Month: June 2017

2017 Jaguar F-Pace: The In-Depth, Everything-You-Need-to-Know Review ""

2017-Jaguar-F-Pace- PLACEMENT

Jaguar’s F-Pace is a compact luxury SUV writ larger, sportier, and sexier than is typical. It lives to thrust and parry with the similarly athletic Porsche Macan, yet it sacrifices little to nothing in practicality to lesser, attention-grabbing competitors. Underneath its seductive, F-type sports-car-inspired styling hides a roomy cabin with best-in-class cargo space. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard, and Jaguar gives buyers the choice of a miserly diesel inline-four engine and a powerful supercharged V-6. READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This:

Ford Accelerates Robotics and Artificial-Intelligence Development ""

Ford-autonomous-1

When Ford hired Jim Hackett as its new chief executive officer last month, he delivered a mandate: In a rapidly changing industry, the automaker no longer could afford to take a plodding approach to making decisions. Ford needed to move faster.

The company took a step in that direction Thursday, consolidating its artificial-intelligence and robotics researchers into a single new team that will explore using those technologies on a broad range of transportation projects.

The team will report to Randy Visintainer, Ford’s director of autonomous-vehicle development and controls. While self-driving vehicles will be a significant focus, they won’t be the lone one. Ford expects the researchers will evaluate artificial-intelligence applications for drones, mobility projects, and the technical requirements for entry into global markets

“I can tell you there’s so much going on in the world of advanced engineering, it’s imperative that we maintain a crystal-clear focus on the most important elements to help us achieve our vision of changing the way the world moves,” wrote Ken Washington, Ford’s chief technology officer, in a Medium blog post.

“This means you’ll likely see at least two separate fleets of self-driving vehicles on the road, one led by the Ford team conducting advanced research and another by Argo AI.”

—Ken Washington, Ford

Some of those visions are well documented, with the company’s recent investments in artificial-intelligence and high-definition mapping companies. Others, Washington noted, haven’t yet been revealed.

Perhaps he hints at some of the more secretive projects, saying the team will also explore “aerial robotics to enhance first- and last-mile travel.” Whether Ford will follow with plans for a contraption similar to the likes of Uber’s flying taxi or the Airbus self-flying Vahana concept, well, that’s an intriguing thought. For the time being, Ford is focused on the process of discovering and refining its next innovations.

The new research team will work with Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based artificial-intelligence company that Ford made a $1 billion investment in last year. Argo will continue to do the bulk of the work developing the virtual driver system for Ford’s first generation of autonomous vehicles, a company spokesperson said, while the new team concentrates its efforts on more fledgling technologies.

“This means you’ll likely see at least two separate fleets of self-driving vehicles on the road—one led by the Ford team conducting advanced research, and another by Argo AI, developing and testing our virtual driver system for production,” Washington wrote.

In his introductory remarks, Hackett stressed that the company needs to match the speed of the ever-changing industry. But in terms of autonomous vehicles, the company’s approach hasn’t necessarily been lacking. An independent report issued earlier this year by Navigant Research found that Ford’s autonomous strategy and execution ranked as the most effective out of the 18 companies examined.

Ford has previously stated its intent to put Level 4 autonomous vehicles—those that never require input from drivers when the system is active but might have limitations on the conditions in which they operate—into production by 2021. Combining the AI and robotics teams may show that Hackett and others are starting to make plans for what happens beyond that first autonomous launch.

“”

""

Share This:

2017 Jaguar F-Pace – In-Depth Review ""

2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace2017 Jaguar F-Pace “”

""

Share This:

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Manual Tested: If Only It Were Interesting ""

2017-Chevrolet-Cruze-hatchback-PLACEMENT

Being the new kid in a school can be one of the toughest transitions of a lifetime. The sleek second-generation Chevrolet Cruze arrived in 2016 in sedan-form only. For 2017, the model is available in one of our favorite body styles—the hatchback—for the first time in North America. And Chevrolet even sees fit to make this creation available with an actual clutch pedal. They’re speaking our language. Arriving late to a well-established class, the Cruze is looking for a spot on the dean’s list. READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This:

