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Automotive Industry

Commentary on what’s happening in the industry today.

Toyota van

FC Dallas and Toyota are taking care of those who are taking care of the community by delivering meals to the volunteers at Frisco FastPacs, an organization that provides meals for students in the Frisco Independent School District.

An original member of Major League Soccer since the league’s inception in 1996, FC Dallas plays its regular season from February to October at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 1997 and 2016 as well as the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2016.

The donated meals were originally intended for upcoming FC Dallas matches at Toyota Stadium. Because of the suspension of MLS play and the growing need for resources and volunteers, FC Dallas and Toyota recognized the need to help the volunteers who are providing such a vital service in our community. Legends Hospitality chefs worked to prepare and package the meals.


“We’re proud to work with Legends Hospitality and the food and beverage team at Toyota Stadium to provide these meals to the volunteers who are tirelessly working to ensure that FISD students do not go hungry during this unprecedented time,” said FC Dallas Foundation Manager Brooke Leverette.

Frisco FastPacs is a service that delivers weekend meals to all 72 Frisco Independent School District campuses, serving more than 1,000 children, to ensure they do not go hungry when school is not in session. Following FISD’s response to extend spring break until Friday, March 20 due to COVID-19 (coronavirus pandemic), Frisco FastPacs is currently working with the district and Lovepacs Frisco to provide meals to those students in need at six different middle schools.

“Mr. Rogers always said that in scary times, we should look for the helpers,” said Frisco Fastpacs Executive Director Heather Canterbury. “Our Fastpacs volunteers have stepped up unbelievably to be those helpers in in this crisis. To have FC Dallas and Toyota take care of our people so they can keep taking care of these kids means everything.”

Original press release here

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2021 Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai officially launched its all-new 2021 Elantra and Elantra Hybrid today at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood with a virtual event broadcast around the world. This marks the world debut of the latest version of the popular compact sedan. The 2021 Elantra showcases Hyundai’s latest ambitions, including a hybrid electric vehicle technology and segment-first wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Highlights we like for the 2021 Elantra   

  • Longer wheelbase, wider stance, lower roofline
  • First-ever Elantra Hybrid with more than 50 MPG estimated combined fuel economy on hybrid model
  • Segment-first wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Segment-first Hyundai Digital Key allows Elantra to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key via a smartphone or NFC card
  • Standard SmartSense safety and convenience technologies
  • Two available 10.25-inch multimedia screens under one piece of glass
  • Dual Bluetooth support is available: two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio.

While some manufacturers are cutting way back on the car side of the business, Hyundai is doubling down by offering an all-new sedan with both gas and hybrid powertrains. Brian Smith, chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor America, says they have sold more than 3.4 million Elantras in the U.S. and more than 13.8 million worldwide.

Two Available 10.25-inch Screens
The 2021 Elantra has two futuristic 10.25-inch screens all under one piece of glass. The cluster has different views: utility, driver assistance and navigation. The optional infotainment system displays a wide variety of information across its 10.25-inch split touchscreen.

The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get connected routing, which provides multiple navigation options and real-time route updates. Server-based routing makes the onboard navigation experience similar to current smartphone navigation apps.

2021 Hyundai Elantra wireless

Leave the Cellphone Cords Behind

Hyundai Elantra’s standard eight-inch display interface allows owners to ditch the cords because wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available as segment-first features, allowing one to leave the phone in a pocket or purse. From a safety perspective, this is smart because hopefully it will encourage more people to keep their devices out of their hands.

