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Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

Uber Fatality Investigation Produces More Questions Than Answers

NTSB, NHTSA assisting in accident query.

by on Mar.22, 2018

The Tempe (Arizona) Police Department released the video footage of Uber's collision with a pedestrian.

The video chronicling the fatal accident between an Uber vehicle in autonomous test mode and a woman crossing a street with her bike has opened up a Pandora’s Box of questions for the ride-sharing giant and other companies looking to develop self-driving vehicles.

The first is, of course, how did the system not recognize her and take action to avoid the problem? The vehicle’s system had plenty of time to take action, but did nothing, eventually running over Elaine Herzberg, as she walked her bike across four lanes of traffic at night in Tempe, Arizona.

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“The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones,” Uber said in a statement. “Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can.” (more…)

Toyota Will “Pause” Testing of Autonomous Vehicles on Public Roads

Hyundai adding “caution” to its program; Boston mayor wants autonomous tests halted in city.

by on Mar.20, 2018

In light to Uber's autonomous vehicle killing a pedestrian, other companies are revisiting their testing plans and procedures.

Reaction has been quick in the wake of a fatal Phoenix crash involving a prototype autonomous vehicle operated by ride-sharing service Uber, at least one major automaker saying it will temporarily “pause” testing of its own self-driving vehicles on public roads.

Though police in the suburb of Tempe say preliminary evidence indicates the Uber-modified Volvo SUV was not at fault in the death of a pedestrian Sunday night, the incident has raised flags that could slow the race to put self-driving technology on the road.

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While Toyota issued a statement noting that it “cannot speculate on the cause of the incident or what it may mean to the automated driving industry going forward,” the automaker added in a statement that, “Because we feel the incident may have an emotional effect on our test drivers, we have decided to temporarily pause our Chauffeur mode testing on public roads.” (more…)

2019 Fusion to Be Ford’s “Most Technologically Sophisticated Sedan Ever”

But is the Fusion nameplate going to be around much longer?

by on Mar.20, 2018

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi will boost its EV-mode range from 21 to 25 miles.

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent months about the long-term fate of the Ford Fusion but, at least for now, it will remain an anchor of the automaker’s sedan line-up and get some major new technologies for 2019.

The emphasis will be on safety, the 2019 Fusion introducing Ford’s new Co-Pilot360 driver assistance suite, company officials revealed during a background session ahead of the midsize model’s official debut at the New York International Auto Show next week. They also confirmed a big increase in EV-mode range for the plug-in hybrid version of the Fusion.

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“The 2019 Fusion will be the most technologically advanced Ford sedan ever,” said Corey Holter, Ford’s Car Group Marketing Manager, during a media briefing in Detroit on Tuesday.


Ford, Honda and Audi Take Multiple Awards for Best Family Vehicles

U.S. News & World Report offers up best of crop.

by on Mar.13, 2018

The 2018 Ford Expedition was one of two Ford models to win awards in this year's US News & World Report's best cars for families.

Families across America are getting their tax refunds and going on vacation, upgrading their flat screen or perhaps, just perhaps, using that return to upgrade their vehicles.

When it comes to what type of vehicle is best for your family, the choices are endless, but there are a few places where you can get some information on the vehicle that may be best for you and your brood, including the new 2018 Best Cars for Families list from U.S. News & World Report.

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The magazine annually puts more than 100 vehicles — this year 127 models — through their paces to provide winners in 11 categories along with some feedback about why they were picked. These vehicles generally have a wealth of features that make cars appealing for families. (more…)

Toyota Set to Reveal New RAV4 at NY Auto Show

Critical debut for what’s now Toyota’s best-seller.

by on Mar.13, 2018

Toyota hasn't done much to the RAV4 since 2013, nevertheless, it has overtaken the Camry as the brand's best-seller.

Last year saw some momentous changes in the U.S. automotive market, perhaps most notably the surge in demand for SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks. And nowhere was that more apparent than at Toyota where the compact RAV4 toppled the brand’s long-time sales leader, the Camry sedan.

So, Toyota will have a lot riding on what it plans to introduce at the New York International Auto Show later this month, the first complete makeover of the RAV4 since the 2013 model-year. The Japanese giant is counting on the crossover to help it gain even more momentum at a time when there seems to be no end in sight to the light-truck boom.

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Toyota isn’t saying much about the fifth-generation, 2019 crossover, other than to note it will make its debut at New York’s Javits convention center on the morning of March 28, but some details can be gleaned from a teaser image and inside sources.


Toyota Reveals Track-Bound Supra Concept

Japanese automaker remains mum about street car plans.

by on Mar.06, 2018

Toyota reveals a racing "concept" version of the reborn Supra. Street model? For now, TBD.

