January 19, 2018 News of the Day: BMW's iNext EV Will Have Double the Range of Tesla's Model 3, PSA Group to Built North American Headquarters Near Atlanta

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【Summary】January 19, 2018 News of the Day

Eric Walz    Jan 19, 2018 4:10 PM PT
January 19, 2018 News of the Day: BMW's iNext EV Will Have Double the Range of Tesla's Model 3, PSA Group to Built North American Headquarters Near Atlanta

BMW's iNext EV Will Have Double the Range of Tesla's Model 3

One of the most common concerns for EV drivers in range. No driver wants to get stuck halfway to thier destination in an EV that requires charging. BMW's new long range EV may help eliminate the 'range anxiety' assiciated with EVs. BMW says its new INext EV will get an impressive 435 miles of range, double that of Tesla's new Model 3.

The company claimed the iNext will be able to drive up to 435 miles per charge at the Detroit auto show this week, according to Motor Trend. The vehicle is expected to hit the streets in 2021 and have autonomous driving capabilities.

If the iNext's range comes close to BMW's prediction, it would nearly double the range of the base version of the Tesla Model 3, which is around 220 miles.

Although EVs can save money over time, they tend to cost more than gas-powered cars and rely on a small but growing network of charging stations. An electric vehicle with over 400 miles of range would lessen the need for charging stations, as drivers could charge at their homes for a wider range of trips.

The iNext will join a variety of electric cars announced by BMW that are set to be released over the next few years as the company tries to position itself as a leader in electric and autonomous vehicles. Though electric cars still represent a very small segment of total worldwide car sales, aggressive investments in the sector could help BMW edge out Mercedes-Benz as the best-selling luxury automaker.

PSA Group to Built North American Headquarters Near Atlanta


PSA Group, the parent company of popular French auto brands Peugeot and Citroen is planning a return to the U.S. market. The company plans to put its North American headquarters in the greater Atlanta area, Automotive News has learned.

A spokesman for PSA North America declined to comment on the plan, but a source familiar with the project confirmed the selection of metro Atlanta. PSA has begun publicly recruiting a staff to work in the Atlanta area.

The French company has been absent from the U.S. market since 1991 and intends to resume selling vehicles here by 2026. The company is developing vehicles that are compliant with U.S. safety regulations, PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said at the Automotive News World Congress this week. But the company is already laying down a groundwork of 21st century transportation business activity.

In October, PSA launched its Free2Move mobility platform in the U.S. market. That product brings multiple mobility services, such as Car2go and Zipcar, together in a single app.

PSA will add a vehicle rental service to the app this year, along with other PSA services.

The automaker is using the platform to research the U.S. market as it decides which brand will lead its return. The app also reintroduces PSA to the U.S. as a mobility company, as well as a vehicle manufacturer.

Maine's Governor Forms Autonomous Vehicle Committee


AUGUSTA, ME — Tucked away in the northeastern region of the United States, the state of Maine is more known for its lobsters and rocky coastline rather than self-driving cars. However, in the near future there may be self-driving cars, trucks and even autonomous buses operating on the state's roads.

Maine's Governor, Paul LePage, has enacted an executive order forming the Maine Highly Automated Vehicles Advisory Committee. The committee will consist of 11 to 15 senior government officials that will explore the need for new policies pertaining to autonomous vehicles.

"The rapid emergence of Highly Automated Vehicle technologies across the United States carries with it the promise of motor vehicles that are capable of traveling on public roadways partially or completely without the active supervision of a human operator," LePage's order says.

The committee members include the state's commissioner of transportation, the secretary of state, a representative from the Maine Department of Public Safety, the state chief information officer and others, is charged with overseeing the "beneficial introduction" of autonomous vehicle technology and "assessing, developing and implementing" recommendations on pilot projects.

LePage explained on Twitter that the order will "ensure coordination in addressing legal & policy issues as well as infrastructure needs related to automated vehicles,"

Rep. Heather Sanborn, D-Portland, this fall sponsored L.R. 2611, which would allow towns and cities to start their own pilot programs in partnership with state agencies.

"There is no law that expressly prohibits self-driving vehicles, but there are many regulations that assume a driver will be behind the steering wheel or assumes it will even have a steering wheel," Sanborn said.

The order heightens the state's governance around the new technology by instating a new requirement that any municipality that "develops, tests, or operates" a pilot program submit a report to the legislature's joint standing committee by Dec. 1, 2021.

While 33 other states introduced legislation regarding autonomous vehicles in 2017, Maine is among those without any laws on the books related to how the technology should be managed.

LePage's office says this order will help fill that gap in governance by ensuring that local projects report to a common body.

Cadillac's CEO Says Apple's CarPlay is ‘Extremely Clunky'


Automakers today are packing their cars with the high-tech features customers want, including entertainment, connectivity, assistive technologies. Tech giants Alphabet and Apple each have their own in-vehicle systems —Android Auto and CarPlay. However, some of these systems can user some work to their UI, to make thing more intuitive and easier to use while driving.

Apparently one system has annoyed Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen enough that he openly complained about it. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, the Cadillac CEO had a number of gripes about Apple CarPlay, a system that, along with Android Auto, is rapidly becoming a staple of automotive infotainment.

Though he acknowledged the system's potential, de Nysschen said CarPlay "is extremely clunky." He detailed issues he's had with Apple Maps reacting too slowly for turn-by-turn navigation on the highway, app transitions that were not smooth, and some quirks he found when using voice commands.

While Apple CarPlay is not perfect, being criticized by a major auto brand has surprised many people. This is partly because Cadillac's own infotainment system CUE has had its own complaints.

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