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Posts Tagged ‘honda news’

Toyota Readies Robot to Help Healthcare Workers

Honda continues development of ASIMO.

by on Jul.31, 2015

Toyota will begin using its Human Service Robot in trials with healthcare workers to see if they are viable.

And now we all know where the real-life version of the movie iRobot begins … with the introduction of Toyota’s Human Service Robot or HSR.

In the aforementioned film, humans become reliant upon robots to handle life’s mundane responsibilities. The end result is that the robots view humans as a problem begin to implement a plan to rid the planet of them. That’s when Will Smith comes in, sans DJ Jazzy Jeff, and saves the world.

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Toyota’s HSR isn’t anywhere near that level of ability or pervasiveness, with its highly maneuverable, compact, and lightweight cylindrical body and folding arm, the HSR can pick objects up off the floor, retrieve objects from shelves, and perform a variety of other tasks. (more…)

Despite Safety Woes, Honda Earnings Climb 20%

Weak yen offsets cost of airbag recall.

by on Jul.31, 2015

Honda's automotive unit helped the company to strong first-quarter profits despite setbacks from Takata's faulty airbags.

Despite being slammed by the ongoing recall of Takata airbags, Honda Motor Co. was able to deliver a 20% jump in earnings for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year.

The cheap yen – which has dropped almost 20% against the dollar over the past year – helped drive Honda’s April-June net income to 186 billion yen, or $1.5 billion. A year ago, the maker reported 155.6 billion yen in net income, or about $1.3 billion.

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On a per share basis, Honda handily outperformed the 65 cent average forecast of the Zacks Consensus Estimate with an 84-cent, or 103.22-yen, per share number. (more…)

Honda Moves West with Innovation Xcelerator

Japanese maker joins competitors in Silicon Valley.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Honda's new Silicon Valley R&D facility is focusing on harnessing game-changing technologies through open innovation initiatives.

Honda, following the lead of rival automakers such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault, is expanding it presence in Silicon Valley.

The Japanese automaker marked the opening of its new research and development center in Mountain View, California, near the heart of the tech corridor that stretches south from San Francisco and is the home of tech giants such Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, Intel and HP.

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“As an industry, we are on the verge of some major transformational changes brought on by the convergence of what have been, to this point, largely disparate technology disciplines,” said Honda R&D Americas President Frank Paluch. (more…)

Acura Chief Accavitti Unexpectedly Exits

New Acura boss is veteran designer Jon Ikeda.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Mike Accavitti with a prototype Acura TLX at its preview during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

With sales growing well ahead of the industry overall, everything seemed to be going right for Acura boss Mike Accavitti. But the industry veteran has unexpectedly exited the Japanese luxury brand, parent Honda Motor Co. offering no explanation for his departure.

Accavitti will be succeeded by Jon Ikeda, who had served as head of Honda’s U.S. R&D operations and who was trained as a designer before joining Honda in 1989.

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“Jon Ikeda brings tremendous knowledge and talent to Acura,” John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, said in a statement. “From deep R&D experience with the brand, he has emerged as the ultimate advocate for Acura and has built a record of solid achievement and success.”

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GM Launches New Active Safety Test Center

Crash-avoidance tech becoming better, cheaper, more common.

by on Jul.24, 2015

A Chevrolet Malibu with a pedestrian braking system stops short of hitting a "child" during a test.

As the big Chevrolet sedan races down the asphalt the driver seemingly misses the young boy who steps out on to the pavement. But his car doesn’t. An artificial vision system not only spots the pedestrian but slams on the brakes, stopping just a few feet before what might have been a deadly impact.

In fact, the demonstration run out at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan used a pint-sized dummy rather than risking an actual child, but it provided a clear look at a new technology that the maker plans to begin offering in 2016 on several models, including the new Chevy Malibu.

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Front Pedestrian Braking is, in fact, one of 22 different crash-avoidance technologies GM says it will offer through its four North American brands next year. And It promises more will follow, some already under development at a 52-acre Active Safety Test Area carved out of the suburban Detroit engineering complex.

