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December 12, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
House Lawmakers to Explore Unifying Auto Emissions Standards
GM's Crystal Ball Includes Owner-Driver Model, Barra Says
Hybrids Are Better for Autonomy, Ford Says
Cox Automotive Files Lawsuit Against CDK Global
Are We Headed For 'Peak SUV?'
Trying to Bypass Anxiety on the Road to Driverless Cars
Top Stories
House Lawmakers to Explore Unifying Auto Emissions Standards

Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing to examine opportunities to harmonize 3 different measures

Lawmakers in a House Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing today are set to discuss opportunities to harmonize the various vehicle emissions standards in the United States.

What’s at stake: The United States has three different emissions and fuel economy standards for vehicles, which the Obama administration announced in 2009 that it would work to combine under one national plan: the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas emissions standards, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy program and the California Air Resources Board. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) introduced a bill in October focused on harmonizing fuel economy standards.

People who support Upton’s bill say: U.S. automakers and dealers want one national fuel economy program established by Congress, as proposed in Upton’s bill. Many in the auto industry have complained that 2022-2025 vehicle standards developed in the midterm evaluation process are too expensive or technically difficult to meet — and that the EPA rushed to accept the standards in former President Barack Obama’s last days in office. The rules task automakers with engineering cars that can reach nearly 50 miles per gallon by 2025, raising the bar from the current 34 mpg standard for light vehicles.

Scheduled witnesses: Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers; and Forrest McConnell, a board member of the National Automobile Dealers Association are set to address automakers’ concerns about the multiple standards.
Source: Morning Consult

Editor’s note: For video coverage of the hearing, click here.  For McConnell’s testimony, click here.  For the House committee memo on the hearing, click here.

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GM's Crystal Ball Includes Owner-Driver Model, Barra Says

General Motors is investing heavily in ride-sharing, electric vehicles, autonomy and other mobility services in order to put customers and consumers first, and dealers will have to adjust, GM CEO Mary Barra says. During a media event here Monday, Barra told the Automotive Press Association that "there isn't an industry right now that isn't being transformed or disrupted by technology" and that dealers will have to adapt to the changes sweeping the industry.
Source: Automotive News

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Hybrids Are Better for Autonomy, Ford Says

Ford and General Motors are taking increasingly divergent paths toward an autonomous future. After GM laid out a detailed vision of deploying large numbers of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EVs in 2019, Ford countered with more information on the autonomous vehicle it aims to release in 2021, saying it will be an all-new, purpose-built hybrid. Ford is upping its investment and adding assembly jobs in Michigan dedicated to building that vehicle, moving planned production of a long-range electric crossover to Mexico to make room.

Ford said it plans to work with its dealers as it explores the best uses for robot vehicles, noting that many dealers already do much of the work that will be required for autonomous vehicles, such as 24-hour and mobile service, through their work with fleet companies.
Source: Automotive News

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Cox Automotive Files Lawsuit Against CDK Global

Cox Automotive and several of its subsidiaries on Dec. 11 filed a $200 million lawsuit against CDK Global alleging ongoing antitrust and unlawful competition. The suit is the latest in a series of legal actions taken against CDK and Reynolds and Reynolds since February this year by competitors and dealers complaining about the data integration practices of both companies.
Source: The Banks Report

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Are We Headed For 'Peak SUV?'

The conventional wisdom in the car business is that the days of the hallowed family sedan are numbered, soon to be replaced by all shapes, sizes, and demeanors of sport-utility vehicles. To be sure passenger-car sales are sputtering. According to Autodata, they’re down by 10.3% year-to-date over the first 11 months of 2016, while crossover SUVs are up by 8.7%. According to the research firm LMC Automotive, more than 150 different SUVs will be clogging the U.S. market by 2020, which is double the number buyers found in dealers’ showrooms back in 2010.
Source: Forbes

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Trying to Bypass Anxiety on the Road to Driverless Cars

One of the big unknowns about self-driving cars is how human drivers will react once they can hand off the tasks of steering, braking and avoiding obstacles to a combination of unseen sensors, software and computer chips under the hood. Volvo Cars is trying to find an answer. It is putting video cameras into cars equipped with its latest driver-assistance features and giving them to five families to record their actions while rolling along in highway traffic.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
"We are taking the development of autonomous driving to another level, where we are studying the drivers' experiences."

    -- Trent Victor, senior technical leader in crash avoidance and an adjunct professor of driving behavior at Chalmers University in Goteborg, Sweden, The New York Times, Dec. 12

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