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Inside Automotive (Oct 21st, 2019)

1. Europe may consider easing restrictions on automated driving software, under pressure from Tesla. Tesla’s Autopilot system in the European Union (EU) is currently required to complete lane changes within five seconds of signaling, while also facing restrictions limiting the sharpness in which a vehicle can turn. Some drivers have complained that the restrictions make Autopilot features, like “Navigate on Autopilot,” unsafe. The European Association for Electromobility, of which Tesla France is a member, has proposed raising the lane change time to 20 seconds to the UN Economic Commission for Europe, while also increasing the allowed turning radius for vehicles. — TELEGRAPH

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2. GM could be producing a battery-electric Hummer at a Detroit-based plant that was previously slated for closure. The facility was previously slated for closure, but a recent deal between the automaker and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union will resume production at the facility. Reuters reports GM wants to produce “premium” electric pickup trucks and SUVs at the plant, possibly reviving the Hummer brand on some of the vehicles. The automaker said it would invest $3 billion into the facility. — REUTERS

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3. In a podcast interview, Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen said the upcoming production version of the Roadster will be better than the prototype. Von Holzhausen made the comments on the “Ride the Lightning” podcast, saying there has been an “evolution” of what was previously expected for the vehicle, improving on already impressive specifications for the vehicle; the supercar is expected to go 0 to 60 mph in about 1.9 seconds, have a top speed of over 250 mph and be capable of driving 620 miles on a single charge. — TESLARATI

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4. GM has temporarily halted production of the 2020 Chevrolet Blazer SUV in Mexico, due to a parts shortage caused by the UAW strike. The automaker said the production was likely to resume as the strike begins to wrap up, but the production of the Chevrolet Equinox (which is produced in both Mexico and Canada) is running normally at those facilities. Mexican vehicle production was a sore point during the strike between the UAW and GM, as the union hoped to move production of these vehicles back to the United States, in a bid to save U.S.-based jobs. — DETROIT FREE PRESS

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5. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a hearing later this month to investigate a self-driving Uber vehicle crash that killed a pedestrian. The accident occurred in March of last year, when an Uber-powered Volvo XC90 SUV killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. The crash is also being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). — REUTERS

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6. Redditors discuss whether a video of a Model X on “Smart Summon” nearly striking a vehicle is legitimate. The original video was posted on TikTok by user @jwanthony25, which shows the vehicle quickly accelerating to the left, nearly hitting a Honda Accord. Some Redditors on the /r/TeslaMotors subreddit were quick to believe the video was fake, while many others detailed their issues with the Smart Summon feature. — /R/TESLAMOTORS - REDDIT

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7. Harley-Davidson is resuming production and deliveries of its LiveWire electric motorcycle. Last week, the company said it was pausing production for an undisclosed amount of time, amid a quality issue. As it turns out, the company confirmed the issue was a non-standard condition that was only found on one unit. The electric motorcycle retails for $29,799 and yields 105 horsepower. — THE VERGE

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8. Five automakers are teaming up on a blockchain-based vehicle identification system that can automatically pay for parking and toll fees. Honda, BMW, GM, Ford, and Renault are teaming up on the system under the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative. The system would assign digital IDs to individual vehicles, which would be used to recognize cars on the road. This means toll and parking fees could automatically be collected from drivers, without the need for a credit card or even specialized tags required by existing toll collection systems. — NIKKEI

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9. Johan de Nysschen is assuming some of Volkswagen U.S. CEO Scott Keogh’s responsibilities in a realignment at the company. De Nysschen, who recently joined the automaker as its COO, will assume about half of Keogh’s 27 direct reports, focusing on engineering, manufacturing, logistics, and purchasing. Keogh will focus exclusively on sales, dealer relations, and marketing, along with other group functions. Before joining Volkswagen last month, de Nysschen led Cadillac from 2014 to 2018. Keogh worked under de Nysschen at Audi’s U.S. operations. — AUTO NEWS

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10. A popular forum for discussions on all things electric scooters, Scooter Talk, shared this picture of Lyft scooters in a scrapyard in Georgia. The Twitter account claims these are “old scooters” that are no longer in commission by the company. One interesting response to the picture asked what the company does about the lithium-ion battery found inside of the scooter. The scooters reportedly being scrapped are the Ninebot ES4 and Xiaomi M365. — @SCOOTERTALK/TWITTER

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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