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback Manual – Instrumented Test ""

2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback2017 Chevrolet Cruze hatchback “”

""

Share This:

Farewell, Guy Smiley: Maserati Unveils Refreshed 2018 GranTurismo ""

2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC

It has been a decade since Maserati released its GranTurismo, and it goes without saying that the GT world has moved on significantly since the car’s debut. Maserati has attempted to keep pace by adding power and sticking various unfortunate plastic bits to the machine’s fundamentally lovely Pininfarina-designed form, while teasing us with the delayed sex-bomb Alfieri. Recently, the FCA unit unveiled a refreshed version of the venerable GT in front of the New York Stock Exchange, and then it pulled the wraps from the droptop variant at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. If it’s not the show stopper the GranTurismo was at launch, it’s at least free of that godawful dark grin that has been plaguing Sport and MC versions of the car for years.

The GT variant that Maserati showed off at the stock exchange was the higher-performance MC Stradale, which will be joined by a heavier Sport model. All GranTurismo models feature the last living iteration of the wonderful naturally aspirated Ferrari-Maserati V-8, which offers 460 horsepower at 7000 rpm and 384 lb-ft of torque at 4750 rpm, In this era of 10-speed automatics, the GranTurismo offers only a six-speed ZF unit bolted directly to the engine, having dispensed with the previous car’s optional MC Shift single-clutch automated transaxle.

According to Maserati, the Alfieri inspired the GT’s new nose. It features a hexagonal grille and gaping cheek ducts, which might take on a slightly more restrained form on the as-yet-unseen Sport. The company claims the new face helps reduce the Cd from 0.33 to 0.32. The rear bumper has also been redone. Modena says the Sport coupe will hit 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and do 186 mph, which is notably 1 mph better than Joe Walsh’s old car. MC coupe customers can expect 187 at the top end while shaving a tenth off the Sport’s zero-to-62-mph run.

 

Inside, customers are treated to four seats upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather, while an Alcantara-and-leather interior treatment is optional. The new GT also features a revised infotainment system, offering an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, as well as a Harman/Kardon premium sound system.



At launch, the GranTurismo was roughly competitive within its segment. These days, even a base 911 Carrera will embarrass the sporty MC during stoplight drags, as will a hulking Mercedes-AMG S63 cabriolet. The car has been successful by Maserati standards—the Modenese factory has produced more than 37,000 GranTurismos over the past decade—but it requires an owner who prizes exclusivity over performance. Finally, it does have one ace up its tailored sleeve: if you’d like a new car with a naturally aspirated Italian V-8, it’s now the only game in town.

“”

""

Share This:

With More Partnerships, Nvidia Solidifies Its Grip on Self-Driving Tech ""

Nvidia-Drive-PX

From its roots as a provider of graphics processing power for video games, Nvidia has risen to become one of the most important Silicon Valley companies developing technology for self-driving vehicles. This was underscored recently when the company announced further collaborations with two major OEMs—Volvo and Volkswagen—and top global automotive supplier ZF. Together, the announcements signal that automakers are using Nvidia’s technology for a broad range of autonomous systems, some of which are tilting from research-and-development projects into firm production plans.

Chief among them: Volvo will use Nvidia’s Drive PX computing platform, pictured above, to develop advanced software and artificial-intelligence applications for autonomous vehicles. The two companies had already collaborated on the XC90 SUVs used in Volvo’s Drive Me project, and this announcement entrenches their relationship as Volvo plans to launch autonomous vehicles by 2021.

“On the platform side, Nvidia is clearly dominating
-in the development and early-implementation phases
-of autonomous vehicles.” – Mike Ramsey, Gartner

Speaking at the Automobil Elektronik Kongress in Germany, Nvidia chief executive officer Jensen Huang further announced the company will continue developing deep-learning technology with Volkswagen at the automaker’s Silicon Valley laboratory and that it will deepen its partnership with global supplier ZF Group.

