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Category: Honda

Honda Creates a Computer You Can Drive

Honda announced that next year it will begin tests of a new micro commuter car prototype that “uses a driver’s tablet for displaying dashboard readings, audio, navigation and images from its rearview camera…” That’s right, your personal tablet will fit into a designated place on the dash and communicates with you all car and driving vitals. The tablet can be charged with the solar panels that will be located on top of the car.

How “micro” of a car are we talking? According to the article, “The prototype is an electric vehicle that seats a single driver and can reach speeds of 80 kilometers per hour, with a range of about 60 kilometers. It is 2.5 meters long, 1.25 meters wide and about 1.4 meters tall.

Honda did say the car can fit very small children in the backseat, but really this car is designed for city commuting because, let’s face it, very small children do not stay very small for very long.

“Honda’s prototype can also be used with its home energy system, which can charge its electric vehicles efficiently but also allows them to function as batteries for home use when they are plugged into a home power grid.”

Honda continues to push the technological and automotive envelope and we can’t wait to see this micro-commuter-computer-car.

Self-Driving Cars Overcome the Dangers of Technology

Much has been written about the self-driving cars that have recently been made legal in the state of California and, unbeknownst to me, have logged more than 250,000 driving miles…without a single incident.

That’s right; a perfect record.

I have thought a lot about the self-driving car and while I was wary at first, I was convinced of their inherent good and benefit to society when someone pointed out how they can give independence to people with disabilities and the elderly.

This article points out how the self-driving car can save those of us who willingly disable ourselves while we drive…with technology. We all know we do it: text, talk on the phone, check our emails on our phone, etc. If it’s not you, then it’s someone in a car around you, which could easily make you a statistic.

Imagine being able to tell your self-driving car to drive you home while you typed away at all those emails you didn’t get sent while in the office? Or telling your car to take you home after you’ve had one too many drinks? Self-driving cars are convenient and life-saving.

This paragraph from the article sums up the issue nicely:

“Pioneers in the field estimate that driverless cars could save a substantial number of lives each year. These cars are immune to distractions caused by talking on cell phones, texting and checking emails, eating and drinki

ng, grooming and shaving, reading and writing, watching TV or a video, adjusting the radio or CD player, checking the navigation system, watching the scenery, putting on make-up, fighting with passengers and disciplining children. They are also not impaired by alcohol, drugs, sleep deprivation and anger. They can react instantaneously and accurately. They always maintain the lane, use turn signals and never tailgate. They always respect red lights or stop signs. They keep detailed logs. They always remind you way before the time for refueling and maintenance service.”

What do you think? Are these arguments enough for you to jump behind the wheel of a self-driving car? What would it take to get you there?

Read the original article here.

 

Five Things to Look Forward to From Honda

This is a really interesting article that Automobilemag.com did based on a sit-down that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito had with American journalists.

 

  1. Honda wants more sporty cars some time in the future. While Ito didn’t give any specifics or lay out any plans for sportier cars, he did say that he wants them in Honda’s future. This leads me to the next point (which is actually point number five in the original article, but I think my way makes more sense).
  2. Honda wants to appeal to younger buyers. It seems like this goes hand-in-hand with wanting sportier cars.  Ito points out that young people buy cars that are interesting and that perhaps Honda had gotten a little complacent in design. My solution: start offering sportier cars and the younger buyers will line up because, while young buyers want sporty and interesting, they also have high expectation of dependability (probably because most young people don’t even know how to check their oil anymore, but that’s a different topic entirely).
  3. Honda will use dual-clutch and continuously variable transmissions. “Honda maintains that CVTs are generally the better solution for all-out fuel economy, but recognizes that dual-clutch transmissions are much more fun to drive and sporty. Cars that are designed only with fuel economy in mind will continue to use CVTs, but premium and sportier vehicles will get dual-clutch setups.”
  4. The driver is still in charge. I loved this point by Ito. We are getting into a car-driving age where our cars can tell us a lot of stuff and can do a lot of stuff for us (ie parallel park, keep a consistent speed, etc), but Ito wants driver’s to see all these features as “assists” and not “controls” because, he said, the car needs to “respect
  5.  the driver’s will as much as possible.” Amen to that.
  6. Downsized turbocharged engines are on the way. Here’s what the article said: “Honda has already confirmed that the next Civic Type R will use a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine based on that of the Civic WTCC race car. After that, Honda will begin offering more downsized turbocharged engines in future products. The move comes a fair bit after most other automakers switched from V-6 engines to turbo four-cylinders, due to the fact that Honda is only just starting to tinker with direct fuel injection. First of all, the main key is that we are successful in developing direct injection engines,” said Ito. “By adopting turbocharging systems, we get can have an engine with better fuel efficiency as well as better performance.

