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Tag: technology

Rear Visibility Cameras Can Save Young Lives

This touching article about a mom who accidentally ran over her young son as she backed out of her driveway illustrates exactly how rear visibility cameras, or backup cameras, could help save lives of many children around the country.

It is a sad story that has been repeated more than 1,000 times from 1990 to 2010. Oftentimes, children are injured or killed by those who love them most who simply didn’t see them behind the car.

As the article points out, “driver expectation” is a big part of the reason incidents like these occur: drivers simply don’t expect children to be around there. In the case mentioned above, no doubt this mom expected her son to be inside with her husband, but her young son somehow got outside and onto the driveway. Drivers are most careful in parks and school areas, but, in other places, where you don’t expect children to be wandering around, drivers tend to let their guard down.

So this mom, and many other moms, have made it their mission to urge the U.S. government to require rearview cameras that will allow drivers to see in their rear blind spot. Many vehicles already have rear cameras as an option, including the popular family minivan Honda Odyssey and the 2013 Honda Accord, which includes the rearview camera standard on every model.

In fact, “According to Edmunds.com, a privately held automotive information firm, 70 percent of 2012 model year vehicles have backup cameras available on one package or more.”

As is pointed out by many supporters, they believe the cost auto manufacturers claim to add cameras to every new vehicle will go down as more and more manufacturers apply it, and, so far, that seems to be true. Honda is a great example of that: instead of making the rearview camera an option for higher-end models, the 2013 Honda Accord is the first vehicle to include the backup camera standard on all trims. No doubt, this won’t be the last vehicle to do that, either.

Is having a backup camera a big selling-point for you as a car shopper? Do you think backup cameras should be required to be installed in all new cars?

Honda Odyssey Steals New York Auto Show with New Functional Feature

We read about a lot of really cool gadgets and features automobile manufactures put in their vehicles, so it takes a lot to get us a THIS excited about what Honda put in the new Honda Odyssey. Any guesses? Ok, we’ll tell you because we just can’t keep it to ourselves any longer:

A vacuum!

We know, we know. It sounds rather lame until you pause to think about how wonderful it would really be to have a vacuum right there in your car!

We all know you have arrived at adulthood when you started getting excited about things like new appliances, new socks, and other ‘mundane’ items. Equally so, you know you have arrived at parenthood when you are driving around in a minivan, which by many accounts is not so exciting (unless it’s the Honda Odyssey, which can really move). However, Honda has managed to combine the seemingly not so cool minivan with excitement over seemingly mundane things and made REALLY cool and functional feature.

And it’s not just us parents who are excited about the possibility of not having to haul the vacuum out to the car or stop at a car wash every time a kid steps on a mountain of spilled fish crackers. EVERYONE at the New York International Auto Show was crowded around  to see the vacuum, which, according to this article, stole the show!

The article points out that the Honda Odyssey didn’t change much from the previous version (and why would it? It’s the best-selling and highest quality minivan in the industry), except for the new vacuum that acts like a central vacuum system in many new homes.

“You plug the hose onto the wall and start cleaning. Honda spokesman Chris Martin demonstrated the machine’s speed at picking up Fruit Loops and  fragments of Goldfish crackers. The hose is long enough to reach every corner of the interior and can also be used to clean another car parked nearby.”

What do you think? Is the fact that Honda ingeniously included a vacuum in the Honda Odyssey big news?

 

Honda Develops App to Reduce Traffic Congestion

Here’s one of the things we love about Honda: they don’t just manufacture great cars, they try to create a better driving experience.

One of Honda’s latest technological developments to create a better driving experience includes a smartphone app that will alert you if the cars around you (ie in front of you) are starting to slow down so you can possibly change your route. The other major thing it does is let you know if you are driving in a way that could increase congestion, specifically by braking hard and/or too frequently.

It will also help increase your fuel efficiency.

Here’s how the app works according to this article, “The system displays either a green or blue screen, visible at a glance. Green means your driving is aligned with the surrounding vehicles and the chances of congestion are low. If the smartphone app turns blue, that means your driving is likely to create congestion and the app will guide you to realign your driving with the surrounding traffic flow.”

