Kris Bush talks to Fleet Management Weekly about the exciting challenges posed by his new role as vice president, product management, and the development of cutting-edge fleet products.

 

Kristofer Bush serves as vice president, product management for LeasePlan USA and has been with the organization for more than 19 years. He recently took on this new assignment with a focus on product management. His team is responsible for the development of products such as Safety, Connected Vehicles and client portal tools like the MyLeasePlan driver app. While he believes that he is an excellent driver, many of the tools that LeasePlan provides their clients' drivers have proven to him that he still has a lot of room for improvement.

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  • A corrupted computer module in nearly 300,000 2019 Ram 1500 trucks means airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not work in a crash.
  • The airbag warning light may or may not illuminate if the problem occurs.
  • Dealers will begin repairs in late July.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 295,981 Ram pickups in the United States because their airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may be deactivated in a crash, according to the company and filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The defect is in every Ram 1500 built through April 29, 2019, the date after which FCA updated software for the start of 2020 production. The problem lies in the occupant restraint controller, which is the main processing unit that decides whether or not to deploy the airbags and pretensioners in an accident. When the driver shuts off the truck, the controller may power off too soon during a “memory cleanup”not much different than how your home computer clears its memory during shutdownwhich can permanently corrupt the controller. When that happens, an airbag light can illuminate, all sorts of fault codes can generate, and at worst, the truck’s airbags and pretensioners won’t work.

 

 

 

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  • One-third of all people are highly susceptible to motion sickness, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • It tends to get worse when that susceptible person is a passenger instead of a driver, which will be the case more often as self-driving cars and semi-autonomous driving features enter the mainstream.
  • Volkswagen is testing solutions to carsickness in self-driving cars that include features such as red and green LED lights and movable seats.

Forget the technical and safety challenges facing self-driving cars’ march toward the mainstream – good old-fashioned carsickness is coming up as a worthy consideration for automakers designing autonomous vehicles. Volkswagen has announced that it has set scientists in Wolfsburg, Germany, on the task of studying motion sickness in autonomous cars and developing anti-puke solutions (our term, not VW’s).

One set of Volkswagen’s tests uses large strips of LEDs inside a car that glow red or green in concert with the car’s slowing and acceleration to help occupants gain a sense of anticipation for a self-driving car’s moves. (Carsickness often is brought on by passengers’ not knowing or being able to predict the driver’s next moves, hence the proposed feedback loop’s value.) To combat illness relating to a mismatch in an occupant’s perception of a vehicle’s movement and the movement itself, another common source of carsickness, VW is playing around with the idea of movable seats. So far, the science fair going on in Wolfsburg hasn’t produced concrete solutions along the lines of, say, Citroën’s Willy Wonka-style anti-emetic glasses.

To evaluate these ideas, VW is running tests that place subjects in a self-driving car, rigs them up with skin-temperature and heart-rate sensors as shown above (as well as cameras that evaluate skin tone), and makes them ride through 20 minutes of stop-and-go movement behind a lead car. To mimic a future in which autonomous cars are so trustworthy that you could watch a movie while in command of one, the test also involves a tablet display mounted to the dashboard that plays a video of fish swimming (to negate emotional impact on the sensor array from a comedy or drama film). Unsurprisingly, without any countermeasures in place, the occupants often experience illness.

It might not seem newsworthy to announce that Volkswagen is considering ways to keep you from barfing in a self-driving car, rather than a real, production-ready solution to keep you from barfing in a self-driving car, but then again autonomous cars aren’t yet commercially available. Whenor ifthey do get there in this lifetime, you’ll likely appreciate the work Volkswagen and other automakers are putting into carsickness solutions.

Source: Car and Driver

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Matt Dyer, President & CEO, LeasePlan USA, will present at Global Fleet Conference 2019. His session, Realizing Sustainable Mobility in the Digital Era, will explore how technology will play a significant role in the transition to sustainable transportation – both locally and globally. From the evolution of EVs and other low-emission technologies across the world, to developing strategies to sustain a healthy fleet.

Check back on our blog after the event for a roundup article and for key takeaways set to influence the industry.

Until then, watch the video below to hear about LeasePlan’s commitment to fully digitizing the service experience for our customers, and ultimately becoming a digital services integrator.

 

 

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