That’s Interesting•Answer: 40 years. Question: How long has the Ford F-series now been America’s best-selling truck? Answer: 40yearstough.com. Question: A website that fests the F-series.
•Nissan has an online store built around its X-Trail SUV. The Nissan Xtreme Collection has five products “aimed at recreating extreme environments anywhere, such as a rock to enjoy bouldering at home or water drums to recreate a waterfall.” Amazon Japan has them at amazon.co.jp.
•The Canadian Automobile Association’s Grinding to a Halt, Evaluating Canada’s Worst Bottlenecks is a study of traffic congestion, and Toronto scored 10 bottlenecks in the list of the Top 20. Shoutout to Montreal, with five.
•Most Wanted Fullsize Truck award from edmunds.com? The Ford F-150.
•Ford has added ExxonMobil’s Speedpass+ app to its SYNC AppLink. You can now pay for fuel through the app as well as search for participating Exxons and Mobils.
•Fiat Chrysler is making a $1 billion investment in its plants in Michigan and Ohio. Also, the south plant in the Toledo Assembly Complex will build the all-new Jeep pickup.
•Polaris has a division called Polaris Defense, and that group got an order from the U.S. Marine Corps for 144 four-seater MRZR-D4s for the utility task vehicle program.
•GM has begun testing autonomous vehicles on public roads.
•Wal-Mart is partnering with carsaver.com; kiosks will start popping up at Wal-Marts, where you can shop, then make an appointment at a local dealership.
•The Chrysler Portal concept vehicle uses facial recognition to identify who is in the vehicle and will then switch to the preferred settings, including temp and music.
•The Nissan Titan won our sister Truck Trend’s 2017 Pickup Truck of the Year.
•Off-road racer, Andy Cohen, has passed away.
•The Walter P. Chrysler Museum has closed down.
•Eco-Hearse—Leverton & Sons said it has the UK’s first fully electric hearse. It’s a Nissan Leaf. The funeral directors are enviro-friendly…they offer coffins made of biodegradable materials.
•The U.S. EPA is alleging that Fiat Chrysler may have VW’d, as in possibly used defeat devices for passing emissions testing and has issued a notice of violation. The California Air Resources Board has also issued one. Under the microscope are ’17 Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s with the EcoDiesel.
Is It True?•Ford Bronco, 2020, global vehicle, and built at Michigan Assembly Plant?
•Lyft cofounders think they’ve unlocked the solution to ending traffic: Specific streets and highways marked as smart lanes? And use would have a fee unless you’re carpooling, according to a piece they wrote for medium.com?
•Land Rover hit a record-breaking year in 2016 for U.S. sales, besting 2015’s record?
•Has Amazon started getting patents related to self-driving tech?
•Ram’s delaying the redesign of its heavy-duty trucks to save some cash?
•The new Jeep Grand Cherokee will have an Alfa Romeo Giulia platform?
•Is Fiat Chrysler adding around 400 dealerships in the U.S.?
•Paris is banning almost all diesel cars made before 2000?
Your Government at Work•Bridgestone has joined the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck II program, and the U.S. Department of Energy will match the tiremaker’s financial investment as it engineers prototype tires with better fuel efficiency. The project is about researching and developing tech for improving heavy-truck freight performance.
•The U.S. Department of Transportation has set 10 proving-ground pilot sites for autonomous-tech testing. The designees are City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute; Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership; U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center; American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run; Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station; San Diego Association of Governments; Iowa City Area Development Group; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners; and North Carolina Turnpike Authority.
•A report by the U.S. Department of Transportation—called “Conditions and Performance” report by those in the know—noted “an $836 billion backlog of unmet capital investment needs for highways and bridges” and “addressing the growing backlog while still meeting other needs as they arise over the next two decades will require $142.5 billion in combined transportation spending from state, federal, and local governments.”
•A video has been put out by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to help Pennsylvanians drive roundabouts. The state has 32 of them, with about 30 more in process or planned. Learn more penndot.gov/projectandprograms/roaddesignenvironment/roaddesign/pages/roundabouts.aspx
•Transportation Research Center is behind an all-new 540-acre SMART Center for automated and autonomous testing, and $45 million in Phase 1 funding is coming from the State of Ohio and Ohio State University.
•California’s biggest utility companies are looking to spend $1 billion on electrification things, such as stations that could charge a vehicle in 30 minutes or less, money for ridesharers who are in EVs, and residential vehicle chargers, among other technology.
What’s Happening in the Industry•Sears Auto Center has hooked up with myCarfax Service Shop. Now, the centers will have access to Carfax info. Customers will get the service for free, which translates to vehicle-specific reminders for maintenance and other service.
•Yokohama Tire is now Official Tire Sponsor of US Youth Soccer.
•Weld Racing and MOMO have merged and will offer loads of wheels, safety products, and more.