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Clean Transport News Roundup (Apple, Consumer Reports vs Tesla, VW Fix, Edna, Predictive Cruise Control…)

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Could the iconic fruit company be interested in motorsports? Who is Edna, and why is she so fast? Why did CARB reject a VW emissions fix? Will the new BMW 3-series compete with the Muskmobile III? And what’s the deal with big rigs and predictive cruise control? All this and more, in today’s clean transport news roundup.

[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession.]

Rumors have it that Apple may be about to take a bite out of an iconic motorsport:

[Joe] Saward said he was hearing “whispers” of an “intensive due diligence” process underway that could ultimately lead to a sale of the sport. Another “whisper,” he said, was that Apple is the “latest bidder” for Formula One. Neither Apple nor Formula One have commented on the rumors. Saward himself says he finds it odd that Formula One won’t just deny the reports.

Edna might look a bit bulky, but she’s damn quick:

Edna strutted her stuff with a 0-60mph acceleration time of just over 3 seconds (3.08 seconds), which was fast enough to outpace the Tesla Model S (reportedly in Insane mode, not Ludicrous) and Ferrari in the video, and to do so in a boxy 5000 lb van, not the intended luxury sedan body that Atieva will be bringing to market sometime in the next couple of years.

Volkswagen, the emissions cheater we love to hate, is having an issue with its CARB (proposal):

On Wednesday, CARB rejected a proposed plan submitted by Volkswagen to fix the non-conforming auxiliary emission control devices and computer operated defeat programs installed on those [3.0 liter V6] engines. Those engines were fitted to various Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche models.

Evidently, 3 is a crowd, as BMW’s electric 3-series could be a Model III competitor:

An unnamed source tells the British publication that the new chassis has been engineered with an all electric drivetrain in mind. The source claims BMW plans to use a 90 kWh battery, which should allow the car to at least 300 miles of range. Whether that distance is computed using the generous European standard or the more conservative US testing protocol is unclear. It is projected to go on sale in 2020.

Consumer Reports is now telling Iron Man that his gadgets should better control their humans:

Consumer Reports today called on Tesla Motors to disable the auto steer functions that are part of its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. Auto steer allows the car to brake, accelerate, and steer on its own on roadways with lane markings. That part of the system should be deactivated “until it can be reprogrammed to require drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel,” Consumer Reports says. In addition. it says the name Autopilot is “misleading and potentially dangerous.”

It’s not quite autopilot for big rigs, but it could enable greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions:

In a July 13 conference call with reporters, [senior VP at International Trucks] Mooney explained that the predictive cruise software developed by Navistar incorporates mapping “so geographic features and major highway systems used by over-the-road trucks are built in.” He said the system “looks ahead and knows what’s coming up and optimizes the most fuel-efficient way to operate the truck.” The predictive cruise will speed up as much as 5 mph over the set speed, then will let the speed drop down as much as 10 mph below set speed as needed to help conserve fuel even when going up and down hills.

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Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.


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