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Waymo has applied for a patent to prevent motion sickness in its vehicles. The patent involves determining routes that would minimize motion sickness for passengers, and is part of a system that would give options to riders who may be more sensitive to motion sickness. For example, some passengers may opt for a relaxed ride on a longer route; other passengers who may be in a rush may be OK with a rougher but quicker route. The app would also alert riders with tips on how to avoid motion sickness and which seats in the car would lessen the effects of motion sickness. It is not clear if this patent will be executed on any the cars Waymo is testing across the country, or if the company will adopt the technology at all. — CNN
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Self-driving cars with “remote” drivers could be tested on California roads as early as April. At present, the state DMV requires all autonomous vehicles to have a back-up driver in the car. The proposed regulations would allow companies to use “remote” drivers to take control of vehicles if need be. This would bring self-driving cars one step closer to their ultimate goal of being completely driverless. The regulations are expected to be approved later this month, after a public notice period. The presence of a remote operator, similar to technology used by NASA and the military, may reassure lawmakers and potential passengers who are skeptical about the vehicles’ safety. — CNBC
Hyundai believes hydrogen fuel-cell cars will be the best bet for self-driving technology. Unlike competing automakers that have been betting on electric cars for autonomy, Hyundai sees hydrogen fuel-cell as a way to solve power issues with the vehicles. "If we get a perfect autonomous world, then the vehicle will need a lot of energy for computing," Kim Sae-hoon, VP of Hyundai Motor Group's fuel-cell group, told Automotive News. "We think hydrogen can provide a beneficial platform.” While hydrogen fuel-cell is not seen by many auto industry leaders, like Elon Musk, as a future friendly technology, Hyundai and Toyota have both made big investments in the space. Compared to an EV, a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle can refill in just minutes. — AUTO NEWS
Toyota has developed a new magnet that could reduce EV costs. The automaker says its neodymium-reduced, heat-resistant magnet will aid in the production of small electric motors. These magnets can be used in motors as small as those used in power windows, and as big as the ones used in electric cars. At the moment, electric motors require large amounts of the rare-earth metals neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium. The new magnets eliminate the need for terbium and dysprosium, while also replacing 20 percent of the neodymium with lanthanum and cerium, which are less expensive. Toyota plans to use the magnets in its power-steering systems by the 2020s and power electric vehicles within the next 10 years. — REUTERS
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will phase out diesel-powered vehicles by 2022. This coincides with FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne’s vision to make most of FCA’s vehicles fully electric or hybrid by 2025. FCA owns the Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat nameplates and will roll out a four-year plan to phase out diesel later this year. This comes as FCA recently reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle its emissions “cheating” lawsuit regarding its diesel-powered vehicles. — THE VERGE