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Wednesday 24 August 2022

News Briefs


A project by the Politecnico di Milano has set a new World Record for a self-driving car - on the strait of the Space Shuttle airstrip at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. 'PoliMOVE' recorded 192.2 mph/309.3 kph - "never before has a car driven by artificial intelligence alone been this fast". The previous record held by Roborace was 175.49 mph/282.42 kph. The speed was obtained as an average of over 1 km in two consecutive attempts in opposite directions (to eliminate the effects of the wind).

It is reported that California is planning a pilot scheme to test the feasibility of a "Noise Camera" programme. "Sound-activated enforcement devices are designed to activate when a vehicle noise level exceeds the legal sound limit, capturing a clear photograph of the license plate". Vehicle owners will be notified but only fined on a second or subsequent violations. The trial will run from 1 January 2023 - 31 December 2027 in six as yet unidentified cities. California already has noise regulations: max 80 dB for motorcycles, 95 dB for cars. A similar trial was held in Canada, but the idea didn't work.

In the United States, Fast Company (a monthly American business magazine) has honored the partnership between Zero Motorcycles and Polaris in its annual list recognising the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2022. The annual list has been widely regarded as the definitive platform for recognising the organisations that are "transforming industries and shaping society" since 2008.

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC is marking 20 years of manufacturing KingQuad ATVs at the Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation (SMAC) facility in Rome, Georgia. KingQuad ATVs first rolled off the assembly line there in May of 2002 and have continued to be built exclusively in the US ever since. Suzuki claims to have been the inventor of the 4-wheel ATV.

Powersports Business has announced a new 'Best in Class' dealership awards program "showcasing the success of dealerships of all sizes in a particular segment of their business".

The death of Fraser Scott has been announced, the founder of revolutionary chain oiling tech manufacturer Scottoiler.

The Polaris Slingshot has been reclassified as a three-wheeled motor vehicle (aka an "autocycle") in the State Of New York, meaning it can now be driven with a standard driver's license. Meanwhile, Eugene, Oregon manufacturer Arcimoto is reporting that Alabama's Meadows Autocycle Bill means that three-wheeled vehicles can be operated there without a motorcycle license or helmet.

Fox Factory Holding Corp. has announced record quarterly sales of $378.0m (+34.4%) and record EPS of $1.13. Gross profit was +22.8% to $120.3m, gross margin percentage decreased 300 basis points to 31.8%; net income was $48.1m, or 12.7% of sales. Adjusted EBITDA was $71.8m or 19.0% of sales.

BRP has announced a CA$400m increase of its Revolving Credit Facility and an incremental US$100m term loan. That takes BRP to CA$1.5bn in total, plus the loan. Sébastien Martel, CFO said: "We are pleased to have been able to complete these transactions that strengthen our liquidity position. Our ability to complete these transactions reflects the strong momentum we have experienced."

Citing research, Bloomberg says that Volkswagen (already leading in Europe) is forecast to overtake Tesla as the world's largest Battery Electric Vehicle seller by 2024. China's BYD is expected to rank third, ahead of Ford, Changan, GM, Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz, with Toyota 10th. In a bid to challenge Tesla's $686bn market cap (almost double that of all US and EU legacy automakers combined), legacy automakers are unlikely to succeed in divesting BEV-related assets that are intertwined with their combustion operations and whose cash flows are paying for the transition. Volkswagen is the exception and is on track to launch an IPO of its Porsche brand in 4Q.

Cardo has partnered with KTM to provide a special edition of KTM Packtalk Edge communications suite. Featuring a distinctive KTM orange finish, the recently released Edge includes second-generation Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) connectivity, audio clarity from JBL, Natural Voice Operation technology, an enhanced microphone and noise cancellation system, faster pairing in DMC and Bluetooth modes, and is capable of connecting up to 15 riders with a range of nearly one mile.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,, Cycle World,