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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Remodeled 8th generation Sonata to make Nigeria debut




he remodeled eighth generation Hyundai Sonata will soon make Nigeria debut, having undergone remarkable makeover that incorporates Hyundai’s third generation vehicle platform with amazingly inspiring appearance and improved performance.

The new platform according to Hyundai Motor Company is aimed at improving the market competitiveness of the Hyundai Sonata and its subsequent models, which are already being infused with greater flexibility, enhanced overall design, safety, efficiency and outstanding driving dynamics.

Hyundai Motor Company Head of Styling/Vice President Simon Loasby, gave this hints in Seoul Korea at the international premiere of the Sonata and E-Segment Palisade SUV.

He said that the remodeled Sonata has brought with it fresh chapter for Hyundai’s longest-standing model, yet continuing a global success story that started in 1985.

Unlike its predecessors, the eight-generation Sonata is a fourh-door coupe-styled sedan that showcases Hyundai’s ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language.

And as a signature product for the brand, the Sonata represents Hyundai’s future design vision, which incorporates advanced safety systems and cutting-edge technology that is engineered to be seamless and intuitive in function.

Suffice to say that the latest Sonata is the first model to adopt Hyundai’s new innovative ‘third generation’ modular vehicle platform, which delivers increased strength and reduced weight to enable improvements in design, safety, efficiency and driving performance.

This is in addition to an extensive application of advanced technologies to boost comfort, convenience and active safety, just as it ranked amongst Hyundai models to premiere a new collaboration with Bose to deliver an exceptional audio experience.

The new platform, however, rides on the dais of its predecessor, enabling a stable design with a lower center of gravity that allows Hyundai to implement sporty and stylish design elements to the new Sonata, Mr. Loasby affirmed.

“The new generation Sonata is also offering reduced weight and improved fuel efficiency, while achieving stronger durability with the new platform.”



What’s more, the platform will among other niceties deliver significant improvement in collision safety through the adoption of a multi-load path structure, ‘Hot Stamping’ and super-high tensile steel plate.

The sophisticated multi-load path increases the energy absorbed by the vehicle in a collision thus improving safety and minimizing collision impact in the passenger cabin.

Hyundai said the platform has been designed to allow the tyres to move outward during a small overlap collision to maximize occupant’s safety. This particular technology prevents vehicle from spinning and prevents possible secondary collision.

The extended application of Hot Stamping, Hyundai reiterated is capable of preventing deformation of the passenger room, thereby improving vehicle safety as well as enhancing power, driving performance, which have all been infused in the next generation engine called the Smartstream Powertrain.

Also featuring a system that controls the flow of air, the new platform improves air movement to the engine bay and heat dissipation, which enhances stability in the lower part of the vehicle and subsequently minimizing air resistance to deliver excellent efficiency and power performance.



The Korean automaker said this transformation will enhance handling by dramatically expanding lateral stiffness, while positioning the steering closer to the wheel center and providing stable and balanced driving performance through tyre-optimization technology.

Above all, Hyundai has numbed offensive cabin noise, using reinforced sound-absorbing systems to laden vibration-sensitive parts.

In addition, a newly designed ‘Digital Pulse Cascading Grille’ spans the front of the new Sonata with combination headlamps each featuring a distinctive and innovative new lighting system.

This includes LED daytime running lights embedded with ‘Hidden Lighting Lamps’ – the running lights appear to form part of a chrome decoration when the car is switched off but dramatically illuminate when the driver starts the engine.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Auto policy reversal will turn Nigeria to dumping ground for pre-owned vehicles



Auto policy reversal will turn Nigeria to dumping ground for pre-owned vehicles

FG warned against removing 70% duty on imported cars



With the recent suspension of the Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), otherwise known as Auto Policy, PAUL OGBUOKIRI reports that the suspension of the 70 per cent duty on imported cars to increase Customs revenue, will turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for used vehicles



Legislating auto policy into law

The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Agency (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, had in an interview with news men after inspecting the Honda HR-V, which was newly introduced into the Nigerian market, called on the government to legislate the auto policy into law.

He said that the automotive development plan which contains a number of policy measures needed to revitalise the industry for job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition has six components.



He said the need for a legislation to support the policy was based on the conviction that it would assist in strengthening the policy as well as preventing it from being changed by subsequent governments.



He said: “We need to have the auto policy become law. As you are aware, the auto policy is a set of fiscal incentives that are designed to boost production.