 

Check out the whole article here.

Updated 2013 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid

When people think of a hybrid, they often think of a weird shaped vehicle literally humming slowly down the road. The Honda CR-Z sport hybrid can change all of that for you.

 

With a more striking look and powerful drivetrain, people will turn their heads as you zip down the road.

 

“A lot of people don’t know about the Honda CR-Z,” said Bobby Maynard, new car manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “If you are looking for a hybrid because of the fuel economy and environmental friendliness, but you don’t want to give on performance, then the Honda CR-Z is the car for you. Especially with the new version coming on Nov. 21! Now is the time to take the hybrid plunge without giving up on performance.”

 

According to the article, “The same basic 1.5L gas engine remains, but the car’s electric motor has jumped from 10 kW. That boost in power is made possible by a new 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack. As a result, the 2013 CR-Z’s horsepower jumps 8 to 130 while torque checks in at 140 lb-ft-an improvement 12.”

 

The 2013 Honda CR-Z also has a new Plus Sport System that will add a boost of electrical power for up to five seconds…perfect for passing that passive aggressive Toyota Prius that won’t move out of the left lane on the freeway.

 

This holiday season, give yourself or a loved one the gift of hybrid technology and performance driving: get a 2013 Honda CR-Z! Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealerships to let the Honda CR-Z surprise you with its non-hybrid feeling performance!

 

 

http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-cr-z-2013.html

Honda Creates Futuristic Safety Features

Honda is showing the world that it is taking automobile safety to a whole new level with its Automatic Emergency Braking System, Green Wave, and i-ACC Technologies. All of these technologies, when fully implemented, will save the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. In fact, it is estimated that the Automatic Emergency Braking Technology will prevent about 90 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occurring under 37 miles per hour.

 

That is a lot of families who could spared a lot of heartache.

 

Here’s the rundown of these incredible technologies:

 

Honda’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): this technology causes your car to sound an alarm when you are approaching something (or someone) that you could possibly collide with on the front end. Besides sounding the alarm, your Honda will apply the brakes for you if a front-end collision is imminent.

 

“AEB uses input from a windshield-mounted camera and a millimeter-wave radar sensor in the car’s grille. That allows the car to determine the position, speed, and even direction of a pedestrian. The system can also prevent crashes with cars or other solid objects that are at least one meter (three feet) tall.

Automobilemag.com got to test drive the new safety equipment and said the AEB proved very effective at stopping when a pedestrian cut-out was stationary in front of the car and thrown out in front of the car (to simulate someone falling/jumping in front of the vehicle).

 

Green Wave technology: I was confused by this name, thinking it was some sort of environmental technology (and it is in a round-about way), but what it really means is for drivers to ride a wave of green lights. Really.

 

Traffic lights in Japan emit infared transmissions, so Honda’s with the Green Wave technology are equipped with receivers that interpret that information that tell the driver of the car how fast to drive/when to start braking in and effort to promote safety (ie not slamming on your brakes) and better fuel economy.

 

“The first part of the Green Wave recommends a driving speed at which the car will reach the next traffic light when it’s green. In our test Japanese-market Honda Odyssey, this meant we traveled at 26 mph while a control car in the adjacent lane drove at about 35 mph. While the other car had to brake, stop at a simulated red light, and then accelerate again, we breezed through the fake intersection about five seconds after the light turned green. This is designed to promote smoother, more fuel-efficient urban driving, and to reduce the risk of rear-end collisions from frequent stop-and-go traffic. “

 

The article notes that some drivers my be confused why you are driving 25 mph so you can hit the next light when it’s green when the speed limit is 35 mph, but who cares what people think when you roll through that light and they’re still stuck at the light? J If you do get stuck at a light, the Green Wave technology will tell drivers when the light is estimated to turn green so they can get going and avoid getting rear-ended by impatient or inattentive driver behind them.

