The car industry is in the midst of a makeover and there’s always someone new in the game. This week’s highlights include some new powerful beauties and intelligent beasts.
Honda shows off GoMentum station
Amid rumors that Apple, GM and other companies may be interested in acquiring Honda, Honda has invited the press to check out its autonomous car training grounds at an abandoned naval base, in Concord, CA. And while it may look a little like a toddler on its first legs, the Acura RLX did manage to deftly avoided a mannequin in the middle of the road, and showed a promising cautious dad-approach to the road.
Racing giant Peugeot has released a new version of its L45 race car, which won the Indianapolis 500 in 1916. The gorgeous L500 R HYbrid has three motors and does zero to 62 MPH in 2.5 seconds.
Android gets under the hood
Google’s Android Auto was introduced in 2014 to transform dusty, dinosaur-era dashboard screens into top-of-the-line infotainment systems. Honda has these snazzy systems built-in to their 2016 models, and now Google is altering the next version to make the open-source operating system more accessible to other car manufacturers. Get ready for your phone and your car to be in constant conversation.
Volvos turn heads
The Swedes have always kept their design game strong, and the latest model, the V90, is no exception. It comes with a hybrid option, and according to the admittedly moving video, the greyhound-esque model offers a very Swedish promise: power, luxury, and a solid family life.
Like a host of other automakers, Volvo has also announced that it’s working on a self-driving car to be launched in 2020. However Volvo, is the only one planning to launch technology that will require no supervision from a driver, and will be starting demos of its DriveMe system next year.
Mapping made easy
It’s no secret that while autonomous cars will be loaded with sensors and cameras, they’ll rely heavily on a system of constantly updated maps. The start-up Mapbox, used by companies like Foursquare and Instacart, is collecting mapping data, not with expensive and silly-looking camera cars, but by using the phones and cars of its users. This gives them real-time data on the situation in the streets, and could give a boost to their top-secret auto partner.