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Ford geofences Transit PHEV

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Geofencing switches PHEV to EV mode in sensitive areas

Geofencing switches PHEV to EV mode in sensitive areas

Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van now comes with the option of geofencing technology to help improve urban air quality.

Using live location data, the PHEV automatically switches to electric drive mode whenever entering predefined areas such as congestion and low-emission zones.

The geofencing tech need not only apply to city centres: operators can also create ‘green zones’ to encourage low-emission driving near schools, playgrounds and warehouses.

When the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, it automatically switches to the most appropriate drive mode for the next stage of its trip.

Low-emission zones are increasingly common across Europe as a way for cities to better manage the environmental impact of vehicles in urban areas. In the first six months of the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – one of the most harmful pollutants from vehicles – were found to have been reduced by almost 30%.

A recent study by Ford concluded that hybrid electric vehicles could help improve urban air quality: 75 per cent of miles driven in central London by study participants – which included operators Addison Lee Group, British Gas, Heathrow Airport, the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London – were completed in the Transits’ zero emission, electric only mode.

The geofence module in the Transit PHEV records information about electric only operation within geofenced areas, referring to a virtual fence or perimeter around a physical location.  The encrypted data can be shared with authorities to confirm compliance with low emission zone regulations, avoiding the risk of wrongful fines and penalties.

Hybrid electric drive

Ford claims the Transit Custom PHEV van and Tourneo Custom people mover models are the first in their class to offer a hybrid-electric option.

A 13.6kWh battery helps to deliver a zero-emission NEDC driving range of up to 35 miles for the Transit and up to 33 in the Tourneo.

In both vehicles the one-litre EcoBoost petrol engine can charge the battery on demand to extend their range up to 343 and 317 miles combined respectively.

Both vehicles can be fully recharged in under four and a half hours from a standard domestic mains supply, or in under three hours using a commercial charging point. Further electrical energy is captured through regenerative braking.

Trials by Ford across Europe have shown how PHEVs offer a practical solution for van owners and businesses working in the city, enabling them to complete longer journeys when required. As the vehicles aren’t reliant on charging infrastructure there is no range or charge anxiety, meaning they can deliver the best of both worlds: zero emission driving capability with no compromise on getting the job done. There is no reduction in payload or load volume compared with a conventional diesel model.

Since gaining UK government plug-in van grant eligibility last spring over 500 orders have been placed for the hybrid.

 Ford’s electrification of its entire vehicle range includes existing mild-hybrid two-tonne Transit and Transit Custom powertrain choices, as well as the announcement of an all-electric Transit BEV.

Source: https://www.just-auto.com/news/ford-geofences-transit-phev_id196994.aspx?utm_source=article-feed&utm_medium=rss-feed&utm_campaign=rss-feed

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Genesis GV60 Will Recognize Your Face To Unlock The Car

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The Genesis GV60 is a talking point, to say the least. Whether you like it in its initial attention-grabbing shade of yellow or the staler white, that’s all up to you. Or maybe you dig its stealthy all-black hue, which somehow hides its polarizing body accents.

But lest we forget, it is Genesis’ first luxury crossover electric vehicle, which will serve as a benchmark for the Korean marque’s bid to electrification. Parts of this offensive of course are tech toys that will attract buyers into the brand.

Genesis announces just that – a facial recognition system that’s claimed to improve control of the vehicle.

Genesis GV60 Facial Recognition

Initially to be available for the Genesis GV60 and will be gradually rolled out to the rest of the lineup, the “Face Connect” technology allows the EV to recognize human faces, which in turn can open and close doors without using a smart key. Similar to the one found inside the Subaru Outback, the vehicle will apply the settings saved under the profile of the saved face, which include driver’s seat and steering wheel positions, as well as HUD, side mirrors, and infotainment settings.

Of note, Genesis touts a Near-Infra-Red (NIR) camera, ensuring that the face recognition system will work even under low visibility – yes, even at night.

With this new tech, Genesis aims to liberate drivers from the “hassle” of bringing their keys every time. You can even leave the smart key inside the car, go out and do some wet outdoorsy stuff (locking the car in the process), then come back and unlock the car using your face. Just maybe don’t hit your face with something so the car will still recognize you.

Along with the Face Connect tech, Genesis announces a “Fingerprint Authentication System” that allows the users to start the car using only their fingerprints.

The automaker also expanded the scope of its OTA software updates. Beyond the settings on the infotainment system, navigation, digital cluster, and HUD, OTA software updates will now include electric vehicle integrated control device, suspension, brakes, steering wheel, and airbags.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/533678/genesis-gv60-facial-recognition/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Jeep Grand Cherokee L Loses Quadra-Lift Suspension Due To Chip Shortage

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Modern technology brings all kinds of neat features to automobiles, but it’s proving to be a double-edged sword for manufacturers. The latest casualty of the global semiconductor shortage reportedly comes from Jeep, specifically the Quadra-Lift air suspension system available on some new Grand Cherokee L models.

The height-adjustable suspension is – or was – standard equipment on Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve according to Mopar Insiders. Nosing around the Grand Cherokee L online configurator, only the standard suspension shows up now. Further investigation found that the Quadra-Lift feature was removed, with the report citing a Jeep spokesperson as stating it was removed due to the ongoing chip shortage. Motor1.com contacted Jeep to confirm this, and to determine if there’s a projected timeframe for when the feature will return. We will provide an update if new information becomes available.

