+++ AUDI SPORT is considering a more extreme version of the R8 that will retain its road-legal status, albeit with a number of visual and mechanical changes. Set to build on the success of the R8 RWS, it will become a challenger to the likes of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT (R) Black Series and was hinted by the automaker’s performance division chief, Oliver Hoffman. “We have some good ideas for a more extreme R8 as we know the powerful exterior design of our racing car is amazing; people want to drive this on the street”, he said. “The racing car engine is almost identical to the road car’s, so that’s already proven, but we have the GT3 drivers doing chassis testing for us. For example, Frank Stippler, he’s driving our GT3 car and is also our development guy doing the Nurburgring testing for road cars”. In spite of the obvious desire to come up with a track-focused variant of the R8, the rumored model won’t get a major power overhaul. That’s because Audi Sport isn’t interested in electrifying the 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V10; not for this generation at least. Instead, it will focus on handling, with Hoffmann alluding to a GT3-derived chassis featuring suspension and brake upgrades, as well as bodywork add-ons inspired by the racer. Given that the second-generation R8 has been around since 2015, with a refreshed version introduced last year, this derivative could be a good way to send it off. Talks are already underway for its successor, which seems to be getting a fully electric powertrain and, of course, even more grunt to match its updated looks. In other related news, Hoffman confirmed that, despite the success of the R8 RWS, other Audi RS models won’t get rear-wheel drive. They won’t even gain a modified Quattro AWD system similar to BMW’s xDrive that allows the new M5 to become a tail-happy car at the push of a button. Also, he admitted what was already on everyone’s minds: that the recently launched SQ8 TDI will soon be joined by the RS Q8, which will be Ingoldstadt’s top SUV. +++ 

+++ BMW has announced that it intends to bring forward its electrification plans. The previous strategy, which would involve the release of 12 plug-in vehicles by 2025, will see those hybrid and fully electric vehicles now hit the market by 2023. The move to bring the fleet of models forward 2 years is made possible, according to BMW, by its flexible vehicle architecture. This means that in such models, only the bulkhead is fixed; behind and ahead of that, varying structures are able to accommodate combustion engines, battery packs, or a combination of the 2. Of those 12 vehicles, over half will be fully electric. Among those will be the iX3, the Mini Cooper S E and further down the line the i4, a replacement for the i3 and the production version of the iNext. Plug-in hybrid models will be either introduced as new models or revisions of existing cars, too. Updated versions of both the 5 Series and 2 Series Active Tourer plug-in models, due to be revealed laer in the summer, will gain increased electric-only ranges, while further down the line, plug-in variants of the X1 and the 3 Series Touring. Speaking in Munich, Harald Krüger, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW, said: “We are moving up a gear in the transformation towards sustainable mobility, thereby making our company fit for the future: Over the past 2 years, we have consistently taken numerous decisions that we are now bringing to the roads. By 2021, we will have doubled our sales of electrified vehicles compared with 2019”. BMW has invested in a flexible vehicle architecture that accommodates fully electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion-engine powertrains, and Krüger says this is key to being able to advance its electrification plans. +++ 

+++ BMW M CARS will not go fully electric until they can offer comparable track or fast road driving experiences to today’s cars, according to the firm’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich. Asked why the BMW M Next concept revealed today was a plug-in hybrid rather than a fully electric vehicle, Fröhlich said: “M is not and can never be just about longitudinal acceleration. You have to have the capability of fun driving with corners, and that makes weight key. The M Next concept weighs in at 1.600 – 1.650 kg; acceptable for a car that is sensational to drive. Even with a great package, the equivalent would be at least 2.1 tonnes, which is not acceptable for an M car. Until then we will have normally aspirated, turbo and ‘powered’ PHEV applications that deliver what we want to achieve”. However, Fröhlich did concede that full battery-powered M cars were in the pipeline, and would be likely to make production around 2025. “The definition of M is not remotely about technology, but only performance”, he said. “When we can deliver that, we will have the option to switch”. However, Fröhlich added that solid-state batteries (regarded as an opportunity to halve weight and cost for the same power density) will not be ready for mass production until the 2030s. Fröhlich also highlighted that electrified applications can deliver benefits for performance car drivers, notably around more tunable traction control settings. “The control can be 100 % faster than on an M4 today, so it is easy to have a more responsive car”, he said. “If you want a drift mode that slips to 5 or 10 degrees (or even 45) then it is easy”. +++

