Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Grid Penalty Updates
F1's grid penalty system was under fire all last season. How can a driver get a 35 spot penalty in a field of 20? Why are drivers being penalized so aggressively? Why not change the whole thing? Well, F1 seems to have heard the complaints. Kind of.
In 2018, if a driver gets a penalty , they'll automatically start from the back of the grid. If more than one driver gets the same penalty, they'll be organized based on who was penalized when. That's a little better, we guess?
Yesterday, Oliver Schmidt, a VW executive working in Michigan but a citizen of Germany, was because of his role in VW's Dieselgate emissions scandal. He was also fined $400,000, the maximum sentence.
The sentence came four months after Schmidt plead guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US government. Schmidt was the general manager of VW's engineering and environmental office in Michigan.
Halo Will Be Ok?
It might be ugly, but F1's halo will finally be on cars in 2018 to offer head protection in a series that has long needed it. Daniel Ricciardo, our favorite Aussie who drinks champagne from a shoe, seems to have
I think when the cars changed between 2008 and 2009 they also didn't look very good but people got used to it, and then it became normal to have the tall and narrow rear wings even though it was a very strange Formula 1 car," Ricciardo said. "I think people will get over the halo quite soon." He's probably right.
People keep saying that autonomous cars are coming, and now Nissan is saying that it'll have a fully self-driving car . Nissan is planning to get there in stages, and will actually test a robotic ride hailing service in Japan soon, with a goal of going live by 2020.