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Jeep Renegade gets a Comanche ute makeover in the US

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Jeep Renegade gets a Comanche ute makeover in the US

A 2015 Jeep Renegade that was converted into a ute and badged 'Comanche', was recently for sale on eBay in the US. The one-off ute topped the bidding at US$32,000 ($40,387) with reserve not met, though American company, Boar Customs, has announced it will build more in limited numbers...

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US draft legislation frees self-driving cars from safety standards
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US draft legislation frees self-driving cars from safety standards

A bipartisan draft bill relating to "highly automated vehicles" has been released, and it seeks to significantly reduce the burden on car makers and other companies working to develop, test and deploy self-driving car and autonomous vehicle technology on public roads. As currently worded, the new bill would exempt up to 100,000 self-driving cars per year, per company, from having to comply with existing car safety legislation...


BMW's biggest plant is in the US
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BMW's biggest plant is in the US

BMW, the quintessentially German luxury car maker, actually makes more vehicles in the United States than any other country. The Bavarian company just marked the 25th anniversary of its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where it makes X-badged SUV models. Continuous expansions of the plant with extensive additions have made the plant the largest manufacturing facility in the BMW Group production network...


Ford recalls 400,000 Transit vans in North America, Australia unaffected
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Ford recalls 400,000 Transit vans in North America, Australia unaffected

A total of 402,462 Ford Transit vans have been recalled in North America over concerns the drive shaft coupling could crack - though Australian versions are not affected. According to reports, Transits that have racked up mileage could be susceptible to the fault, which can cause several major problems like loss of power, or the vehicle could roll away when parked without the handbrake engaged...


NTC renews call for stricter emissions regulations in Australia
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NTC renews call for stricter emissions regulations in Australia

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a new report regarding the rate of improvement for the nation's new vehicle emissions, and has once again called on the Federal Government to implement more stringent regulations like Europe and the USA...


Uber suspends autonomous driving project after crash - UPDATE
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Uber suspends autonomous driving project after crash - UPDATE

UPDATE: Uber appears to have rolled its autonomous XC90 back onto its wheels, with Reuters reporting the company's self-driving development project is now back in testing after police gave it the all-clear. As before, the company is understood to have resumed testing in Tempe, San Francisco and Pittsburgh...


Mercedes-Benz to recall 1 million cars globally for engine fires, local impact unclear
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Mercedes-Benz to recall 1 million cars globally for engine fires, local impact unclear

Mercedes-Benz will recall around 1 million vehicles across various model lines, after numerous reports of engine fires as a result of a faulty fuse. According to a report published by industry journal Automotive News, parent company Daimler announced the recall after 51 fires were reported - the majority being in the USA...


GM, Lyft to test thousands of autonomous Chevrolet Bolts in 2018 - report
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GM, Lyft to test thousands of autonomous Chevrolet Bolts in 2018 - report

General Motors is planning to deploy a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs with its ride-sharing partner Lyft next year, according to a new report. Reuters cites "two sources familiar with the automaker's plans", saying the American automotive giant is looking to send thousands of autonomous-capable Bolts into testing from next year, which would mark the largest test of fully-driverless vehicles by any major manufacturer...


Order books closing on Holden-built Chevrolet SS
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Order books closing on Holden-built Chevrolet SS

The Chevrolet SS sports sedan - basically the rebadged US-market version of our Holden Commodore - is taking its final orders this month. According to online blog, GM Authority, February is the final month for US customers to place an order for the Aussie-built sports sedan, leaving little more than a week to secure the Chevrolet-badged Commodore...


Google's autonomous cars getting safer
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Google's autonomous cars getting safer

Google's self-driving offshoot Waymo is a step closer to making fully-autonomous vehicles a mainstream reality, according to a new government report released this week. California's Department of Motor Vehicles has released its annual autonomous vehicles disengagement report, which details the number of times human drivers were forced to take control back from driverless vehicles during testing on public roads...


FCA confirms Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, Pickup Truck and US$1 billion investment in US production facilities
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FCA confirms Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, Pickup Truck and US$1 billion investment in US production facilities

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US has confirmed several upcoming Jeep models along with a US$1 billion ($1.37 billion) investment into its Michigan and Ohio production facilities. The Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and 'Pickup Truck' – likely to be the dual-cab ute based on the next-generation Wrangler off-roader and likely on the radar for Australia – have been confirmed to commence production by 2020, which should see the addition of 2000 American jobs...