 

i-ACC Cruise Control with Cut-in Prediction: This technology fixes a big problem (or at least annoyance) for me as a driver. We have all experienced it: you’re driving on the freeway and just set your cruise control only to some jerk…er…neighborly fellow-driver…cut in front of you and go sloooow. Not only do you have to pay attention to make sure you don’t collide with that car, but then you have to reset your cruise control.

 

Well, i-ACC Cruise Control with Cut-in Prediction technology fixes all of this. “Honda’s system, by contrast, guesses when a car in an adjacent lane may move over and adjusts its speed pro-actively.

 

i-ACC uses a camera and radar to track up to six vehicles, and uses information like closing speeds between vehicles to determine which cars are likely to change lanes. “Honda says Cut-In Prediction can react up to five seconds earlier than normal adaptive cruise control, keeping a safer distance between vehicles and also saving fuel by driving more smoothly. The front-facing camera can also be tasked with lane-departure warning and traffic-sign recognition duties. Honda showed a static demo of i-ACC in an Accord sedan, but didn’t allow us to test the system.”

http://rumors.automobilemag.com/honda-demonstrates-automatic-emergency-braking-green-wave-and-i-acc-technologies-184295.html#ixzz2CY1yNzVY

Honda Motorcycles Set the Scene for James Bond: Skyfall

While it’s true, Sims Honda, Apple Valley Honda and Northwest Honda dealerships do not sell motorcycles, what’s good for one Honda department is good for all of Honda and when one of your ‘cousins’ makes it into a big time Hollywood movie, well, you just better take note.

 

The Honda CRF250R opens up the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, with a chase scene through a Turkish market. Bond, played by Daniel Craig, rides his modified Honda CRF250R in a thrilling scene as he chases a henchman who is also riding a Honda CRF250R. Twenty of the motorcycles were used in filming the movie.

 

If you haven’t seen the movie, be sure to pay attention to that opening scene as the bikes drive on rooftops and such. If you have seen the movie…go see it again so you pay attention as the bikes drive on the rooftops and such.

 

We are so proud of our Honda cousins for making it to the big time and we just hope all the publicity doesn’t go to their heads.

 

The article below also has some information for a really cool contest that Honda is doing with the Skyfall production team, including a Bond Experience weekend and evening possibly winning one of the bikes used in the movie. It’s mostly geared towards Honda fans in the UK, but I’m sure if a Yank won, they’d still give you your prize.

 

 

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/New-Honda-steals-Bond-chases-henchman-market/story-17326007-detail/story.html

Honda Pilot Review: Solid Crossover, Solid Choice

I love the Honda Pilot. I always have. In fact, I will admit to secretly coveting my friend’s Honda Pilot. This article offers a very fair and honest review of the Honda Pilot, but, of course, the positive qualities win the day!

 

According the article: “The Pilot has considerable competition, but remains a good buy. It’s good to excellent in practically every category and has the Honda’s good name and resale value going for it as well.”

 

I was surprised to learn the Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV. I mean, it’s just so…beefy. The article described it well by saying it looks like the Honda Pilot rests on a truck frame (it doesn’t really). I also didn’t realize that it has three rows of seats! Why is that big deal to me? Because my husband refuses to buy a minivan, so perhaps he could be persuaded to drive a more masculine vehicle like the Honda Pilot that also seats eight.

 

“The Honda Pilot is one of the most popular vehicles in its class,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager of Apple Valley Honda dealership in Wenatchee. “It seats eight and can also haul a good size trailer or boat. You don’t get very many midsize crossovers that can do all of that with the comfort and features of the Honda Pilot.”

 

According the article: “All four Pilot models share the same engine, a 3.5-liter, V6 that produces 250 horsepower and has 253 pound-feet of torque…The Pilot goes 0-60 in 9.1 seconds…The towing capacity is 3,500 pounds with the two-wheel drive and increases to 4,500 in four-wheel mode.”

The article gets a little critical of the Honda Pilot saying that the third row of seats is better sized for children than adults, but really, what adult wants to sit in the third row anyway? And who regularly transports eight adults?

