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Honda Leads Industry-First Development of Visualization Technology to Advance Study of Crash Test Simulations

In its constant pursuit of designing and building safer vehicles for all road users, Honda is pioneering the use of a groundbreaking new three-dimensional, crash-simulation visualization technology based on DELTAGEN, the leading high-end 3D visualization software by 3DXCITE (formerly known as RTT).

The technology takes the output from a commonly-used advanced simulation software package, known as LS DYNA CAE, and renders the event in a three-dimensional presentation. The visualization technology, which was first designed for use in the animation and film industry, enables Honda engineers to more easily study the results of a crash simulation, test different design approaches and implement design changes with greater speed and efficiency.

Honda engineers are able to manipulate the rendering, rotate the view in any direction and strip away parts of the vehicle to isolate a section or component for more thorough analysis. The crash barrier can also be rendered transparent in the virtual environment so the immediate effects of a crash can be viewed from multiple points of view, including the driver’s seat.

The visualization software was co-developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc., the North American research and development arm of Honda, and 3DXCITE.

“With this technology, we have gained the potential to improve the quality of decision making and reduce the time required for finalizing a vehicle design by greatly increasing the ease of communicating and understanding the results of a crash test simulation,” said Eric DeHoff, Technical Leader for CAE in the Crash Safety Group of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “This tool will promote a more complete understanding of vehicle safety design amongst all engineers involved in our vehicle development process.”

Honda engineers challenged developers at 3DXCITE to integrate the DELTAGEN software with Honda’s existing LS-DYNA CAE crash simulation data to deliver a detailed 3D rendering of the simulation. Honda engineers provided detailed parameters of the tool and oversaw its development.

“This technology would not have become a reality without the vision and leadership of Honda engineers,” said Tom Celusnak, Solutions Architect for 3DXCITE.

“Past efforts at creating this kind of highly realistic rendering involved weeks of concentrated effort by engineers and rendering specialists and would result a single simulation with fixed viewing parameters,” added DeHoff.  “With this new technology we can create and manipulate the simulation at the push of a button, and we can do it in hours instead of weeks.”

Honda R&D has been utilizing LS-DYNA non-linear crash simulation technology since 1998 as part of its new-model development process and has used the technology to help develop new safety designs, including its next-generation Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, now being applied to every new Honda and Acura vehicle, and the innovative one-piece hot-stamped door stiffener ring first applied to the HRA-developed 2014 Acura MDX.  Today, as a result, Honda has more vehicles achieving an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating than any other automaker, including the Honda Accord sedan and coupe, the Civic sedan, Odyssey minivan, Acura RLX sedan and Acura MDX sport-utility vehicle.

First Production HondaJet Takes to the Skies

While Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, and Sims Honda do not sell the HondaJet, we think this is pretty cool news and indicative of the innovation and engineering capability of all the smarty-pants at Honda.

Honda Aircraft Company announced today that the first production HondaJet achieved its initial flight, marking another milestone toward aircraft certification and entry into service in 2015. The event took place at the company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“With this first flight, the HondaJet program has entered the next exciting phase as we prepare for delivery,” said Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino. “Today’s celebration is the culmination of extensive engineering and production efforts, and this is an important achievement in bringing the world’s most advanced light jet to market.”

The first production aircraft lifted off from the Piedmont Triad International Airport (KGSO) at 10:18 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. During the 84-minute flight, the aircraft climbed to 15,500 feet and reached a speed of 348 Knots True Airspeed (KTAS). Following a smooth landing, the aircraft and its crew were greeted by more than 1,000 Honda Aircraft team members to commemorate the milestone.

The aircraft was flown by test pilot Warren Gould, pilot-in-command. The crew completed several checks during the flight including low and high speed handling characteristics, avionics and system functionality including landing gear, flaps and speed brake operations.

This aircraft is finished in the new signature HondaJet paint scheme in a deep green pearl with a gold stripe. The new color introduction is in addition to four exterior color options available to customers, which also include silver, red, yellow and blue.

