Unlike Google, which so far is committed to manufacturing its self-driving Google Car on its own, Baidu is following a more conventional path that focuses on software while leaving the car stuff to the folks who make cars. Specifically BMW, which has been working with Baidu on a self-driving research project since 2014.
The automotive industry is expected to keep booming in the US over the next several years, but the train might start running out of steam in the long term, according to 2015's Car Wars report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy. The forecast focuses on changes between the 2016 and 2019 model years, and the latest trends appear similar in some cases to the past predictions.
The wraps have come off the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, offering higher levels of performance, technology and refinement. Camaro’s leaner, stiffer platform and slightly smaller dimensions are accentuated by a dramatic, sculpted exterior. Meticulously tuned in the wind tunnel, the exterior contributes to performance through reduced aerodynamic lift for better handling while enhancing efficiency.
The race to higher gear counts is in full swing, and automatic gearboxes are leading the way. Driven partly by marketing one-upmanship and partly by the need to meet ever-tougher fuel-economy mandates, eight-speed autoboxes are everywhere, Chrysler’s running a nine-cogger in select models, and 10-speeds—from Ford, GM, Volkswagen, and others—are just around the corner. The General’s own in-house-developed eight-speed units (for its trucks and rear-drive V-8 cars) are just making an appearance after work on them had all but stopped during the company’s plunge into bankruptcy in 2009.