Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

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Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

GM CEO Barra Wants to Turn a Profit – Soon – on Electric Vehicles

New platform, high volume and cheaper batteries are key.

by on Jan.15, 2018

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently signed off on a plan to expand the company's portfolio of electric vehicles.

While there are only a handful of long-range electric vehicles on the market right now, you can expect to see as many as two dozen or more in U.S. showrooms by the end of the decade, and several times as many five years from now.

Virtually every major automaker has promised to “electrify” its line-up, and companies like General Motors, Toyota and Daimler AG plan to put a premium on pure battery-electric models. While that may be great news for green-minded auto buyers, there’s a serious flaw in the equation for auto manufacturers, says Woong-chul Yang, the head of R&D for both Hyundai and its sibling brand Kia.

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“Whenever we sell eco-friendly vehicles we all lose money,” the South Korean executive told TheDetroitBureau.com after presiding over the rollout of the new Kia Niro EV at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. “Even battery vendors are losing money.” (more…)

Convince Public Autonomous Cars Are Good Chao Tells Automakers

Transportation Secretary says DOT's role is safety.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao shows the latest finding from the department on automated driving. (Photo credit: Brendan Strong)

The Trump Administration will not be in the business of “picking winners and losers” when it comes to automotive technology, particularly automated or self-driving systems, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao told a crowd in Detroit.

During a visit to the North American International Auto Show’s AutoMobiliD exposition, Chao repeatedly said the department’s top priority was safety. However, she was also just as clear about how much her agency would be involved in the process.

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“We are not going to be top down,” she said. “We’re not going to be command and control. We are tech neutral and the technological advances we see are very exciting. Our preeminence as a nation, as far as technology, is something we should strive to preserve.” (more…)

Mercedes Puts a Bit More Panache on Big Ute

German maker adds Grand Edition trim to GLS line-up.

by on Jan.14, 2018

Mercedes-Benz new GLS450 4MATIC Grand Edition offers buyers a more luxurious sport-utility vehicle for 2018.

Mercedes-Benz continues to expand its footprint in the luxury utility market with the new GLS Grand Edition for 2018, making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Featuring a new, more luxurious interior and “edition-exclusive” components, the new iteration will be available for both the GLS450 4MATIC and GLS550 4MATIC SUVs.

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The Grand Edition features exclusive interior and exterior elements, including a Porcelain/Espresso Brown interior and designo Nappa leather seats with exclusive diamond quilting and special Budapest-design piping. (more…)

Henrik Fisker Officially Reveals Autonomous EMotion EV

Danish designer reveals plans for a “menu of mobility” that will later include affordable electrics and driverless shuttles.

by on Jan.12, 2018

The gull-winged Fisker EMotion makes its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show.

After months of teasers, Henrik has finally pulled the wraps off his latest project, the autonomous EMotion battery-eletric vehicle making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The second attempt by the Danish designer to launch his own battery-car company, the EMotion is a stunning, gull-winged sports sedan that reportedly will offer a range of up to 400 miles, even while delivering blistering performance – top speed 161 mph – thanks to a new generation of solid-state batteries.

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The EMotion isn’t due to market until sometime late in 2019. But in an interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, Fisker revealed that he is already working on future products as part of a “menu of mobility” that will include a much more affordable Tesla Model 3 fighter and even a driverless shuttle along the lines of the Toyota e-Palette concept that also debuted at CES.

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Mitsubishi Building on Strong 2017 Finish

Maker ready with new product, improving image.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Mitsubishi Motors North America EVP Don Swearingen says the brand has big expectations for 2018.

Mitsubishi emerged from 2017 as the fastest growing non-luxury brand and is pushing into 2018 with momentum thanks to a combination of new product, new advertising that has elevated the brand’s visibility in the U.S. and the support of the Renault-Nissan-Alliance.

“2017 was a challenging year for the industry, however, Mitsubishi was able to defy the trend and prove that it has the right products at the right time,” said Don Swearingen, executive vice president and chief operating officer, MMNA.

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Swearingen, however, noted during a press gathering in Detroit on the eve of the North American International Auto Show that Mitsubishi’s CUV line-up posted banner sales, up 15% over 2016. (more…)

GM Asks Feds to OK 2019 Launch of Driverless Robo-Cabs

Automaker aims to put as many as 2,500 on the road annually during test program.

by on Jan.12, 2018

GM will use an updated version of this Chevrolet Bolt EV - sans steering wheel and pedals - for the robo-cab test program.

General Motors wants permission from federal regulators to begin testing driverless robo-cabs on public roads, starting in 2019, a move that could position the Detroit automaker as one of the leaders in the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

Company officials said they would roll out as many as 25 vehicles annually under the pilot project, if given approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. GM ultimately hopes to provide the vehicles to ride-sharing services such as Lyft – in which it is a major investor – as well as its own service, Maven.

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Unlike the autonomous prototypes GM and many competitors are currently testing, the vehicles would be completely driverless and not even be equipped with pedals or a steering wheel. That is something the automaker’s President Dan Ammann called “a major milestone, adding that, “this technology will have a huge impact on the world.”

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Honda Plans to Show Off Insight Prototype at NAIAS

New hybrid fills the gap between Civic and Accord.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Honda plans to unveil the Insight Prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

Honda continues to expand its electrified offerings and will show off its Insight Prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week, and provided an early look today.

The Insight prototype is likely not going to vary much from the actual Insight, which is slated to hit dealerships later this year. It’ll be the automakers fifth electrified vehicle and it will be built alongside the Honda Civic and CR-V in Indiana.

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“The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (more…)

Traditional Automakers Could Be Left Out in the Cold By the Rise of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Ride-sharing services could turn car manufacturing into a low-profit commodity business, says new study.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Waymo is already testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and will soon add fully driverless ones.

A century of growth seems likely to come to a screeching halt for the global auto industry, and that spells potentially serious trouble for major automakers, according to a new study – though the report also anticipates big opportunities for ride-sharing services.

It is widely expected that the auto industry will go through more radical changes in the coming decade or so than it has since Henry Ford fired up his first moving assembly line. Among other things, the report by the Boston Consulting Group, or BCG, anticipates that electrified vehicles will soon become commonplace, while millions of motorists in the U.S. and abroad will switch from owning a car to relying on ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

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The Future is Now!

So, while global auto sales will continue to grow to around 108 million annually, “We will (then) reach a plateau around 2029 or 2030,” forecast Thomas Dauner, the head of the auto practice at BCG. “An industry that has been growing over the past century will stop.”

(more…)

Honda’s New Robots Enhance Human Capabilities

New models look less like humans, but offer new abilities.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Honda's 3E-A18 robot displays simple and easy-to-understand facial expressions and can be touched, even hugged, by humans.

Forget BB8, R2D2 and C3PO. Honda’s new 3E robots are there to help you get your work done and, if you’re feeling a little blue, to give you a hug.

The Japanese automaker has spent nearly four decades developing humanoid robots like the bipedal ASIMO which can walk, talk and even pour a cup of coffee. But Honda is also working on more practical robot designs dedicated to specific tasks, like the 3E-D18, which can be put to use at a construction site, for fighting fires or on search-and-rescue missions.

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“We have entered an era when robotics will become increasingly visible and essential in our everyday lives and have the ability to unlock human potential,” said Yoshiyuki Matsumoto, president & CEO of Honda R&D. But, “Honda views robotics not as something in conflict with people, but as an opportunity to expand their potential.” (more…)