So, whether you are driving down Fairhaven in Bellingham, I-5 in Burlington or through the apple orchards in Wenatchee, this new Honda app can not only help you avoid congestion, but help you notcreatecongestion (although, there’s not a lot you can do about tractors mozying down the road).

But will this technology really make a difference? According to the test Honda has done in Indonesia, it does. “The company said, however, that when its app was tested in Jakarta, Indonesia between September 2012 and February 2013, traffic jams were delayed by an average of three to four minutes and fuel efficiency improved by 20 to 22 percent.”

What do you think? Would you find this app helpful? Would you use it all the time or just in high-traffic times/areas?

See the Future of Driving

Honda is showing people the future of driving in their windshields.

Honda has developed a ‘head up display’ that will show important information right on the windshield of the vehicle. Information like road names of passing streets so drivers do not have to turn their heads to try to find sometimes hidden street signs.

According to this article, “In Honda’s seminar, Victor Ng-Thow-Hing, principal scientist at the Honda Research Institute in Mountain View, Calif., showed head-up display technology that makes current production examples look extremely primitive. Instead of simply projecting a speed readout or turn-by-turn directions on the windshield, Ng-Thow-Hing demonstrated work in augmented reality, projecting location sensitive information useful to drivers.”

Another application of this technology is a projected grid that shows what where the driver’s vehicle is in relation to other cars immediately around it and what they are doing (ie slowing down, stopped).

“The second example projected the path of the driver’s car when waiting to make a turn through an intersection, coloring the path in red when oncoming traffic made going ahead with the turn unsafe. Ng-Thow-Hing pointed out that drivers cannot always correctly estimate the distance and speed of traffic coming through an intersection, and so make mistakes that can lead to a crash. With this system, sensors would see the oncoming traffic and the car’s processor would determine when the driver could safety make a left turn through the intersection.”

While we think this technology is definitely useful, we also wonder if this projection technology would be distracting. What do you think?

 

 

Drive a Honda, Use the HOV Lane

A new report stated that Honda makes the most cars that can legally drive in California’s HOV lanes with only a driver in the vehicle.

Why? Because Honda makes the most gosh-darn environmentally friendly vehicles.

According to the California Air Resources Board, Honda makes four vehicles that meet its air quality standards to be eligible to use the carpool lane even when there’s only one occupant. The four vehicles are:

  • The Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid sedan has a EPA driving range of 570 miles with an EPA rating of 115 MPGe, a standard used to measure the combined efficiency of an electric vehicle.
  • The Honda Civic Natural Gas. The 2012 Civic Natural Gas (CNG) has an EPA of 31 MPG.
  • The Honda Fit EV, which has an EPA rating of 118 MPGe with an EPA driving range of 82 miles.
  • The FCX Clarity, which has a EPA rating of 60 MPEe with an EPA driving range of 240 miles.

This article points out that using the HOV lane in California can shave 30 minutes off your commute where a ten mile drive can often take 30 to 40 minutes. That is DEFINITELY something we can relate to if you’ve ever hit Seattle traffic during rush hour or there is an accident in one of the two through lanes in downtown Seattle. The HOV lane is your friend in the Puget Sound area!

“The average annual five year fuel savings of the Honda Accord Plug-In, Honda Civic CNG and Honda Fit EV is about $7,783.  The fuel savings for the FCX Clarity haven’t been released.”

If you care about the environment, saving money and getting around faster (sounds pretty good right?), then be sure to stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships today. Not all of these vehicles may be available in Washington state yet, but no doubt any of them would make a big difference in your life and your budget.

2013 Honda Accord’s Technology Makes it a “Contender”

The performance, design, and overall quality of the 2013 Honda Accord has been well-documented by critics and consumers alike, but this reviewer sums up much of the success of the 2013 Honda Accord in one word: technology. Here’s what he had to say about some of his favorite technological features of the 2013 Honda Accord:

LaneWatch: “Instead of a simple blind spot warning light in the right exterior mirrror, Honda has a camera that SHOWS you what’s behind there. The camera displays its image on the “navi” screen, so as soon as you turn on your right turn signal, a video shows the road behind you on the right fading away. Of course, if there’s something in that vicinity, you’ll see that, too…The left outside rearview mirror has a split mirror with a more convex surface on the outer edge, again acting like a blind spot monitor. At first, I thought the convexity wasn’t enough, but it proved to be just right.”