+++ When a company suddenly warns it won’t meet its profit target, shareholders can be unforgiving; especially when there is still more than half the year to go. That is what DAIMLER boss Ola Källenius is learning a little more than a month into his new job. Daimler’s third profit warning in less than 12 months risks rekindling bad memories. In their earlier years leading the company, the previous management team under CEO Dieter Zetsche and finance chief Bodo Übber regularly overpromised and underdelivered. Daimler wasn’t helped by saying the revision in guidance is only a minor change from a slight increase in 2019 annual operating earnings to being roughly flat. “New year, same old game”, summarized NordLB analyst Frank Schwope. Confidence in the company has been shaken and that is what makes this hit so symbolically crucial for Källenius and his head of finance, Harald Wilhelm. New CEOs often are given more leniency when it comes to their first earnings revision, but nothing is worse for a company’s credibility than a drip-feed of bad news. That is exactly the risk stemming from Daimler’s numerous ongoing legal scandals, in particular those related to excessive diesel emissions; cited as the reason for the profit warning. “The endless array of so called ‘one-time effects’ raises questions regarding process, management information systems and ultimately accountability of accountability of management”, Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note to investors. Barring a positive surprise such as a snap decision to float Daimler Trucks on the stock market, Källenius may have already exhausted his initial reserve of political capital among investors. He can’t afford a second warning over the next 12 months, let alone the rest of this year, as it could be devastating for market confidence in his leadership. Bigger tests are still to come. Investors remain in the dark about the true ambition and scale of Daimler’s cost-cutting plans, for example. One key event to watch is Volkswagen Group’s IPO of its commercial vehicles business, scheduled for later this week. Should this match the success of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ spin off of Ferrari, Källenius may find it hard to earn political points among investors were he to choose to do likewise. The optics of such a sudden strategic shift would not be favorable, as it would suggest Källenius had little other choice and was acting defensively. A failure of VW’s Traton IPO would likely alleviate pressure on Källenius. The 50-year-old Swede started his term on a positive note, linking management pay to his ambition to put the entire Mercedes passenger car fleet on a path for full decarbonization by 2039. Källenius’ honeymoon as new CEO appears to be over. Now we will get a first impression of how he handles adversity. +++ 

+++ BMW ’s new E-DRIVE ZONE function will use geo-fencing technology to recognize emissions-free zones in urban areas and automatically switch your plug-in hybrid model’s driving mode to fully electric. The German automaker is hoping that eDrive Zone will give PHEVs the same type of access rights as with fully electric models, since they will behave in the same exact way when entering specific areas. All BMW plug-in hybrids will behave this way starting next year. Aside from the eDrive Zone function, BMW is also looking to further stimulate drivers through the BMW Points app, which encourages PHEV customers to “get the most out of their electric drive”. What this means is that the miles you cover while in EV mode will be rewarded with points, as will high-voltage battery charging. By collecting a large enough number of points, participants can then gain access to rewards such as free charging volumes on Charge Now; more rewards will be made available in the future (Share Now, Park Now). This system has already been trialed by 50 volunteer plug-in hybrid drivers in Rotterdam, over a period of 3 months last year. Last year, the BMW Group sold a total of 142,617 electrified BMWs and Minis. By the end of this year, the automaker expects to reach an overall total of half a million electrified units sold. +++