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Honda Goes High(er) Tech with 2016 Accord

CarPlay and Android Auto, lower-price safety package added.

by on Jul.24, 2015

The 2016 Honda Accord gets minor styling tweaks and lots of new technology.

Honda will be loading up the 2016 Accord with an assortment of new high-tech features, the maker revealed during a preview staged, appropriately enough, in Silicon Valley.

Sure, Dodge has gotten plenty of attention by offering a 707-horsepower Hellcat package, but these days, automakers have learned that digital technology is really what sells – as was made abundantly clear in the results of the latest J.D. Power APEAL study which showed that owner satisfaction has been surging on products loaded up with the latest digital features.

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Honda isn’t breaking ground with the 2016 Accord, but it’s not letting competitors like Chevrolet, Ford or Hyundai steal much of a march, either. And, considering Accord’s traditionally loyal following, that may be more than good enough.

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Honda Pays $25 Mil to Resolve Claims it Overcharged Minority Customers

But critics contend the settlement will cost all car buyers more.

by on Jul.15, 2015

Honda's finance arm agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations it charged some minority buyers higher interest rates, claiming they were higher credit risks.

Honda will pay $25 million to settle allegations its U.S. financing arm overcharged minority car buyers, federal officials announced.

The maker was one of several who allegedly allowed dealers to steer minority customers into loans that carried higher interest rates, supposedly due to higher credit risk. Dealers profited from that move because they received more money for generating those loans.

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In a civil complaint, federal prosecutors alleged that, “Honda knew or had reason to know that its policy and practice of allowing dealers to mark up consumers’ interest rates created a substantial risk of discrimination.” (more…)

Honda Adds Another 4.5 Mil Takata Airbags to Recall List

Further recalls could be possible.

by on Jul.09, 2015

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the automaker won't financially assist Takata.

Already having recalled more vehicles for defective Takata airbags than any other manufacturer, Honda Motor Co. is adding another 4.5 million vehicles to its global tally, it announced today.

More than a third of those vehicles were sold in Japan, according to Honda, which noted that none of the affected vehicles are in North America. Until recently, the U.S. and Canada constituted the bulk of the recalls involving Takata airbags, but the latest announcement from Honda suggests the problem is much more widespread.

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The latest recall appears to bring the total number of vehicles impacted by faulty Takata airbags to more than 40 million worldwide. At least eight deaths have been directly linked to the problem, all in Honda vehicles. So far, all but one occurred in the U.S. But it remains to be seen if more fatalities will be added to the list as manufacturers expand the scope of their recalls abroad.

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New Honda CEO Lays Out Turnaround Plan

Takahiro Hachigo wants to tap “power of Honda people.”

by on Jul.06, 2015

Former CEO Takanobu Ito and Honda's new Chief Exec Takahiro Hachigo.

Hammered by the recall of more than 20 million vehicles due to faulty airbags, as well as a nearly 9% decline in profits, Takahiro Hachigo has a tough job ahead as the new CEO of Honda Motor Co.

The lifelong employee of Japan’s third-largest automaker laid out his vision of a turnaround during his first official news conference since being promoted to CEO last month. While Hachigo was short on specifics, he offered a broad outline that will bring more products and could see Honda enter new alliances and joint ventures with erstwhile rivals.

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“I plan to create a new Honda,” he told reporters at Honda’s Tokyo headquarters, adding that his goal is to tap into “the power of Honda people.”

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Toyota, Nissan and Honda Team up to Create “Hydrogen Society”

Makers pool funds to set up hydrogen fueling stations.

by on Jul.01, 2015

One of the first Japanese hydrogen stations.

In an unusual move, Japan’s three largest automakers have agreed to work tougher to help create what they’re calling a “hydrogen society.”

Toyota Motor Corp. has just launched its new Mirai fuel-cell vehicle, with Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. working up similar products. While proponents point out that these vehicles produce no harmful emissions, skeptics note that there are few places for potential buyers to fill their tanks with the lightweight fuel, so the three companies are promising to invest as much as 6 billion yen, or $50 million, to build and support a network of hydrogen filling stations in Japan.

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They have also been supporting plans to create a similar infrastructure in the United States where the only ready supply of hydrogen currently is located in Southern California.

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