Hyundai and Kia’s Valet Will Automatically Park and Charge EVs While You Shop

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                                <a href=""  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Hyundai and Kia</a> recognize one of the largest challenges looming for electric vehicles in cities across the globe is related to the infrastructure supporting the daily use of keeping vehicles sufficiently charged. Currently keeping EVs charged away from home requires planning and mapping of charging stations. The Korean automotive companies envision simplifying matters with a fully automated system addressing the need for recharging by taking the search out of the hands of the passenger completely.

Modeled with the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge Concept as an example, the Automated Valet Parking System (AVPS) is shown dropping off a passenger before being sent via app – sans any occupant or driver – to wireless charge in a parking spot outfitted with magnetic induction.

The charging system updates the charging status of the vehicle in real-time, reviewable via app.

Once fully charged, the driver can hail their vehicle to autonomously return to the

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The BMW Vision iNext Concept Backseat

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                                The BMW launched the electric powered i3 in 2013, and the pug-shaped high-roof hatchback proved immediately popular amongst urban drivers used to navigating narrow streets and perpetually challenged by scant parking. But the i3 wasn&#8217;t an island unto itself, always planned as the first of several “project i” vehicles. BMW is back with a design noticeably more sexy and dynamic than its hatchback predecessor – a flagship crossover with prognostication written all over it: the BMW Vision iNext Concept.

Chairman of the Board of Management at the BMW Group Harald Krüger calls the iNEXT a project encapsulating and representing BMW’s plans to integrate electric mobility across their entire range of BMW and Mini vehicles, a concept designed to answer the question, “What does a vehicle look like which no longer needs to be driven by a person but can be if desired?”

The answer is an electric powered crossover SUV

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The Volvo 360c Concept Imagines Autonomous Business Class Travel

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                                If you&#8217;ve ever flown a transcontinental flight in either business or first class, the appeal of a fully autonomous car ride outfitted with the connected comforts of a mobile office space is immediately evident. Instead of simply being a passenger, the <a href="" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="external noopener noreferrer">Volvo Car’s</a> 360c autonomous concept imagines driverless travel offering valuable time to enjoy the commute, work, and even sleep in the privacy and confines of a luxurious cabin on four wheels.

Volvo Car’s Mårten Levenstam describes the 360c as a “conversation starter” rather than a predestined design for the Swedish automobile manufacturer – an exploration of possibilities autonomous technology may impart onto society and infrastructure. These changes are obviously directed at delivering a first-class private cabin experience in parallel to upper tier air travel, moving passengers door to door without the friction of public transportation or even private modes shared amongst passengers today.

From Mårten Levenstam, senior vice president

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Jaguar’s “Most Beautiful Car in the World” Goes Fully Electric

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                                The general rule is it&#8217;s considered uncouth to upstage the bride and groom at their own wedding. But when it&#8217;s the iconic Jaguar E-Type we&#8217;re talking about, even royalty can make an exception. <span style="letter-spacing: 0.13px;">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle&#8217;s electrified matrimonial <a href=""  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Jaguar E-Type Zero</a> sparked such great interest with its appearance at the conclusion of the Royal Wedding this past May, the British luxury automotive manufacturer decided to turn a one-off fairytale into the reality of a production vehicle.</span>

The Jaguar E-type Zero concept held court at Monterey Car Week’s The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, showing off its orange clad block of batteries underneath a tastefully painted Bespoke Bronze hood.

Though our own interest in the royal wedding itself was admittedly tepid at best, word of their one-of-kind electrified rendition of the iconic monocoque 1968 British sports car being duplicated for production definitely ignited an audible amount of approval and wide-eyed interest

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This Cute Self-Driving Car May One Day Deliver Your Groceries

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                                The race to get autonomous vehicles onto roads has primarily steered toward getting passengers into self-driving vehicles. Yet, despite all of the promises, investments, and press, artificial intelligence still seems more than a few upgrades away from confidently ensuring safety for riders at a fully autonomous level. Perhaps it won&#8217;t be passengers, but driverless delivered groceries like the <a href=""  rel="noopener external noreferrer" data-wpel-link="external">Nuro R1 driverless delivery van</a> that will provide the public with their real first experience with fully AI-operated vehicles.

Launched by two ex-Google engineers, the all-electric R1 errand vehicle navigates traffic using a combination of LiDAR, radars, and cameras – all located across the top of the vehicle and hidden within the shape of an arcing handle. Without any seats nor even the option for a driver, the majority of the vehicle’s interior has been optimized to carry a payload of groceries from warehouse distribution centers directly to customers’ doors for a $5.95 flat

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BMW and MIT Envision Automotive Interiors That Can Change Shape

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                                In the near future car interiors may transcend the limitations of today&#8217;s fixed passenger layouts, capable of morphing into different configurations as desired using adaptable 3D-printed inflatable structures as developed by researchers at BMW Design Department in collaboration with MIT’s Self-Assembly Laboratory.