Aircraft production continues its steady pace in advance of entry into service. This steady build-up supports the company’s objective to have aircraft ready for delivery immediately after Federal Aviation Administration type certification is achieved. The HondaJet will be single-pilot certified and is currently offered for sale in North America and Europe through the HondaJet dealer network.

The HondaJet is the world’s most advanced light jet, and its distinctive design incorporates advanced technologies and concepts. The HondaJet patented Over-The-Wing Engine Mount (OTWEM) configuration, natural laminar flow wing, and composite fuselage were developed from long-term research activities. These innovations combine to make the HondaJet the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.

The HondaJet flies at a maximum cruise speed of 420 knots (483 mph) and has a maximum altitude of 43,000 feet. The aircraft seats up to five passengers in a standard configuration and can travel at an NBAA IFR range of 1,180 nautical miles (1,357 miles).

For more information on the world’s most advanced light jet, visit www.HondaJet.com.

What Does it Mean to Be Honda Certified?

When we’re shopping for a pre-owned (used) vehicle, we all know it’s great to get a “certified” pre-owned vehicle, but what does that really mean? It’s all about perspective, really.

We can list all the things that our Honda mechanics check in order to certify a used vehicle as “Honda Certified” but how about we show you instead. See two minute video about what it takes be a Honda Certified pre-owned vehicle and why it’s important to car buyers.

“Honda Certified vehicles do tend to be a little bit more expensive,” said Tony Carter, general manager at Northwest Honda dealership in Bellingham. “But it is worth every dollar more to have that peace of mind that you are getting a quality used vehicle, not a lemon. Our inspections are thorough and under warranty. Those two aspects alone make it worth it to buy a Honda Certified used car from Northwest Honda.”

Stop by Northwest Honda, Apple Valley Honda, or Sims Honda dealership today to see what kind of quality Honda Certified vehicles that fit your lifestyle!

Honda Vehicles to Seamlessly Integrate Android Smartphone Features with Android Auto

Building on a series of advancements aimed at improving the in-car technology experience for consumers, Honda will introduce select vehicles compatible with Android Auto™ in 2015. Honda is displaying a functional prototype at Google I/O 2014, the annual developer conference hosted by Google in San Francisco, CA. Honda and Acura models and trims compatible with Android Auto will be announced in the future.

To initiate Android Auto, Honda drivers will simply connect their compatible Android smartphone to the vehicle’s USB port using the cable that came with their phone, allowing them to intuitively access supported apps and features using the car’s in-dash display and voice controls. After connecting the compatible Android phone to their Honda vehicle, drivers will be able to “project” their smartphone experience onto the car’s in-dash display, giving them access to apps and services that have been optimized for the vehicle environment.

“Honda’s goal is to integrate the power and functionality of today’s smartphones directly into our vehicles in a way that is seamless and intuitive for our customers,” said Nick Sugimoto, senior program director for Honda Silicon Valley Lab. “By working collaboratively with Google and other technology companies, Honda will help millions of consumers around the world more easily and conveniently access their smartphones’ content, data and features.”

Honda is a founding member of the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), a group of automakers and technology companies committed to bringing the Android platform to cars. The company’s open innovation lab, Honda Silicon Valley Lab, spearheads Honda’s global interactions with technology companies like Google, as well as developers, to create cutting-edge products and customer experiences.

Honda has been an industry leader in equipping its vehicles with technologies that support customers’ efforts to be more alert drivers, including the early introduction of hands-free telephone functionality, wide application of back-up cameras to 100 percent of automobiles by model year 2015, as well as other features. Further, Honda is raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving through initiatives like the Honda “#ThumbsUp” campaign, which launched in April 2014.

2014 Honda Civic Si is “Huge Bargain”

When you think of the Honda Civic, you don’t necessarily think of a sportier car with great performance. The 2014 Honda Civic Si is here to change some minds, and priced at just over $25,000 it’s a “huge bargain” according to this article at USA Today.

