What’s News: Rivian camp kitchen

Link to neat videoabout Rivian camp kitchen in their pass through storage.

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What’s News: GM car sharing pulls out of some markets

Maven, the car-sharing service owned by General Motors, is ending operations in several major North American cities. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mobility brand will wind down service in eight of the 17 cities in which it operates, including Boston, Chicago, and New York City. Maven will continue to operate in Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Toronto.

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“We’re shifting Maven’s offerings to concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

What’s News: Tesla AV system active during crash!

A Tesla Model 3 had Autopilot active in the seconds before it crashed into a semi truck in March, killing the driver, the National Transportation Safety Board reported on Thursday.

Jeremy Banner was driving his Model 3 on a divided four-lane highway in Palm Beach County, Florida. As the car approached a driveway, a semi truck pulled out in front of the car, making a left-hand turn from the driveway to the opposite travel lanes.

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The Tesla was moving at 68mph (110km/h) and slid under the truck’s trailer. The trailer sheared off the top of the car, killing Banner. The vehicle continued down the road for another 1,600 feet (500m) before coming to a rest in the median.

“Preliminary data show that the Tesla’s Autopilot system… was active at the time of the crash,” the NTSB reports. “The driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. From less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel.”

The NTSB says that preliminary data suggests that neither the driver nor the Autopilot system made evasive maneuvers…

What’s News: Ford stays course w/ hybrid, not going full EV

Ford got into the hybrid game relatively early with the 2005 Escape, the first hybrid SUV. The automaker believes other automakers are underestimating hybrids today as they rush to all-electric vehicles, Ford vice president of powertrain engineering Dave Filipe said.
All-electric vehicles are much more expensive than hybrids, and require charging infrastructure that’s not available everywhere. Ford believes those factors will keep hybrids in the picture for many years to come, even as EVs become increasingly common.

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Hybrids play a key role in Ford’s touted $11-billion investment plan to reduce its vehicles’ fuel consumption and emissions.

It’s also likely that EVs aren’t seen as practical for police vehicles which is a market Ford would like to continue to court.

What’s News: bigger is safer

A new study suggests bigger is better when it comes to car safety.

Online automotive marketplace and research outfit iseecars.com took fatal accident reports from NHTSA covering 2013 to 2017 models and combined them with information from its used car sales database to come up with a ranked list of vehicles with the most occupant fatalities per billion miles driven.

At the top is the Mitsubishi Mirage at 10.8, followed by the Chevrolet Corvette (9.8), Honda Fit (7.7), Kia Forte (7.4) and Chevrolet Spark (7.2), with the average for all vehicles at 2.6. A total of 14 models had fatality rates that were double the average or more, using the iseecars.com methodology, and all of them are either small cars or sports cars.

The subcompact Mirage is one of the most inexpensive vehicles on sale today, with a starting price of $14,945. It was rated Poor on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s driver’s side small overlap crash test in 2014, but that was improved to Marginal in 2017 with engineering updates aimed at addressing the deficiency.

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What’s News: 2 more Ford recalls

Recall the first: Ranger fasteners

Ford’s first recall of the day covers approximately 2,500 examples of the 2019 Ranger midsize pickup. The vehicles were all built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant between March 5 and 13, 2019. This recall also covers about 260 trucks in Canada.

Ford’s second recall covers a much larger number of vehicles, encompassing some 270,000 examples of the 2013-2016 Ford Fusion, all of which are equipped with Ford’s 2.5-liter I4 gas engine. The vehicles were built at both the Flat Rock Assembly Plant and the Hermosillo Assembly Plant between early 2012 and early 2016.

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What’s News: 2019 Mustang 350 better than the best

Once the nose of the 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 was pointed down the main straight of M1 Concourse, I mashed the throttle to the floor. All usual things happened—forceful acceleration, more noise, that floaty sensation behind my navel—but then something different did, too.

The rev needle kept climbing, climbing, climbing. Instinct told me that I should have upshifted long ago, but here I was screaming toward 8,000 RPM with the engine still feeling like it had plenty left to give. This was spooky. This was incredible.

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What’s News: VW cheated?

Porsche has just announced it will not appeal a penalty imposed upon it by the Stuttgart Prosecutor’s Office for violating the German Act on Regulatory Offenses. In other words, Porsche has agreed to pay a penalty following an investigation regarding its role in fitting vehicles with diesel engines. Dieselgate is still haunting VW Group brands. Porsche will now pay a total of €535 Euros, or $599 million according to the latest conversion rates, for negligent breach beginning in 2009 for failure to follow regulatory requirements in exhaust gas-related testing.

Parent company Volkswagen Group knew a heavy fine was coming and therefore began setting aside the money. Porsche says it will take the financial impact of this fine into account when it reports its second-quarter earnings.

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