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Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

Tom writes about suppliers, automotive technology and other wide-ranging topics.

2015 Woodward Dream Cruise
The 2015 Woodward Dream Cruise in Metro Detroit doesn't happen officially until this Saturday, but crowds have been gathering for several days in Royal Oak to see classic sheet metal. With mild weather, Tuesday night was perfect for car enthusiasts to see and be seen.
With TRW, ZF Shows Off ‘Wide Portfolio’
Engineers and designers from ZF and the former TRW have been sharing notes, exchanging ideas and identifying best practices, and some of the resulting technologies will be ready for market in the near future.
ZF, TRW Product Demos in Germany
How many automotive suppliers can design, manufacture and deliver a complete axle, 9-speed transmission, steering rack, suspension, brake calipers, electronic controllers, seatbelts and every airbag necessary to protect vehicle occupants? Only one: Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen, after its acquisition of TRW.
Mcity Sets Stage for Self-Driving at Willow Run?
Ann Arbor’s Mcity test track includes four traffic lights, an underpass, metal bridge deck, gravel roadways and parking spaces that are angled, perpendicular and parallel. Efforts are under way to open a similar but larger facility nearby in Ypsilanti.
Mcity Autonomous Vehicle Test Track
Located on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mcity is a $10 million 32-acre (13-ha) test track with roundabouts, bike lanes, a tree canopy and 4-way intersections to simulate small-town traffic situations.
Electric Axle Business Spinning Up for GKN
As automakers maximize the potential of vehicle platforms, a GKN executive says the electric rear axle is a simple way to convert a front-drive architecture to a fuel-saving hybrid that also enables AWD when necessary.
VQ Engine Family Branches Out
Nissan’s VQ V-6, lauded since it came to the U.S. in 1994, has been heavily revised for the all-new Maxima sedan arriving now in showrooms. The automaker calls the VQ all-new as well, but many of the key specs carry over.
M1 Concourse Groundbreaking in Pontiac, MI
Is there a more appropriate way to revitalize an abandoned, weed-infested slab of concrete than by cleaning it all up and building a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) performance track to host a high-speed parade of Corvettes, Ferraris, Hellcats, Porsches and exotics of various vintage?
Duramax Seeks Tow-Hold Among Compact Trucks 1
Block, head, pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft are among carry-over parts on 2.8L diesel slated for Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, but unique features include an exhaust brake and torque converter with vibration-absorbing qualities.
Conti Proposes Virtual Guard Rail  3
Some 55% of fatal accidents in the U.S. are caused by a vehicle leaving its lane and striking an object, pedestrian or another vehicle. Continental’s Road Departure Protection system is meant to prevent those collisions.
BMW Plant Showcase for Carbon-Fiber Production
The plant in Dingolfing, Germany, has upgraded paint and body shops and new “material trains” for moving components to the line as the sixth-generation 7-Series flagship sedan nears launch.
BMW Museum in Munich
The BMW Museum opened in Munich in 1973 in the shadow of Olympiapark, where the summer Olympics were hosted the prior summer. A stroll through the exhibition halls is to recount a series of significant achievements in automotive history.
Is This 7 BMW’s Lucky Number?
The 7-Series represents BMW’s flagship car, but it never has led its segment in U.S. sales. Since its U.S. arrival in 1980, it has trailed at various times the Mercedes S-Class, Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ.
All-New ’16 BMW 7-Series
BMW unveils the all-new '16 7-Series in its hometown of Munich and hopes the car will close the sales gap with its No.1 rival, the Mercedes S-Class, when it arrives in fall.
Ford, Conti Simplify Trailer Backup 4
Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup Assist, developed with Magna, and Continental’s Trailer Reverse Assist use a separate knob to steer the truck while in reverse. The driver turns it to the right if he wants the trailer to go in that direction, and vice versa.
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