What makes the 2014 Honda Civic Si such a great performance vehicle?

  • A high level engine (“2.4-liter four-cylinder rated 205 horsepower at 7,000, 174 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400.”)
  • A high level chassis
  • Manual gearbox
  • “Soft engagement”
  • “The engine revs freely to deliver rich power, but has sufficient oomph to avoid embarrassing you in slug-along traffic. Its real-world fuel consumption under our heavy foot is modest: 20.2 mpg in the suburbs, 35.1 mpg on the highway.”

“The Honda Civic Si is just a fun car to drive,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager at Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “If you’re looking for a smaller, sportier car that will really give you some bang for your buck, you can’t pass up a test drive in the 2014 Si.”

According to USA Today, the 2014 “A joyous reminder of how good a stick-shift can be, and how satisfying a budget go-buggy can be.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, or Sims Honda dealership to take the 2014 Honda Civic Si for a test drive!

Sims Honda Has Some Sparkling Fourth of July Deals!

Like all Americans, here at Sims Honda we LOVE the Fourth of July. What’s not to love? Celebrating the United States of America, family and friends, and the kick of to summer (at least here in the Northwest since summer doesn’t really start until July).

And, now, Sims is giving vehicle shoppers another reason to celebrate: awesome deals! Here’s some of what you’ll find at Sims Honda:

  • $4 per DAY ($116/mo) lease for a 2014 Honda Civic LX
  • $6 per DAY ($169/mo) lease for a 2014 Honda Civic LX Coupe
  • $6 per DAY ($159/mo) lease for a 2014 Honda Accord
  • $5 per Day ($149/mo) lease for a 2014 Honda CR-V

See all the deals HERE.

“These are honestly some of the best vehicles Honda has ever put out,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager of Sims Honda dealership. “The new Fit and Accord continue to get rave reviews by even the most critically critics. The CR-V is new and improved and you can never go wrong with the Civic.”

Stop by Sims Honda to take one of these cars for a test drive, find out which is the best for you and then take advantage of these sizzling deals!

 

Honda Civic Type-R Target Specific Group…

…which group that is, however, is a little difficult to pinpoint based on this commercial that features wolves with glowing eyes, vampire-types, and hammer-wielding helmet-wearers.

But really, it’s not as confusing at the writer of this article makes it seem. The Honda Civic Type-R is for drivers who want to be different, for drivers who want to be iconoclasts of car world. No, you don’t have to wait of the zombie-apocolypse or be into goth stuff; you just have to want something edgier, a car that’s apart from all the others.

Sadly, the Honda Civic Type-R probably won’t be coming to the U.S. but it’s still an interesting commercial…dare we say, very European?

Check out the short commercial and the article HERE and tell us what you think. (And there is no rated R content, so you can watch it safely at work :) )

2015 Honda Fit Exceeds Performance Expectations

When people think of the Honda Fit, they generally think of exceptional functionality and interior space…not performance. Well, when people think of the 2015 Honda Fit, they may just have to think of it’s incredible performance first.

According to Torque.com, “…you’ll be impressed by the power available Via the Fits 1.5 Liter 16 valve i-VTEC 4 cylinder. Although rated at a modest 130 hp and 114 ft-lb torque, somehow through the miracle of advanced automotive electronics, direct fuel injection, drive by wire throttle and Honda’s CVT transmission, this little Honda will put your head back in the driver’s seat.”

What else is there to love about the 2015 Honda Fit:

  • Great gas mileage at about 33 mpg around town
  • Great handling
  • And nice interior that will “fit a tall cowboy”

“The 2015 Honda Fit has a lot going for it, Honda thinks it will be the next big thing and so do we,” said Tony Carter, general manager at Northwest Honda in Bellingham. “This article does a great job of point out all the usual things people love about the Fit, but also the fact that is a pretty fun sub-compact car to drive!”

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealership today to find out how fun the 2015 Honda Fit is to drive!