The announcements come at a time when competitors such as Intel are investing billions in self-driving technology and the race to provide chips, platforms, and artificial intelligence is ramping up. Tesla Motors was the first to use the Drive PX in production vehicles, and Nvidia has a long-standing relationship with Audi. More recently, it has inked deals with Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and global supplier Bosch.

Autonomous Driving Brain in Volvo's XC90 Drive Me car

“On the platform side, Nvidia is clearly dominating in the development and early-implementation phases of autonomous vehicles based on the announcements that have come so far,” says Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner, a global technology consulting company. “These recent announcements extend their lead.”

At Volvo, Nvidia will be developing both hardware and software while working with the Swedish automaker’s top supplier, Autoliv, as well as Zenuity, a new subsidiary of both companies formed earlier this year to focus on software development. Some of the work will remain proprietary to Volvo, while in some cases, Autoliv will be free to market products to other automakers.

“This is significant, because a lot of the development work we’re doing can be leveraged by other automakers,” said Danny Shapiro, senior director of Nvidia’s automotive business unit. “You’re starting to see the industry welcome these type of collaborations.”

“We need to be a systems supplier, and we need
-to understand the whole system to understand
-the functionalities of the future.”
-– Stefan Sommer, ZF

Look no further than ZF, which also announced a deal with German lighting and sensor component supplier Hella. The companies plan to work together on camera and radar ventures that could help OEMs meet upcoming European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) standards being developed for the mass deployment of semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicles. Nvidia is now a piece of that puzzle. Drive PX will underpin the efforts of ZF and Hella to create artificial-intelligence software that optimizes camera and radar data for autonomous or semi-autonomous functions. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Group, says perfecting the combination of that artificial-intelligence information with mechanical systems is vital.

nvidia-zf

“We need to be a systems supplier, and we need to understand the whole system to understand the functionalities of the future and see business models that we can sell with software solutions,” Sommer said. “By combining our technology and understanding it with each other, we are much faster and have a benefit in terms of having a promising technology other competitors do not have.”

With Volkswagen, the fruits of Nvidia’s collaboration are a bit further down the road. The two companies are working at VW’s Silicon Valley Data Lab to explore how vehicular information stored in data centers can be gleaned for insights, such as how traffic flow can be improved in particular cities. They’re using artificial intelligence in data centers instead of in the cars themselves, but in many ways, Nvidia’s Shapiro said, that’s just as important.

“AI is having a transformative effect on the auto industry in general, and a lot of this means focus on the Drive PX in the car, and running deep-learning algorithms in the vehicle, but there are lots of other implications for vehicles and connected cars,” he said.

 

“”

""

Share This:

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Unveiled! With 700 Horsepower! ""

2018-Porsche-911-GT2-RS-PLACEMENT

When carmakers show up at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, they tend not to arrive without a panoply of vehicles. This year, Porsche brought a slew of fast things, including the 1978 935 racecar affectionately known as Moby Dick, the new 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series, and the 919 LMP1 fresh from its win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans less than two weeks earlier. It also chose this occasion to reveal the most powerful, most expensive, and most insane-sounding 911 in history: the 2018 911 GT2 RS. READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This:

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Lots of Power, Lots of Want – Official Photos and Info ""

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS “”

""

Share This:

In the Beginning: We Start a 40,000-Mile Test of Genesis’s Premium Player ""

2017-Genesis-G90-LTIN-PLACEMENT

In retrospect, it’s only logical that we eventually would find ourselves behind the wheel of a nearly $70,000 Hyundai. Loosely following the blueprint used by the trio of Japanese manufacturers that launched upscale divisions in the late 20th century, Hyundai’s newly minted Genesis is meant to put a little space between its upmarket offerings and the value-oriented fare it built its name on. Morphing the model name of its Hyundai Genesis coupe and sedan into a stand-alone brand also creates a place in which to move loyal customers as their income and tastes permit more upscale pursuits. With the G90 standing as the new brand’s top offering, we secured one for a 40,000-mile long-term test. READ MORE ››

“”

""

Share This: