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German Automakers Want Sensor Network to Update Map Service

German Automakers Want Sensor Network to Update Map Service

BUSINESS

  • Network would provide more accurate map
  • Automakers hope to pass rivals
  • United Auto Workers union wins at VW plant

Germany’s three luxury automakers, Audi, BMW and Daimler, want to equip their vehicles with sensors that would create a network that would update their HERE map service.

The goal would be to create the detailed maps needed for autonomous driving and to fill in areas of the map previously not covered.

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Ford Software Allows Drivers Access to Apple’s Siri

Ford Software Allows Drivers Access to Apple’s Siri

BUSINESS

  • Update available to those with Sync system
  • Service allows for hands-free access to iPhone
  • Apple and Google compete for auto business

Ford Motor Co. has announced a software update that will allow iPhone users access to Apple Inc.’s smartphone assistant Siri by pressing a button on the steering wheel.

The software will be available to 5 million vehicles globally sold between 2011 and 2016 equipped with the second version of the SYNC infotainment system. In North America, SYNC is called MyFord Touch.

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Indian Auto Production Endangered by Monsoon

Indian Auto Production Endangered by Monsoon

BUSINESS

  • Automakers shut down plants
  • Production lost for second time
  • Cox Auto to invest in India

The heaviest rainfall in a century has hit India’s Tamil Nadu state, making roads impassable and closing automotive manufacturing plants.

The area outside of Tamil Nadu’s capital of Chennai is India’s automotive center. Nicknamed India's Detroit, it is home to factories for Ford India, Daimler India’s truck business, Renault-Nissan, Hyundai Motor Co., Ashok Leyland Ltd. and BMW AG as well as motorcycle manufacturer TVS Motor.

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Insurance Institute Will Require Adaptive Headlights for Top Safety Rating

Insurance Institute Will Require Adaptive Headlights for Top Safety Rating

BUSINESS

  • Technology will be part of ratings starting in 2017
  • Better visibility helps save lives
  • Lights already commonplace in Europe

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) plans on rating headlights for its annual Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards.

The first tests will be conducted next year and will become a requirement for the safety awards starting in 2017. Models will need a good rating to qualify.

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U.S. Automakers Offer Black Friday Deals to Boost November Sales

U.S. Automakers Offer Black Friday Deals to Boost November Sales

BUSINESS

  • December traditionally has year’s best sales
  • Industry on pace for best year in more than a decade
  • Automakers using rebates and incentives to lure customers

Automakers in the United States have taken advantage of Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, to push November sales to the industry’s best, analysts forecast.

Traditionally, November is a slow sales month and is usually ranked the third worst. The period between Christmas and New Year’s was always the time the snag the best end of the year deals, but now automakers are starting those sales during Black Friday weekend.

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German Prosecutor Investigating Volkswagen Employees For Tax Evasion

German Prosecutor Investigating Volkswagen  Employees For Tax Evasion

BUSINESS

  • Company cannot be prosecuted under German law
  • Vehicle taxes are normally paid by owners
  • CEO says emission solution is close

The problems for Volkswagen AG have just gotten worse. German prosecutors in Braunschweig are investigating five employees for tax evasion connected to the emissions-testing software scandal.

German law requires taxes be levied against vehicles based on fuel consumption. Vehicle owners pay this tax. Prosecutors believe owners of vehicles involved in the scandal have underpaid.

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Fiat Chrysler Expands Education Program to Include Employees’ Families

Fiat Chrysler Expands Education Program to Include Employees’ Families

BUSINESS

  • Spouses and children can take advantage of online university
  • Dealership turnover is high
  • Ford recalls 452,000 vehicles for gas leak

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expanding its Degrees@Work program to include the spouses and children of employees at its 2,635 U.S. dealerships.

The program was designed to retain employees and increase morale. Fiat also hopes it will improve salesmen’s reputations. It was introduced in May at 130 dealerships.

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U.S. Army Testing Hydrogen Cell GM Truck

U.S. Army Testing Hydrogen Cell GM Truck

BUSINESS

  • Chevy Colorado will be given off road testing
  • Hydrogen vehicles provide military with many benefits
  • Hydrogen fueling stations slow to be built

General Motors Co. and the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) will team up to test a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle.

Midsized pickup Chevrolet Colorado has been equipped with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.

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Union Signs New Contract With GM, Ford and Fiat

Union Signs New Contract With GM, Ford and Fiat

BUSINESS

  • Ford nearly rejects agreement
  • Fiat passed contract in October
  • Agreement avoids employee discord

The United Automobile Workers (UAW) has signed a new contract with all three U.S. automakers after five months of negotiations. The contract covers 140,000 employees and expires in four years.

Ford Motor Co. nearly didn’t pass the agreement. Only 51% of the company’s production workers and 53% of its skilled workers passed the proposal. Skilled workers include professions such as millworkers, plumbers and electricians.

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Volkswagen Admits Even More Cars Affected by Emission Scandal

Volkswagen Admits Even More Cars Affected by Emission Scandal

BUSINESS

  • Some vehicles had gasoline engines
  • Volkswagen will buy back cars that meet criteria
  • CEO apologizes at LA Auto Show

More Volkswagen Group vehicles than previous disclosed are affected by the emission scandal, including some gasoline-powered cars.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen said it understated the emissions of up to 800,000 vehicles, some 2016 models. The vehicles affected have a 1.2 or 1.4 liter diesel engine or a 1.4 liter motor- gasoline engine with a cylinder cut-off.

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