“The big question in Nigeria is, are we after short-term benefit? The only way we can ensure that this country continues to be a successful nation is to provide industrialisation and provide jobs.



“The only way we can provide jobs is to boost industries and support those local and international investors in coming into Nigeria and producing.



He added: “That is why the automotive policy is so important for local production. We are making progress because this shows there are investors from around the world especially from Japan which is the heartbeat of automotive industry.”



Suspension, akin to policy summersault



Despite consistent advice by auto makers and industry stakeholders in Nigeria and Africa, the Federal Government recently went the way of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) by suspending the Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) as they have been requesting. OPS believe that the 70 per cent duty on imported fully built cars meant to protect infant assembly plants in Nigeria; is adding to their cost of production and such the policy should not be allowed.



But in reaction to the government action, some stakeholders argued that the outright suspension of the policy was not the best.



A former Acting Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Mamudu Lukman, said the minister must have been wrongly advised.



He said the auto policy bill was designed with input from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). “If indeed the minister said what is published, then it must have been out of ignorance. Those responsible to brief him should be held accountable. Not him. He has barely resumed and perhaps is not aware that he cannot unilaterally suspend a regional policy. It was negotiated with ECOWAS. All you can do is to review,” he said.



Also speaking, board member representing the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) at NADDC, Dr. David Chukwudi Obi, said government should give the industry legal backing through the auto policy, saying that will reverse the retrogression in the industry.



He said government should consult widely with stakeholders if it wants to come up with a new bill, adding, the country is not presently assembling. “If they want to re-write the bill, fine, because a lot of things are wrong in the bill. We are not assembling vehicles for now; what we have are screw driver assembly plants.”



Setbacks to auto policy



Contacts in the industry believe that despite the fact that the auto policy has been around since 2014, and over 35 companies licensed to commence assembling in the country; the sector at full capacity can only produce a total of 10,000-50,000 units per year.


They believe that in all, it appears the high import tariff regime aimed to discourage imports and spur local assembly has not achieved the purpose.



Car imports (mainly used units) rose significantly in 2018, an indication of an impending threat to assemblers. Although cars and related components are not on the Central Bank’s list of 42 products ineligible for foreign exchange, the difficulty of obtaining foreign exchange has led to increased prices and reduced consumer demand.



Also, corporate organisations, the largest buyers of new vehicles, have reduced or postponed purchases thereby extending the replacement cycle of their fleet from four years to seven years.



OPS self-serving demand



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry had called for an urgent review of the 2013 National Automotive Policy, saying that it made the prices of vehicles prohibitive.



The LCCI, in a recent statement signed by its Director General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said: “A review of the Automotive Policy, which was decreed by the Jonathan administration in 2013, is long overdue.



“Six years after, the policy has not only failed to achieve the desired outcomes, it has adversely impacted the cost of doing business, the welfare of the people, government revenue and the capacity of the economy to create jobs.  It has caused massive trade diversion to neighbouring countries.

“High compliance cost has put enormous pressure on firms moving them into uncompetitive positions in the face of weak institutional capacity to enforce the extant tariff regime.”



He pointed out that the policy had a negative impact with far-reaching consequences, adding: “The automobile sector was hit by the double shock of currency depreciation [of over 80 per cent] over the last six years and an import duty hike to 70 per cent on new cars and 35 per cent on used vehicles and commercial vehicles.”

The LCCI DG noted that although the auto policy was an import substitution industrialisation strategy to reduce importation of vehicles and incentivise domestic vehicle assembly, import substitution strategy would only thrive in the context of high domestic value addition.

He said the high cost of vehicles had taken a severe toll on the economy, from a logistics cost and welfare point of view as over 90 per cent of the country’s freight and human movements are done by road, which implies heavy dependence on cars, commercial buses and trucks.

He recommended a reduction of import duty from 70 per cent to 35 per cent, while 35 per cent should be reduced to 25 per cent.



Policy summersault to boost Customs revenue



The Minister of Finance, Hajia Zinab Ahmed disclosed that the neighbouring countries are giving vehicle importers incentives to berth Roll On Roll Off (RORO) vessels in their ports.



She said that auto policy is yet to achieve optimum result and restore the automotive industry for indigenous vehicle production for Nigerians. Recall that the automobile policy was introduced in October 2013 to encourage local manufacturing of vehicles and discourage importation of cars as well as gradually phase out used cars (popularly known as Tokunbo cars).



