Auto News for Dec. 14 – Uber now on the Streets of San Francisco

 Uber has introduced a small number of driverless cars in San Francisco, but also said there will be a vehicle operator in the front seat. If a customer decides that he or she wants to ride in a more conventional car, one can be requested.


 Mercedes today announced a new E-Class coupe that it says has full smartphone integration, a “Widescreen Cockpit” and the latest driver assistance systems with the option of semi-autonomous driving. Two high resolution 12.3 inch displays will be an option with three different virtual instrument panels in “Classic, Sport or Progressive” modes. Three engine options will be offered, from 184 horsepower to 333 horsepower, along with a four cylinder diesel that may or not make it to the U.S.

 These items in brief:

 Proposed federal regulations would require that vehicles be able to communicate with each other to avoid accidents. The rules would take effect in about five years and would be a key component in the move toward self-driving cars. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it is reviewing the matter.

 Is GM protected from claims about its ignition switches prior to its bankruptcy filing in 2009? An appeals court said it is not and GM is now appealing that judgement to the Supreme Court. GM argues bankruptcy law allows it to obtain the assets of the “old” company free and clear of liabilities.

 The European version of the Chevrolet Bolt, the Opel Ampera-e, will be priced higher than the BMW i-3 and the Nissan Leaf when it appears in Norway.

 Bloomberg reports China may fine General Motors for alleged monopolistic behavior regarding prices. GM said it would not comment on “media speculation.”




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