Center console cameras: “There are two screens in the center of the dash; one for the navigation system (and back-up camera and blind spot monitor) and one for audio. If you aren’t using the top screen, it becomes a second audio screen.”

Green driving: “The best aid to green driving, however, is the speedometer surround. In normal mode, it is white, but when you start driving more economically, it turns green. Like many of these features, it almost becomes a game trying to keep it green.”

We agree that the technology included standard in all trims of the 2013 Honda Accord is what sets it apart from all other midsize sedans. That’s right, every trim comes with LaneWatch technology and a backup camera because Honda thinks that every driver should have technology to be safer.

Stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda, or Apple Valley Honda today to see for yourself all the technology that the 2013 Honda Accord has to offer you!

 

 

Honda Develops Technology to Reduce Door Weight by 17 Percent

Honda is again paving the way to create better technology and better cars in the future. Strike that. Honda is paving the way to create better cars starting in March.

Honda engineers developed a way to create a steel-aluminum door panel, including how to join the two materials, technology to prevent corrosion, and technology to control thermal deformation. Traditionally, door panels are made of strictly steel; by using aluminum for part of the door, Honda reduced the door weight by 17 percent.

The technology will be on the Acura RLX starting in March.

Naturally, any amount the car weight is decreased will help with Honda’s industry-leading gas mileage. And, no doubt, Honda engineers have managed to decrease the weight without compromising the integrity of the vehicle or safety of the passengers.

Here’s what it took to make this new technology work according to this article:

  • “Technology to join dissimilar materials: adoption of “3D Lock Seam” structure, where the steel panel and aluminum panel are layered and hemmed together twice (see figure 1).
  • Technology to prevent electrical corrosion: adoption of highly anti-corrosive steel for the inner panel and a new form that assures the complete filling of the gap with adhesive agent (see figure 2).
  • Technology to control thermal deformation: adoption of adhesive agent with low- elastic modulus and optimized position of the 3D Lock Seam.”

Leave it to Honda to innovate some of the latest and greatest technologies!

 

 

Solar City & Elon Musk Choose Honda Over Toyota to be Vehicle for Solar Power Discount

Buy a Honda (or Acura) and get $400 off solar power at your house? Sounds good to us!

In a first-of-its-kind incentive, Honda and SolarCity have teamed up to offer residents of 14 states, including Washington State, a $400 break on solar power if you purchase a Honda or Acura. It’s a unique idea and one backed up market research, according to this article. It seems like a solid marketing plan considering “(a) Honda and Acura sales in SolarCity’s 14-state area are pretty strong, and (b) Honda and Acura owners are more likely than other vehicle owners to be interested in solar power.”

Honda’s vice president for Environmental Business Development, Steven Center, references that second point fairly directly: “At Honda, we are always looking at ways to improve the lives of our customers while reducing our environmental footprint…. We believe Honda and Acura customers are going to be very interested in going solar once they find out that they can install solar at their home with little or no upfront cost, can lower their monthly utility bill, and can make a positive contribution to protecting the environment.”

As much as we think this solar power incentive is great, we think the most interesting part about this story is behind the scenes having to do with the fact that the SolarCity chairman is Elon Musk…as in Tesla Motors, Elon Musk. While Tesla and Honda may not be the biggest rivals or be direct competitors yet, Tesla does “a fairly significant alliance with one of Honda’s biggest rivals, Toyota.” In fact, Tesla bought its newest manufacturing plant from Toyota for next to nothing and Tesla is working on the battery system for the all new electric Toyota RAV4 (apparently, their goal is to build many electric vehicles together).

Considering all this, why wouldn’t Elon Musk and SolarCity create this car-buying, solar-powering incentives program with Toyota…instead of one of their biggest rivals, Honda? According to the article, no one really knows Musk’s reasons yet for choosing Honda over Toyota, but we are dying to know.

