Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Ford Expands Alliance with Mahindra Group

New deal comes on heels of partnership with VW.

by on Oct.18, 2018

Ford and Mahindra officials, including Ford's Jim Farley, (l), celebrate the signing of their first alliance. The two sides added two new agreements.

(This story has been updated to more accurately represent partnership between Volkswagen and Ford.)

Just a day after rumors circulated about the state of its open-ended partnership with Volkswagen AG, Ford Motor Co. expanded its alliance with India’s Mahindra Group.

The two companies this week signed new agreements on sharing powertrains and connected car solutions to reinforce the progress made in the strategic alliance between the two companies, first announced in September 2017 and followed with five Memoranda of Understanding.

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“We are pleased with the progress our teams have made since we announced our strategic alliance with Mahindra Group a year ago,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Global Markets. (more…)

BMW Officially Pulls Wraps Off Flagship X7 SUV

“Hey, BMW.”

by on Oct.17, 2018

The new 2019 BMW X7 is ready to take on whatever Mother Nature sends its way.

BMW has been dropping plenty of big hints in recent months as it prepared to launch an all-new flagship. And now, we’re finally getting a look at the production version of the 2019 X7.

As the name might suggest, you can think of the big ute as the SUV counterpoint to the Bavarian brand’s traditional flagship, the 7-Series. And it reflects the massive shift in the global luxury market as highline buyers by the millions switch from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs, mirroring what’s happened in mainstream segments.

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The 2019 BMW X7 is more than just a stretched version of the familiar X5. It’s not only nine inches longer but loaded with the sort of luxury features you’d expect on a 7-Series – or the also-new 8-Series. It also introduces BMWs new voice assistant infotainment system which, like Amazon’s Alexa, is always listening for its wake words, “Hey, BMW.” (more…)

New Chips Improve Tesla Autopilot “500% to 2000%,” Musk Says

Updates coming in six months, free to current Autopilot owners.

by on Oct.16, 2018

Despite Tesla's claims to the contrary, safety advocates believe the company's use of the name Autopilot is misleading.

Several months ago, Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk suggested that all of the brand’s vehicles would be Level 5 autonomous by the end of the year. Most scoffed at the notion as that kind of autonomy is not expected to be a reality for a few years at least.

However, he’s doubled down – sort of – in a recent tweet where he said a new chip that improves Autopilot features would be available in about six months in all of the company’s new production electric cars.

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He provided an update on the new chip in a series of tweets, actually. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Edge ST

Automaker creates its fastest SUV ever.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Ford is looking to pump some excitement into its midsize SUV with an ST performance package.

Ford Motor Co. has offered, sometimes with minimal fanfare, a wide variety of very impressive performance vehicles that have turned some relatively sedate vehicles into something else for enthusiastic fans in Europe, North America and China.

Now Ford is offering the first SUV from its performance team — the 2019 Ford Edge ST, which is powered by a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that has been calibrated to produce 335 horsepower and 380 foot-pounds of torque with the help of an all-new 8-speed transmission. Ford also says it is capable of going from zero to 60 in less than six seconds making it the quickest SUV ever put on the road by Ford.

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The 2019 Edge ST is also equipped with all-wheel drive disconnect. The technology, a first for Ford, uses information received from dozens of sensors and artificial intelligence to determine within milliseconds whether all-wheel drive is needed, and then seamlessly shift between FWD and AWD without the need for driver input to save fuel. (more…)

Power Study Finds “Total Lack of Trust” in Autonomous Vehicle Technology

More than four in ten say they “would never ride” in self-driving vehicle.

by on Oct.09, 2018

Looks like its going to take Waymo rides, er, way more rides in Waymo's autonomous minivan to change opinions.

Even as automakers rush to bring autonomous and completely self-driving vehicles to market, perhaps as soon as the end of the decade, there’s a deep distrust of the technology, with more than four out of 10 Americans saying they “would never ride in a fully automated vehicle.

The lack of trust runs deep, according to Robert Lajdziak a researcher with J.D. Power and Associates, which conducted the new study in partnership with the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, or NAMIC. Significantly, just as federal regulators have announced plans to ease restrictions on testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, those surveyed by Power and NAMIC questioned whether the government – as well as automakers and tech companies – can properly ensure the safety of the public.

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The new study likely reflects the fact that “people’s opinions have been swayed” by recent incidents involving semi- and fully autonomous vehicles, including a fatal Uber crash earlier this year in Tempe, Arizona, said Lajdziak, in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com ahead of the release of the new study. (more…)

Honda Implementing New Tech to Make Smart Intersections

Automaker working with Marysville, Ohio, to test technology.

by on Oct.05, 2018

Honda's Smart Technology uses V2X technology to make drivers aware of potential hazards in an intersection.

