Honda Announces Goal of “zero human error” With New Driving Assistance Technology

Honda Motor announced its future safety technology in development.

The automaker set a goal of quote, “zero traffic collision fatalities involving Honda motorcycles and automobiles globally by 2050” using their developing technologies.

The technology will of course be AI-powered. Honda is calling it “Intelligent Driver-Assistive Technology” that will provide drivers assistance suited the driving ability of each individual and suited to the current context of any driving situation. The goal being to reduce errors and risk resulting in overall safer driving.

The “Safe and Sound Network Technology would connect all on-road users—both human and autonomous vehicles—through telecommunication networks. This will make it possible to predict potential risks and help the software help drivers and vehicles avoid collisions before they actually happen.

Honda is going to expand their introduction of Sensing 360, their newly announced multi-directional safety and driver assistance system, to all their models on sale in all the major markets by 2030.

Apple Shifts Focus of Car Division to Totally Autonomous Vehicle

Trying to solve a challenge that has troubled the autonomous vehicle industry, Apple Inc is trying to accelerate its development of an electric car and has refocused the project around full self-driving capabilities, this according to sources.

In the past few years, Apple’s car team had pursued to different, but simultaneous paths to an autonomous vehicle. First, the most typical type—a limited self-driving car with steer and acceleration assistance. Or, the second option, a car that requires no human intervention to drive.

Software executive to the Apple Watch project Kevin Lynch is now in charge of the software engineers in the car division and under his leadership the project is focusing on the second option. Anonymous sources have stated Lynch wants a fully self-driving car in the first version.

The company reached a keystone moment, according to sources, when they finished most of the core work on the neural net processor needed to handle the complex A.I. needed for a computer to drive the car on its own. Ideally, Apple’s car would have no steering wheel or pedals.

The chip was designed by Apple’s silicon engineering group, outside of the car project. These are the people that develop chips for iPhone, iPad and Mac. They are not a part of the car team. Their work has included the underlying software that runs on the chip to power the autonomous A.I.

Apple plans to start using the new processor design and new sensors in its road tests soon.

 

World Gets First Peak at The Integra 2023

The world has now had its first look at Acura’s new Integra. Many are celebrating the return of the this famous namesake to the Acura stable. The Integra prototype is painted in Indy Yellow Pearl that the Acura NSX sports. The prototype, many believe, is probably a strong indicator of what the exterior design of the 2023 Acura Integra will look like. Acura stated it will be priced in the $30,000 range.

Taking its spirit from past Integras the 2023 Integra will be a entry level performance model for the Acura lineup. The original helped launch the Acura brand in 1986. The 2023 Integra will be a premium compact sports car with a unique five-door design and a so-called “fun to drive spirit.”

This will be the first ever Integra to come from the factory already turbocharged, hoping to excite a new generation of enthusiast sports car drivers. It will be available in a six-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential as well as a VTEC®  1.5 liter engine.

The new Integra was designed in Japan. Its bold exterior will feature a grammatically sloping roofline and liftback tailgate. This will give it a very coupe-like look on the road. It will also include trademarkers like the Integra name embossed under the driver-side headlight and passenger-side taillight.

 

Ford Prepares for Final Testing on Their E-Transit Vans

Preproduction models of Ford Motor Company’s 2022 E-Transit vans have started to ship to select businesses as part of a program to test Ford’s new Ford Pro commercial service.

While Ford didn’t say how many businesses are a part of the test program they mentioned Penske Truck Leasing and National Grid utility provider as two participants. Ford also didn’t state how many test vehicles they delivered, but at least one van per participant has been provided so they can access Ford’s telematics software and charging tools—both tailored for commercial fleets.

Ford did not make it clear whether the test participants had placed orders for the production vehicles or not. Ford did say they are on schedule to start their E-Transit production by the end of the year and to begin to deliver in 2022.

National Grid is planning to move to an all-electric fleet over the next 10 years. They have one of Ford’s preproduction, low-roof E-Transit cargo vans. They will test it on regular home meter-reading routes. Penske stated it will test the van via driving experience and charging strategy for customers like commercial business renters.

Ford stated their Ford Pro team will make use of pilot program feedback to evaluate performance to continue to refine the products and training tools.

BMW to Soon Release New Mini Countryman

Mini’s 3rd generation Countryman has been spotted on public roads and experts agree it will be crucial to the brands all-electric reinvention of the brand.

Coming in 2023 the new Countryman, like its relative the BMW X1, will be available in both 100% EV and combo gas/electric engines. Both will be built on the same line as the previous X1 in Leipzig, Germany. Currently the Countryman is made in the Netherlands under a contract with VDL Nedcar.

Both SUVs will be based on the front-wheel-drive UKL structure—the structure is designed to allow for all gas, all electric and hybrid powertrains. Most of BMWs compact models will use this architecture.

However, it won’t be used for the so-called “entry level supermini” currently called the Minor. It will be built in China in partnership between Great Wall Motors and BMW.

The EV options for both models will feature completely new powertrains. The existing Mini hatchback uses a small-capacity battery and motor and the BMW iX3 is rear-wheel-drive. Otherwise, the powertrains should be fairly familiar.

