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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Another Automaker Abandons the V-8

Genesis will drop Tau V-8 when new G80 debuts this autumn.

by on May.20, 2019

The next version of the Genesis G80 will come to market without its familiar Tau V-8.

Way back in the late 1970s, when twin oil shocks and the then-new Corporate Average Fuel Economy mandate forced automakers to start focusing on energy efficiency, conventional wisdom had it that the V-8 would soon vanish. It didn’t quite work out that way and the engine of choice for many performance and heavy-duty vehicles has remained surprisingly robust.

But as global emissions and mileage regulations continue to tighten, the V-8 appears, once again, to be an endangered species, and the Hyundai Motor Group is the latest getting ready to throw in the towel.

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The Korean carmaker’s luxury brand Genesis plans to abandon its 5.0-liter Tau V-8 when it rolls out new versions of its two biggest sedans, according to the marque’s CEO. That phase-out will begin later this year with the launch of a new version of the G80.

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VW Unleashes Seven Sport Concepts at Southern Worthersee

SOWO show cars highlight options for both performance and off-road fans.

by on May.17, 2019

VW shows off its SOWO "enthusiast fleet."

Volkswagen has long had a history of rolling out some of its most creative niche products and concept cars at the annual Worthersee gathering in Austria. It has expanded that tradition by adding what it calls the SOWO event on Hutchinson Island in Savannah, Georgia.

Short for “Southern Worthersee,” the big gathering aims to entice VW fans this time around with seven concept vehicles featuring what it calls “sport performance add-ons and visual enhancements.”

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Considering the shift in global markets, and especially the U.S., from sedans, coupes and hatchbacks to SUVs, CUVs and other light trucks, it should surprise no one that this year’s crop of concepts includes versions of the latest Tiguan and Atlas crossover-utility vehicles. But Volkswagen traditionalists shouldn’t be disappointed, either, the automaker rolling out customized versions of the Golf, Jetta and new Arteon, as well. (more…)

GMC Tightens Up Premium Truck Segment with 2020 Sierra 1500

More technology and engine choices highlight new truck.

by on May.17, 2019

For 2020, the GMC Sierra gets a slew of new technology as well as a new engine offering.

The competition to produce the best-equipped pickup truck continued to get tighter today with GMC’s announcement that its “taking premium to the next level” for its 2020 Sierra 1500.

GMC’s full-size light-duty pickup can now get a slew of new options to take it up a notch, including expanded availability for its carbon fiber bed, 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel and 10-speed automatic transmission, plus additional technology like Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera.

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While options are great, functionality is still king among truck users and GMC is looking to make a statement in that arena too. For 2020, the Sierra 1500 will be available with the upgraded ProGrade Trailering System introduced earlier this year on the 2020 Sierra HD. The updated system offers 15 camera views – the class leader – plus an in-vehicle Trailering App which has been enhanced to simplify the trailering process. (more…)

“Hardcore” Belt-Tightening a Must, Says Tesla’s Musk

The “only way for Tesla to become financially sustainable.”

by on May.17, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk has ordered employees to rein in spending on virtually everything.

Tesla will need to engage in some “hardcore” cost-cutting, CEO Elon Musk told employees in an e-mail late Thursday, a move that comes in the wake of an unexpectedly severe first-quarter loss.

The automaker earlier this month was able to raise $2.7 billion through a combination of stock and debt offerings, but investors have become increasingly wary of the challenges that face the automaker – Tesla facing substantial debt repayments on top of the costs involved in the development of an array of new products and a new plant in China.

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The latest cash infusion, according to Musk, will only let it go for another 10 months without getting back into the black, he wrote, which “is why, going forward, all expenses of any kind anywhere in the world, including parts, salary, travel expenses, rent, literally every payment that leaves out bank account must (be) reviewed.”

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With Over 11M Vehicles Expected to Use V2X tech, FCC Delays Decision on Needed Radio Spectrum

Some manufacturers look at alternatives, like 5G.

by on May.16, 2019

IHS Markit predicts the growth of V2X in the United States.

More than 11 million vehicles globally are expected to be equipped with connected-car technology, often known as V2X, by 2024, according to a new study by IHS Markit.

The technology is meant to allow vehicles to talk to one another, as well as an infrastructural network to share information like weather and traffic conditions and even when a stoplight is about to change. It can also alert a driver when another vehicle runs a red light, potentially saving lives.

