Diesels on display in Frankfurt show despite scandal
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Scandals. Recalls. Threats of bans. The diesel engine is a public enemy for many environmental activists and politicians.
And yet, when the world’s biggest automakers unveil new models at this year’s auto show in Frankfurt, among the new electric vehicles and digitallyenhanced prototypes there will also be diesel cars.
The carmakers at the show, mainly Germany’s big manufacturers, are hoping to modify diesel engines to make them cleaner rather than throw them out altogether. It’s a bid for stability in an industry roiled by change.
Here’s a quick look at the major themes and vehicles expected at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, which opens for journalists Tuesday and Wednesday and to the general public from Saturday through Sept. 24. DIESEL DILEMMA German carmakers, which have relied heavily on diesel, have been bruised by controversy over the technology since Volkswagen’s scandal, in which the company admitted to illegally rigging cars to turn off diesel emission controls when not on test stands. Subsequent investigation found that many diesels by other manufacturers met official test standards but emitted far more pollution during every day driving, often by exploiting legal loopholes that permitted them to turn off controls at certain temperatures. German carmakers are recalling some 5 million older diesel vehicles to tweak their engine control software in hopes of warding off pressure for diesel bans in some cities.
So expect a lot of emphasis on emissions-free technology such as batterypowered cars. Daimler will show off a fully electric, compact car under its EQ brand, which represents the company’s push into areas it has bundled under the acronym CASE: connected, While the antiinflammatory drug known as “ibudilast” is primarily used in Japan to treat asthma, it may also hold promise as a treatment for alcoholism. During a small, doubleblind, placebocontrolled laboratory study, participants were given either ibudilast or a placebo for six days in a row. After a twoweek break, the study participants who were first given the drug received the placebo; those originally given the placebo were then given the drug. Prior to the study, the 24 men and women in the study reported drinking seven alcoholic beverages daily on an average of 21 days per month. Their craving for alcohol was lower when receiving the medication. This promising finding will lead to more research.
Exploring new methods for alcoholism treatment fosters hope for those actively seeking to begin the recovery process. Your pharmacist is always available for consultation when questions arise. Next to your personal doctor, he or she is the most informed about the various medications available and their contraindications. For more information, please call BOB’S PHARMACY at Our pharmacy is located at
HINT: Ibudilast is not currently available as a treatment for alcoholism, and must now be tested on heavy drinkers who have expressed a specific desire to quit drinking. autonomous, shared and services, and electric.
It also will unveil the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell, a fuel-cell and battery plug-in hybrid that emits only water vapor. Fuel cell-powered cars are not yet a practical option for consumers, with only 33 hydrogen fuel stations in Germany, but it’s one possibility for the future in which government regulation will increasingly require low-emission vehicles.
DIESEL DESPITE THAT But diesel remains in the mix —with what automakers say are better emissions controls to meet European Union standards in which cars will be tested under real-world driving conditions, as well as on test stands. Diesels get better mileage — a big consumer issue in Europe, where fuel taxes make gasoline painfully expensive. A liter of gasoline costs 1.31 euros in Frankfurt, or $5.97 a gallon. And diesels emit less carbon dioxide, meaning they help meet regulatory limits on the greenhouse gas believed to contribute to global warming. The new T-Roc small SUV from Volkswagen, for instance, will come with three possible gasoline engines to choose from — and three diesels. Automakers “won’t be shouting about it, but diesels will be part of their lineup,” says Ian Fletcher, principal analyst at IHS Market.
IHS estimates diesel’s market share will fall from 49.7 percent in Europe to 46.9 percent this year, and to 32.8 percent by 2025.
Mercedes-Benz spent 3 billion euros to develop new diesels, which are already being used in its E-Class sedans. THE HOME TEAM Increasingly, carmakers are finding other ways to unveil new models than auto shows and that has become even more evident ahead of this year’s show. Volkswagen’s Porsche brand showed off its new Cayenne SUV at an extravagant event Aug. 29 with the Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague and dancers livestreamed from its home base in StuttgartZuffenhausen. Automakers skipping the show this year include Fiat Chrysler’s namesake Fiat and its Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands, Peugeot and its DS luxury division, plus Nissan, Infiniti and Volvo.
Yet the Frankfurt show remains a very big deal for the home team: Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz luxury brand, Munich-based BMW AG, and Volkswagen, all of which will have giant display stands. Some 1,000 exhibitors will show off 300 premieres on 200,000 square meters of space.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled updated safety guidelines for self-driving cars aimed at clearing barriers for automakers and tech companies wanting to get test vehicles on the road.
The new voluntary guidelines announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao update policies issued last fall by the Obama administration, which were also largely voluntary.
Chao emphasized that the guidelines aren’t meant to force automakers to use certain technology or meet stringent requirements. Instead, they’re designed to clarify what vehicle developers and states should consider as more test cars reach public roads.
“We want to make sure those who are involved understand how important safety is,” Chao said during a visit to an autonomous vehicle testing facility at the University of Michigan. “We also want to ensure that the innovation and the creativity of our country remain.”
Under Obama administration, automakers were asked to follow a 15-point safety assessment before putting test vehicles on the road. The new guidelines reduce that to a 12-point voluntary assessment, asking automakers to consider things like cybersecurity, crash protection, how the vehicle interacts with occupants and the backup plans if the vehicle encounters a problem. They no longer ask automakers to think about ethics or privacy issues or share information beyond crash data, as the previous guidelines did.
The guidelines also make clear that the federal government — not states — determines whether autonomous vehicles are safe. That is the same guidance the Obama administration gave.
States can still regulate autonomous vehicles, but they’re encouraged not to pass laws that would throw barriers in front of testing and use. There is nothing to prohibit California, for instance, from requiring human backup drivers on highly automated vehicles, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would discourage that.
Automakers — who were growing increasingly frustrated with the patchwork of state regulations — praised the guidelines.
“You are providing a streamlined, flexible system to accommodate the development and deployment of new technologies,” Mitch Bainwol, the head of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told Chao at Tuesday’s event. The alliance represents 12 major automakers, including General Motors Co., Mercedes-Benz and Toyota Motor Corp.
But critics said the guidelines don’t ensure self-driving technology is safe before going out on the road.
“NHTSA needs to be empowered to protect consumers against new hazards that may emerge, and to ensure automated systems work as they’re supposed to without placing consumers at risk,” said David Friedman, a former acting NHTSA administrator who now directs cars and product policy analysts for Consumers Union, the policy division of Consumer Reports magazine.
Regulators and lawmakers have been struggling to keep up with the pace of self-driving technology. There are no fully self-driving vehicles for sale, but autonomous cars with backup drivers are being tested in numerous states, including California, Nevada and Pennsylvania.