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Honda 2017 Ridgeline Review

Historically speaking, the Honda Ridgeline has been the worst-selling pickup truck in the US for the last half a decade, but a ground-up redesign for the 2017 model debuting at the Detroit Auto show this week represents a new hope for the nameplate.

In 2014, Honda only sold 13,389 of ’em. For comparison, The Toyota sold more than 155,000 Tacomas and over 750,000 new Ford F-150s rolled into driveways during that same year. Of course, comparing anything to the F-Series, America’s best selling vehicle overall for 32 years running is a bit unfair, but the sales gap with the Toyota is just as telling. With nowhere to go but up, the shiny, new 2017 Honda Ridgeline spinning slowly on a pedestal in Detroit this week is a second chance for the Honda to make its mark on the American truck market.

Honda 2016 Civic Sedan Review

TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The dynamic, new-from-the-ground-up 2016 Honda Civic Sedan, 2016’s North American Car of the Year, (www.automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/) has received the highest available rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a SUPERIOR rating for frontal crash prevention when equipped with the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assist technologies, available on all 2016 Civic Sedan models.

The 2016 Civic Sedan has earned a top rating of GOOD in five IIHS crash test modes, including the rigorous small overlap frontal crash test. The 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation is reserved for vehicles that also have an available front crash prevention system that earns an ADVANCED or SUPERIOR rating from the Institute.

Pothole Alert !!

Carmaker Ford has said it is experimenting with technology to detect potholes and warn drivers of their locations.

Cars equipped with cameras could constantly scan roads during journeys, with resulting data on potholes displayed on other drivers’ dashboards.

The idea is being tested at the firm’s research centre in Aachen, Germany.

One expert said altering routes to avoid potholes might not always be possible.

“A virtual pothole map could highlight a new pothole the minute it appears and almost immediately warn other drivers that there is a hazard ahead,” said Uwe Hoffmann, a research engineer at Ford.

“Our cars already feature sensors that detect potholes and now we are looking at taking this to the next level.”

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Honda teaming up with GM on Hybrids

Honda and General Motors may expand their cooperation on green cars, according to a report in the Japanese media.

In 2013 the two automakers signed a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains, which remains in effect until at least 2020.

Now, it appears they may collaborate on plug-in hybrids as well.

The two companies “have entered final negotiations” on an expanded partnership that would include plug-in hybrid development, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun (via Charged EVs).

At the moment, each maker uses its own two-motor hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology–and the two are differently arranged inside, with Honda’s system nesting one motor inside the other, while GM’s connects two separate motors with planetary gears.

Self Driving Trucks

Google’s self-driving car project (now Waymo) has arguably been at the forefront of the autonomous car movement, testing on public roads since 2009. So when its founder, Anthony Levandowski, left to found a driverless truck startup called Otto, the venture was sure to bring important insight into autonomous tech into the trucking world.

Uber jumped on the opportunity to break into trucking. In 2016, it purchased Otto for $680 million, marking one of that year’s most important announcements in the driverless vehicle world. In February 2017, it also became the subject of a lawsuit by Waymo over its driverless technology.

Otto is, it seems, one of the biggest players in driverless trucks. But it’s not the only one.With the trucking industry—and its reliance on long-haul highway driving—poised to have a major impact as driverless technology advances, other companies are joining the race.

Last week, three new startups—Embark, Starsky Robotics and Drive.ai—gave details on their upcoming forays into driverless trucking. Here they are:

Lincoln Goes Luxury

It’s been a long time since Lincoln Motor Co., Ford’s luxury division, has been considered a real luxury car contender. Well, it might be time to start considering it again.

For a very long time, Ford (F) seemed to think it could get away with passing off somewhat nicer versions of Ford (F) car and SUV models as Lincoln luxury cars. In essence, Lincoln was selling what are known as “near luxury” cars.

Ford’s competitor, General Motors (GM), has a separate division for this called Buick. Buick sells some very good cars but they don’t have the expensive materials and painstakingly developed driving qualities of genuine luxury cars. At GM, it is Cadillac that sells legitimate luxury cars.

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Ford gets into Printing 3D Cars

Ford Motor Company is stepping into the world of 3D printing, using a partnership with Stratasys to test the 3D printing of large-scale auto parts, the company announced Monday—which could have implications for the future of the technology in the enterprise.

The Stratasys Infinite-Build 3D Demonstrator, released in August 2016, produces large, customizable tools and production parts designed for accuracy, repeatability, and speed.

“Capable of printing automotive parts of practically any shape or length, the Stratasys Infinite Build system could be a breakthrough for vehicle manufacturing – providing a more efficient, affordable way to create tooling, prototype parts and components for low-volume vehicles such as Ford Performance products, as well as personalized car parts,” according to a press release.

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