September 17, 2021
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California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
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California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
Jul
2021
25

GM again recalls its US electric vehicles over fire threat

The company does not have a fix for the problem that has been tied to at least nine fires nationwide since early 2020. The new fix will likely involve replacing battery modules or perhaps the entire battery pack, said GM spokesperson Dan Flores.

GM and federal safety regulators are providing steps that Bolt owners should take before their cars can be repaired. These include not parking it in a garage or next to another structure such as a home or other building due to the risk of a fire spreading. All the fires occurred when the cars were parked, and there were two reports of injuries.

The Bolt is the only EV that GM currently sells in North America, though it has other EVs it sells elsewhere, including China. US sales of the Bolt have been climbing rapidly, rising 142% to 20,000 in the first six months of this year compared with the first half of 2020. The model year 2020 and 2021 Bolts have a newer type of battery than the ones that caught fire.

This latest fire risk is comes just as GM is trying to expand its EV business.

Over the next four years, GM plans to invest $35 billion to unveil 30 different electric vehicles, 20 of them slated for the US market alone. The company has said it expects to be selling 1 million EVs annually by 2025 and has set a goal of selling only emission-free vehicles by 2035.
The new versions of the Bolt, the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV debuted earlier this year. The GMC Hummer EV pickup is due to go on sale later this year, and the Cadillac Lyriq, the luxury brand’s first EV, is scheduled to hit dealerships late next year.

GM first announced a recall of the affected Bolts in November 2020 but, then as now, it said it did not know how to fix the problem. In May it announced a software repair but then there were two fires involving vehicles that got that software fix, prompting the latest recall.

Battery packs are the most expensive component of an electric vehicle, and replacing them could prove very costly. Hyundai recalled 82,000 electric cars globally earlier this year to replace their batteries after 15 reports of fires involving the vehicles, at a cost of about $11,000 per vehicle.

Other steps that Chevy Bolt owners can take to reduce the risk of fire until a new fix is decided include keeping it below an estimated remaining 70-mile range where possible. Owners also should also set their vehicle to the 90% state-of-charge limitation either using Hilltop Reserve mode in the 2017 and 2018 model years or the Target Charge Level mode in the 2019 model year.

Or they can bring their vehicle to a dealership to make that change ahead of the replacement work.

All nine fires occurred in the United States, where nearly 51,000 of the recalled Bolts are located. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said there

Jul
2021
25

Avoid crowded public transportation with Google Maps’ new features. Here’s how

Google Maps now serves up transit crowd predictions in 100 countries. 


Angela Lang/CNET

Google Maps is adding transit crowd predictions covering 10,000 transit systems in 100 countries, making it easier for you to tell how busy your train or subway line will be, even down to each car. 

The transit predictions are based on AI technology, user feedback and location trends over time, the search giant said Wednesday. And in New York and Sydney, the crowdedness indicator goes down to a car-by-car level — so you’ll have an idea of which parts of the train to avoid. 

Transit ridership plunged during the pandemic, but as vaccines roll out in many areas worldwide, use of transit directions on Google Maps has increased 50% compared to last year in the US, according to Google. But even as we return to our normal travels, it will still take time for many people to feel comfortable in crowded places like a packed subway. 

While the Google Maps update is now available for iOS and Android users, Android users who enable location tracking will also see a new tab in your timeline with traveling trends based on your location history. You’ll be able to see how much time is spent at your favorite shops, and which modes of transportation you used most. Google Maps also lets you relive past trips by saving places from your timeline and sharing them with friends. 

Google said privacy and security remain a priority, and that the Maps update will use anonymization technology and differential privacy to keep your location history private.

We’ll show you how to easily use these new features for a smoother trip. If Google’s predictions are right, you’ll have a comfier commute (and hopefully a seat). You can also see our favorite Google Maps tricks and how to stop Google from tracking you (Hint: You’ll need to do more than disable your location).

How to check for crowded public transportation with Google Maps

train-level-crowdedness-max-1000x1000.png

Check how crowded a train is with a Google Maps update.


