Ford is joining forces with
"Our goal is to provide the vehicle with common sense,"
The brainy folks at the
Ford's Blueprint for Mobility is the U.S. automaker's road map to get to advanced driverless technologies that may be common by 2025.
"To deliver on our vision for the future of mobility, we need to work with many new partners across the public and private sectors, and we need to start today," said
Safety a "dark side" of smallest vehicles
Minicars are popular and sales are up. The tiny vehicles sip gas, can maneuver around obstacles and are great if you have find street parking in the city.
But they don't hold much comfortably beyond a couple of passengers and groceries, and of course, because they weigh less than other vehicles they are at a distinct disadvantage in a collision with a larger vehicle.
None of the small cars earned a "good" rating in the crash test.
The Chevrolet Spark was the only subcompact tested to earn an "acceptable" rating. Four others -- the 2014 Ford Fiesta, 2011-14 Mazda2, 2012-14 Kia Rio and the 2012-14 Toyota Yaris -- were rated marginal.
The 2013-14 Hyundai Accent, 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage, 2012-14
"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage," said IIHS senior vice president for vehicle research
Of 17 slightly larger compact cars tested so far, five earned good ratings in the small front overlap crash and five were acceptable. All of the minicars tested, including the Spark, had issues with the vehicle's structure, which should protect occupants from injury in a crash.
The head of a crash test dummy in both the Fit and 500 did not stay in contact with the front airbag and the Fiat's driver's side door was knocked open after the hinges tore. The impact pushed the vehicle's structure into the passenger compartment of both cars and the steering column was pushed back toward the driver.
The Spark received an acceptable rating because the movement of the crash-test dummy was fairly well controlled and injuries would have been low for all regions of the body, including the lower leg and foot.
However, the IIHS report said: "Consumers should remember that the Spark, while offering more small overlap protection than other minicars, weighs less than 2,500 pounds and doesn't protect as well as a larger and heavier vehicle with a comparable rating."
Fiat announced agreement with the UAW trust to buy the 41.5 percent of shares it did not already own for
"We reached a successful conclusion that will benefit the trust's retirees," said
Fiat's board of directions will decide the new name, where to register the combined company and where the stock will be listed, either on the
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