0:29 Tesla Gets Approval for Chinese Factory
1:13 Ronaldo’s Move to Italy a Goldmine for Jeep
1:59 Bosch & Daimler Launch Automated Shuttle Service
2:57 Detroit Auto Show Moves to June
3:39 Toyota Launches New Ride Sharing Service
4:54 Ford, BMW & PSA Test 5G-V2X Communication
5:43 Audi & Huawei Partner on Connected Car Tech
On today’s show…soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Italy is a goldmine for Jeep…Tesla gets the go-ahead to build a factory in China…and Bosch and Daimler launch an automated shuttle service in California. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
TESLA GETS APPROVAL FOR CHINESE FACTORY
Tesla just got some good news. The electric car maker received approval from Chinese authorities to build a factory in Shanghai. Tesla will start making cars about 2 years after construction gets under way and 2 to 3 years after that, it will have the capacity to ramp up to 500,000 vehicles a year. The news comes on the heels of Tesla announcing price hikes in the country due to new import tariffs. But one thing that wasn’t revealed is how much the plant will cost. Bloomberg reports that analysts want to know how the Tesla will pay for it. The company had $2.7 billion in cash at the end of the first quarter. And it’s burning through that cash to get production of the Model 3 up to speed.
RONALDO’S MOVE TO ITALY A GOLDMINE FOR JEEP
Italian soccer team Juventus is paying $130 million dollars to add superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to their organization. But what do famous soccer stars have to do with the global automotive industry? FCA sponsors Juventus, and the Jeep logo is prominently featured on its jerseys. Combine that with one of soccer’s biggest stars and it’s an advertising goldmine. According to Apex Marketing Group, Ronaldo can generate up to $58.3 million in media exposure in a year for FCA, which spends $20 million on their Juventus sponsorship annually. So it’s not just fans of the team that will benefit from the addition.
BOSCH & DAIMLER LAUNCH AUTOMATED SHUTTLE SERVICE
Bosch and Daimler are working together to develop SAE level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles, and they will use California as a pilot location to test them. The two companies will create an automated shuttle service for their customers, which will begin operation in the second half of 2019. And the artificial intelligence systems required for this service will come from tech company Nvidia. Daimler and Bosch say they hope to demonstrate how things like car sharing and ride-hailing can be connected to one another via AI.
Still to come…Toyota launches a new ride sharing service in Hawaii.
DETROIT AUTO SHOW MOVES TO JUNE
With a number of automakers pulling out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it seemed like time for a change. And now the Detroit News reports organizers are finalizing a plan to move the show from January to June in 2020. That will be music to the ears of anyone who has complained about the cold weather. But it also moves the show away from CES, which has been stealing its thunder and puts it after the New York show in April. June is also the same time as the Grand Prix in Detroit and the Windsor Detroit Fireworks display. Also on the table is a possible name change. Please, please just go back to the Detroit Auto Show.
TOYOTA LAUNCHES NEW RIDE SHARING SERVICE
Mobility services are a huge part of automakers plans for the future and Toyota is expanding its role in the segment. The automaker is launching a new ride-sharing service in Honolulu, called Hui. Users can reserve a vehicle by the hour or day through a mobile app. And they use their phone as a digital key to lock, unlock and start the car. Seventy Toyota and Lexus vehicles, including the Prius, Prius Prime, Camry, RX 350 and RX 350 F Sport will be available at 25 locations throughout Honolulu. Prices start as low as about $10/hour and $80/day to about $20/hour and $160/day, depending on the vehicle. That also includes gas and insurance.
Automakers continue to team up to develop connected vehicle technology and we’ll have more about that, right after this.
FORD, BMW & PSA TEST 5G V2X COMMUNICATION
Vehicles that can talk to each other and the infrastructure will improve safety and reduce emissions. And BMW, Ford and PSA just demonstrated how vehicles, including a scooter, from multiple manufacturers can communicate using vehicle-to-everything or V2X technology. Along with the 5G Automotive Association and Qualcomm they showed scenarios like how a following vehicle could be warned of hard braking ahead even if other cars were blocking its sight, to a warning for a vehicle stopped in or to the side of the road and even a countdown to when a traffic light will change. And by using 5G communication, the group was able to do this without cellular network coverage and say it could be ready for deployment as early as 2020.
AUDI & HUAWEI PARTNER ON CONNECTED CAR TECH
And in related news, Audi and Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, are partnering up to work on connected car technology. Part of the collaboration includes testing the “LTE-V” standard for connected vehicles in China. It can provide drivers with real-time traffic info through connections to traffic lights and video monitors at intersections. The next phase of the project kicks off in September and will feature even more applications.
Be sure to join us for Autoline After Hours this tomorrow afternoon when we’ll have a Panhard Dyna Z17 in the studio. Don’t know what that is? Don’t worry, we’ll have Ken Nelson, an expert in unusual cars explaining what this thing is all about.
But that’s it for today, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.