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autonomous cars

Tracy Samilton

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced new voluntary guidance for developers of self-driving cars, along with guidance for state legislatures in responding to the rapidly developing technology.

Chao made the announcement at Mcity, Ann Arbor's driverless car test track.  She says the federal government needs to stay out of the way of developers of a technology that has the potential to save thousands of lives a year.

Rick Snyder and Terry Gou shaking hands
Michigan Governor's Office

A Chinese newspaper is reporting that Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant, plans to build a multi-billion dollar facility in Michigan.

The South China Morning Post reports the company's founder, Terry Gou, says he plans to build an autonomous vehicles research and development center in Michigan.

Neither Foxconn nor Gov. Rick Snyder, who met with Gou yesterday, have confirmed the report.   Snyder is on a trade mission in China.

One of two fully autonomous Navya Arma vehicles that will shuttle students beginning this fall. They will be constructed in NAVYA's new Saline plant.
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

NAVYA, a French tech company, will open an autonomous vehicle assembly facility in Saline this fall. This announcement comes on the heels of NAVYA's collaboration with the University of Michigan to bring driverless buses to campus this school year.

NAVYA has a close relationship with M-City, the University's driverless vehicle testing ground. Henri Caron, NAVYA's VP of Sales, says this is the reason southeast Michigan was chosen as the location for the plant.

A blue Navya Arma with University of Michigan decals
Tyler Scott

This fall, two completely driverless shuttles will start running on the University of Michigan’s campus.

Researchers will be focusing on safety. But it’s also a chance to see how people interact with driverless vehicles.

cars on the highway
KEN LUND / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

We keep hearing about the technological advances that are making the dream of self-driving cars become a reality.

It's not just about developing the technology to do it. It's also about making sure that autonomous vehicles are safe. And that safety will come from the standards that are set for connected and automated vehicles.

A blue Navya Arma with University of Michigan decals
Tyler Scott

The University of Michigan plans to use two fully autonomous vehicles to shuttle students around campus this fall. University officials announced the pilot program at the MCity test facility for autonomous and connected cars.

Two 15-passenger autonomous vehicles will travel along a two-mile loop on Michigan’s North Campus during normal business hours beginning this fall. The vehicles were manufactured by the French autonomous car start-up Navya.  

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg
Anthony Quintano / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Facebook’s 32-year-old billionaire founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has been touring the country. He made stops in Michigan recently. He toured Ford’s Rouge plant and even tried his hand at putting parts on an F-150 pickup truck. Turns out time on the assembly line is hard work. He also privately met with Muslim students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

General Motors headquarters in Detroit.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio file photo

Recent reports show that auto sales have slipped more than expected. That’s the fourth month in a row of declining sales.

And Wall Street responded. Share prices of the big three took a hit.

Ford Motor Co. headquarters
Ford Motor Company

Forget the “Lost Decade.”

Profitable automakers racing for the new-new thing of mobility are starting to create the "Next Decade." On one track are the likes of General Motors and Ford Motor, each booking record profits on the strength of trucks and SUVs. On the other track is a whole new world with the power to change the perception – and reality – of Michigan as we know it.

Steve Shotwell / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Daniel Howes' column today in the Detroit News looks at some decisions by Ford Motor Company, and what they say about the future of the auto industry and Michigan.

Howes wrote about Ford’s investments in three plants, including an engine plant, and one retooling to make the returning Ford Ranger and Bronco. But he says it's what’s happening with that third investment that says a lot about what Ford is doing. 

Dave Pinter / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

For the last century, almost since the day Henry Ford’s first assembly line started rolling in 1913, Detroit has been known as the Motor City. It was a regional point of pride that cars made in Michigan could be found zipping down roadways in every U.S. state and across the globe.

That image has been battered in recent decades as factories have been shuttered and work forces trimmed.

But today, a new vision is emerging, one in which Detroit specializes not only in building cars, but in all things transportation. That includes new technologies like autonomous vehicles, but it also means connecting those technologies to services like public transportation and bike shares.

Traffic lights
Thomas Hawk / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan is competing with other states to become a leader in the nation when it comes to autonomous cars. Google is opening a development center in Novi. The University of Michigan has M-City, the Mobility Transformation Center.

And the governor recently signed laws to make Michigan more friendly to the development of driverless cars.

Kirk Steudle is the Director of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). He said that these recent developments have established the state as a leader in the transition to autonomous vehicles.

Jeremy Korzeniewski / Autoblog.com

The Consumer Electronics Show, an annual display of the world's most fantastical gadgets, starts tomorrow in Las Vegas.

Traditionally, the show has been devoted to gizmos that belong in your house or your hand: video game systems, televisions, home appliances, cell phones, and so on. Michigan’s largest manufacturing and engineering firms – the auto-makers and their suppliers – haven’t had much to contribute.

But with the growing role of technology in the automotive industry, particularly as it relates to mobility, Michigan companies are taking a bigger role at the CES.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

The hottest topic in the auto industry in 2016?  It's no contest, says Michelle Krebs of Autotrader. 

Self-driving or autonomous cars captured most of the biggest headlines, from a deadly accident involving a semi-autonomous Tesla car, to General Motors' announcement last week that it would test self-driving Chevy Bolts on metro Detroit roads in 2017.

Krebs says some of the buzz is just that - buzz.  But she has been impressed by the pace of developments, with Google, Uber, GM, and others all in some stage of testing autonomous vehicles on public roadways.

General Motors

General Motors' CEO Mary Barra announced Thursday that the automaker will be testing autonomous vehicles on the streets of Detroit soon.

