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Inside Automotive (Jun 30th, 2017)

Prosecutors in Stuttgart, Germany say they are focusing their investigation on three Bosch managers, as they continue to probe whether the company helped Volkswagen AG to cheat on emissions tests. The names of the employees haven't been released, but news of the investigation narrowing suggests that prosecutors may have some hard evidence. Regarding the three employees, a representative from the prosecution team says, "All of them are managers with the highest in middle management." Bosch is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice for similar claims. – AUTONEWS 

Six months after it was originally announced, Tesla has begun pushing the new Linux kernel update for its vehicles' center consoles. The 8.1 update takes the Linux kernel from version 2.6.36 to version 4.4.35. The update was originally announced for December of 2016. While the Linux push is a backend upgrade, it will pave the way for several much-anticipated advancements for the vehicle's UI: The in-car web browser will become far more user-friendly, and both the navigator and media apps will be streamlined. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says owners can expect the next upgrade in July. – ELECTREK


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Eleven-year-old Bishop Curry of Texas has invented a system for preventing hot car deaths. After being saddened by a local news report dealing with the death of a baby in a hot car, Curry went to work on what he calls "The Oasis." The original design called for a fan that would automatically turn on when the car interior reached a certain temperature, and aim a stream of cool air at whichever car seat the child may be in. He later added Wi-Fi and GPS that can contact the child's parents once the fan is activated, and can also warn police if the parents don't respond. Since Curry was invited to speak at the Center for Child Injury Prevention Conference, several car manufacturers have shown interest in Curry's invention. – CBS

According to a new report, median-income households in the 25 largest US cities could currently only afford an average-priced vehicle among new cars. In a statement, analyst Claes Bell said, “Americans are having to overextend themselves to pay for a new car at today’s prices." For example, using the "20/4/10" rule (where it is recommended that households spend 20 percent on a down payment, take a four-year loan, and use 10 percent for insurance and interest payments), residents of Miami making an average income would only be able to purchase a $13,577 car. The average price of a new car in 2017 is $35,368 with taxes included, and prices don't fluctuate between states, putting economically strapped areas at an even greater disadvantage. Other cities that are weak on car affordability are Detroit, Orlando, Tampa, and San Antonio. – FORTUNE

Did you catch the June 16 issue of Inside Automotive? We included an in-depth list of the top players in the autonomous vehicle space, and even we were a little surprised by which companies didn't make the cut.

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Faraday Future has released a video showing their all-electric FF91 racing up the 12.42-mile, 156-turn Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The FF91 was entered into the race in the "exhibition" division, and the car did comparatively well. Driver Robin Shute was able to complete the course in just over 11 minutes. That wasn't enough to win the race, as it finished 40th. But the car did make notably good time out of the gate, a testament to its "crazy speed" pickup off the starting line. Previous Faraday videos have appeared to be heavily edited, but the Pike's Peak run seems to show legitimate evidence of what the (not quite) "production" car would be capable of. – VERGE

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