Sirius acquires Agero’s connected-car business

Sirius XM has more than 25 million subscribers (Photo: Sirius XM)

Sirius XM Radio is buying the connected vehicle services business of Agero as it strives to broaden its footprint beyond its core radio offering. Sirius is paying 530 million dlrs in cash for the Agero operations. The US-based satellite radio company said the acquisition of the telematics specialist will increase the automotive customer base for […]

US auto club: Hands-free still distracts drivers

Sensors attached to testers' heads measured brain activity in the AAA study (Photo: AAA)

New research shows that hands-free technologies do little to keep drivers’ attention focused on the act of driving. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a non-profit organization, said “dangerous mental distractions” result from drivers’ hands-free operation of infotainment functions. “As mental workload and distractions increase, reaction time slows, brain function is compromised, drivers scan the […]

VW supports more IT research at Stanford University

VW does research on projects such as the "mobility companion" at its California research lab (Photo: VW)

The Volkswagen Group is making an additional 1.7 million dlrs available to Stanford University to explore new areas of automotive innovation. The grant marks a continuation of the cooperation between the German carmaker and the California-based university. VW said new research will begin at Stanford in the areas of virtual intelligence, new materials, data security […]

Ford expands US electric-vehicle dealer network

Ford recently launched the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid (Photo: Ford)

Citing strong demand, Ford is expanding the number of dealerships that can sell its electric vehicles in the US market. The carmaker said that more than 900 US dealers will soon be certified to sell EVs, up from 200 in November, 2012. The move reflects increased demand for Ford’s electrified models. The company continues to […]

VW inaugurates solar park in Chattanooga

vw chattanooga.automotiveIT

Volkswagen has inaugurated its largest solar park worldwide at its plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The German carmaker said the solar park has a peak output of 9.5 megawatts and will generate power to build the US version of the VW Passat. Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said the solar facility is part of the […]

Fiat to build Jeeps in Italy

fiat_logo.automotiveIT

Fiat will start building Jeeps in Italy from 2014. The Italian carmaker said Thursday it plans to invest more than 1 billion euros in its plant in Melfi in southern Italy to build both a new Jeep brand vehicle and a new Fiat. Melfi will be “one of the most advanced car assembly plants in […]

US wants all cars to have “black boxes” in 2014

Information is essential in car crashes (Photo: Wikimedia)

The US administration wants all cars to be equipped with event data recorders (EDRs) from September, 2014. The proposal by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would mean automakers have  to install in all new cars EDRs that capture valuable safety-related data in the seconds before and during a crash. […]

2014 Ford Fiesta in US to feature new LCD touchscreen

Ford upgrades infotainment for smaller cars (Photo: Ford)

Ford’s 2014 Fiesta model, which will be available in the US next year, will feature a new 6.5 inch LCD touchscreen designed to appeal to tech-savvy younger buyers of smaller cars. The screen is part of the MyFordTouch infotainment system the US carmaker is rolling out across all its models. Citing the growing importance of […]

OnStar prepares for Mexican business in course of 2013

Mexico will be OnStar's 4th national market when it launches there in 2013 (Photo: GM)

General Motors, which is keen to broaden the geographical reach of its OnStar safety and emergency calling system, will make the technology available in Mexico from 2013. OnStar is already marketed in the US, Canada and China. “We will continue to grow GM’s connected vehicle solutions in other regions of the world in the coming […]

SoftBank plans to acquire Sprint

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The announcement follows news last week that Deutsche Telekom intended to buy MetroPCS, another US wireless communications group. Both moves underscore the continuing transformation of the US wireless market. SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications group, said it would pay 12.1 billion dlrs to Sprint shareholders and make available 8.0 billion dlrs of new capital to strengthen […]