Right on the heels of the CES convention in Las Vegas, auto makers came together for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit last week to unveil even more news about the future of cars and driving. We kept up with all the updates and announcements last week, and here are the top stories to come out of motor city:
Samsung EV Battery Offers 300+ Mile Range With 20 min Charge
This is big news for all the electric vehicles that are set to come out in the next few years. While production for these batteries isn’t slated to begin until 2021, but this will coincide with the autonomous cars that are supposed to roll off production lines around the same time. These new batteries make EVs more practical for the traditional driver, giving over 300 miles of range on only a 20-minute charge. While still longer than pumping gas, this is a major improvement.
Ford Announced They are Bringing Back the Ranger and the Bronco
While many auto makers were announcing concept cars and new vehicles, Ford released that they will be bringing back two of their most popular vehicles: The Bronco and the Ranger. While these vehicles will not be available for a few years, car enthusiasts are buzzing with excitement over this news. While there is a lot of speculation going on around how these vehicles will be upgraded from their previous counterparts, we do know that they will be assembled in one of Ford’s Wayne, Michigan plant.
SELL YOUR OLD CAR SO YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST TRENDS. CLICK HERE TO GET AN OFFER!
The Honda Odyssey Has so Many Cool New Features.
Mini vans have long been the go-to vehicle for busy families and Honda has created their latest Odyssey with that in mind. The second row of seats have even more versatility than before, allowing parents to move them closer to the front seats for easier access. Another new feature is CabinWatch. This technology utilizes an infrared camera located in the rear seat entertainment system, allowing passengers in the front seat to keep tabs on what is going on in the back. Perfect for parents who want to make sure their little ones are behaving! Also, if you ever wanted to be like an airline pilot and make announcements to the other passengers while driving, you’re in luck. The new Odyssey also has CabinTalk, which equips the front seat with a microphone that can be projected into headphones that are listening to the rear seat entertainment system.
Volkswagen I.D. Buzz
Fans of the 1970’s Volkswagen Bus rejoice! In Detroit last week, VW showed off their latest concept car, the I.D. Buzz, which is based off the iconic bus. This vehicle is meant to be a party on wheels. It’s an electric vehicle designed to adapt to new autonomous driving technology in the coming years. The seats can be rearranged in numerous ways, the steering wheel can be folded into the dash, and the entire roof is a skylight. While this is only a concept car for now, brand enthusiasts should keep their fingers crossed that VW puts these cars into production in the future.
The Rinspeed Oasis: a Driverless Concept Car
Rinspeed showed off their Oasis concept car last week. If this car were to see production, it would be fully autonomous. The interior is designed how you would imagine a car of the future to look. There are armchairs, a small garden plot on the dash, a TV and a foldable steering wheel. This car is also meant for ride sharing. If you owned this car and weren’t using it, you could allow it to notify your Facebook friends that it was available for use, and it could taxi them around to wherever they need to go.
Disney/Pixar Star Lightning McQueen Made an Appearance
While some auto makers skipped NAIAS this year, one surprising guest made it a can’t miss event: Lightning McQueen. The autonomous car was there to promote the movie Cars 3, which premieres in June of this year. The inspiration for the new McQueen started at the Detroit Auto Show, so it was only fitting that the finished product made an appearance there this year.
Google’s Self-driving Mini Vans will be Road-Ready at the End of this Month
Waymo, the standalone business created by Google for their self-driving projects, announced that they will have autonomous Chrysler Pacificas hitting the road for testing later this month in Mountain View, CA and Phoenix, AZ. The company has had other vehicles on the road in the past, but these new cars are very different. These are the first that are featuring technology that was entirely produced by Waymo. Every camera, LIDAR sensor, and all the mapping technology were created in-house, saving the company money and giving them more control over the project.
Between CES and NAIAS, it seems that driving is going to change quite a bit in the coming years. What new car developments are you most excited about? Let us know on Facebook!