Product Safety and Liability Prevention

Suppliers Get Ready For Your Recalls

When companies make products that are not safe, they automatically increase their liabilities. This is not in anyone’s interest. Costs increase. Bad PR increases. Good will is lost. Insurance rates go up. And, most importantly, people can get hurt. So, everyone should be able to agree – safer products, less liability = happiness. But, how do you become safer?

There is no magical solution to being safer. It requires corporate focus on every stage of product development and production. Starting right from the beginning helps. If safety is not a key component of new product development, your company is already behind. Without a product safety team, a product safety policy and ongoing product safety audits, companies are pretty much inviting safety defects. Continue reading this entry

Could the Flying Car Finally Take Off?

flying car

Autonomous vehicles have been hailed as the solution to overcrowded roads and their impact on America’s aging infrastructure. However, recent accidents involving automated vehicles have some wondering if having less cars on the road is a better long-term approach. As it turns out, the world’s top automaker might be developing technology that will take cars off the road, literally. Continue reading this entry

Brexit – What, When and Why?

map_charts

This blog post is the first in an on-going series of blogs and articles by Dashboard Insights on the implications to the automotive industry of the June 23, 2016 referendum decision in the United Kingdom (“UK”) to exit the European Union (“EU”). This first blog will reprise briefly developments leading to the Brexit vote, the process that now appears likely to unfold and the implications as the UK changes its relationship with the EU. Suffice to say, there has long been growing political, social, cultural and economic restiveness in the UK about EU policies, rules and membership obligations culminating in the vote to “leave” (despite a more than 20 year battle leading to the UK’s joining the EU in 1973).

While the majority vote to leave was very, very narrow and while many voters explained their vote to “exit” as simply “sending a message” of their generalized dissatisfaction with the status quo, the message has been received with significant and widely-reported fall out. The consequences are already being felt across the board exemplified by the plunging value of the UK pound, the uncertain future of non-UK EU nationals working in Britain or through the decisions (whether fundamental, incremental, explicit or unknowing) being made as each day since the Brexit vote passes by business to change strategies and priorities. All these consequences will have costs, whether for better or worse. Continue reading this entry

Will Fatal Self-Driving Crash Put the Brakes on Autonomous Vehicles?

people-stress-300x225

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is handling a full load of safety recalls and investigations these days, including the investigation of a fatal crash involving Tesla’s Autopilot system. On May 7, a man was killed on a Florida highway when his Tesla Model S—with Autopilot activated—drove under an 18-wheel semi-truck turning in front of the vehicle. NHTSA commenced its investigation of the incident seven weeks later.

After the announcement of the investigation, Tesla published a blog post referring to the fatality as a tragic loss, but emphasized that it was the first fatal crash in more than 130 million miles driven with Autopilot activated. For comparison, Tesla explained that a fatal crash occurs in the US approximately every 94 million miles and worldwide approximately every 60 million miles. Fatality rates aside, Tesla owned the fact that its Autopilot system failed to observe the semi-truck and apply the brake because the trailer’s high ride height, white-colored side, and positioning across the road presented “extremely rare circumstances” making it difficult for the Autopilot to distinguish the trailer from the brightly lit sky in the background. Continue reading this entry