On display at the V&A for The Future Starts Here exhibition, the collaboration between the BMW Design Department and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Self-Assembly Lab explores the possibilities offered by complex printed silicone assemblages connected with precise pneumatic controls to manipulate volume and shape. The effects are not unlike watching the initial malleable bodies of arthropods as they emerge from larval state.

In configurable groupings, the technology is envisioned to offer automotive interior designs the ability to design cars with cabins capable of transforming, adapting, and morphing from one state to another. At the touch of a button, seating could be moved, or even added, to different sections of

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The BMW i8 Roadster Teases It’s Taking Its Top Down

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                                We&#8217;re still harboring lingering longings since our close-up rendezvous in Milan, Italy with <a href=""  rel="noopener noreferrer" data-wpel-link="internal"> BMW&#8217;s last</a> &#8220;tease you now, please you later&#8221; concept vehicle. But where the Concept 8 Series intent was clearly intended to whet the palate, the Munich-based automotive&#8217;s latest teaser showcasing the lines of the BMW i8 Roadster reveals an electrifying peek of a car with more concrete plans.

Take what you already know about the electric hybrid BMW i8, surgically remove the top, and you’ve got the upcoming BMW i8 Roadster. BMW used their social media channels for the announcement, but details are scant and preliminary:

BMW i8 Roadster plug-in hybrid BMW eDrive: energy consumption (combined): 15,4 kWh/100 km. Fuel consumption (combined): 2,0 l/100 km, CO2 emissions (combined): 45 g/km. 

Fuel consumption is determined in accordance with the ECE driving cycle (93/116/EC), made up of approximately one-third urban traffic and two-thirds extra-urban driving (based on the distance covered).

The camouflaged profile seems to have kept the

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41,999 Programmable LEDs Turn the Lexus IS Into a Moving Screen

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                                The Lexus LIT is a one-of-kind technological audio-visual experience on wheels – a customized <a href="" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Lexus IS</a> wrapped in 41,999 programmable LEDs engineered to shine attention to the latest song from UK artist Dua Lipa.

Just as an octopus, squid or cuttlefish are capable of dynamically adapting their exterior skin using color-changing cells called chromatophores, the Lexus LIT mimics the color changing capabilities using an enormous array of hand-applied LEDs, the sum capable of pumping out 175,000 lumens of light for an effect not unlike the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. Each pulsating wave of colorful patterns are synchronized to adapt to music, react to motion, or simply be put into the equivalent of a screen-saver mode for “look at me” attention grabbing display.


A music video was a perfect place to launch the LIT IS and working with Dua Lipa allowed the concept to come to life, putting a spotlight on the Lexus IS

The Lexus LIT also sports a "gesture mode' that allows LED animations to be controlled using hand motions.

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The Must See Cars From the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

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                                If there were three takeaways from this year&#8217;s <a href="" data-wpel-link="external"  rel="nofollow external noopener noreferrer">Los Angeles Auto Show</a> they were: 1. SUVs are back with a vengeance, 2. virtual reality is the new marketing tool of choice for auto manufacturers, and 3. matte grey paint is the unofficial concept car color of 2016/2017. Jaguar also unveiled a showstopper electric SUV, 3D printed auto parts/detailing were on display everywhere, Bentley&#8217;s new luxury SUV is as smooth and luxurious as you&#8217;d imagine, and I might have found a strong contender for my next car. There weren&#8217;t as many outlandish concept vehicles at this year&#8217;s show with numerous vehicles already unveiled earlier this year, but the following vehicles left their impression as expressions of design, ergonomics, and future automotive technologies:


Divergent 3D Blade Supercar
The retina-tantalizing paint job stopped plenty of passerbys in mid-stride. Closer inspection revealed a supercar that is built based on 3D printed aluminum parts, one powered by a 700 HP engine capable


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Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability Is Turning Tequila Into Car Parts

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                                It was a few weeks ago when Ford Motor Company invited us to take their new <a href="" >Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi</a> plug-in hybrid for a weekend from Los Angeles out to the desert glamor of Palm Springs, through the desert forest of Joshua Tree and back. During that time we put a few hundred miles on the Fusion Energi, a lithium-ion battery powered system aided with regenerative braking, an energy-efficient combination that made refueling a non-issue for the entirety of our desert land expedition.


The drive was consistently smooth, if mostly uneventful from behind the wheel – the ride a predictable, “everything is comfortable” sedan experience that suits the model’s intended audience (admittedly our tastes lean more toward the latest GT, the ferociously aggressive Raptor, or even the zippy hatch Fiesta ST when it comes to their stable).

