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Monthly Archives: November 2016

CYBER SECURITY FOR YOUR CAR? THINGS, THEY ARE A CHANGIN'

We have grown accustomed to driving cars with computerized engine controls plus added stuff like air bag systems that sense if someone is in the passenger seat, delayed lights shut off and back-up sensors.  But with the rapid proliferation of computerized features, and integration between them, we will soon be transported in what amounts to a computer system on wheels.  With these systems comes increasing security risks and thus the need for cyber security. Wikipedia tell us that computer security, also known as cyber security, is the protection of computer systems from the theft or damage to the hardware, software or the information on them, as well as from ... read more

U.S. AUTOMAKERS CONTINUE TO MOVE SMALL CAR PRODUCTION TO MEXICO

Ford announced in September that it would shift all its U.S. small car production to Mexico over the next two to three years.  In so doing they join Fiat Chrysler and General Motors in an effort to save money building the low-profit vehicles.  As gas prices remain low, consumers lean toward larger vans and SUVs, which will still be built here.  If, or when, gas prices start to go up, will preferences change? Ford has insisted that no jobs will be lost as workers are transferred to other divisions of the company making larger, more profitable vehicles.  That didn't stop Donald Trump from haranguing  Ford executives and vowing to change a system that encourages such activity.  Easier said than done. The average Mexican autoworker earns the equivalent of $8 to $10 per hour, compared to $29 for "top-tier" auto workers here.  Last year, Mexico passed Japan to become the number 2 exporter of cars to the U.S. In defense of Ford, it has creat ... read more

COMING SOON: HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLES

Information Trends (as reported by Parts & People Magazine) has published a report stating that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with zero emission capability, represent the future of the automobile and will be the fastest growing segment of the auto market by 2050. The report also says that by 2020, 4 years from now, the hydrogen refueling infrastructure will be in place in several regions of the world and that 20 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be sold by 2032.  Early adapters will be vehicle fleets and high-end consumers although greater market acceptance will occur as the infrastructure expands.  Projections suggest that most of the sales will occur in the United States. According to the report, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai have already rolled out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and several other major automakers are poised to enter the market.  All these fuel cell cars have ranges in excess of 300 miles and refueling time, assuming available infrastructure, is c ... read more

AND NOW SELF DRIVING HEAVY TRUCKS

According to Bloomberg.com, Uber and Anheuser-Busch InBev recently made the world's first-ever commercial delivery via self-driving truck.  Uber's autonomous 18-wheel semi, loaded with 45,000 cans of Budweiser, drove itself 120 miles on Colorado's Interstate 25, from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs - with a human onboard in the sleeper cab just in case.  Anheuser-Busch estimates it could save $50 million a year in the U.S. using autonomous trucks. Posted by Allen L Phillips

JUDGE APPROVES $14.7 BILLION VW SETTLEMENT

Reuters.com (via THE WEEK) reports that Volkswagen will start buying back 475,000 polluting diesel vehicles sold to U.S. customers starting in mid-November.  A U.S. judge has approved the German automaker's $14.7 billion deal with federal regulators and car owners this week over its diesel emissions cheating scandal, "one of the biggest corporate settlements on record". Volkswagen agreed to spend roughly $10 billion on buybacks and additional compensation for owners, plus $4.7 billion on clean air programs.  The company still faces lawsuits from at least 16 states, as well as Justice Department fines for violating clean air laws. Posted by Allen L Phillips

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