Volkswagen settles two Dieselgate suits for around $3.4 billion, European fixes approved
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Volkswagen settles two Dieselgate suits for around $3.4 billion, European fixes approved

Volkswagen has settled two major Dieselgate-related lawsuits in North America, which could set the company back a further $3.4 billion dollars. 3.0-litre V6 TDI The first case is a US civil lawsuit in relation to the 3.0-litre V6 TDI engine that has a defeat device that detects laboratory emissions testing and is capable of putting the engine into a “temperature conditioning” mode, which limits NOx (oxides of nitrogen) output...


Michigan lawmakers clear road for driverless cars without human controls
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Michigan lawmakers clear road for driverless cars without human controls

Authorities in the US state of Michigan have passed a package of automaker-backed bills that will allow autonomous vehicles to drive on public roads without steering wheels or pedals. According to a new report by the US's Fortune, Michigan's Governor, Rick Snyder, passed the legislation in an effort to re-establish the state as the leader in driverless vehicle development...


Nikola One: Hydrogen freight hauler officially revealed, advanced new battery pack detailed
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Nikola One: Hydrogen freight hauler officially revealed, advanced new battery pack detailed

The Nikola One hydrogen-fuelled semi truck has been officially revealed at the company's Salt Lake City headquarters, along with new details about the zero-emissions hauler. Powered by a fully-electric drivetrain that draws energy from lithium-ion batteries and a hydrogen fuel-cell, the Nikola One claims a zero-emissions range of 800 to 1200 miles (1287-1931km)...


Apple finally reveals autonomous vehicle intentions
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Apple finally reveals autonomous vehicle intentions

American technology giant Apple has at last confirmed its plans to become a player in the coming autonomous vehicle market, in a letter to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - although the extent of its plans remains unclear. Dated November 22, 2016, the document mentions areas where Apple is developing technologies and systems that could contribute to autonomous vehicles...


US authorities want phones to have a 'driver mode' to combat distracted driving
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US authorities want phones to have a 'driver mode' to combat distracted driving

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed new guidelines for a mobile phone 'driver mode', which it believes will help address distracted driving. In a document that covers the second phase of the agency's voluntary guidelines to reduce driver distraction, the US DOT wants manufacturers of portable devices and aftermarket electronic device developers to design new products that offer simplified interfaces and reduce the amount of time drivers take their eyes off the road...


Volkswagen to withdraw diesels from US market, Mercedes-Benz could follow - report
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Volkswagen to withdraw diesels from US market, Mercedes-Benz could follow - report

Volkswagen will not offer new diesel models in the US, the company's brand chief has announced this week, ahead of more stringent regulations that will come into effect by the end of the decade. German newspaper Handelblatt reports that the automotive giant has made the decision to withdraw its diesel offerings, contrary to previous reports that Volkswagen executives indicated TDI models may come back to the States for the one or two years leading up to the new, stricter diesel laws...


Volvo launches mobile concierge service in the US
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Volvo launches mobile concierge service in the US

Swedish manufacturer Volvo has launched a pilot program for its mobile concierge service in the US, which will allow owners to have their car serviced, cleaned and refuelled at their home. Based on the company's consumer research, over 70 per cent of Volvo customers want refuelling services at their fingertips, while 56 per cent want their car picked up for routine maintenance, and 49 per cent would like to be able to have their car moved to another location when desired...


Auto industry lobbies Trump to ease fuel economy targets, safety regulations
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Auto industry lobbies Trump to ease fuel economy targets, safety regulations

A lobbying group representing the majority of the American automotive industry has begun trying to persuade President-elect Donald Trump to ease environmental and safety regulations covering the industry. Automotive News has obtained and published a letter sent by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to the President-elect and his transition team...


Nissan Tsuru v Nissan Versa: Global NCAP crash test demonstrates concerns in developing markets
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Nissan Tsuru v Nissan Versa: Global NCAP crash test demonstrates concerns in developing markets

International crash-testing authority Global NCAP has conducted its car-to-car crash test between two equivalent models from the US and Mexican markets - and the results are alarming. From the States is the 2016 Nissan Versa (formerly sold here as the Almera), the most affordable Nissan sedan sold in the US...