Google

1. Open Maps, type in your destination and tap Directions

2. At the top of the screen, select your your transportation preference (for example, bus or subway).

3. Select your route, if there are multiple ways to get there. 

4. When you’re reviewing your route you’ll see a section under the public transit section that asks “What’s it like on board?” You’ll see a message that says “Not too crowded,” “Very crowded,” or other prediction messages. 

5. If you get on a train or bus that Google Maps predicts not to be too crowded, but it’s busier than the app says, you can change the prediction by tapping on the alert and selecting if it’s crowded or at capacity based on what you see. All submissions are public. 

You may also see a message that says “Public transport services are modified due

Jul
2021
25

Pedestrian struck by car later dies of injuries

A Millville man has died of his injuries following an accident earlier this month in Vineland.

A 32-year-old Vineland man was driving a car west on Hance Bridge Road near Panther Road shortly after 11 p.m. on July 9 when he struck William K. Harris, 25, of Millville.

Police believe Harris was in the roadway for an unknown reason and said he was wearing non-reflective clothing. There is a minimal roadway shoulder of only a few inches width in that area, police noted in their report.

Harris was unresponsive when emergency responders arrived and was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

He remained hospitalized until he died of his injuries on Tuesday, police said.

No charges have been filed against the driver, but the case remains under investigation.

Harris was walking home from work when he was struck, according to a manager at Eastlyn Golf Course and The Greenview Inn in Vineland, who created a GoFundMe drive to help with his medical bills.

Harris worked there and at the Double Eagle Saloon in Vineland, Dina Matias said in her fundraiser, which had collected more than $13,000 as of Friday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Vineland Police Officer Agustin Santiago at 856-691-4111, ext. 4247.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Matt Gray may be reached at mgray@njadvancemedia.com.

Jul
2021
25

Biden team sees chip relief coming soon for carmakers on supply gains

Biden administration officials say they’re starting to see signs of relief for the global semiconductor supply shortage, including commitments from manufacturers to make more automotive-grade chips for car companies that have had to idle production.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has led President Joe Biden’s efforts on chip supply, has brokered a series of meetings between semiconductor manufacturers, their suppliers, and their customers including automakers. Senior administration officials said the meetings helped ease mistrust between the sides related to the chipmakers’ production and allocation and automakers’ orders.

The result has been more transparency about the manufacturers’ production and shipments and a gradual increase in supply for automakers, Raimondo said in an interview. The administration has also recently pressed governments in Malaysia and Vietnam to ensure semiconductor plants would be deemed “critical” businesses and maintain some production following COVID-19 outbreaks, officials said.

“You’re starting to see some improvements,” Raimondo said, adding that in recent weeks, Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley and General Motors CEO Mary Barra have told her that “they’re starting to get a little bit more of what they need” and the situation is “a little bit better.”

A Goldman Sachs analysis published last month said that the peak impact of the chip shortage was in the second quarter and auto production “should jump in July.” But U.S. automakers continue to struggle with the shortage, which is estimated to be taking a $110 billion toll on the industry.

Ford is closing or curtailing production at eight factories this month, including the plant manufacturing its new version of the iconic Bronco SUV. Five of GM’s North American plants will experience “downtime” due to “semiconductor production adjustments” this month and in August, according to GM spokesman David Barnas.

And tens of thousands of new cars remain sitting in lots outside U.S. factories, waiting for the chips that power their onboard computers.

A Ford spokeswoman declined to comment. Barnas confirmed the Barra conversation with Raimondo and provided a statement the company issued July 15.

GM’s “global purchasing and supply chain, engineering and manufacturing teams continue to find creative solutions and make strides working with the supply base to maximize production of our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles, including full-size trucks and SUVs for our customers,” the statement said.

The semiconductor shortage predated the Biden administration but emerged as a crisis for the new president earlier this year, when U.S. automakers were forced to begin curtailing production for lack of chips. Manufacturing of semiconductors is concentrated with a pair of Asian companies, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co.

TSMC, a key partner to many of the world’s biggest carmakers, said last week the company will ramp up production of microcontrollers by close to 60 percent this year, a move expected to greatly boost supplies for its automobile clients starting this quarter.

Semiconductor manufacturers and auto companies generally don’t see eye-to-eye on the causes of the shortage and the solutions. Auto companies have complained about a lack of transparency in how