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Mark Phelan: A failure, the Dodge Dart will die this month

Automotive / Automotive News /

What went wrong with the Dodge Dart? Born with fanfare and optimism in June 2012, the compact sedan will die this month in virtual anonymity, a failure that never came close to meeting Fiat Chrysler Automobile's expectations.

The Dart was supposed to signal a fresh start for Fiat Chrysler, the newly created automaker risen from the rubble of ...Read more

Drivers over 85 are the fastest-growing group on the road

Automotive / Automotive News /

Not sure that driverless cars are safer than cars driven by humans?

Consider this: Drivers over the age of 85 represent the fastest-growing segment of American automobile users. Their numbers doubled between 1998 and 2013, to 3.48 million drivers -- the highest number ever on record -- and the number is rising, according to the U.S. Department ...Read more

Tesla sues to sell cars in Michigan

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Electric automaker Tesla filed a lawsuit Thursday against Michigan officials, escalating its multi-year battle to sell vehicles directly to consumers in the state.

Tesla named Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Gov. Rick Snyder in its lawsuit filed in federal court.

The action ...Read more

Larry Printz: It's officially autumn: Get your car ready for winter

Automotive / Automotive News /

With autumn's arrival made official by the September equinox on Thursday, we know old man winter will be rearing his ugly head soon enough. And even if you're not ready to pull out your sweaters, coats, hats, gloves and boots, now is the time to ready your ride for the upcoming onslaught.

Here's what should be inspected:

--Tires: Nothing ...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Home-brewed remedies for keeping your windshield clean

Automotive / Automotive News /

Readers from around the country sent in tips, techniques and recipes for cleaning automotive glass. Here are several of the better ideas.

From Bill Byrnes: "I had issues with my 2001 Sable and 2003 Ranger, especially in the summer when I use one of those reflective shields to keep the interior cooler. What I have been using to get rid of the ...Read more

Tesla to release Autopilot update under shadow of security hack

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hacking into a phone is unlikely to physically hurt the victim. But hacking into a car?

A security research team in China hacked into a Tesla Model S and said they took over the car's brakes from 12 miles away. A video released this week shows members of the research team being thrust forward as the remote hacker slammed the ...Read more

The self-driving revolution will be mostly electric

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- As our urban transportation landscape becomes automated over the next decade, it could spark an electric car revolution that for some has been overdue.

Spend enough time around these early self-driving vehicles and you notice that nearly all are hybrids or purely electric -- Ford's automated Fusion, the similarly equipped Fusion ...Read more

US guidelines on driverless cars offer some direction on future policy

Automotive / Automotive News /

The U.S. Department of Transportation released long-awaited guidelines Tuesday for the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles, giving manufacturers and researchers some clarity for the future, but providing only a vague sense of the federal government's exact responsibilities.

At a Tuesday morning news conference, U.S. Transportation ...Read more

Premium gas provides no benefit to cars that use regular, AAA study finds

Automotive / Automotive News /

Research by AAA has found that motorists wasted $2.1 billion in 2015 buying premium gasoline for cars that don't require it.

Using tests designed to evaluate vehicle performance, fuel economy and emissions, AAA researchers said they found no benefit to using premium gasoline in a vehicle that only requires regular-grade fuel.

"Drivers see the ...Read more

Under the Hood: Getting to know your gauges

Automotive / Automotive News /

Q: With our help, our daughter just purchased her first car. It's a bit different than our family car in that it uses a variety of gauges, rather than lights, to display key information. Can you explain the importance of these gauges and what they represent? She understands the tachometer, but I think she'd be more receptive to additional ...Read more

Ford fires back at Trump, citing booming US big-truck output

Automotive / Automotive News /

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co., pushing back against criticism by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for moving work to Mexico, is highlighting its booming business in big trucks after shifting production to an Ohio factory from south of the border.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based company has sold 10,160 of its F-650 and F-750 trucks...Read more

Tesla-SolarCity merger challenged by lawsuits

Automotive / Automotive News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lawsuits could delay Tesla Motors' proposed merger with SolarCity.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released Monday, Tesla said the merger is being challenged in four separate lawsuits that were filed in early September.

The main claims: Tesla and SolarCity breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders, and ...Read more

Uber to open Detroit-area research center

Automotive / Automotive News /

DETROIT -- Ride-hailing giant Uber will open a new research center in metropolitan Detroit by year's end to accommodate increased work with automotive industry suppliers and technology companies involved in autonomous vehicle development.

Sherif Marakby, Uber's vice president for global vehicle development, announced the investment Monday at a ...Read more

Lyft president predicts a driverless future, says Tesla has it all wrong

Automotive / Automotive News /

Lyft president John Zimmer predicts that his company's ride-hailing fleet of cars will be mostly autonomous within five years, and that "private car ownership will all but end in major U.S. cities" by 2025.

Zimmer also called out fellow transportation disruptor Elon Musk, saying the Tesla CEO is mistaken in thinking the automotive revolution ...Read more

It's not easy turning over the wheel to an automated system

Automotive / Automotive News /

PITTSBURGH -- The biggest problem being behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle is resisting the urge to drive it yourself.

As part of its rollout of self-driving vehicles for its ride-sharing operation, Uber invited members of the media to take rides in its Ford Fusions souped up with lasers, cameras and computers. About halfway through the...Read more

Ford reveals self-driving cars; politeness may be a problem

Automotive / Automotive News /

DEARBON, Mich. -- Of all the possibilities that might give pause concerning self-driving cars, here's one you might not have considered: politeness.

At its test center in Dearborn, Mich., earlier this month, experimental white Ford Fusion sedans, their roofs bristling with sensors, drove themselves down curvy streets, obeyed stop signs and ...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Africa Twin: Finally, a new ADV bike from Honda

Automotive / Automotive News /

The "adventure" segment is one of the fastest-growing in the motorcycle industry, and one of the most competitive, as all of the major manufacturers have built big bikes for this niche market.

BMW has traditionally owned this space, with its GS1200 series, and claims to be the dominant brand today, in the United States and around the world, ...Read more

Hodgepodge of self-driving vehicle laws raises safety concerns

Automotive / Automotive News /

PITTSBURGH -- The free rides in self-driving cars that Uber began offering in Pittsburgh this month wouldn't be allowed in California.

In Michigan, legislators are considering changing a law that requires a safety driver to be behind the wheel of self-driving vehicles to handle unexpected or emergency situations.

A Chicago alderman wants to ...Read more

Auto review: Mazda has an all-new CX-9. Will anyone notice?

Automotive / Automotive News /

Mazda makes great cars that are underappreciated in the U.S. market. With the exception of the Miata, cars made by this Japanese also-ran are generally not big winners here.

Is it poor marketing? A weak dealer network? A question of styling? I'm not sure, but it's an unfortunate fact that most buyers will look at Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai,...Read more

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Autopilot update will roll out Wednesday

Automotive / Automotive News /

Tesla Motors Inc. plans to roll out an update to its Autopilot driver-assistance feature Wednesday, Chief Executive Elon Musk said early Friday morning.

In a tweet, Musk said he was "hoping" to release the software update then "if no last minute issues discovered."

Musk described the pending changes Sunday. The new Autopilot will rely ...Read more