Auto News for Jan. 20 – Tesla Investigation Ends


Tesla’s Autopilot and Automatic Emergency Braking systems did not malfunction in the case of a fatal accident involving a Model S in Williston Florida in 2015, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission closed out an investigation. The driver of the Tesla was killed when her car struck a tractor trailer at an intersection. The NHTSC concluded that the semi-autonomous Autopilot system is a “hands on the steering wheel” system that requires driver involvement. In this case, the driver took no braking, steering or other actions to avoid the collision, the agency said. Systems such as the Autopilot “require the continual and full attention of the driver to monitor the traffic environment and be prepared to take action to avoid crashes. The agency did not recommend any fine or recall against Tesla.

 A facility in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, has been named one of 10 designated proving grounds for autonomous vehicles by the Department of Transportation. The Detroit News said the 355 acre facility at the old Willow Run plant must open by the start of next year.

 Readers of that newspaper named the Ford GT as their favorite car at the Detroit auto show.

 In 2016, Toyota achieved another record year of North American vehicle production with 2,124,608 vehicles built at its North American vehicle assembly plants. Production volume was up 4.4 percent over the previous year’s total.

 You know that crossovers and SUV’s are hot sellers here, but what about Europe? A new study found that SUV registrations there have set a record accounting for one in four cars sold on the continent in 2016. Overall sales rose 6.5 percent over 2015.






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