Self-Driving Ride Sharing Cars on the Road in 2016 (!)

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You know how flying cars, jet packs and things like that always seem way off into the future? Many feel the same about self-driving cars being on the road in the United States. However, Volvo and Uber are out to prove them wrong. As the Automotive News reported, the existing vehicles plus some Uber modifications “will enable the seven-seat SUV to drive itself…” Wow! Continue reading this entry

EPA Publishes Final Phase 2 Rule for GHG Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles

Sustainability Reporting Standards for the Automotive Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint set of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for new medium and heavy-duty vehicles and engines on August 16, 2016. The new standards apply to companies that manufacture, sell or import into the United States Class 2b through 8 trucks, including:

  • combination tractors,
  • all buses,
  • vocational vehicles including municipal, commercial, recreational vehicles, and commercial trailers
  • and ¾-ton and 1-ton pickup trucks and vans.

The heavy-duty category incorporates all motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 lbs. or greater, and the engines that power them, except for medium-duty passenger vehicles already covered by the greenhouse gas standards and corporate average fuel economy standards issued for light-duty model year 2017-2025 vehicles. This “Phase 2” of greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s efforts under the Climate Action Plan. Continue reading this entry

As Consumers Flock Towards Connected Cars, The Wireless Industry Benefits

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It is no secret that consumers are increasingly focused on connected cars.  In a survey of consumers by Accenture, over 50% of consumers surveyed were already using some connected car services, 57% of those surveyed would like to have the ability to surf the internet via a monitor in the car, and 81% of consumers wanted a system like eCall in their car.  Currently, connected-safety features generate the most revenues for connected car services, but driver assistance is expected to surpass safety as the top connected car revenue stream in 2017.

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Brexit – Standards and Innovation: What’s Ahead?

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This article is the second in an ongoing series of blog posts by Foley & Lardner LLP on the implications of the June 23, 2016 referendum decision in the United Kingdom (“UK”) to exit the European Union (“EU”).  The first blog post reviewed briefly developments leading to the Brexit vote, the negotiating process that is now unfolding, possible alternative/outcomes and the likely implications as the UK resets its relationship with the EU.  The first article reviewed potential implications for competition policy/procedure suggesting likely increased costs, complexity and uncertainty.

This post focuses on Brexit risks and uncertainty related to standardization and innovation.  As with the issues relating to competition policy/procedure, questions on standardization and innovation remain to be answered as the terms and timing of the UK Brexit are played out and as businesses, governments and individuals take their own actions – whether large or small, intentional or inadvertent.

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Technology Companies Continue Their Automotive Invasion

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As we have written about before, the difference between technology companies and automotive companies is getting smaller and smaller. That trend continues to progress.

Samsung Electronics Ltd. is closer to becoming an auto parts supplier. As reported on AndroidHeadlines.com, “Last month Samsung Electronics acquired a stake in Chinese electric car company BYD, and according to a more recent report from Korea, the tech giant has already partnered with Italian automotive system manufacturer Magneti Marelli “on a group-wide basis”…” Samsung seems determined to not let Apple and Google dominate the automotive information technology segment. Considering Samsung’s success in both hardware and its associated software, Samsung could be poised to be a large auto supplier sooner rather than later. Continue reading this entry