Autonomous vehicles may be coming to market quickly, but Toyota is backing another option – flying cars. A group called Cartivator has been working on the project and Toyota agreed to commit more than $350,000. A prototype ready for a manned test flight is expected by the end of 2018, with a target to commercialize a flying car in 2020, to fall in conjunction with the Olympics being hosted in Tokyo. Maybe flying vehicles won’t be limited to the Jetsons!Self-driving electrified vehicles will dominate U.S. roads in 13 years, while gasoline-powered vehicles will remain but represent only 5% of all consumer miles driven, according to a new report from RethinkX. The firm forecasts that by 2030, self driving cars, will represent 95% of all car miles driven. Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall on more than 1.25 million pickup trucks worldwide to address a software error linked to reports of one crash death and two injuries. The recall, which starts in late June, affects the side air bag and seat belt pretensioners, which may not deploy during a vehicle rollover spurred by a significant underbody impact. The erroneous code will be reprogrammed to address the error. 1.02 million 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups, and 2014-2016 Ram 3500 pickups in the United States are affected.
Final approval has been issued for the Volkswagen 3.0-liter diesel settlement in which the automaker will buy back or repair some 80,000 vehicles from the VW Audi and Porsche brands. The approval immediately launches the buyback and compensation process for several groups of owners, including the majority who will keep their vehicles and receive compensation and a technical update package.
As part of the $1.22 billion settlement, VW will purchase back or repair approximately 20,000 of the “Generation 1” models, consisting of 2009-12 model year VW Touareg and Audi Q7 models, and repair more than 58,000 “Generation 2” VW, Porsche and Audi vehicles from the 2013-16 model years. Generation 1 vehicles owner will receive compensation and will have the option of selling their vehicles back, trading them in, or keeping them and receiving a technical fix. The later Gen 2 models are all expected to be brought into compliance — a buyback option will not be offered — though owners of Gen 2 vehicles will also receive compensation. The technical fixes will be implemented once the EPA gives their approval.