SmartSense Safety Features
The 2021 Elantra offers a new array of standard advanced safety technologies:

  • Forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection uses the car’s front-facing camera to help detect an imminent collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and avoid impact or minimize damage by braking automatically
  • Lane keeping assist helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings, automatically steering the car if necessary
  • Lane following assist may automatically adjust steering to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane of travel. LFA can help keep the vehicle centered on both highways and city streets.
  • High beam assist eliminates the need for drivers to manually switch high beams on and off at night
  • Driver attention warning system that monitors a spectrum of driver-related characteristics to help detect driver fatigue
  • Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

Optional SmartSense Features

  • Blind-spot collision avoidance assist with rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist helps detect a vehicle in the drivers’ blind spot while the turn signal is on.
  • Smart cruise control makes highway and long-distance driving more comfortable. Using a radar sensor mounted on the lower front grille, the system maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions by automatically adjusting vehicle speed as needed.
  • Highway driving assist is a driving convenience system that assists drivers in maintaining the center of the lane and at an appropriate speed while keeping a safe distance from the car in front.
  • Safe exit warning may sound an alert when a vehicle approaches from behind, letting passengers know it may not be safe to open the door to exit the vehicle.
  • Reverse parking collision avoidance assist helps detect pedestrians and obstacles with a rearview camera and ultrasonic sensors. The system can provide warnings and apply emergency braking to assist in the avoidance of a collision.

Standard Interior Features

  • Eight-inch color display audio system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and HD Radio
  • Bluetooth and steering wheel audio controls
  • Drive mode select
  • Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

Optional Interior Features include Blue Link system with three years of complimentary Blue Link services; Qi wireless charging; a 10.25-inch infotainment system with faster processor, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and connected routing, and a powerful Bose premium sound system with eight speakers.

Blue Link
The new Elantra line still features Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car System, which uses embedded telematics to allow drivers to remote-start their vehicle and control interior temperature using the MyHyundai smartphone app. The app also allows users to either remotely lock or unlock their doors, and to find their vehicle in a crowded parking lot with Car Finder and remote horn and lights.

In addition, Blue Link in the new Elantra arrives with cloud-based navigation, which offers free traffic information and POI searches.

Voice Recognition System
The all-new Elantra has an enhanced natural language voice recognition system with more and better feature control, more speed and accuracy in voice recognition and responses, and an ability to understand context, such as the user’s location to support natural interactions.

Using a natural voice, one can control the:

  • Climate on/off
  • Air conditioner on/off
  • Heat on/off
  • Fan high/low
  • Defrost on
  • Set fan to face, feet, or face and feet
  • Defrost on and set fan to feet
  • Warm up/cool down
  • Air intake system on
  • Turn on/off heated seats (driver/passenger)
  • Set heated seat levels 1, 2, or 3 (driver/passenger)
  • Rear window defroster on/off
  • Turn on/off the heated steering wheel
  • And additional functions

To activate controls, the driver uses the “push to talk button” on the steering wheel and say the requested command. Conversations will sound like, “Air conditioner on,” “Set fan to face,” or “Turn on my heated seat.” There are also more requests the system can handle. A user can say via Blue Link, “What is the temperature in St. Louis?”, “When is Mother’s Day?”, “Find me a Starbucks”, or “Who won the game last night?”

Digital Key
The 2021 Elantra has an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication and Bluetooth Low Energy technology to allow the 2021 Elantra to be unlocked, started, and driven without a physical key via applicable Android smartphones.

Elantra’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  Elantra owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and the key can be made available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and keys can also be revoked remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which is provided with each vehicle. Each Elantra still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. Hyundai Digital Key uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which exhibits a high level of security. NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.

Production of the 2021 Elantra starts in the fall in Ulsan, Korea and at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, and sales begin in the fourth quarter.

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Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have developed what they say is the world’s first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System, enabling the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead. Hyundai and Kia plan to apply the technology on future vehicles. During system development, the companies filed about 40 major patents in South Korea and abroad.

While the technologies used to automatically shift depend on drivers’ preferences, such as smart drive mode – available on most current Hyundai and Kia models – ICT Connected Shift System is the first ICT to automatically shift the gear according to road and traffic conditions.