Self-driving Chevy Bolts are already being tested in California and Arizona.  The Bolt is GM's new long-range electric car.

Michigan's bad weather makes it ideal for the next place to test how safe and reliable self-driving cars can be, said Barra – on a day when the high temperature reached 16 degrees.

"This will be our main location for cold weather, as well as winter driving conditions," she said.

Governor Rick Snyder signing the bill that will allow for autonomous vehicles to be driven on public roads.
Ryan Burklow / Executive Office of Gov. Rick Snyder

Self-driving cars are officially hitting roads in the near future.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a new law that allows autonomous vehicles to begin testing on public roads.

According to state officials, Michigan becomes the first state to make detailed regulations for autonomous car research and development by signing this law.

This law defines how self-driving cars can be used on public roads, including testing the vehicles, ride-sharing services and eventually commercial use by the public.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Ford could stand to refresh its model lineup, and should invest more in connected vehicles.
Ford Motor Company

 

In the race to develop self-driving technology, Michigan and Silicon Valley are not the only games in town.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes is just back from Pittsburgh, where he got to take a look at what they’re working on down in Steel City.

Self-driving vehicle from Ford
Ford Motor Company

More cars without human drivers could soon be on the road, pending the governor's signature.

Self-driving cars are in Michigan's future now that the state house of representatives has approved autonomous vehicle legislation.

Brandt Iden is on the House Communications and Technology Committee.

He says the safety of these vehicles provides opportunity for auto makers.

"As more companies realize the safety of these vehicles and having them on the road," Iden says, "they're obviously going to up production."

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Ford could stand to refresh its model lineup, and should invest more in connected vehicles.
Ford Motor Company

The Next Idea

Start talking about Willow Run and chances are pretty good that images of Rosie The Riveters building B-24 bombers in World War II come to mind.

But there are big plans being cooked up to transform the old factory grounds near Ypsilanti into a highly advanced proving ground for autonomous and connected vehicles.

Pete Bigelow spells it all out in his story for Car and Driver.

flickr user Ken Lund / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Driverless cars are on the horizon. That much is clear.

We’ve heard from businesses, engineers and politicians about how autonomous vehicles could change day-to-day life for all of us.

How might driverless cars affect the lives of people with disabilities?

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is getting millions of dollars from the federal government to help reclaim former auto plant sites.

Buick City and Chevy in the Hole were once major auto production centers in Flint. Now, the two empty industrial sites are slowly being reclaimed.

The $2.5 million grant will help with building a new automotive research center in Flint. Kettering University is developing part of the old Chevy in the Hole site for research into new mobility technology.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Ford could stand to refresh its model lineup, and should invest more in connected vehicles.
Ford Motor Company

Picture the starting line at a foot race. In one lane, you've got the auto companies and the supply side. In the other lane, Silicon Valley heavyweights and enterprising start-ups. At the finish line: who gets the big momentum and the money.

The future of the mobility business is ride-sharing and self-driving vehicles which could be a multi-trillion-dollar worldwide industry. So there is a lot on the line. 

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says Ford could stand to refresh its model lineup, and should invest more in connected vehicles.
Ford Motor Company

Last week the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx made the rounds through the news outlets, excitedly talking about new guidelines for autonomous cars.

But Foxx admitted there's a lot not covered in the guidelines because there's a lot the auto industry and the government have yet to figure out.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton joined us today to talk about the secretary’s comments, and the ongoing push toward autonomous vehicles.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Michigan's ban on straight-ticket voting keeps moving up the judicial ladder.

In the latest edition of The Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou look at the state's latest move to reinstate the ban and whether voters will have the option in November.

Ford Motor Company

This is a very busy weekend on Michigan highways.  

But in the future, many of the vehicles on the road won’t have a person behind the wheel.

The state senate is expected act quickly on a package of bills to loosen rules governing autonomous vehicles.

Kirk Steudle is the head of the Michigan Department of Transportation.  

He believes autonomous cars will eventually reduce fatalities on Michigan roads.

Steudle wants automakers to have more leeway to test driverless cars in Michigan.

Ford Motor Company's self-driving vehicle
Ford Motor Company

Michigan is edging closer to clearing the road for driverless cars.

A state Senate committee approved a package of four bills that loosen existing rules for autonomous vehicles. The state created rules for driverless cars just a few years ago. But evolving technology has apparently made those rules “obsolete.”

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Ford announced this week it's joining forces with four tech companies and doubling its staff in Silicon Valley. 

Their goal is to put a fully self-driving - that means no steering wheel and no gas or brake pedals - on the road by 2021.

In his Detroit News column todayDaniel Howes  wrote that Ford's move is a sign that, "your father's auto industry is gone and it's not coming back."

Ford Autonomous Test Vehicle
flickr user Steve Jurvetson / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A century ago, Henry Ford changed the auto industry with the moving assembly line. 

Now Ford Motor Company has set an ambitious goal of developing a fully autonomous vehicle for mass production by 2021.

That's autonomous as in self-driving, with no steering wheel and no gas or brake pedals. 

To make that happen, Ford has announced it's joining forces with four tech companies and plans to double its staff in Silicon Valley. 

Road to self-driving cars depends on people

Jul 16, 2016

The talk of the auto industry this year isn’t about Detroit’s record profits. Rather, it’s about racing to field vehicles that drive themselves.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The road to self-driving cars isn’t just about technology.

FLICKR USER AUTOMOBILE ITALIA https://flic.kr/p/AsE6u3

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been reviewing the landscape of automobiles, high-tech, and next-generation mobility and finds Fiat Chrysler’s top guy Sergio Marchionne is lagging.

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