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Japan, EU push to make automatic emergency braking a requirement

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Forty countries have agreed to a United Nations regulation draft that calls for automatic emergency braking to be standard equipment on all new cars and commercial vehicles by early 2020. Chief among the countries are members of the European Union and Japan.

Reuters reported on the regulation draft Tuesday and countries will move to adopt the regulation in a June session of the UN. The language calls for automatic emergency braking systems to work at speeds up to 60 kph (roughly 37 mph). The EU and Japan have led the development of the regulation, which harmonizes the requirements for the systems and will make the systems required equipment in all new cars going forward. There is no regulation to fit older vehicles with the technology, which requires various sensors tied into vehicle steering and braking systems.

CHECK OUT: 20 automakers promise to make automatic braking standard by 2022

The U.S., China, and India are not part of the regulation, which reportedly builds upon an older standard set in 1958. However, automakers have previously committed to including automatic emergency braking systems as a standard feature in 99 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. by late 2021. The 20 major automakers that sell cars in the U.S. agreed to guidelines set by the NHTSA and the IIHS in 2016. 

The agreement hasn’t stopped the NTSB from making its own calls for Congress to act. In the government agency’s annual wish list for the legislative body, it asked Congress to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all cars by law. It also said the technology should be mandated on every new motorhome, bus, and semi truck on U.S. roads.

READ THIS: The 10 cheapest new cars with automatic emergency braking

More automakers have already begun to include automatic emergency braking as standard equipment. Often, the feature is bundled in a suite of additional active safety features such as active lane control and adaptive cruise control.



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World’s cheapest car to end production next year

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The Tata Nano aimed to revolutionize how India’s population moved around the country with an affordable price. Instead, it turned into an ugly sales flop. Next year marks the end of the line for the jellybean-shaped car

AFP reported Monday that new emissions and safety regulations in India mean domestic automaker Tata would need to invest considerably in the microcar to keep it in production. That’s something the automaker isn’t willing to do, according to Mayank Pareek, president of passenger vehicles at Tata.

Tata is scheduled to pull the plug on the Nana in April 2019 after 10 years on the market. The Nano burst onto the scene in 2009 and made a huge splash, even outside of its home market. Its $2,200 price captured audiences wowed by the thought of affordable transportation. Unfortunately, India’s status-conscious culture rejected the idea of a car’s cheapness. Marketed as an affordable alternative to a motorcycle, the Nano instead earned a reputation as India’s “poor-man” car.

CHECK OUT: Hey, Toyota, It Could Be Worse: You Could Have Flaming Tatas

Further, the Nano was then plagued by safety concerns. Numerous Nano engines spontaneously burst into flames and fire engulfed the cars.

The reality of failure quickly set in. Tata reportedly hoped to sell 25,000 units a month. In a few years, the automaker had sold a couple hundred cars. In 2013, Tata refreshed the car, but safety concerns hit the model again when it failed independent crash tests.

Tata’s dream of transforming transportation in India never took off, but the Nano certainly left its mark on the world one way or another.



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Jeep kicks the tires on car-sharing and subscription services

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Jeep will play host to a three-month pilot for car sharing and a subscription service. The brand’s North American-market head, Tim Kuniskis, told the Detroit News in a report last week that both pilots kick off by the end of January on a trial basis in Boston.

Turo will power the car-sharing model and Jeep has actively searched to recruit owners to participate in the pilot program to rent their vehicles out. Turo is a platform that lists thousands of privately owned vehicles for other users to rent out for a fee and pitches itself as a way to offset a monthly car payment. Jeep parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Detroit rival, General Motors, has already launched a program via its Maven brand called Peer Cars to incorporate car sharing into its business.

CHECK OUT: FCA to dabble in car-sharing, subscriptions with Jeep

The separate subscription service will be a pilot partnership between FCA and Avis. The automaker will offer a three-month subscription to Jeep owners with the ability to swap into a few other vehicles, such as a Ram pickup or Dodge Challenger. FCA’s decision to use Avis could help spare FCA dealers the cost of vehicle depreciation.

Participants in the subscription  will be able to swap vehicles up to six times during the three-month period. Two of the times will include delivery. For the other swaps, the subscriber will need to pick up the car on their own. The mixed bag of services and avenues is on purpose, according to Kuniskis. The idea is to pull a few levers at once to see what customers like and what they don’t care for as the automaker pursues its options.

Both pilot services will be limited to the first 100 Jeep owners that sign up for each.



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