Intelligent software to read the road

ICT Connected Shift System uses intelligent software in the transmission control unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time input from underlying technologies, including 3D navigation equipped with a precise map of the road as well as cameras and radar for smart cruise control. The 3D navigation input includes elevation, gradient, curvature and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions. Radar detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and others, and a forward-looking camera provides lane information.

Using all of these inputs, the TCU predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly. For example, when a relatively long slow down is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.

ICT Connected Shift System helps Hyundai and Kia corner like a dream

When Hyundai and Kia tested a vehicle with an ICT Connected Shift System on a heavily curved road, the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by approximately 43 percent compared to vehicles without the system. Accordingly, the system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by approximately 11 percent, thereby minimizing driving fatigue and brake wear.

When rapid acceleration was required to enter a highway, the driving mode automatically switched to Sport Mode at the merge, making it easier to join the traffic flow. After merging with traffic, the vehicle automatically returned to its original driving mode, enabling safe and efficient driving.

In addition, the engine brakes were automatically applied upon release of the accelerator pedal by determining speed bumps, downhill slopes and location of the speed limit change on the road. The changes in distance from the front car were detected by the front radar to adjust appropriate transmission gear automatically, which improved driving quality.

Ties to an autonomous future? 

The system is also in line with autonomous technology, which is developing day by day. The ICT Connected Shift System will deliver both improved fuel efficiency and a stable driving experience in the era of autonomous vehicles by providing improved performance in response to real-time road and traffic conditions.

Hyundai and Kia are planning to further develop the ICT Connected Shift System into an even more intelligent transmission technology that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication and identify drivers’ tendencies, resulting in further refinement of gear-shift control.

“Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions,” said Byeong Wook Jeon, Head of Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab. “Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimized for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies.”

Original story appeared here: Newspress

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Kristin and I talk about the Chicago Auto Show, what we saw, and why auto shows are awesome for consumers. Looking to buy a car? Wondering what the latest technologies are? Wondering who’s making what kind of vehicle now? Love old cars and weird one-off museum pieces? All of that and more are at the auto show!

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What’s at the Houston Auto Show this year? Here’s a taste. Automotive shows are about more than just supercars and hot rods, though that is always a great feature. They’re about consumer experience. Think of the auto show as an easier (indoor) way to walk down dealership row and see everything available to you, but without any pushy salespeople. So head on out and get your auto on at the Houston Auto Show!

For more information on the show, visit https://www.houstonautoshow.com/

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Bosch has unveiled a new Virtual Visor at the 2020 CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Aimed to reinvent the 95-year-old sun visor found in every automobile for decades, the Virtual Visor is a true safety innovation.

Citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies showing that bright sun glare increases accident probability by 16 percent or more, Bosch engineers set out (on their own time) to rethink how we deal with the sun. Three powertrain engineers, working on their own time under an innovation initiative at Bosch, came up with the LCD-visor solution that’s won awards at CES this year and which promises to rethink safety in the simplest of ways.

The Virtual Visor is a clear LCD screen that mounts just as a traditional sun visor would and deploys in the same way. The driver (or passenger), however, do not have their view obstructed by the visor when it’s down. Instead, a user-facing camera and a little artificial intelligence to recognize facial features cue the visor to darken only where the sunlight is coming through and hitting the user’s eyes.

This creates a “raccoon eye” effect on the driver, cutting glare only where it’s entering the vehicle and affecting the driver. The rest of the driver’s vision remains unimpaired. Bosch’s Virtual Visor has already won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation in the In-Vehicle Entertainment and Safety category.

That’s smart thinking right there.

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The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North American vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity raises more than $2.5 million annually for 18 Chicago organizations in a single night.

With more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, the Chicago Auto Show has something for everyone. Whether or not you’re in the market for a new vehicle, the 2020 show will provide a great opportunity to experience the latest technology and safety features found in today’s cars, trucks and SUVs.

