Russ Mitchell

Writer

Russ Mitchell covers the rapidly changing global auto industry, with special emphasis on California, including Tesla, Faraday Future and driverless cars. The Times’ former technology editor, he’s worked on staff at publications ranging from Business Week to Wired. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he also studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Vannevar Bush Fellow. Mitchell still drives his black 2000 Audi TT, the rare smooth-backed version manufactured before lawyers made the company attach a spoiler.

 

Recent Articles

  • FTC accuses L.A. auto dealer group of using illegal, deceptive 'yo-yo' sales tactics

    FTC accuses L.A. auto dealer group of using illegal, deceptive 'yo-yo' sales tactics

    A big auto dealer group in Los Angeles has been doing the “yo-yo” on car customers for years, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The yo-yo is an illegal dealer tactic that preys on people with bad credit. After being lured in by advertisements pitching low prices and low financing...

  • When robots and humans take turns at the wheel

    When robots and humans take turns at the wheel

    Until recently, there was no question about who’s responsible for an automobile’s operation: the driver. One-hundred percent. When driverless cars without a steering wheel or brake pedal start hitting the highway, your only role will be ordering the car where to go.  Between now and then — about...

  • Tesla to release Autopilot update under shadow of security hack

    Tesla to release Autopilot update under shadow of security hack

    Hacking into a phone is unlikely to physically hurt the victim. But hacking into a car? A security research team in China hacked into a Tesla Model S and said they took over the car’s brakes from 12 miles away. A video released this week shows members of the research team being thrust forward as...

  • Government paves way for driverless cars to hit the roads

    Government paves way for driverless cars to hit the roads

    To fast-track to a future where cars drive themselves, the freewheeling tech world and the historically buttoned-up auto industry joined forces to develop autonomous vehicles. But behind the rapid-fire innovation of the last few years, questions loomed over whether the federal government would...

  • U.S. to release guidelines on driverless vehicles

    U.S. to release guidelines on driverless vehicles

    Any doubt that driverless cars, trucks and buses are on a fast track to join their human counterparts on the nation’s highways may be knocked aside Tuesday, when the Department of Transportation releases long-awaited guidelines for the development of autonomous cars. The guidelines, which specify...

  • Tesla Watch: Merger with SolarCity is challenged; Autopilot upgrade is panned

    Tesla Watch: Merger with SolarCity is challenged; Autopilot upgrade is panned

    Lawsuits could delay Tesla Motors’ proposed merger with SolarCity. In an SEC filing released Monday, Tesla said the merger is being challenged in four separate lawsuits that were filed in early September. The main claims: Tesla and SolarCity breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders, and...

  • Tesla says jealousy, not Autopilot safety concerns, caused breakup with Mobileye

    Tesla says jealousy, not Autopilot safety concerns, caused breakup with Mobileye

    Tesla Motors and parts supplier Mobileye broke up in July. Now the two sides are dissing each other with wildly different takes on what caused the split. Safety was the issue, according to Mobileye, which makes cameras and video processors for Tesla’s driver-assist system, called Autopilot. Tesla...

  • Driverless cars won't always look this way

    Driverless cars won't always look this way

    Qawiyah Muhammad can see her own future. Literally. An Uber driver in Pittsburgh, she knows that one day her job will be replaced by a robot car. She knows the robot cars are coming because she sometimes spots experimental models driving themselves around town.  “You can tell them apart,” she said,...

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