May 8th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Nissan Murano under investigation, UPS introduces fuel-cell truck

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【Summary】Car News of the Day for May 8th, 2017.

Original Claire    May 08, 2017 5:41 PM PT
May 8th, 2017 Car News of the Day: Nissan Murano under investigation, UPS introduces fuel-cell truck

Regulators investigate faulty brakes on 2009 Nissan Murano

US safety regulators have launched an investigation on 2009 Nissan Murano, due to complaints of faulty brakes filed by owners.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are 58 individual complaints about faulty brakes on the 2009 Nissan Murano model. The problem usually occurs during a hard braking maneuver, when the ABS engages and the brake pedal loses pressure. Many drivers claim it feels like "the pedal is going to the floor." In some cases, customers complained that they could not stop within a desired distance, forcing them to go through red lights or stop signs. So far, one crash and three injuries have been reported which were attributed to the fault.

In a statement to AutoNews, Nissan North America representative Steve Yaeger said the company is reviewing its data right now, and will always work cooperatively with regulators to answer their questions.

UPS introduces its fuel-cell delivery vehicle


The world's largest package delivery company, UPS will start testing its extended-range fuel cell delivery trucks in California this year. Partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy, the company is working to develop a hydrogen-powered truck that can meet the strict range requirements of UPS trucks.

The first prototype will be in Sacramento this fall, with additional trucks arriving in the golden state. UPS will carry on 5000 hours of testing to make sure the trucks are safe to operate on the roads. Each vehicle will be equipped with a 32-kilowatt fuel cell for power. The vehicles will also have 45 kWh of battery storage, and each can hold 10 kg of hydrogen fuel onboard.

Uber posts Semi-truck image, hinting its long-Haul trucking project


Amid controversies, Uber's CEO Travis Kalanic posted a photo of a large semi over the weekend, which is speculated by many as to be its long-hauling truck project, Uber Freight.

The project stems from Uber's acquisition of Otto, whose founder Anthony Levandowski is currently involved in lawsuit with Waymo over stolen intellectual property.

Otto is a self-driving truck startup that was purchased by Uber for $680 million, shortly after forming. Media reports and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's tweets suggested that Uber Freight might include a fleet of semis.

Meanwhile, the judge overseeing Uber and Waymo's case is expected to decide this week whether to issue an injunction that could halt Uber's autonomous program until the case is resolved.

VW said it will leapfrog Tesla in EV production

German automaker Volkswagen has set up its ambitious plan of building one million electric cars by 2025, and shows confidence that it can surpass Tesla to become the world leader in EV market.

At a recent press conference, VW brand head Herbert Diess said the company will be able to use "leapfrogging cost advantages" to profitably sell electric cars at the same price as diesel models, and acknowledged that although traditional U.S. automakers are their major competitors, "anything Tesla can do, VW can surpass."

In April, VW has announced it will spend 20 billion euros by 2022 on more efficient, cleaner engines, and plan to offer low-priced electric cars in China next year.

Tesla will now send short video clips collected from your car


Tesla has recently updated its Autopilot system along with a new revised data sharing policy, asking drivers for access to "short video clips" from external cameras.

"In order to do so, we need to collect short video clips using the car's external camera to learn how to recognize things like lane lines, street signs and traffic light positions. The more fleet learning of road conditions we are able to do, the better your Tesla's self-driving ability will become." Tesla said in its policy statement.

The company emphasized that the videos are not linked to driver's vehicle identification number. And to protect personal privacy, there is no way to search Tesla's internal systems for clips that are associated with a specific vehicle.

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