The air-ride system provides five different settings that alter suspension stiffness and ride height. Clearance can vary as much as 4.2 inches, which is significant for any vehicle with off-road intentions. As such dropping the Quadra-Lift feature from the lineup changes the Grand Cherokee L’s maximum approach and departure angles.

save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Jeep Grand Cherokee

 

Realistically speaking, we suspect very few owners would be trekking their $60,000 three-row SUVs in an environment where such capability is required. That’s probably why Jeep decided to remove the feature instead of delaying overall production. And since it was a standard item on some Grand Cherokee L trim levels, Mopar Insiders reports a credit of $750 is applied to the final MSRP on affected models.

This is the latest in a series of on-the-fly adjustments made by numerous automakers to keep production lines operating. Earlier this year, GM delivered Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups without the fuel-saving cylinder deactivation feature on models with the 5.3-liter V8. Volkswagen sold its subcompact Fox in Brazil without infotainment systems. Ford built F-150 trucks without some electronic modules, but held them until those modules were available before sending them out. Even with these solutions, temporary production-line shutdowns have affected most every automaker around the world to some degree.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/533659/grand-cherokee-quadra-suspension-dropped/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Rivian vehicles are now ready for sale in all 50 states, following key certifications

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Rivian vehicles have received certifications from three agencies, the final hurdle that allows the electric automaker to sell and deliver its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV in all 50 U.S. states.

Rivian confirmed to TechCrunch in an email that the vehicles are fully certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. Bloomberg also reported that Rivian has received regulatory approval to deliver vehicles to customers.

Rivian has a direct sales model, in which customers can order its vehicles online. Dealer protection laws in many states prohibit companies like Rivian from having its own stores, where customers can take test drives and learn about financing options. However, there are no restrictions from customers ordering online from those states.

Today, 22 states allow for all vehicle manufacturers to sell vehicles to customers, according to the NRDC. In those states, Rivian can set up stores, display vehicles, offer test rides and importantly discuss financing. Another 11 states allow for only Tesla, which also has a direct sales model, to sell vehicles, often in a limited number of locations throughout the state.

Rivian plans to begin deliveries of the R1T launch edition this month. Deliveries of the R1S SUV are expected to follow this year.

Confirmation of the certifications from the state and two federal agencies followed a trio of announcements in the past several weeks that , including the first production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian blue” rolling off the assembly line Tuesday morning at the company’s factory in Normal, Illinois. The company’s two vehicles also received official EPA ranges of 314 miles for the first edition version of its all-electric R1T pickup truck and 316 miles for the R1T SUV.

All of this follows Rivian confidentially filing paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. The company, backed by a host of institutional and strategic investors including Ford and Amazon, has not size and price range for the proposed offering.

Sources familiar with Rivian’s IPO plans said the company has not yet started the “roadshow,” a process in which an underwriting firm and company management make a series of presentations to potential investors before going public.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/14/rivian-vehicles-are-now-ready-for-sale-in-all-50-states-following-key-certifications/

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Rivian’s first production R1T electric pickup truck rolls off the line

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The first production Rivian R1T electric pickup truck in “Rivian blue” rolled off the assembly line Tuesday morning at the company’s factory in Normal, Illinois, marking a milestone more than a decade in the making for the automaker and its founder and CEO, RJ Scaringe.

The company, which started in 2009 as Mainstream Motors before adopting the Rivian name two years later, has undergone explosive growth in terms of people, backers and partners in the past few years. Today, Scaringe tweeted the news and a photo of the first production truck painted in Rivian Blue.

“After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal,!” he wrote. “Our team’s collective efforts have made this moment possible. Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”

What isn’t clear is who will get this first customer vehicle.

Rivian operated in relative obscurity, aka stealth mode, for years before it revealed prototypes of its all-electric R1T truck and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in late 2018.

Since then, Rivian has raised billions of dollars ($10.5 billion since 2019); expanded its Normal, Illinois, factory; hired thousands of employees; landed Amazon as a commercial customer; and, most recently, filed confidentially for an IPO. Today, in addition to its Illinois factory, Rivian has facilities in Palo Alto and Irvine, California; and Plymouth, Michigan; and an office in the U.K.

When it first revealed the two electric vehicles in 2018, Rivian had about 600 employees. Today, it has 8,000.

Scaringe’s announcement Tuesday, which marks the official beginning of R1T production for customers, comes after at least two delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and global chip shortage. Earlier this summer, Scaringe wrote in a letter to customers that R1T deliveries would begin in September, with the R1S to follow “shortly.”

Rivian has been juggling the dueling priorities of prepping and eventually producing the R1T and R1S for consumers and commercial delivery vans for Amazon. The Illinois factory has two separate production lines producing vehicles. One is dedicated to the R1 vehicles and the other line is for its commercial vans.

Amazon ordered 100,000 of these vans, with deliveries starting in 2021. Earlier this year, Amazon began testing the electric delivery van in several cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Earlier this month, Rivian announced that the first edition version of the R1T pickup truck has an official EPA range of 314 miles, while its R1T SUV comes in at 316 miles.

The official range and fuel economy values posted on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website align with Rivian’s previous estimates, which it advertised as 300 miles.

The moment is also important because it means Rivian has the benefit of being the first electric truck on the market. Ford’s F-150 Lightning, which isn’t expected to come on the market until spring 2022, has a targeted range of 230 miles in the standard and up to 300 miles in the extended version. The EPA has not issued official ranges for the Ford Lightning.

Rivian’s “Launch Edition” R1T truck and R1S SUV come equipped with a 135 kWh battery pack that is branded as the “large pack.” Deliveries of the Launch Edition vehicles are slated to begin this month.

Clarification: Rivian has raised $10.5 billion since 2019, not in total. Rivian has not shared the total amount but sources have said it is around $11 billion. 

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/14/rivians-first-production-r1t-electric-pickup-truck-rolls-off-the-line/

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