Is it because Musk wants to strategically get involved with several auto manufacturers for future endeavors? Is it because he doesn’t really like working with Toyota and wants to plant seeds with another company? (not that he’d ever admit it) Or, is it simply a business move and he expects more Hondas to sell and, therefore, create more business for SolarCity.

Why do you think Elon Musk chose Honda over Toyota?

 

 

2013 Honda Accord Coupe Only Vehicle in its Class to Earn 5-Star Safety Rating

We have written a lot about the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and 2013 Honda Accord Coupe because there is a lot to write about. So this blog doesn’t become the “Honda Accord” blog, we try only to write when there’s really something worth writing about.

Well, the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe has done it again, and this is definitely newsworthy: it is the only vehicle in its class to earn a NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Association) 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety! The Accord Sedan also earned this rating, but the Accord Coupe was the only one its class to be award the 5-star rating.

“This is a big deal,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda. “To be the only one at anything is a big deal, but for the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe to be the only coupe that earned 5 stars for safety is a big accomplishment. Honda prides itself on designing and manufacturing safe vehicles. Hopefully, this will give people one more reason to take a look at the new Accord Coupe, besides its incredible performance.”

The 2013 Honda Accord Coupe earned the Overall award by garnering a 5-star rating in “each seating position in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) front, side-barrier, and side-pole crash test categories, as well as a 5-star rollover rating.”

“The Honda comprehensive approach to vehicle safety is validated by these top-level safety ratings,” said Art St. Cyr , vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “The 2013 Honda Accord truly excels in all areas, delivering the best overall safety ratings, while also providing exhilarating performance, outstanding comfort and top-class fuel economy.”

According to the press release: “Beginning with the 2013 Honda Accord, Honda is applying the second generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering(ACEII) body structure to its models. This reinforced frontal structure further enhances frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes.”

This is in addition to other Honda safety innovations like the LaneWatch technology that allows drivers to better see their blind spot.

For your chance to check out the incredibly safe and high performing 2013 Honda Accord Coupe, stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships today!

Check out the complete press release HERE.

 

Green Car Journal Names Honda’s ECO Asist as Top 10 Green Technology

Honda’s “Ecological Drive Assist System,” ECO Assist for short, was named to Green Car Journal’s  list of top 10 green technology’s of 2013.

According to this article, “Honda said its ECO Assist technology can help drivers develop driving habits that enhance fuel efficiency by observing the speedometer background’s response to driving practices. Fuel-saving behaviors like smooth acceleration and braking make the meter glow green. Less fuel-efficient driving habits will cause the meter glow blue-green, while aggressive starts and stops that consume extra fuel cause the meter to glow blue.”

Honda hopes that using the ECO Assist technology will help drivers develop more fuel efficient driving habits over the long term.

“Honda is really thinking ahead with the ECO Assist technology,” said John Clough, sales manager at Northwest Honda dealership in Bellingham. “Not only does the vehicle itself have technology that reduces emissions and use less fuel, but it’s also helping people become more fuel efficient in the way they drive. It’s really revolutionary.”

Honda is hoping the visual nature of the technology will be easy to use and really make a difference.

“Honda developed the driver guidance and driver feedback functions of ECO Assist to help drivers improve their fuel economy, and in turn, to also benefit our environment,” said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “The visual nature of the technology is intended to help drivers improve their efficient driving skills by making it a more fun and rewarding experience.”

Honda is honored to be given this award by the Green Car Journal for its ground breaking technology.

“Honda’s ECO Assist system was selected as a Green Car Technology Award finalist for its innate ability to help drivers enhance their fuel efficiency,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of the Green Car Journal and www.CarsOfChange.com. “In an era of increased demands on environmental performance from consumers and government alike, we wanted to highlight the innovative technologies like ECO Assist that make their incredible achievements possible.”

Honda’s ECO Assist technology is available on the 2013 Honda Civic, 2013 Honda CR-V, and the 2013 Honda Accord.

For your opportunity to check out Honda’s innovative ECO Assist technology or any other of Honda’s amazing technology, stop by Northwest Honda, Sims Honda or Apple Valley Honda today.

 

 

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