Tesla Seeks Its Own Wisconsin Dealerships to Teach Customers

U.S. News

The Palo Alto, California-based company sells its vehicles online and through its own dealerships using its own employees. Nearly two dozen states have Tesla stores, but Wisconsin law prohibits automakers from directly operating or controlling a dealership. A group of Republican lawmakers has introduced a bill that would exempt Tesla from that law, permitting the company to open its own retail shops.


Ford allows some car buyers to purchase or finance vehicles online

Los Angeles Times

Car buyers at one Ford dealership can now limit their time in the showroom by purchasing or financing a vehicle online, and more dealerships will offer the option soon. Ford Motor Credit Co. said Monday that customers at Ricart Ford in Groveport, Ohio, about 12 miles south of Columbus, will be able to use an online platform to choose a car, choose financing terms and purchase it before arriving at the dealership to sign paperwork and pick up the car. Ford said it would eventually roll out the online platform to other Ford and Lincoln dealerships around the country. The software platform was developed by online auto financing start-up AutoFi, with the Dearborn, Mich., automaker's financial services arm providing financing for the customer's purchase. "By combining our fast and efficient credit-decision process with AutoFi's online capability, we are making the customer experience faster, smoother and simpler," Lee Jelenic, Ford Credit director of mobility, said in a statement.


Visteon's Silicon Valley Technical Center to Lead Development of Artificial Intelligence for Autonomous Vehicles

#artificialintelligence

"Most current advanced driver assistance systems based on radar and cameras are not capable of accurately detecting and classifying objects – such as cars, pedestrians or bicycles – at a level required for autonomous driving," said Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon, a leading global cockpit electronics supplier. "We need to achieve virtually 100 percent accuracy for autonomous driving, which will require innovative solutions based on deep machine learning technology. Our Silicon Valley team, with its focus on machine learning software development, will be a critical part of our autonomous driving technology initiative." Visteon's recently opened facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will house a team of engineers specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning. The center is located close to the West Coast offices of various automakers and tech companies, as well as Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley – two of the leading universities for artificial intelligence and deep learning in the U.S. In addition to leading Visteon's artificial intelligence efforts, the Silicon Valley office will play a key role in delivering control systems, localization and vision processing – interpreting live camera data and converting it to information required for autonomous driving.


Death in Louisiana Is 20th Caused by Takata Air Bags

U.S. News

An unidentified person in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the 20th to die worldwide due to exploding Takata air bag inflators. The person was driving a 2004 Honda Civic when the crash occurred on July 10, 2017, according to Honda. The inflator apparently had been salvaged from a 2002 Civic and was among the most dangerous made by the company. Nineteen auto and truck makers are recalling up to 69 million inflators in the U.S. and 100 million worldwide because they can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.


Death in West Virginia Is 21st Caused by Takata Air Bags

U.S. News

A 56-year-old West Virginia man is the 21st person to die worldwide due to exploding Takata air bag inflators. Steve Mollohan was driving a 2006 Ford Ranger when he was involved in a relatively minor crash and died July 1, an attorney for his family said. Ford said it was notified of the death Dec. 22 and inspected the vehicle Dec. 27. Nineteen auto and truck makers are recalling up to 69 million inflators in the U.S. and 100 million worldwide because they can explode with too much force and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.