 

While the Honda Pilot does not have any off-road features, it is car-like in all the right places, including drive and gas-mileage.  “The Pilot possesses some car-like qualities, so it continues to deliver a comfortable ride on most road surfaces. The Pilot scores near the top in many safety aspects. Gas mileage has increased the past few years and now averages 18-25 mpg.”

 

For your opportunity to test drive the roomy and envy-inspiring Honda Pilot, head to Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealership!

 

http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=11105&zoneid=4

2013 Honda CR-V Video Review

The 2013 Honda CR-V is one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the industry. Here is a link a couple different video reviews from the Car Connection, including side-by-side comparison of 2013 Honda CR-V and the new Ford Escape. Watch the videos for all the details, but here are the highlights

  • The 2013 Honda CR-V has lots of space and gives best-in-class gas mileage
  • The 2013 Honda CR-V gets 28 city mpg/31 hwy mpg
  • It has more cargo space than the Ford Escape
  • The third row of seats can fold down with a pull of a single lever
  • The dash is attractive and easy to use
  • The 2013 Honda CR-V starts at $22,000

 

While the new Ford Escape might be a little zippier, you sacrifice gas mileage, which is important with gas prices so high in Northwest. It should also be noted that the Ford Escape lacks leg room up front, including for the driver, which is unfortunate because the driver is the one always in the car.

 

According to the Car Connection, the 2013 Honda CR-V is “best for cost-conscious families” who want “value and space.” Check the video and then come to Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealership to take the 2013 Honda CR-V for a test drive!

 

Check out the videos here.

Suzuki Declares Bankruptcy, Abandons US Market

A small, but familiar name will be leaving the American auto industry as American Suzuki Motor Corporation citing unprofitability in the competitive market and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

 

Operations in Canada and Mexico will be unaffected.

 

“We hate to see any automobile business go under,” said Tony Carter of Northwest Honda dealership in Bellingham. “We’ve all seen some hard times and we believe competition in the market leads to better options for the consumer. While it’s unfortunate for Suzuki fans, we want everyone to know that Honda dealerships can service any Japanese car and they can come to us if they need it.”

 

According to this article, “Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was done to allow a smooth transition for setting up service networks for existing Suzuki vehicles. Suzuki is assuring owners of their products that warranties will remained honored. However, the ability to find parts for Suzuki vehicles could be difficult heading into the future. Another long-term effect likely to plague Suzuki automobiles in the United States will be resale value.”

 

American Suzuki has been selling vehicles in the US for 27 years, but has accrued $346 million in debt. In addition to the tough market, Suzuki also cited the high Japanese Yen as a reason for discontinuing automobile sales in the US. “The company was also concerned about the rigors for complying to safety and fuel regulations in the United States as reasons that make developing future products.”

 

Suzuki vehicles can be taken to Northwest Honda, Apple Valley Honda and Sims Honda dealerships for service and repair.

 

See entire article here.

Fit EV Video

Fit EV Video

The 2013 Honda Fit EV recently came to America and now there is a great video about how Honda is working to gather more information on how to perfect their electric car!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNyFnTAXLGw

The video suggests that Honda selected three distinctly different organizations to be a part of their Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program for different reasons. Google was picked (besides the fact that it’s Google) because of its forward-thinking staff who tend to be more technologically inclined and welcoming of new ideas and products. Google staff who drive the Honda Fit EV will have more technical feedback…and could potentially be more open to purchasing a Honda Fit EV when they come on the market.

Standford University is obviously a more academic setting where research will be done how to decrease the anxiety of drivers of electric cars and increase the potential that they will have a pleasurable experience. The City of Torrance, home to a Honda manufacturing plant, will provide real-world feedback. Employees of the City of Torrance are not necessarily technically trained or looking at the experience from an academic point of view. They just know how it feels, what works, what doesn’t work and more.

We think this three-pronged attack of feedback that Honda has put together for their Electric Vehicle Demonstration program is genius. It’s a great way to get a variety of quality feedback and also to prime the market for purchase before the Honda Fit EV hits the market.

If you are interested in driving and purchasing the Honda Fit EV, contact Northwest Honda, Sims Honda or Apple Valley Honda today! The Fit EV will be available in limited markets starting this summer, so call up one of these great dealerships today.

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