+++ BMW “could launch 100 ELECTRIFIED cars by 2023” if customer demand was there to buy them, according to the firm’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich. His comments coincided with today’s announcement that BMW is pulling forward its electrified launch goal of 25 new vehicles by 2 years. Fröhlich says this is possible because of the flexibility of the firm’s modular fifth-generation architecture, which is designed to underpin battery, plug-in hybrid and engine applications. “What we have now is a jigsaw puzzle of technology, and we can fit the jigsaw together to provide whatever the customer needs”, he said. “The decision to pull forward the production dates is simply driven by customer demand growing faster than expected. You saw the same flexibility with how we coped with the drop in demand for diesel. My team is reading; for each application, all it needs is a year for homologation work and a year for fine-tuning”. Fröhlich added that the fifth-generation architecture also gave flexibility for the firm to raise and lower the electric range of its plug-in hybrid vehicles according to requirements. “There is space either side of the driveshafts, so if legislation or customer demand changes, then we can scale the electric range by adding more cells in the underfloor and without any compromises to space in the boot or fuel tank, for instance”, he said. Fröhlich also highlighted his belief that solid-state batteries (which have the capability to dramatically increase range and lower cost) would not reach significant production volumes until the 2030s. “I’m sure that 99 % of production will be around lithium/ion”, he said. “There might be some pilots around 2025 but they will be lower performance and higher cost compared to lithium/ion, which still has a long way to be developed”. +++ 

+++ FORD has extended the production of its special-edition Mustang Bullitt into 2020, after the initial run of cars sold out almost as soon as they were made available. It gains additional equipment including Recaro seats, upholstery finished with green stitching, an 8-ball gearknob and the Bullitt Electronics Package, which adds sat-nav, a premium sound system, blindspot monitor and cross-traffic alert, as well as driver memory seats and mirrors. Each car will have a unique chassis number plaque on the interior. The Bullitt is marked out by Dark Highland Green paint (black is also available), with gunmetal-finished 19 inch torque-thrust aluminium wheels, red painted brake calipers and a black front grille. At the rear, the Bullitt false petrol cap shows the car’s significance. The Bullitt also gets a series of mechanical modifications to cement its status as the most special non-Shelby Mustang in the range. The first Bullitt to reach Europe was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was demonstrated alongside its inspiration: the original Mustang from the Bullitt movie. Initially revealed at the Detroit motor show in January and since shown at the Geneva motor show and Festival of Speed, this latest iteration of the Mustang Bullitt is the third to pay tribute to the car that appeared in the movie Bullitt on the famous film’s 50th anniversary. The first came in the Mustang’s fourth generation in 2001, and then again in 2008 for the fifth-generation Mustang, regarded as a reinvention of the model. The Bullitt is based on the 2018 version of the car and gets a special livery inspired by the classic 1968 Mustang used in the Steve McQueen epic, best known for its car chase scene. +++ 