The policy makes provision for commercial vehicles to attract 35 per cent duty without a levy. Cars are to attract 35 per cent levy charged on the fully built units (FBU), in addition to the 35 per cent import duty.



Also, the Federal Government gave incentives of zero per cent, five per cent, and 10 per cent respectively to assemble plants who imported completely knocked down parts (CKD), semi knocked down parts I (SKDI) and semi-knocked down parts II(SKDII) to be used by local assembly plants attract.



Assembly plants importing FBU for cars pay 35 per cent duty without a levy, whereas commercial vehicles attract 20 per cent duty without a levy, in numbers equal to twice their imported CKD/SKD kits. However, the Federal Government has identified abuse in the incentives given to assemble plants to one of the reasons for the review of the policy.



She said: “The auto policy is presently being reviewed because neighbouring countries are giving incentives to vehicle importers to bring in their vehicles through their port because of our own rate.” Though, she said the policy was introduced to trigger growth in the nation’s auto sector but, the prevailing situation has shown that it has not achieved the desired result.





“The auto policy was meant to trigger a growth in the auto industry and because of that policy, incentives were given to assemble plants by giving special rates to bring in Completely Knock Down (CKD) to assemble in Nigeria.”



Speaking on the abuse of the special rates given to assembly plants, the Minister said: “We are seeing some abuse in that aspect (CKD special rate) but we have to do a holistic review of the auto policy to get optimum result and the target is to restore the automotive industry so that we have assemble plants being set up again that could lead to actively producing vehicles here in Nigeria for use of Nigerians.”


Mrs. Ahmed however, disclosed that the review has started but the process is led by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in partnership with the Ministry of Finance.



“The review of the auto policy has started and the process is led by the ministry of industry trade and investment and we are working in partnership with them,” she stated.



Last line

A report by PWC indicates that the growth of companies with products and services supporting auto assembly will improve Nigeria’s chances of becoming an automotive hub and provide more economic activity.



Progression from basic SKD assembly to CKD or manufacturing is highly dependent on growth of auxiliary industries and supporting infrastructure such as electricity. Therefore, building the capacity for components such as batteries, belts, lights and tires is key for the success of the auto policy.



In addition, there are existing gaps in repair, which will become even more obvious with increased local manufacturing. Plugging this gap will require capacity building, training of skilled labour and adequate supply of spare parts.



Other business opportunities which the industry brings include the supply of equipment to domestic assemblers, supply of spare parts and the setting up of local component manufacturing plants.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Nissan recalls 1.2m vehicles for noncompliant rear camera display systems




issan is recalling 1.2 million vehicles in the U.S., Canada, South Korea and Israel over noncompliant rear visibility camera display systems.



The recall, submitted Sept. 12, affects certain 2018 and 2019 Nissan Altima, Frontier, Kicks, Leaf, Maxima, Murano, NV, NV200, Pathfinder, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Sentra, Titan and Versa vehicles. Infiniti Q50, Q60, QX30 and QX80 vehicles also are affected by the recall.


Drivers could adjust rearview camera display settings “to the degree that the image is no longer visible,” and the system display would not return to the required default image when the vehicle is shifted into reverse, NHTSA documents said.


“Nissan Group has notified NHTSA and Transport Canada that it is recalling certain MY 2018-2019 Nissan and Infiniti vehicles in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to South Korea and Israel, to remedy a technical non-compliance by updating the rear visibility system,” a spokesperson for Nissan told Automotive News in an emailed statement. “Nissan Group will update the rear-visibility system software to remedy this condition.”

Nissan will begin notifying customers October 21.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Toyota to launch next Mirai fuel cell car in 2020




oyota is preparing to launch the second generation of its Mirai fuel cell car next year, Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said on Wednesday.


The executive was speaking at an international ministerial meeting on hydrogen energy in Tokyo.


Toyota launched the first iteration of the Mirai sedan in late 2014 as the first mass-market hydrogen fuel cell car.

Toyota is the first automaker to bring FCEVs to Canada, though none has been purchased outside of fleet operators. Ballard Power Systems, a B.C.-based fuel cell company, arranged in July for several of its employees to purchase a fleet of Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric sedans.

Deliveries started almost immediately.



The first fleet of Mirai vehicles hit the road in Quebec earlier this year. Toyota has also been selling the car as a fleet vehicle in Quebec since about January.




