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The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2016 1:00 AM

Tesla to update its Autopilot

News services

DETROIT – Tesla Motors says a software update to its Autopilot system will disable automatic steering if drivers don’t keep their hands on the wheel.

The update also adds multiple features, including improved radar, better voice commands and an industry-first temperature control system that helps prevent kids and pets from overheating.

Tesla started moving the update to Model X SUV and Model S sedan owners Wednesday night over the internet.

Tesla’s Autopilot system, which was unveiled last fall, uses cameras and radar to maintain a set speed, brake automatically and change lanes without the driver’s input. Drivers can keep their hands off the wheel for minutes at a time, depending on road conditions. Critics questioned whether the system was ready to be on the road this summer after a driver using Autopilot was killed when his Model S sedan struck a tractor-trailer in Florida.

Tesla says the software update should help avoid crashes, since it will enhance the radar system and make Tesla’s vehicles rely more on radar signals – which can see through snow, bright sun and other weather conditions – than cameras.

Wal-Mart suit gets class-action status

A federal judge has granted class-action status to Wal-Mart investors suing the world’s largest retailer over allegations that it covered up a bribery scheme in Mexico to help its business there.

The allegations included that Wal-Mart’s Mexican unit paid millions of dollars in bribes to speed building permits and gain other favors.

In a ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in Fayetteville, Arkansas, dismissed Wal-Mart’s argument that a Michigan retirement fund could not lead a class-action suit because it suffered no related financial losses. Wal-Mart’s stance was based on a certain accounting method.

But Hickey ruled that the pension fund, the City of Pontiac General Employees’ Retirement System, showed losses using another accounting method and that Wal-Mart failed to adequately explain why its accounting method was preferable.

Shipper to receive $100 million in aid

Hanjin Shipping is to receive as much as $100 million in additional funds to resolve the cargo crisis caused by its slide toward bankruptcy.

Hanjin’s lead creditor, Korea Development Bank, said Thursday it will offer a credit line of $45 million to help the shipper unload cargo stranded offshore.

The announcement comes a day after Korean Air Lines’ board approved a $54 million loan to the troubled ocean shipping line.

The state-owned bank said its credit line will be used only when other available funds from Hanjin Shipping, Korean Air, the company officials and others are used up.

Danish company splitting into two

Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is splitting its massive container shipping operations and its energy business into separate companies, in a major shakeup that follows years of declining oil prices and freight rates.

The Copenhagen group said Thursday the transport and logistics division will include its shipping, terminal and container businesses, while the energy division will handle oil drilling and production as well as the tanker business.