Performance is the name of the game at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, with an array of offerings, both mainstream and exotic. But new models are generating more attention than the Toyota Supra which is making its return after a 16-year absence.

Once one of the most powerful models ever offered by a Japanese automaker, the Supra has retained a cult status despite – and possibly because of – that long absence. Now, however, it will need to prove it can deliver on some lofty expectations. Of course, it helps that the new model has a strong pedigree. In an unusual move, Toyota entered a partnership with BMW which will be offering its own version of the performance model as the next-generation Z4 roadster.

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The reborn Supra should put an accent mark on Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s promise to put more “passion” into the brand. And to further underscore its intent, the Japanese giant has outlined plans to campaign the new Supra on the motorsports circuit through its Gazoo Racing arm.


VW Confirms New I.D. Vizzion Concept Will Reach Showrooms “By 2022 at the Latest”

Electric sedan will eventually add full autonomy.

by on Mar.05, 2018

The Vizzion Concept is set to become the fourth model in the new Volkswagen I.D. sub-brand.

Volkswagen has rolled out the fourth in a series of concept vehicles meant to preview the all-electric I.D. family it will launch by the end of this decade and, as with earlier models like the Crozz and Buzz, you can expect to see the big I.D. Vizzion sedan roll into showrooms “by 2022 at the latest,” the automaker said, at the big sedan’s official Geneva Motor Show debut.

Something of a battery-electric replacement for the VW brand’s old flagship, the Phaeton, the I.D. Vizzion concept offers a range of cutting-edge technologies, as well as an interior that can be transformed into a mobile living room when operating in fully autonomous mode.

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“The I.D. VIZZION shows what our brand is capable of in terms of technology, design and quality,” said VW brand boss Herbert Diess, during a showcase of new products by the various marques operated by the parent Volkswagen Group. “ It is the most personal, most emotional and most individual Volkswagen of all times. And it also shows that, even in the electric, self-driving future, we will be using desirable, expressive and individual automobiles – and not just uniform tin boxes.”


Toyota Creates $2.8B Company to Develop Self-Driving Cars

Aisin Seiki, Denso founding partners of new venture.

by on Mar.02, 2018

Toyota debuted its updated autonomous vehicle, Platform 3.0, at the 2018 CES.

Around the world, automakers, suppliers and tech companies are scrambling to put a reliable, effective autonomous vehicle on the road. There is no clear path to the finish line, as such, Toyota is joining forces with two other suppliers to form a new $2.8 billion company to get the job done.

Called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, or TRI-AD. The Japanese automaker is starting the company in conjunction with automotive suppliers Aisin Seiki and Denso. In addition to the $2.8 billion investment, the company plans to hire around 1,000 employees to develop software systems that can power fully self-driving vehicles.

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Toyota is in the process of selecting a location in Tokyo that is competitive in terms of accessibility and recruitment. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Hyundai Nexo Fuel-Cell Vehicle

An Olympic effort: Hyundai’s 2nd-generation hydrogen car delivers mainstream manners, 400-mile range.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Hyundai offered Winter Olympic visitors a chance to test drive the new Nexo outfitted with its latest Level 4 autonomous drive

With the winter games heading into their final days, busloads of tourists have been flowing through the gates of Pyeonchang’s Olympic Village, but on this crisp, sunny morning, a steady stream of visitors veers off shortly before reaching the turnstiles, detouring to a small, downtown corner where a cluster of new SUVs are parked.

With a little patience, they’ll have the chance to go for a test drive in what some are calling the vehicle of the future – in this case, twice over. The slate gray Hyundai Nexo SUVs are not only powered by zero-emission hydrogen fuel-cells but use the Korean carmaker’s latest Level 4 autonomous vehicle technology.

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I climb into the shotgun seat alongside a Hyundai engineer assigned to serve as a backup “operator,” just in case something unexpected happens along the 10-minute route, In passable English, he explains that the Korean carmaker hopes to have its first hands-free vehicle on sale “in a couple years.” But the Nexo itself, he quickly adds, will be in showrooms in barely a year.


New Vehicle Sales Expected to Drop in February

Only Toyota, VW and Audi expected to see small increases.

by on Feb.23, 2018

Sluggish sales in the U.S. are expected to continue into February.

Carmakers are quick to point out that one month of sales figures don’t represent a trend, but analysts are now predicting that new vehicle sales are poised to slide again in February, following the drop in January.

Edmunds, a leading car shopping and information platform, is predicting 1.27 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month for an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of 16.8 million.

Sales News!

The figures reflects a 10.8% increase in sales compared with last month, but a 4.1% decrease from February 2017, Edmunds said. (more…)