverberate for some time on the auto industry, too. Here are just a few of the stories we have been tracking in Driving News.

Connected Car Technology also trended recently. Here are a few of the stories:

Electric Vehicles also made a splash:

A driverless vehicle had an accident with injuries in Texas. Immediately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shut down nationwide these kinds of pilot programs, which include the Texas site as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and Gainesville, Florida.

The Right to Repair Movement is fighting John Deere. Farmers want to be able to fix their expensive tractors themselves, but the company owns the software copyright and insists that only qualified technicians can make changes. This story will continue, and the NMA will keep you apprised of any developments.

A couple of tire tech stories also recently caught my interest:

Here are 10 other top Auto Tech stories (out of many) that have been in Driving News recently, and that also might have some interest for any who is interested in auto tech.

Thank you for checking out the National Motorists Association’s Auto Tech Blog.  If you find an online article of interest concerning auto tech, please drop us the link via email to [email protected].  If you would like to support this blog, please become a member of the NMA today!

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