The Michigan factory will be the first of its kind to build vehicles capable of Level 4 autonomy.

Over a month after launching the first-ever commercial autonomous ride-hailing service, Alphabet’s self-driving vehicle company, Waymo, said this week that it is planning o build a new manufacturing plant. The company said in a blog post that the facility will be located in Michigan and that it will be the first of its kind to build vehicles of Level 4 autonomy, in which the vehicle drives itself, but only with limits on where. It seems Waymo hopes the new facility should help the company build its lead in this growing industry. This will be the world’s first factory 100%-dedicated to the mass production of L4 autonomous vehicles,” said from the company.

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BMWs bursting into flames made headlines in South Korea earlier this year. The local media reported more than 40 cases in 2018 and some parking lots refused to accept BMW cars over fears of fire.

South Korea said Monday, December 24, it will fine German automaker BMW $10 million and file a criminal complaint with state prosecutors over allegedly dragging its feet in recalling vehicles with faulty engines after dozens of engine fires.

The auto giant apologized and recalled 172,000 vehicles of 65 different models in July and October with a faulty exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler, which the company blamed for the fires.

In August, a recall of 480,000 vehicles with the same EGR cooler issue for Europe and some Asian countries, including South Korea, was announced — including South Korea — of 480,000 cars affected by the same problem. The recall was expanded to more than one million additional diesel cars two months later.

After a five-month review, South Korea’s Transport Ministry concluded that the German automaker deliberately tried to cover up technical issues and was slow to recall the cars. The ministry found the fires to be caused by faulty valves in the exhaust gas recirculation coolers (EGR). Combined with carbon and oil sediment the leaks could cause fires when the vehicle was driven at high speeds for long periods of time, but the carmaker said the problem would be solved by the exchange of faulty hardware.

Six out of 10 imported vehicles are from Germany in South Korea. BMW sold nearly 39,000 cars in the first six months of 2018, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.

According to MSN.

The Japanese automaker has teamed up with the Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald to create the ‘perfect’ ad, which it is billing as the first commercial scripted by artificial intelligence.

The 60-second spot is entitled Driven by Intuition and directed by Macdonald, working from a script that was developed by IBM’s Watson AI system. Macdonald’s credits include The Last King of Scotland and the Whitney Houston biopic Whitney. The storyline itself along with the script was created using AI along with technical partner Visual Voice, IBM and Lexus’s creative agency The&Partnership. The agencies collaborated with the IBM Watson team to use AI to analyze 15 years’ worth of footage, text and audio for car and luxury brand campaigns that have won Cannes Lions awards for creativity, as well as a range of other external data. More »

The German automaker is considering a second manufacturing plant in U.S. that could produce engines and transmissions, BMW Group Chairman and CEO Harald Krueger said to reporters Tuesday in Los Angeles ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. According to a company spokesman, the Munich-based BMW Group is considering building an engine plant in the U.S. to supply its vehicles made in the U.S. and Mexico. More »

Tesla Model Y prototype has been approved by Elon Musk, and its production will start in 2020.

Elon Musk had approved the production of a prototype of the Model Y and the company is targeting 2020, Tesla CEO said during the automaker’s third-quarter earnings call a few days ago. The CEO only said they had made significant progress on the Model Y and didn’t give any further details. Musk has previously teased a March 2019 reveal of the SUV. More »

Google’s Waymo gets permission for human-free driving tests in the Golden State.
Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, has won approval from California to begin the first tests of fully driverless cars without human safety drivers at the wheel as a backup on state roads. The company is the first to receive a driverless permit in the Golden State. The company has been granted the permission amid an increase in skepticism about the real-world readiness of self-driving technology.

Waymo’s permit includes day and night testing on city streets, rural roads, and highways with speed limits of up to 65 mph. The company claims its vehicles can safely handle fog and light rain, and testing in those conditions is included in the permit. Waymo plans to gradually begin driverless testing on public roads in a limited territory and, over time, gradually expand the area. More »

Тhe Boring Company’s first tunnel under L.A. will open December 10th
Elon Musk has recently announced on Twitter that his tunnel, designed to ultimately avoid Los Angeles traffic, will open on December 10 and free rides will be offered to the public the following day.
The two-mile rapid transit tunnel carved out underneath SpaceX’s Hawthorne headquarters, is part of a concept for an underground public transportation system, which aims to transport passengers and vehicles beneath congested roadways on autonomously driven electric platforms called “skates.” The skates will carry 8 to 16 passengers, or one passenger vehicle, along with magnetic rails at speeds of up to 155 mph, according to Musk. More »

Tesla stock drops after Musk smokes joint on live web show.

The billionaire CEO Elon Musk Friday lit up a cigarette described as containing tobacco and marijuana during a chat on “The Joe Rogan Experience,” a popular YouTube talk show.

The two-and-half-hour chat on the streamed podcast late on Thursday touched upon a wide range of topics, including the Boring Company, artificial intelligence, Musk’s plan to use SpaceX’s yet-to-be-built BFR rocket for suborbital travel, and his idea for an electric-powered supersonic airplane that takes off vertically.
Just hours after the interview, two of Tesla key executives quit and the electric car maker’s share prices fell as much as 10 percent to reach a five-month low on Friday morning. The company’s head of accounting, Dave Morton, and head of human resources, Gaby Toledano, said they were leaving the company.

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Mercedes EQC is the first in a range of premium electric vehicles.

Mercedes showed its first fully electric SUV at an event in Stockholm this week, becoming the latest automaker to take on Tesla. Called the EQC, the sports utility vehicles has been built as the first car from “Electronic Intelligence” brand that aims to knock rival Tesla from its spot as a leader in the sector and take a lead in the fastest growing automotive market.

The new electric SUV, Mercedes EQC, was seen at Artipelag art gallery in Gustavsberg, Sweden only a few days ago. More »

Koch network will campaign against proposed Hillsborough transportation tax.

The network of advocacy groups tied to billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch has helped derail several plans to raise taxes for public transit over the past few years, including ones in Nashville and Little Rock.

The anti-tax, small government group now has it sights set on Hillsborough County. The group announced Tuesday that it will campaign against the one percent sales tax plan put on the November 6 general election ballot by citizen’s group All for Transportation. If approved by voters, the 30-year tax would start in January and raise about $280 million per year.

 

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