+++ Former Nissan chairman Carlos GHOSN ’s defense team urged prosecutors to explain in detail why they decided not to charge the automaker’s current boss for his involvement in their client’s alleged financial misconduct, according to people close to the matter. The request was made during a pretrial proceeding held to discuss the former auto tycoon’s alleged crimes. The procedure was the first in relation to the charge of underreporting remuneration in Nissan securities reports leveled at the 65-year-old Ghosn. During the proceeding (held to narrow down points of dispute ahead of a trial and attended by a judge, prosecutors and lawyers) Ghosn’s defense requested an explanation over the April 26 decision not to indict Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa for his part in approving securities reports cited in Ghosn’s indictment, the sources said. Ghosn, wearing a dark, striped suit with a tie, was also joined at the Tokyo District Court by former close aide Greg Kelly, who is accused of conspiring to underreport his former boss’ remuneration. A complaint has been filed alleging Saikawa violated the financial instruments law by being aware that Ghosn’s remuneration was underreported when he was Nissan chief. Saikawa, who succeeded Ghosn as president and chief executive officer in April 2017, told investigators that he signed a company document regarding the post-retirement payment to Ghosn “without thinking deeply” because he considered the matter already agreed between Ghosn and Kelly, according to different sources familiar with the matter. During the process, Ghosn’s lawyer also requested prosecutors promptly present evidence. As for the other charge leveled against Ghosn over aggravated breach of trust involving the transfer of private investment losses to the automaker, a pretrial procedure was already conducted on May 23. The procedure for that charge was also discussed during the process. The next round of discussions will be held July 23, the sources said. Since his initial arrest last November, Ghosn was indicted over a violation of the financial instruments law for allegedly underreporting his remuneration in the 8 years through March 2018 as around ¥7.8 billion ($72 million) when his pay actually totaled around ¥17 billion. He is also accused of having a Nissan subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates pay $10 million to a distributor in Oman between July 2017 and last July, and having $5 million of that money transferred to a savings account at a Lebanese investment firm that Ghosn effectively owns. Ghosn, credited with saving Nissan when it was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s, has been stripped of his chairmanship posts at Nissan and its alliance partners Renault and Mitsubishi. He has denied all allegations, saying in a video message recorded prior to his fourth arrest in April that he is the victim of a “conspiracy” by Nissan executives who felt that a possible convergence or merger with Renault would threaten Nissan’s autonomy. Ghosn has been free on bail since April 26 following his 4th indictment in April 22. +++ 

+++ MITSUBISHI shareholders approved the ouster of Carlos Ghosn, who was pivotal in the Japanese automaker’s three-way partnership with Nissan and Renault until he was arrested on financial misconduct charges last year. The vote took place at a 2 hour general meeting of shareholders at a Tokyo hotel, with approval shown in clapping from some 500 shareholders present, although some votes were submitted in advance. Nissan owns 34 % of Mitsubishi. Osamu Masuko, who was reappointed chairman, promised to strengthen governance and transparency and monitor wrongdoing. More outsiders will check executive appointments and compensation, he said. Nissan shareholders held an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting in April to oust Ghosn as chairman. They also approved the appointment of French alliance partner Renault’s chairman Jean-Dominique Senard to replace Ghosn. Renault owns 43 % of Nissan. Nissan, based in the port city of Yokohama, is holding a general shareholders’ meeting next week to approve other measures, including setting up committees to strengthen governance. Nissan said 2 Renault executives will be on the committees. Renault had earlier said it will abstain in that vote, and the greater representation promised on the committees may gain Renault’s approval. Some analysts suggest a deepening rift between Renault and Nissan after a planned merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles fell through earlier this month. Nissan expressed reservations about immediately joining the merger. Masuko told shareholders the auto industry faced challenges because of the costs of advancements such as emissions standards and self-driving technology. He said the Tokyo-based automaker will pursue focus over expansion, repeatedly highlighting the company motto “small but beautiful”. He also stressed the importance of auto alliances. “We want to be a profitable company even if smaller in scale”, he told shareholders. One Mitsubishi shareholder expressed anger over the Ghosn scandal. But most of the questions asked were peaceful and those asking wanted to know about new models and market strategy. Ghosn, who led Nissan for 2 decades, saving it from near-bankruptcy, had served as chairman at Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and was long a revered figure in the industry. He has been charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting retirement compensation and with breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and in diverting Nissan money for personal gain. Ghosn says he is innocent. He has resigned from Renault. +++ 

