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Startup Otto Aims To Leapfrog To First In Self-Driving Vehicles With Big Trucks
Otto, a self-funded startup operating out of a 50,000-square-foot San Francisco warehouse, is currently readying a technology option for truck owners that they say would allow 18-wheelers to drive autonomously on U.S. highways. AutoPacific's George Peterson says, “Truckers are limited by their log books in terms of how much driving they can do so this would be appealing. Not just for individual owner operators, but big trucking firms and companies like Amazon would obviously want this capability."
Test Drive: Ford's Fusion offers mainstream consumers a taste of semi-autonomous functions
It could be years, maybe even decades, before you regularly catch rides in a completely self-driving car. But semi-autonomous features are making their way into mainstream vehicles. Some midrange cars will automatically brake if they sense an imminent collision or steer back into a freeway lane if the driver allows them to drift. "We're definitely in a state right now where we're starting to see these features become more common in mainstream cars," said AutoPacific's Ed Kim.
Musk’s Master Plan Misses the Mark on Tesla Profitability, Investors Say
Auto analysts and Wall Street investors responded largely with skepticism to Musk’s "Master Plan" announcement on Wednesday. The statement was a bit vague and unclear on the automaker’s strategy to become profitable, critics say. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan said, "The main thing that was missing was any type of commitment to shareholder return or to actually become profitable. If you have shareholders, you have an obligation to them. … There was no discussion on how to become profitable.”
Fatal crash of Tesla Model S in autopilot mode leads to investigation by federal officials
Following Tesla's announcement that federal regulators opened a preliminary probe into the autopilot feature on a Tesla Model S after a fatal crash involving the technology, AutoPacific's George Peterson shared his comments on autopilot technology issues and the crash's potential impact on Tesla customers. "Tesla seems to be a Teflon company,” he said. “...there’s a huge group of Tesla fans out there. I don’t think it’ll put them off – I think it’ll make them more cautious when they’re using autopilot.”
Your Self-Driving Car is Waiting...Sooner Than You Think
AutoPacific's George Peterson, a regular contributor to Forbes, says "Autonomous vehicles are all the rage right now. Technology is moving so fast that automakers, suppliers, regulators and insurance companies believe self-driving vehicles will be available for sale in the not-too-distant future." To get an idea of consumer acceptance, AutoPacific surveyed over 1,100 vehicle owners about self-driving vehicles. Read the results here.
Tesla Fighters: GM, Toyota Strategies Diverge
General Motors, Daimler, Volkswagen, Nissan, BMW, Hyundai and Ford are all developing what can be viewed as some form of direct competitor to Tesla’s pure-electric cars. AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says "the 'Tesla fighters' need to focus on more than just range and price."
Back From the Dead: American Buyers Lusting for Midsize Pickups
Only a few years ago, General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Honda were pulling the plug on their midsize trucks as sales steadily collapsed. Today, "midsize pickups are smoking hot," says AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan. GM returned to the segment in 2016, Honda will roll an all-new version of its Ridgeline soon, and Ford is expected to return to the segment with an all-new Ranger pickup. According to AutoPacific's forecast, midsize pickup demand could reach a peak of around 461,400 by 2019.
2017 Honda Ridgeline: Surprise For Mid-Size Truck Buyers
AutoPacific's George Peterson recently spent some time with the new 2017 Honda Ridgeline and had great things to say about the vehicle. "The 2017 Ridgeline is a totally unique pickup truck concept similar to the original, but executed with better styling and today’s technology," said Peterson. "The real treat with the 2017 Honda Ridgeline is in the driving experience...the Ridgeline is so far superior to the others that this becomes an important reason for purchase."
Giulia's looks are not helping Alfa's case in U.S.
FCA is rebooting the Alfa Romeo brand with the high-performance Giulia. However, despite the fact that the Giulia model will be brutally fast, offering 505 hp and a 0-to-60-mph time of 3.8 seconds, according to Fiat Chrysler, and Alfa's passionate fans in the U.S., AutoPacific's Dave Sullivan says "Alfa Romeo won't cut into BMW or Mercedes-Benz market share. Even Infiniti and Cadillac aren't too worried. Alfa is in the third tier of luxury brands, and it will be fighting to make itself known."
Drawing Party Lines in the Parking Lot: Where Cars and Candidates Collide
Is there a correlation between political and automotive preferences? Automobile Magazine came to AutoPacific to find out. The AutoPacific poll, specifically designed to show the correlation between people’s choice in presidential candidates and their choice of cars, consisted of roughly 1,100 consumers planning to buy a new car soon. Check out the results here.