Toyota has sold 57 Mirais in Canada through August, according to the Automotive News Data Center in Detroit.



Toyota has been working with hydrogen stakeholders across Canada to help install the necessary fuelling infrastructure, training and service to support the sale of FCEVs.



Toyota expects the price of fuel cell cars to match those of hybrids within 10 years, the automaker’s European head of sales and marketing, Matt Harrison, told the Automotive News Europe Congress earlier this year in Gothenburg, Sweden.



“By the third generation we fully expect fuel cell costs to be comparable with hybrids,” Harrison said. “We believe fuel cell vehicles have a huge potential,” he said.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

JLR unveils advanced product creation centre




aguar Land Rover has unveiled new facilities at its Gaydon site in Warwickshire, creating one of the UK’s most sustainable non-domestic buildings and the country’s largest automotive creation and development centre.

The Gaydon site forms part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero mission; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion – across its facilities, and through its products and services.

Gaydon is home to almost 13,000 highly-skilled engineers and designers who are developing the current and next generation Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. The industry-leading centre is also creating future autonomous, connected, electrified and shared mobility technologies that will enable Jaguar Land Rover’s long-term, sustainable growth.



Speaking at the opening event, Prof Sir Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Megatrends like urbanisation and sustainability are fundamentally changing the automotive industry. At Jaguar Land Rover, we not only participate – we are shaping future mobility. Our vision is for a world in which zero emission vehicles, public transport and self-driving pods will form one smart integrated and networked transport system.”


He further said that they have invested into the future and an inspiring environment. “We have created the prerequisites that Gaydon can design and engineer the next generations of outstanding cars in highest quality. We have consciously invested with a ‘Destination Zero’ attitude,” he stressed.

According to him, the advanced product creation centre brings design, engineering and production purchasing under one roof for the first time in Jaguar Land Rover’s history. The site is 4,000,000m², the equivalent to almost 480 football pitches.


He stated that the new facility delivers more than 50,000m² of additional world-class innovative workspace which has been designed to encourage collaboration throughout the entire vehicle development process – from sketch to showroom. It includes the new Jaguar design studio, co-locating Jaguar and Land Rover design for the first time.


Gaydon’s new offices are rated in the top 10 per cent of most sustainable non-domestic buildings in the UK. Up to 20 per cent of its energy will come from almost 3,000m² of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, and the remainder from 100 per cent renewable sources. The same glazing technology as the Eden Project has been used to bring natural light into the building wherever possible and make it more energy efficient.


Bringing the outside in, the company has created a natural environment in the expanded facility to promote the personal health, wellbeing and productivity of its employees at Gaydon. A natural landscape is at the heart of the site, creating an ecologically diverse area reusing 80,000m³ of natural soil excavated during the construction process, the equivalent of 30 Olympic sized pools.


Journey to Destination Zero has begun

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover has already taken several significant steps towards its Destination Zero mission. During Thursday’s event, it showcased both latest vehicles and research technologies that will deliver this mission.


From the development of 3D printed ergonomic gloves and sensory steering wheels to upcycling domestic waste to create high quality materials for our vehicles, Jaguar Land Rover is delivering its Destination Zero mission to make societies safer, healthier and the environment cleaner.


Investing in a future that is autonomous, connected, electrified and shared, Jaguar Land Rover has already successfully tested self-driving vehicles on complicated inner-city roads. It is working in collaboration with academia and leading technology companies to deliver relentless innovation across its future vehicles and services. For example, the continuous running of a fleet of all-electric Jaguar I-PACE taxis in Munich gives insights and learning to incorporate into the next generation of Destination Zero vehicles.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

CIG Motors opens GAC showroom in Port-Harcourt



CIG Motors opens GAC showroom in Port-Harcourt


IG Motors Co. Limited, authorised distributors and marketers of GAC range of automobiles, last week, inaugurated the Port-Harcourt showroom in realisation of the company’s cardinal objective of intensifying the brand and getting its services closer to its growing customers across the country’s six geo-political zones.



An internationally recognised and award winning automobile brand, GAC Motors made a debut in the passenger car and Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) segments five years ago, when it launched series of breathtaking Chinese engineered vehicles that apparently increased its share of the keenly competitive Nigeria vehicle market.

Currently adjudged one of the leading Chinese vehicles in Nigeria, GAC seeks to pointedly grow its share of the automobile market, promising to woo oil majors and servicing companies in the Niger Delta region just as the South-South region joins the growing lists of emerging GAC showrooms in Nigeria.