+++ NISSAN threw cold water on hopes for a quick fix to strained relations with Renault, saying inequality between the partners could unravel their 2 decade old automaking alliance. Speaking at Nissan’s annual general meeting in Yokohama, chief executive Hiroto Saikawa said he wanted to preserve the spirit of equality, in an alliance whose shareholding structure Nissan has long seen as lopsided. During a 3 hour affair peppered with heckling, shareholders returned Saikawa to the automaker’s board as widely expected and in defiance of opposition from proxy advisors. The executive now faces the task of repairing trust with Renault, which has deteriorated in past weeks as the French automaker has sought more control within Nissan. The meeting, the first since the ouster last year of former chairman Carlos Ghosn, comes just days after Saikawa and Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard resolved an unusually public disagreement over appointments to Nissan’s new governance committees. “We want a win-win relationship with Renault. The alliance has been successful until now because we have respected each others’ independence”, said Saikawa. “If necessary, we will put our capital structure on the table. If the relationship becomes a win-lose one, the relationship will break up very quickly”. The comments are some of the starkest in recent memory and signal Nissan’s deepening concern over the alliance, in which Renault owns 43 % of the Japanese automaker, which in turn holds a 15 %, non-voting stake in its partner. Saikawa also said Nissan would “postpone discussions” on the future direction of the alliance as the automaker prioritized recovery of its dismal financial performance. France’s finance ministry, Renault’s biggest shareholder with a 15 % stake, declined to comment on Saikawa’s comments. Shareholders at Japan’s second-biggest automaker voted in favor of a new governance structure and 11 member board to address lax auditing revealed after the arrest of Ghosn over financial misconduct allegations he denies. Renault had demanded additional representation on Nissan groups overseeing company auditing and personnel nominations. The move was widely speculated to be a reprisal after Nissan abstained from endorsing Renault’s doomed merger plan with Italian-American peer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Saikawa had initially pushed back at those demands, but late last week Nissan granted seats to Senard and Renault CEO Thierry Bollore on its nominations and auditing committees respectively, even though Nissan itself will not be represented. The automakers’ deteriorating ties were highlighted by a shareholder who accused Senard, who serves as vice chairman of Nissan’s board, of failing to look after the interests of Nissan and its employees as promised when he took up his role in April. In response, Senard told shareholders: “Since I arrived, I have done everything I can to smooth the relationship of an alliance that I found in a much worse state than I thought. I had no intention to be aggressive towards Nissan”, he said. “I beg you to believe me on that”. Saikawa won a reprieve on his leadership, fighting off a rare public rebuke by international proxy firms International Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, which earlier this month urged shareholders to vote against reappointing the former Ghosn lieutenant as director. Still, people at both automakers have said the recent public disagreements have dissolved the image of unity the automakers promoted only months ago, raising questions about whether Saikawa, Senard and former Ghosn ally Bollore are the right people to break from Ghosn’s legacy in the longer term. Some Nissan shareholders at the meeting said they were concerned that Saikawa has been overly focused on rebuffing Renault, rather than finding ways to cooperate with its partner to achieve the “win-win relationship” he promoted. “There are so many alliance-related issues which are occupying the company that it’s a shame that Nissan is unable to focus on bigger, external issues” like improving global competitiveness, shareholder Hideyuki Tamura said after the meeting. “It’s not to say we need to merge, but I’m worried that our leadership may be lacking a forward-looking vision of the alliance”. +++ 

+++ RENAULT chairman Jean-Dominique Senard begged skeptical Nissan shareholders to believe he has the automaker’s best interests at heart, while arguing that the scrubbed merger between Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) would have delivered big benefits to the Japanese partner too. Speaking at Nissan’s annual shareholders’ meeting, Senard said he harbored no hidden agenda to enrich Renault at the expense of Nissan, which the French company controls with a 43 % stake. His top priority, he insisted, was restoring trust between the estranged companies. “I beg you to believe me on that. There was obviously no aggressive intention”, a visibly emotional Senard told some 2,800 shareholders gathered at the June 25 meeting. “The last thing that came in my mind was to be aggressive toward a company of which I am a director. I beg you to believe me on that”, he said. “There are no bad intentions at all”. Senard’s comments came amid a barrage of barbed shareholder backlash, doubting his loyalty to the company, questioning his plan to merge Renault and FCA and calling him out on the fact that he, as Nissan’s newly appointed vice chairman, owns no Nissan shares. One shareholder, who said he feared a foreign takeover of Nissan, took a nationalistic dig, saying “French people” often hide true intentions behind a smiling facade. “They are really sly”, he said. Senard asserted he has plans to purchase Nissan shares and argued that he has done “everything I could” to mend strained relations following last year’s arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. The November arrest of Ghosn, who served as chairman of both Renault and Nissan, threw the automotive alliance into disarray amid swirling distrust and jockeying for control. Senard also defended the proposed Renault – FCA merger. That deal fell apart earlier this month after the French government, Renault largest-single shareholder, asked for more time to win Nissan’s backing. Nissan reportedly had planned to abstain from supporting a merger. Senard said Nissan missed a golden opportunity to cash in on a blockbuster tie-up. “This project, at the time, was incredibly beneficial to Nissan. That is the truth and reality. It would have been a wonderful project for Nissan and the alliance”, he said. “In my mind, it was only a way to enhance and strengthen the alliance in the future. There was a wonderful benefit for this wonderful company of Nissan, notably in North America but not only”. In the end, Nissan’s rivals are having the last laugh, Senard warned. “You know who was very pleased after the announcement that this deal was stopped? All our competitors in the world”, Senard said. “They understood that if this deal had gone through, it would have been a very, very strong feature for the alliance. And now that it’s behind, they are very, very happy because it’s a lost opportunity”. +++ 

