Self-driving, autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles seem everywhere, yet nowhere. Here at the Dashboard, we seem to never stop writing about them or the issues associated with them. For example, here, here, here, and here – and all those articles were in the last few months. If you were at CES, you would be excused for thinking that they were already ubiquitous. Self-Driving Technology at CES had its own location and web page with 13 exhibitors “that belong to the Marketplace “Self-Driving Technology”. VentureBeat even named autonomous vehicles one of the top trends of CES 2018. But, just how close to reality are they?
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In a recent article published by Bloomberg, we are once again reminded of the litigious nature of some of Silicon Valley’s biggest players. Recent patent and trade secret lawsuits have garnered a lot of media attention, bringing IP enforcement front and center as companies try to leverage their rights and corner segments of the market. Meanwhile, as reported in this space, traditional players in the automotive industry have generally “played nice,” often settling their squabbles out of court.
The U.S. auto industry closed out December to reach a third straight year of over 17 million cars sold. Overall, however, car sales were 1.8% lower in 2017 than in 2016, ending a 7 year streak of increasing auto sales. Taking a closer look at the numbers reveals several bright spots:
The promise to renegotiate or else withdraw from NAFTA was one of the central points of the Trump campaign that helped him win states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In keeping with his campaign promises, the Trump administration has since proposed to tighten automotive content rules and rules of origin (from 62.5% to 85%) to increase car production in the United States.