Harris Poll: Honda is Brand of the Year

We all know that Honda is one of the top automotive brands in the world. A new Harris Poll EquiTrend Study, however, declared Honda “Full Line Automotive Brand of the Year.”

The writer of this article has a problem with polls, but doesn’t have any problem with Honda being the brand of the year because “the all new Honda Accord and Civic are the # 1 selling cars in their respective segment ; there’s a reason for that: Consistent quality, price, performance and both hold the highest (resale) residual value in the industry.”

Of course, you also have to include the top-selling minivan, the 2014 Honda Odyssey as a contributor to that, as well.

“Honda consistently puts out vehicles that people want to drive, that have the best resale value, and are incredibly long-lasting and dependable,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington.

The saw it the same way at Torquenews.com. “To us this is no -brainer. Looking to the streets of any-town North America, we find decades old Honda Accords and Civic coupes and sedans selling in the mid 5 figures. No other brand can touch Honda for brand loyalty, longevity and long-term resale value.”

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda dealership today to find out why Hondas have been and always will be some of the most popular vehicles available.

Honda Honored as a “Highway Safety Hero” by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety for Advancing Pedestrian Safety

  • More than 10 million Honda and Acura vehicles purchased in the U.S. feature pedestrian injury mitigation features and designs
  • More than 95 percent of model year 2014 Honda passenger vehicles and 100 percent of model year 2014 Honda light trucks come equipped with standard rearview cameras, reaching 100 percent overall application for 2015 model year

Honda’s commitment to introduce advanced vehicle designs aiming to reduce pedestrian injuries and enhance driver visibility with standard rearview camera application has earned Honda recognition as a “Highway Safety Hero” by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates). For 2014, Honda was the sole company honored receiving the “Highway Safety Hero” award along with 26 current and former members of Congress, eight state officials and 14 citizen activists “in recognition of efforts to save lives, prevent injuries and make roads safer.”

As part of its commitment to improving safety for all road users, Honda has led the U.S. automotive industry in the application of safety and driver assistive technologies as standard equipment – including features that aim to reduce injuries to pedestrians in a collision, such as collapsible hood hinges and breakaway windshield wiper pivots, with a focus on reducing severe head injuries, which account for roughly 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Further, Honda has taken a comprehensive approach to the application of rearview cameras. More than 94 percent of Honda and Acura models sold in the U.S. in 2013 were equipped with standard rearview cameras. No other brand has as many models equipped with standard rearview cameras for the 2014 model year and by the 2015 model year, rearview cameras will be standard on all Honda and Acura models.

“For more than a decade, Honda has focused on reducing the threat of injuries to pedestrians as part of our ‘Safety for Everyone’ approach,” said Chuck Thomas, chief safety engineer at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. who accepted the award on Honda’s behalf. “As we continue to research other advanced technologies such as vehicle-to-pedestrian sensing technologies, this work will be an integral part of our dream to eliminate motor vehicle collisions entirely.”

Rearview cameras are just one aspect of Honda’s overall approach to enhanced driver visibility and situational awareness, demonstrated by the broad application of technologies such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems on Honda models. These systems use a camera mounted behind the windshield or a front mount radar system to identify and alert drivers to a potential collision with a vehicle detected in front of them, or to alert drivers if the car is unexpectedly moving out of a detected lane. Other available features aimed at improving driver visibility are the Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Honda LaneWatch display and Acura’s Blind Spot Information (BSI) system.

For more detailed information about Honda’s history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and vehicle designs that are meant to enhance the safety of all road users, please view our Safety Issue Brief.

Honda Safety Leadership
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs meant to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. In advancing its designs, Honda developed the groundbreaking pedestrian crash test dummy POLAR II and later Polar III to better understand the dynamics of pedestrian collisions. The company also operates two of the world’s most sophisticated crash test facilities and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of crashworthiness, airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. American Honda leads the industry for 2014 in third party crash test ratings with more models ratedTOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) than any other manufacturer.

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