+++ One of the Volkswagen Group’s senior figures in in-car technology has confirmed it has reached the point where governments could insist that cars no longer break speed limits. Leyre Olavarria, head of connected car and infotainment for SEAT , admitted that cars actively preventing drivers from breaking a speed limit does not pose a technical challenge, given ‘intelligent speed assistance’ will be made mandatory from 2022. Asked what would happen if governments legislated for cars to no longer be capable of exceeding speed limits, in order to reduce road casualties and remove the cost of buying, installing and maintaining networks of speed cameras, Olavarria told: “From a technical perspective, it is possible. We can do it. It’s more a legal issue; how do regulators want to position themselves. It’s not a technical challenge to do that; the data is available”. Some experts envision a future where drivers may choose to opt out, and switch off any system that prevented them from breaking a speed limit, in much the same way it is possible to cancel the electronic stability control system of some cars. As the connected car and associated data becomes commonplace, many drivers have expressed concerns over the potential for data to be used against them. Olavarria said that, at present, GDPR data protection law clearly defines that data associated with driving remains private and the property of the owner of the vehicle. “We are GDPR compliant and that is our priority. The data belongs to our customers and they are the only ones who can release the data. But if the law changes, then we will change as well and adapt our policies”, said Olavarria. Modern cars already alert the emergency services in the event of a serious accident. And Hyundai recently revealed that it was working with MDGo, a company that specialises in medical artificial intelligence systems, to provide detailed predictions about likely injuries to vehicle occupants, based on the forces involved, deployment of airbags and more. Olavarria manages Seat’s new software development centre, which is leading research and development solutions around micro mobility on behalf of the Volkswagen Group. She defines micro mobility as being based on small vehicles, with 2, 3 or 4 wheels, that will be used over short distances. “Looking into the future, there are many cities that are trying to push the car out of the city centre but still there are mobility needs; people need to move from A to B. That’s what we are focused on”, said Olavarria. “As we are based in Barcelona, in the city centre, it’s kind of the perfect playground to test and make rapid prototyping in the real environment, and know about the city and mobility partners and better understand citizens’ needs and how mobility needs are changing”. Seat claims to be platform agnostic, exploring subscription services that could, in the future, allow for individuals to subscribe to a mobility service that is priced according to a monthly mileage that allows users to seamlessly switch from a car to public transport to electric scooter or autonomous vehicles. Olavarria is confident there will still be demand to sustain volume car manufacturing in the future, despite the millennial generation embracing shared transport solutions. +++

