Research & Development

Ford Just Hired This Woman to Make Self-Driving Cars a Commercial Reality

This former SAP executive’s specialty is the Internet of things.

Ford Motor has hired a Silicon Valley executive with deep experience in connected devices and machine learning to bring self-driving cars to market, the latest signal that the automaker is accelerating its shift from research and development of autonomous vehicles to a full-scale business.

Laura Merling will be vice president of autonomous vehicle solutions at Ford Smart Mobility, a subsidiary focused on developing the automaker’s transportation services such as car-sharing.

General Motors Expands Car-Sharing to Los Angeles

General Motors is expanding its car-sharing program to Los Angeles, the tenth city since launching less than a year ago.

The program, known as Maven, is really three car-sharing services in one: a city-based service that rents GM vehicles by the hour through an app, another for urban apartment dwellers, and a peer-to-peer sharing service called Express Drive.

Maven City, the on-demand hourly rental program, recently launched in San Francisco. Maven is also offered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

GM is taking on Tesla’s Autopilot with a self-driving system that tracks your eyes

General Motors semi-autonomous driving system will have one high-tech feature that its competitors don’t: An eye-tracking system.

The company plans to launch the system, called Super Cruise, on its Cadillac CT6 next year. And according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Super Cruise’s eye-tracking tech will enable the system to better monitor whether the driver is paying attention or not.

Ford is tackling a big problem in cities by buying Chariot

Ford Motor announced on Friday it is acquiring shuttle service Chariot as the auto giant seeks to cater to customers who may not even own a car.

The acquisition is an opportunity for Ford to gain exposure to a group of consumers who may not be interested in owning a car, Ford CEO Mark Fields said in an interview on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

2017 Dodge Challenger And Charger, Chrysler 300 Pair 4G LTE With UConnect

Fiat Chrysler has announced its new UConnect infotainment system, available in the 2017 Dodge Challenger and Charger and 2017 Chrysler 300, will now feature 4G LTE connectivity.

FCA says 4G LTE in its newly introduced UConnect system will bring “more reliable network coverage, increased in-vehicle application responsiveness, plus faster network speeds for the connected services that Uconnect has to offer.” The previous UConnect system would run off a slower 3G internet connection.

The Startup That Could Help GM Beat Google to the Self-Driving Car

Kyle Vogt couldn’t  do anything to help his dustpan-shaped battlebot Decimator as it took a saw blade to the belly. The CO2 tank powering its primary weapon ruptured, sending his droid skittering into the spikes lining the arena. Moments later, the bot’s nemesis, Tazbot, flipped it over and landed six blows with a pickaxe before judges called the fight.

GM begins autonomous car tests in Scottsdale, Arizona

General Motors and its autonomous technology company Cruise Automation are testing self-driving cars on the streets of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Testing of self-driving electric Chevrolet Bolts began in Arizona about two weeks ago. It’s the second city for GM’s real-world tests. Autonomous Bolts with Cruise Automation software have been driving around San Francisco since May 20.

2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty: Advanced Engineering + Advanced Technology = Ultimate Capability

Sales of Ford’s F-Series, which includes the F-150 light duty pickup as well as the F-250 through F-550 Super Duty range, are up nearly 9 percent this year. Ford sells more F-Series trucks than any other automaker, and given the average F-Series transaction price approaches $50,000 according to Kelley Blue Book data, well, that’s a good segment to dominate. Even better for the Blue Oval’s financial picture, it attained this position before the launch of the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.

Ford Invests in Startup That Makes Maps for Self-Driving Cars

Ford Motor Co. is among five investors providing $6.6 million in seed funding for Civil Maps, a California startup that creates three-dimensional maps for autonomous cars.

The other participants are Motus Ventures, Wicklow Capital, StartX Stanford and AME Cloud Ventures, a fund led by Yahoo! Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang, Civil Maps said in a statement. The company, which has 16 full-time employees, is based in Albany, California, and grew out of an accelerator program sponsored by Stanford University.