OEM Update: Honda, GM, Tesla

Honda Acura RLX: According to The Motley Fool, Honda is testing an autonomous Acura with Lidar and other sensors near San Francisco.

It sounds like early days, but I was interested to read about “GoMentum Station, a special testing facility near San Francisco.”

A challenge with developing self-driving cars in the Bay Area is the cost of land, and thus the scarcity of test facilities. Google tests their cars at decommissioned Castle Air Force base in the Central Valley, hours from their Mountain View headquarters.

It’s also interesting to read about Honda’s foray into self-driving cars, as they have been one of the less visible autonomous vehicle OEMs, thus far.

Finally, the news-breaking ability of The Motley Fool is surprising to me. I think of them as a financial publication, not a tech or automotive shop. But they have been all over self-driving car news.

Chevy Bolt: GM is testing the Bolt in San Francisco. This is not surprising, given their acquisition of Cruise Automation. But it’s an indicator that the Cruise team is continuing to function post-acquisition, which is a good sign.

Tesla and Mando: Tesla has inked a deal with Mando, Korea’s largest Tier 1 automotive parts supplier.

Mando doesn’t have the name recognition in the US that Delphi, or Continental, or Bosch have, but they’re a major supplier, particularly to Korean car manufacturers.

It’s hard to tell how important this deal is — most OEMs have some sort of relationship with almost every supplier.

The theory floated by The Country Caller is that Mando is less expensive than other Tier 1 suppliers and this is a way for Tesla to cut costs as it moves down market to the $35,000 Model 3.

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