All in Connected Cars
Autonomous vehicles, connected cars, and the future of mobility—these topics are top-of-mind throughout the auto industry today. While Silicon Valley startups have made inroads in these areas, the traditional automakers have been eager to demonstrate their seriousness in taking on this challenge. This week, Ford announced the details of one of the largest (and most concrete, in a literal sense) steps in that direction: the company has acquired the long-derelict Michigan Central Station, and intends to transform it (and the surrounding Corktown neighborhood) into a testbed and development hub for its next generation mobility initiatives.
The widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is anticipated to be a major force in changing the way Americans live. One of the industries most impacted by these changes may be the insurance industry. While many questions remain unanswered, the industry already has certain products that may serve as a platform for insuring risks in the next generation of automotive travel.
Trickle-down may be controversial in economics and politics, but it is an established fact in the automotive world. Antilock brakes and airbags debuted on high-end luxury cars in the 1980s before making their way to mass-market vehicles. Other technologies have followed a similar trajectory. Turbocharging was once rare enough that the single word “Turbo” became the iconic apex of Porsche’s storied 911, but these days it’s used on anything and everything, from Ferraris to Ford Fiestas.
As the ITS America 2018 Annual Meeting convened in Detroit this week, the question that seemed to be on everyone’s mind was, “what is the path forward for Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) auto safety services?”
Somber news out of Arizona this week as an autonomous Volvo modified and operated by Uber reportedly struck and killed a pedestrian. Although this is not the first fatality in which a self-driving car played a role, this incident marks the first time a pedestrian has been killed by a car employing self-driving technology.
This week marked the public opening of “NAIAS,” the North American International Auto Show, which is the grand and proper name for the Detroit manufacturers’ hometown show. But while Detroit has emphasized investments in autonomous and connected vehicle technologies, including with a splash at CES earlier this month, you’d be forgiven for wondering where all the driverless tech was on the show floor itself.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a request for information (RFI) on infrastructure and automated driving systems (ADS). Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao signaled at CES that the agency would release four RFIs focused on accelerating development and consumer adoption of ADS, and this is the first of the series. Comments are due March 5, 2018.