The anticipated arrival of self-driving cars has automakers rethinking interiors and how they will look and feel in the future, as seen in several concepts exhibited at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Outpacing the computing power of current automotive-grade processors, the ZF ProAI technology will enable vehicles to understand their environment by using deep learning to process sensor and camera data for highly automated driving, the companies say.
In the U.S., Germany and much of China, safety systems and cloud-based functions potentially can prevent about 260,000 injury accidents, save 390,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions and offer average drivers an extra 31 hours of free time on the highway, study says.
New propulsion systems have improved so dramatically in the areas of power delivery, response and refinement that we find ourselves looking increasingly at observed fuel economy to break ties and seal our picks.
For the first time in 23 years of testing, a V-8 fails to earn a spot on the Wards 10 Best Engines list, but many high-output turbocharged 6-cyl. engines are generating enough horsepower and torque to fill the void.
WardsAuto editors evaluated the 40 vehicles in October and November, driving to and from home, work, school, the hardware store and on weekend roadtrips. There is no instrumented testing. Vehicles must have a base price no higher than $62,000 to be eligible.
BMW and Ford each have two stout turbo-6s in the hunt this year, while Infiniti has one. All five are smooth, extremely refined, reasonably fuel-efficient and dishing up loads of horsepower and torque.
The 2017 Wards 10 Best Engines competition features 40 powertrains, including 25 4-cyl. engines, 12 6-cyl. engines, 23 turbos, three diesels and 11 hybrids or plug-ins. Winners will be announced Dec. 12.
Soon in Europe, BorgWarner will launch its eBooster electrically driven compressor, designed to augment a traditional turbocharger and eliminate the pause that has hindered turbochargers as they spool up with exhaust gas.
“If we have to start worrying about whether we are producing in Mexico, or trade agreements, that will add a whole other level of risk and uncertainty into this industry that frankly, as you’ve seen, we really don’t need,” analyst Michael Robinet says.
In the rolling hills near Durham, NC, the S3 is perfectly at home carving up the open back roads, staying well planted along the way and exhibiting a reasonably sporty exhaust note. Audi is determined to protect its sizable lead among compact luxury cars.
We call out vehicles with problematic fit-and-finish, materials, ergonomics or unfortunate design choices. Each of these items resulted in points deducted as WardsAuto editors selected the 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors.