December 2016

Who's responsible when autonomous cars crash with each other?

Have you ever asked yourself, if two autonomous vehicles crash, who is to blame? I don't think you did, and neither have I. Basically the liability, in case of an accident, will be one of the key challenges for future autonomous vehicles. It seems that fully-autonomous cars will need to do a lot more than just read the road signs if insurers can hope to define who was in control of the vehicle during the accident. So, without knowing who was in control of the vehicle at the phase of the accident (the driver or the car), it would be very hard to resolve insurance claims legitimately.

Aside from talking about liability, this information could also be used for emergency services' investigations, making insurance claims more effective, and also to help vehicle manufacturers develop their vehicles.

There should be, like, 30 seconds before and 15 seconds after a crash recorded, so insurers could have access to a GPS record (such as the black box in airplanes) at the time and location of the accident, confirmation of running mode, whether the car was being driven or in autonomous mode, when the driver last interacted with the system if in autonomous mode, any sort of driver input such as using the steering wheel, braking, and of course whether the driver's seat was essentially engaged and the seatbelt fastened.

Another interesting story: after Volkswagen cleaned their sheet from the diesel scandal, they are focusing on repositioning the whole brand. How is that? By focusing on repositioning the brand across various regions and segments, as well as on making huge investments in e-mobility and connectivity, VW hopes to get people back on their side.

The brand's reorientation will take place in three phases. Phase 1, leading up to 2020, will see VW restructure their core business while also developing new competences. Phase 2, up to 2025, has the automaker taking the lead in e-mobility, as long as it can regain strength as a leading and profitable volume manufacturer. The final phase will include the brand playing a key role in shaping this major transformation in the industry, which is expected to take place after the year 2025 and leading into 2030.

What's in our last issue of the year?
It was quite an exciting November this year. Many launches and many debuts took place at SEMA and the LA Motor Show. We covered both shows by choosing the best of the best.
The all-new 2017 GMC Acadia made it on our cover story. The family hauler is back to the battleground!

In our Global Drive section, Khaled drove the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk in the United States, and more specifically in the Grand Canyon of Nevada.

In our Editors' Choice section, Ershad drove both the Jaguar F-Pace S and MG GS in Dubai. I personally drove three vehicles in Beirut: the Mercedes C-Class Coupe, Jaguar XE S and the 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan.

We also covered this year's Michelin Driving Experience that took place in Malaysia.

I leave you here with my last editor's letter for the 2016 year. I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas full of joy and happiness and hoping that the 2017 year will bring you all success and health.

P.S: Don't drink and drive on New Year's Eve - we need to see you back in 2017!

- Issam Eid, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: 2017 GMC Acadia



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