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But some proponents fear the rollout of V2X technology could be delayed, at the least, because of an ongoing debate over the precise method that these systems will use to communicate. The radio spectrum that had been set aside is being coveted by groups like Comcast and CBS which would like to use it for alternative purposes, such as expanded Internet and WiFi services. (more…)

Tesla Updating Software After Latest Battery Fire

Two recent incidents raise new concerns about EV safety.

by on May.16, 2019

A security camera caught images of a Tesla spontaneously catching fire in a Hong Kong garage.

Responding to the latest in a series of fires involving its electric vehicles’ battery packs, Tesla will updated its digital control software.

The move comes in the wake of a pair of fires in China, a critical market for the manufacturer, both involving parked vehicles. Since the original Tesla Model S was introduced, the company’s products have been involved in more than a dozen vehicle fires.

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“As we continue our investigation of the root cause, out of an abundance of caution, we are revising charge and thermal management settings on Model S and Model X vehicles via an over-the-air software update that will begin rolling out today, to help further protect the battery and improve battery longevity.” Tesla said in a statement released on Wednesday.

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Hyundai/Kia Partnering up with Croatia EV Supercar Maker Rimac

Croatian company positions itself as a major supplier of electrification technology and components.

by on May.14, 2019

Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac celebrates with Hyundai's Euisun Chung their new alliance.

Alliances and joint ventures are becoming as much the norm as the exception in today’s auto industry, but Hyundai Motor Group just entered a particularly strange-bedfellow sort of relationship, investing nearly $90 million in Rimac, the Croatian manufacturer of battery-electric supercars.

The Korean parent of the Hyundai and Kia brands will not only invest 80 million euros in Rimac Automobili but also establish a technology partnership that will put some high-performance electric vehicles in their future line-ups, as well.

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“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”

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Ride-Hailing Services Don’t Cut Traffic, They Add to It, Study Says

Many users would have simply taken mass transit or walked.

by on May.14, 2019

A new study suggests ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, increased traffic delays in San Francisco by 62%.

Early in their growth, ride-hailing services, like Uber and Lyft, were seen as potential replacements for new vehicles; however, a new study suggests they only add to the number of vehicles on the road.

According to the new study, traffic delays in San Francisco – the test city in the study – during weekdays jumped 62% from 2010 to 2016, which is after transportation network companies, i.e. ride-hailing companies, began to offer services in the city.

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Researchers from the University of Kentucky and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority conducted the study using data from ride-hailing companies and Inrix Inc., a traffic-mapping and connected-car services supplier. (more…)

Kia Offers First Look at New “Global Small SUV”

Could be called Tusker in U.S. market.

by on May.14, 2019

Kia's teaser images aren't entirely production ready, as the mirrors and large wheels suggest.

At the Seoul Motor Show in March Kia unveiled two concept vehicles hinting at how it plans to bookmark its SUV line-up. Now, it’s offering a pair of renderings that appear to show what the smaller of the two Korean concepts will actually look like in production.

The “new global small SUV” was indeed, “inspired by the 2019 Kia SP Signature Concept,” Kia confirmed in a news release this morning. But it left plenty of other questions unanswered, including the name it will give the new offering and the precise timing of its global roll-out.

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“We have created a car which stands out everywhere, from the city to the countryside,” said Byung Chul Juh, head of styling for the Kia brand, adding that it will offer “a wide range of features and technologies that are universally suited to younger buyers in markets around the world.”

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Elonroad Takes EV Charging Where it Hasn’t Gone Before

Swedish developed system designed to be efficient and safe.

by on May.13, 2019

Why is this man smiling? Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a revolutionary new charging system named after him and he didn't even have to invent it.

The rocketing growth of new electric vehicles produced by automakers has producers of EV charging stations hustling to keep up; however, a new innovation may circumvent the need for the onslaught of stations.

The Swedish city of Lund is conducting a trial of a roadway that charges electric vehicles as they roll down the “tarmac.” Named “Elonroad,” after Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, the plans call for a 1 kilometer stretch of road to be a test bed for the new technology.

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The purpose is to contribute to increasing knowledge about electricity routes as part of the future fossil-free transport system, says Elvag Syd, the company working with the Swedish Transport Administration, on the project. It´s the first electric road with ground level feeding system tested for buses in a city. The project is a test and demonstration project from 2019-2022. (more…)