Honda has demonstrated its “Smart Intersection” technology that connects a vehicle to its surroundings to help reduce traffic collisions at intersections, which account for 20% of the 35,000 traffic deaths that occur annually in the U.S. and 40% of all collisions.

The technology was developed in partnership with Marysville, Ohio, the home of Honda’s Research and Development unit where, as part of a Smart Mobility Corridor project that addresses the limitations of on-board vehicle sensors in reducing traffic collisions at roadway intersections.

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“Honda believes that V2X technology is an essential component of a smarter and safer transportation ecosystem and can play a role in our dream for a zero-collision society,” said Ted Klaus, vice president of strategic research at Honda R&D Americas Inc.  (more…)

Acura Launching New Iteration of ILX Sedan

Redesigned model now gateway for the luxury brand.

by on Oct.04, 2018

The Acura ILX gets a major exterior update for 2019 as the brand looks to attract millennials.

Acura is ready to launch the 2019 Acura ILX with a design that was influenced by the Precision Concept vehicle as Honda’s luxury brand continues the design transformation of its line-up.

The revamped ILX also is equipped with the “AcuraWatch” active safety and driver-assistive technology now standard on the ILX and now standard on all Acura sedans and SUVs. It also is equipped with a dual-screen user interface with new graphics, quicker response as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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At the same time, Honda has reduced the price, boosting the ILX’s position as the gateway to the Acura brand. (more…)

Future of Alliance with Nissan/Renault the Big Question as Zetsche Prepares to End Role as Daimler CEO

Zetche and Nissan/Renault’s Ghosn insist there is more to come during Paris new conference.

by on Oct.03, 2018

Zetsche and Ghosn first met when the German exec was working at Freightliner and the Brazilian-born Ghosn worked for Michelin.

Since launching the first in a broad series of joint ventures nine years ago, Daimler AG and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance have generated what they claim to be billions of dollars in “synergies” that have allowed them to expand their product lines and grow into new markets.

But in recent months, the future of that partnership has come under question. The last major new project was announced three years ago. And now, with Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche planning to relinquish the CEO title next year, that has raised new questions about whether his successor, Ola Kallenius, would keep the alliance going.

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“Without the chemistry between us, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Zetsche, during a joint news conference with Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn. But considering the results the partnership has generated, “I don’t see from my perspective why the momentum in this relationship should change.”

(more…)

First Look: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is More Luxurious – and More Capable

Mild hybrid system lets it hop out of trouble.

by on Oct.02, 2018

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE hits the stage at the Paris Motor Show. The fourth-generation of the midsize luxury ute is loaded with convenience tech.

There are few things worse than finding yourself dug into sand and unable to move, but the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE will offer a novel way of getting out of that mess, literally hopping up and down until its wheels gain traction.

What the German automaker describes as “Free-Driving Mode” is just one of the new and sometimes novel features that will debut on its next-generation midsize sport-ute. Able to seat up to seven adults with an optional third row, the remake of the popular midsize SUV is both more luxurious and more capable, based on what was shown when the 2020 Mercedes GLE made its debut at the Paris Motor Show this morning. At least some of the credit goes to the new 48-volt mild-hybrid technology built into the GLE 450 on display at the show.

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Originally known as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, the midsize model helped touch off one of the most dramatic transformations in the luxury automotive market when it debuted in the 1998 model-year. There were plenty of skeptics who questioned the idea of a high-line SUV but, today, conventional sport-utility vehicles and crossovers dominate the market, with even Aston Martin, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce set to join the club. (more…)

First Look: BMW Rolls Out 7th-Generation 3-Series in Paris

This time they mean it when they it’s all-new from the ground up.

by on Oct.02, 2018

The 2019 BMW 3-Series sticks with a relatively familiar exterior design.

It may not be the most expensive model in the BMW line-up, and considering where the global luxury car market is going, SUVs and CUVs are coming to dominate the sales charts. But perhaps no model line better defines the DNA of the Bavarian automaker like the long-lived 3-Series.

So, expect to see and hear a lot about the all-new, seventh-generation compact, the 2019 BMW 3-Series to launch next spring in the U.S. market with the arrival of the 330i and 330i xDrive, as well as the M340i andM340i xDrive. And you also can expect to see a slew of additional versions, all the way up to the de rigueur M3, to follow in relatively short order.

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Automakers often overuse phrases like, “all-new,” or “ground-up redesign,” but they appear to fully apply here, the gen-7 3-Series pretty much revisiting everything, including its basic platform, suspension and powertrain line-up. It also introduces or updates a wide range of technologies. That includes the 330e plug-in hybrid coming in 2020, as well as the debut of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant that uses plain-English commands to operate everything from navigation to audio and even lets you ask it what a warning light might be trying to tell you.

(more…)

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