The new Countryman will bigger than the current model, probably a 200mm increase which will increase leg room and load capacity.

 

Ford Gives the Focus Line a Makeover

To keep up with competitors like the VW Golf, the Ford Focus has undergone some major updates.

The family hatchback version of the Focus takes its cues from the new Fiesta. The front end has been totally redesigned and now includes LED headlights as standard (on all Focus models). And have built in fog lights. The darkened rear lights are now arranged in a loop pattern.

All the variants are getting different styling updates. The Titanium, Acitve, ST-Line and performance ST versions will include and individual fascia and grille designs. ST-Line variants will have side skirts, rear refuser and a spoiler. The Active has a more SUV like design with additional lower body cladding and bigger side vents.

The Vignale premium wheel package is now available on more variants and has five new alloy wheel designs.

The ST hatchback as been set further apart by design with a honeycomb grille, new side vents, spoiler and skirts. It will also have 18 inch wheels with 19 inch wheels available.

Probably the biggest change is the brand new Sync 4 infotainment system. Physically, it is a 13.2 inch dashboard-mounted touchscreen. The system now controls the environmental options in the car as well. Ford claims no function will be more than a “touch or two” from any function.

The Sync 4 system works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also includes speech recognition and does over-air software updates. Owners can also use the FordPass app to check fuel levels and monitor the life span on the oil from a smartphone app.

 

Mercedes Soon to Reveal the S63?

Although automaker Mercedes-Benz just released their brand new S-Class, they are on the verge of unveiling their even more exciting take on the luxury flagship vehicle.

Photographers captured the new S63 on public roads in Nurburgring and it seems to feature a newly styled grille, sports wheels, interesting bumper designs and intimidating square-tipped quad exhaust. Other details have some speculating that it’ll be revealed in just a few months.

Expectations are that the S63 will feature a tech-focused interior and proportions of a standard luxury car but will also include chassis tweaks and a more powerful, hybridized engine made specifically for this model.

We know that two plug-in variants are inbound and both will be powered by a variation of the same twin 4.0 liter turbocharged V8 that runs Mercedes GT supercar and GLE 63 SUV.

The standard S63e 4Matic+ will combine a gas engine with a 134hp electric motor for a 700hp output. The performance hybrid engine will put out 831hp

While experts and photographers can’t be sure which of the variants was spotted on the road, it is suspected the differences between the performance model and the luxury model will be minimal as with the E-Class E53 and E63.

 

Honda Teases New Civic Type R

Honda is taking its newest Civic Type R to Nurburgring to test it before it joins the U.S. stable next year.

Teaser photos reveal that the new version is going to be a much cleaner design. It has lost a lot of its flashy elements, especially on the rear end.

While it is still speculation, Honda is toting it was the highest performing Civic Type R ever.

The 11th generation of Civic sedans and hatchbacks didn’t get many mechanical updates and some believe the new Type R won’t either.

The current Type R runs at 306hp from a turbocharged 2.0 liter engine with a six speed manual transmission. The regular 2022 Civics got a bit of a power boost so the Type R may too.

The hatchback Type R will resemble its newest family members in its interior with a honeycomb like strip of metal running across the dash—which is a much more simple design.

The Type R will probably have some exclusive options like racing seats, medal pedals and contrast style racing paint jobs.

Pricing is expected to hover around the 2021 model mark starting at $38,910.

Lamborghini Resurrects the Legendary Countach LP 500 Concept

To mark the 50th anniversary of its reveal at the Geneva motor show Lamborghini has recreated the “lost” Countach LP 500 concept.

In 1971 the concept car was the first clue as to how Lamborghini would move beyond their Miura supercar. The concept car played a role for three years of development of the production Countach LP 400. Eventually it was used for crash tests and scrapped.

Now the sports auto company historic division has recreated, down to the smallest details, a replica of the LP 500—the recreation uses period correct parts and strenuous attention to details like construction shape and dimensions.

The team even used the same construction methods common to Lamborghini at the time for complete authenticity. This even included hand-beaten panels. The team used modern software to analyze photos of the original LP 500.

Documentation was crucial to the project. They revealed the level of detail paid to the original, which was then transferred to the recreation. The material available was an archive unto itself; sketches, photographs, meeting notes—even the memories of the original production team.

 

Volvo to Go Leather-less in EVs by 2030

Swedish automaker Volvo is making another promise to increase the use of sustainable materials to build their vehicles—Volvo has promised to stop using leather in their EVs by 2030. They also said they’d set a goal to use at least 25% bio-based or recycled materials in their new cars by 2025.

Volvo reported they plan to use Nordico, which is a textile created from recycled plastic PET bottles. Also, materials including those from sustainable forests in Sweden and Finland as well as recycled corks from the wine industry.

The material will be introduced as soon as the next generation of Volvo models. The C40 Recharged will the be first in a long line of Volvo EVs to use the more-responsible material Nordico in its interior.

Volvo also wants to have gone 100% electric in all its models by 2030, completely ceasing production of internal combustion engines.

The company cited numbers that state that about 14% of man-made green house gases come from raising livestock and most of that 14% is from cattle farming. They also stated that they are going to become more responsible for where they get their wool so they are sure it is ethically sourced.