The show’s new website features updated online ticketing, additional social media integration and an enhanced exhibitor registration process. The show, held annually at McCormick Place, will open to the public Saturday, Feb. 8, and run through Monday, Feb. 17, Presidents Day. The show is open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. each day, except for the final day of the show, Presidents Day, when it closes at 8 p.m. The Media Preview is Feb. 6-7 and its black-tie charity gala, First Look for Charity, will be held the evening of Friday, Feb. 7 at McCormick Place.

The show’s producer, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, offers access to nearly 1,000 of the industry’s latest cars, trucks and SUVs; demonstrations of the most innovative technology; interactive exhibits featuring virtual reality simulators; family-friendly activities; special appearances from celebrities and sports icons; and special themed days. In addition to the latest production, concept and exotic vehicles, the show is packed with opportunities for attendees to get behind the wheel through multiple indoor and outdoor ride-and-drive experiences.

Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is one of the nation’s largest metropolitan dealer organizations. It is comprised of more than 420 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group’s dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world-famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935.

Special-themed Days Include:

  • Sports Team Pride Day on Feb. 10 (wear a Chicago team jersey for discounted admission)
  • Women’s Day on Feb. 11 (women are admitted for a discounted price)
  • A Safe Haven Food Drive from Feb. 12-14 (bring three cans of food for discounted admission)
  • Telemundo Hispanic Heritage Day on Feb. 14 (Telemundo hosts interactive activities and a live TV broadcast from the show floor)
  • Chicago Friday Night Flights the evening of Feb. 14 (more than a dozen local breweries offer samples of popular craft beer)
  • Family Day on Feb. 17 (The Daily Herald hosts a day of family fun and programming; Presidents Day also means a school holiday for many children)

Tickets are available for purchase at www.ChicagoAutoShow.com or at McCormick Place ticket booths throughout the public show. Ticket prices are $13 for adults, $8 for seniors aged 62 or older, $8 for children ages 7-12 and children 6 and younger are admitted free when they accompany a paying adult.

For more information, visit www.ChicagoAutoShow.com or www.Facebook.com/ChicagoAutoShow

Information from this article sourced from the Chicago Auto Show site

#CAS2020

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Nine years ago, RoShelle Salinas started her first day on the job at a Houston-based advertising agency. Her first assignment: to attend the Houston Auto Show. Five years later, she had left the agency started working for the Houston Automobile Dealers Association full time. Now, she’s the Executive Vice President.
 
“I love the variety,” she says. “It’s always something new; I get to learn and be the resource and get to work with phenomenal people. It’s like a little family in itself, and the family-owned dealerships bring you into their circle, too.”
 
Last year, RoShelle and her team added a new element to the Houston Auto Show: a public preview gala. This year, proceeds from the Roaring 20s-themed party go to Bo’s Place, Ducks Unlimited, Easter Seals, and RMHC: $100 of each $250 ticket is tax-deductible as a charitable donation.
In past years, the preview party was invite only. For the Tuesday, January 21 event, the public is invited to purchase tickets and enjoy the swankiest sneak peek in town. At this event, you will have a chance to tip back a few of the coolest drinks, shimmy to the hottest jazz, and best of all, check out the latest automobiles.
 
What makes the Houston Auto Show different from the rest? RoShelle says it’s partly that Houston is such a driving market.
 
“The people who come to the auto show are truly consumers and not just auto enthusiasts. People drive a lot in Texas, and it makes the atmosphere a little different.”
The Houston Auto Show, produced by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association and presented by the Houston Chronicle, welcomes nearly 40 manufacturer participants, including; Acura, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Genesis, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, JEEP, Kia, Land Rover, Lamborghini, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Maserati, Mercedes Benz, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Toyota, Scion, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.
 
A Ride & Drive attraction will feature more than 80 cars to test drive, and the Aftermarket Expo will offer specialty parts of all kinds. The show will also bring back an extensive classic car collection; more than 50 classic vehicles will be on display in the NRG Center lobby and on the show floor.
Join us! DriveMode will be there.
(This is an update to a post that originally appeared at Thrills and Wheels.com)
 
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