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.
- Auto News Op-Ed: Coronavirus is a major wake-up call for US auto industry —Auto News
- Americans keep buying cars, but coronavirus concerns loom over industry –Reuters
- Coronavirus piles pressure on Europe’s stricken auto industry –Europe Auto News
- No automakers ‘coming out unscathed’ as US coronavirus cases grow –CNBC
- Energy and Auto Sectors at Risk as Oil Prices Drop –The Detroit Bureau
- Viewpoint: Oil in the Time of Corona –Cato.org
- Cadillac Cancels Debut of Electric Model (due to spread of COVID-19) in a Blow for GM’s Mary Barra –Bloomberg
- Fiat Chrysler flags coronavirus as a new risk to global business –Europe Auto News
- Honda to cut production at two Japan plants amid parts shortage –Europe Auto News
- Toyota says Japan plants may be affected by virus-related supply issues –Europe Auto News
- China auto sales drop 80% in February as coronavirus empties showrooms –Europe Auto News
- Coronavirus to hit German supply chains in coming weeks, minister says –Europe Auto News
Connected Car Technology also trended recently. Here are a few of the stories:
- How 5G and IoT technologies are driving the connected smart vehicle industry –Business Insider
- What European Consumers Think about Connected Car Data and Privacy –Urban Mobility Company
- The Money Keeps Flowing For Connected Cars –Media Post
- Ford warns against Wi-Fi interference in talking cars –Axios
Electric Vehicles also made a splash:
- States Take the Wheel Promoting Electric Vehicles –NPR
- Utah Proposing $50M to Create a Statewide EV Charging Network (HB259) –The Detroit Bureau
- Formula E is the future of motorsport, but it’s here to enjoy now –Radio Times
- As GM and Ford ramp up EVs for the US, Europeans retreat –Detroit News
- GM Places It’s Bet on EVs, Waits for the Market to Call –Forbes
- “Electric Vehicles Alone Are Not the Solution” – Honda’s Energy Management Leader Jorgen Pluym –Auto Futures
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:
- Goodyear concept EV tire can regrow tread –Auto News
- Your next tire change could be performed by a robot –TechCrunch
- How Smart Tire Technology Is Changing Fleet Management –Transport Topics
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.
- How 3D printing is aiding classic car revival
- Senators Call on Highway Administration to Finalize Car Seat Test Rules
- Hackers Can Clone Millions of Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia Keys
- Kia and Hyundai Debut Predictive Shifting AI
- Waymo Unveils Its 5th Generation Autonomous Driving Technology
- Automakers Need Better Driver Monitoring in High-Tech Cars, according to new research
- The Case for Black Boxes for Computerized Cars that Crash
- A Battery Breakthrough Could End Lithium-Ion’s Reign
- Only 12 Percent of Americans Feel Safe in Autonomous Cars
- Fleets Move toward Predictive Maintenance to Prevent Breakdowns, Reduce Expenses
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