Before and during our overnight stops, we found ourselves engrossed with details related to Ford’s sustainable materials lab. Dedicated to the exploration of alternative and renewable sources for existing and

Ford-Debbie Mielewski
The 2015 Ford F-150 seats are made using a high-performance recycled material called REPREVE fiber, one made from 100% recycled materials, including plastic bottles.
Agave – used to make tequila – provides a new source of material in the form of its fibers for Ford's biomaterials program.
Ford Motor Company has formulated new foam and plastic components using carbon dioxide as feedstock, manufactured with up to 50 percent CO2-based polyols. Used in seating and underhood applications, Ford sees the potential to reduce petroleum use by more than 600 million pounds annually.

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The Beauty Is in the Details: 2016 Volvo XC90 Test Drive

The Beauty Is in the Details: 2016 Volvo XC90 Test Drive

There we were, lost somewhere amongst the winter-wilted olive groves dotting the gently drifting hillsides of Spain on a stretch of road less traveled than most. We had already spent several hours behind the wheel of Volvo’s newly updated 2016 XC90 in its plug-in hybrid “T8″ iteration, an arctic white review model loaned to us by the Swedish auto manufacturer to test drive for the afternoon on the Catalonian coast, along a serpentine route designed to underline the car’s agility, luxuries, and performance, all against the backdrop of the craggy Mediterranean coastline. Never to complain when given the combination of a new car and an open road, we charged from coastline into the interior of the Spanish farmlands until we realized we weren’t quite sure where to go next.


After navigating countless roundabouts (aka auto roulette), threading through numerous toll booths, and even detouring off course for an impromptu off-road test through a dusty conifer forest, the confident plug-in-hybrid XC90 had suddenly lost all willingness to map our course any further, leaving my fellow journalist and I to find our way back to our starting point the old fashioned way following roadsigns (Volvo reps apologized, explaining the navigation system was still being fine tuned).

Despite the technological setback, neither of us found much reason for concern. Our bemusement of our predicament was born after two days driving the new Volvo, during which time we discovered our 4-wheeled Scandinavian friend sported a surprising amount of comfort and safety features quietly integrated into its handsome, understated design. If there was any vehicle to find yourself lost in the countryside of a foreign country driving, the Volvo XC90 was the ideal vehicle.

Volvo flew out groups of automotive, design, and lifestyle journalists to an empty seaside town off the coast of Tarragona, Spain, turning a whole resort into one giant Volvo showroom.

Volvo flew out groups of automotive, design, and lifestyle journalists to an empty seaside town off the coast of Tarragona, Spain, turning a whole resort into one giant Volvo showroom.

The last time the XC90 was gracing the roads as a brand new model Nelly and Nickelback were still topping the music charts*. But good things come to those who wait, and it seems Volvo bided their time carefully, waiting to refresh their top-selling vehicle with a slew of interior, exterior, technological, and performance improvements all designed to instill the sort of thankfulness for the inanimate proselytized by Marie Kondo. Everywhere details – great and small – seemed to communicate the premise this was to be a lifetime partnership between car and owner, where driver and materials would age gracefully together.

Tisha Johnson, Volvo's Chief Designer of Interiors presenting a primer about the design culture of Sweden.

Tisha Johnson, Volvo’s Chief Designer of Interiors presenting a primer about the design culture of Sweden.

The DNA of all three Volvo Concept Cars – the Concept Coupe, Concept XC Coupe, Concept Estate – were integrated into the new Volvo XC90.
It might be seem a small detail, but the inclusion of the Swedish flag was one debated as perhaps too flashy. In the end, it was deemed representative of the Volvo's commitment to honor the country's design heritage.
Volvo's Technology and Product Communications Manager Jim Nichols pointed out this most smile-inducing of hidden details located on the underside of the rear seat compartment lid. Interior designers were forced to utilize a "spiderweb" pattern to reinforce the lid's structure; they decided to add a spider for the joy of surprise.
The Volvo XC90's LED headlamp array is shaped in honor of the Norse thunder god's weapon of choice, the hammer.
The XC90's interior cabin is a harmonious confluence of warm wood veneer, the cool touch of metal, and premium leather (seat firmness adjustable by the touch of a button). Leather stitching, surrounding wood grain, and the perforations dotted across the speaker grill all invite a directional flow both visually and with the tactile experience in mind.
Though the XC90 comes equipped with a 9" touchscreen panel display, Volvo designers respected that even in the era of touch-swipe a dial and button are still the superior interface for control while driving.
The XC90's gearshift lever is made of crystal made by Swedish glassmaker, Orrefors. This is about as ostentatious as the Swedes get!
One of the 1,927 First Edition XC90 key fobs made to honor Volvo's founding date. The attention to detail and material reminds us of the uber-exclusive Vertu Constellation.
The diamond-cut knurled controls for the start-stop button and volume control offer drivers a pleasant tactile hint they're twisting, turning , or pressing the right control without taking eyes off the road.

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