Auto Industry News: Jeep Pickup Release Date, a BIG Uber Scare, and Harley Davidson EV

A pedestrian is left dead after a run-in with Uber autonomous tech; the public preps for a Jeep pickup release; and skeptics question if Harley Davidson has “gone soft” with announcement of EV release. All this and more in our weekly auto industry news.

Uber Self-Driving Crash

While we get swept up in the whirlwind of our tech advancements, we often forget the repercussions. Uber, still in the transitional phase of their autonomous services, experienced just that last week. In Tempe, Arizona, a self-driving vehicle of the rideshare juggernaut fatally struck a pedestrian. Video of the crash has surfaced, though viewer discretion is advised. The sensors and camera system did not detect the pedestrian walking her bike across the dark roadway. Neither did the assistant driver, who as video depicts, was looking down at the time of the crash. An investigation is still ongoing. With this new information, and simultaneous new lack of information, perhaps we aren’t as ready for the future as we’d like to think…

Harley’s Electric Motorcycle

While autonomy is clearly still working out the kinks, the EV nation grows larger every day. Harley Davidson… Yes, that Harley Davidson is also joining the electric movement. They received praise for their concept bike, the LiveWire in 2010, which had the chutzpa, but no range (50 miles to the charge). Now the legendary bike company says it is 18 months away from bringing one of its “active products” to the market that can hopefully crack the 100-mile range. And as spring weather begins to rear its head, many wait will patiently yearn for the days where they can ride again… and maybe next year, electrically.

Tesla Delays Again

What a rollercoaster ride the Tesla Model 3 has been. According to Car and Driver, currently 10,000 Model 3s have been delivered since its release. None of those, however, are the 220-mile version at a base price of $35K the world was promised. Because the base price models have been delayed from their “mid-2018” shipping date to a “late 2018.” Yikes. So I guess, when it finally shows up, just consider it a Christmas present to yourself that you forgot about.

XL Hybrid F-250

XL, a hybrid motor company, revealed their hybrid conversion of a Ford F-250 at the 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. According to Clay Siegert, XL’s chief operating officer, the hybrid elements of the powertrain can improve fuel economy by up to 25 percent, while the plug-in hybrid version can boost efficiency by up to 50 percent. Efficiency has been the name of Ford’s game recently as they’ve introduced diesel into the F-150.

Jeep Pickup Truck Release Date

By the time those who ordered the affordable Tesla Model 3 actually receive their vehicle, the Jeep fan base will have a new addition to the family line not long after. Recent reports say that the new Wrangler pickup will hit dealers in April of 2019. Production is set to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, even though no one has actually seen it yet. It’s been spied, albeit heavily camoed, but many suspect the LA Auto Show will be its official debut. Early images indicate a four-door Unlimited with a short bed, with a RUMORED two-door option. And it’s technically not Jeep’s first venture into pickups. This is one wait that many might not be willing to endure.

Around the Circuit

In F1, Sebastian Vettel outgunned Lewis Hamilton at the Melbourne Grand Prix Sunday. It is the German driver’s 48th career victory. Hamilton dominated early in the race, but Vettel’s perfectly timed pit stop during a safety car period, allowed him to pass in the final laps. The field will have an upcoming off week and will hit Bahrain on April 8th.

Truck and stock enthusiasts pumped for NASCAR’s Martinsville double header have to wait until Monday. In a whacky turn of events, to HOPEFULLY cap off this winter, snow buried the raceway midway through the truck series, which will continue Monday. The Cup Series event will also start Monday at 2PM. Martin Truex will be in the pole position.

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