+++ Semi-autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly common, so it’s a bit alarming that researchers were able to trick a TESLA Model 3 that was using Navigate on Autopilot. According to Regulus Cyber, they purchased a $400 GPS spoofer and a $150 jammer online. They then placed a small spoofing antenna on the roof of the Model 3 to simulate an external attack, while also limiting its effect on other GPS receivers. As part of the test, researchers traveled on a highway at 95 km/h while using Navigate on Autopilot. The route would take them to a nearby town and require the car to make an autonomous exit. However, the team transmitted fake satellite coordinates which were picked up by the GPS receiver in the Model 3. This caused the car to think it needed to exit the highway in 150 meters, when in reality the actual exit was still over a mile away. As a result, the car rapidly slowed down to 25 km/h and turned onto an emergency turn off instead of the exit. Researchers said the driver had his hands off the steering wheel at the time of the attack and when he regained control of the vehicle, it was “too late to attempt to maneuver back to the highway safely”. Regulus Cyber says Navigate on Autopilot uses GPS and Google map data to determine what lanes the vehicle should be in and what exits to take. This makes it susceptible to GPS spoofing attacks. In particular, the company says the car was successfully spoofed several times and this caused “extreme deceleration and acceleration, rapid lane changing suggestions, unnecessary signaling, multiple attempts to exit the highway at incorrect locations and extreme driving instability”. While the spoofing attack was only designed to target the Model 3, researchers said people with more nefarious intentions could buy a high-gain directional antenna which would increase the spoofer’s range to nearly a mile. Adding an amplifier to the mix could extend the spoofer’s range to a “few miles”. The company also tested a Tesla Model S, but the spoofing did not have any impact on the actual driving. However, the vehicle’s air suspension would change “unexpectedly” as the car was lead to believe it was traveling on surfaces it wasn’t. Regulus Cyber reached out to Tesla following their Model S test (and before the Model 3 experiment) and was told “Any product or service that uses the public GPS broadcast system can be affected by GPS spoofing, which is why this kind of attack is considered a federal crime”. Tesla went on to say the effects of a spoofing attack would be minimal, but that “hasn’t stopped us from taking steps to introduce safeguards in the future which we believe will make our products more secure against these kinds of attacks”. Despite these assurances, Regulus Cyber CEO Yonatan Zur said “We have ongoing research regarding this threat as we believe it’s an issue that needs solving. These new semi-autonomous features offered on new cars place drivers at risk and provides us with a dangerous glimpse of our future as passengers in driverless cars”. +++

+++ In the UNITED KINGDOM , Britain’s car industry warned the next prime minister against a “seismic” no-deal Brexit in October, which it said could add billions of pounds in tariffs and cause border disruption, crippling the sector. Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May, and his leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, have said they are prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, although it is not their preferred option. Industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned about the scale of disruption a disorderly exit would cause. “Leaving the EU without a deal would trigger the most seismic shift in trading conditions ever experienced by automotive, with billions of pounds of tariffs threatening to impact consumer choice and affordability”, it said. The British automotive industry fears that a disorderly exit from the EU, its biggest export market, could see the imposition of tariffs of up to 10 % on finished models and border delays which could snarl up ports and motorways, ruining just-in-time production. A hard Brexit border could cost 50,000 pounds a minute in border delays, the SMMT said. “The next PM’s first job in office must be to secure a deal that maintains frictionless trade because, for our industry, ‘no deal’ is not an option; we don’t have the luxury of time”, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes told a conference. Britain’s car sector, rebuilt by foreign manufacturers since the 1980s, had been a runaway success story in recent years but since 2017 sales, investment and production have all slumped, blamed on a collapse in demand for diesel vehicles and Brexit uncertainty. Brexiteers have long argued that the EU’s biggest economy Germany, which exports hundreds of thousands of cars to Britain ever year, would do its utmost to protect that trade. The British car sector has faced a series of setbacks this year including around 4,500 job cuts at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and plant closure announcements from Honda and Ford. Several investment decisions are also due, including whether JLR will build electric cars in its home market and whether Peugeot will keep its Opel / Vauxhall car plant open. “If the right choices are made, a bright future is possible”, said Hawes. “However, ‘no deal’ remains the clear and present danger”, he added. +++

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