Already, GAC Motors ranks among choice automobiles of the Nigeria Police and other renowned establishments such as the Dangote Enterprise.

Group Managing Director CIG Motors Co. Ltd., Parvir Singh, who gave these hints at the inauguration of the Port-Harcourt showroom said: “The desire to always enhance customers’ experience, while helping vehicle enthusiasts optimize the value of their GAC vehicles influenced the inauguration of the Port-Harcourt showroom.



“We will continue to champion the development of GAC showrooms across the country’s geo-political zones.”

He described GAC range of vehicles as remarkable and superbly engineered automobiles with unprecedented premium features that could turn heads.


Hordes of company executives and representatives of oil companies witnessed the unveiling ceremony of the GAC showroom, where an on-the-sport 10 percent discount was extended to willing customers to initiate purchases.

The GAC director also said that the opening of the Port-Harcourt GAC showroom/service centre would further help customers optimize the value of the brand and make value-driven decisions.


He said: “At GAC Motors, we understand the growing need for customer-dealer relationship and we won’t stop at doinganything possible to make owning and driving GAC vehicles a cinch.”


All the GAC range of passenger cars and sport utility vehicles including the latest GS8 were showcased at the event that drew the applause of visiting admirers.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

New Land Rover Defender dubts




his is the new Land Rover Defender. An icon reimagined for the 21stcentury, it is clever, capable and safe for all the family, and in a category of its own. New Defender is built for adventurous hearts and curious minds, for those who know the value of community and strive to make a difference.



The unmistakable silhouette is familiar yet new. It looks tough and is tough but designed with purpose and engineered to excite. Iconic in name, shape and capability, Defender can be personalised to allow owners to make the most of their world.


Across seven decades of pioneering innovation, Land Rovers have earned a unique place in the hearts of explorers, humanitarian agencies and adventurous families across the world. Proven in the harshest environments on earth, the new Defender maintains this bloodline.



Beside the peerless luxury and refinement of the Range Rover family and the highly capable and versatile Discovery SUVs, new Defender completes the Land Rover dynasty. The 110 is just the start for this family of the most capable and durable 4x4s in the world. It will be swiftly followed by a short wheelbase 90 in 2020.



Driven by a passion and respect for the original, new Defender delivers transformational breadth of capability. Advanced all-terrain technologies redefine adventure for the 21stcentury, remaining true to the pioneering spirit that has been a Land Rover hallmark for 71 years.

Emotionally charged design



A distinctive silhouette makes the new Defender instantly recognisable, with minimal front and rear overhangs providing excellent approach and departure angles. Land Rover’s designers re-envisioned familiar Defender trademarks for the 21st century, giving the new 4×4 a purposeful upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, while retaining the side-hinged rear tailgate and externally-mounted spare wheel that make the original so identifiable.

Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer, Land Rover, said: “We have created the new Defender to ensure it is ready for anything, with a design that has been inspired by the past, not constrained by it. Its elemental grille, sophisticated surfacing and commanding stance give the entire family a modernity and confidence that set it apart, while simultaneously retaining the essential elements that make a Defender so recognisable.”


The stripped-back personality of the original Defender has been embraced inside, where structural elements and fixings usually hidden from view have been exposed, with the emphasis on simplicity and practicality. Innovative features include a dash-mounted gear shifter to accommodate an optional central front ‘jump’ seat, which provides three-abreast seating across the front like early Land Rovers.



As a result, the Defender 110 offers five, six or 5+2 seating configurations, with a loadspace behind the second-row seats of up to 1,075 litres, and as much as 2,380-litres when the second row is folded. The Defender 90 will be able to accommodate six occupants in a vehicle the length of a compact family hatchback.



User-friendly features include practical touches and advanced technological innovations. Durable rubberised flooring shrugs off the spills of daily adventures and once-in-a-lifetime expeditions, providing a brush or wipe clean interior.



The definition of durability



Land Rover’s new purpose-engineered D7x (for extreme) architecture is based on a lightweight aluminium monocoque construction to create the stiffest body structure Land Rover has ever produced. It is three times stiffer than traditional body-on-frame designs, providing perfect foundations for the fully independent air or coil sprung suspension and supports the latest electrified powertrains.


The new Defender has been through more than 62,000 tests for engineering sign-off, while the chassis and body architecture have been engineered to withstand Land Rover’s Extreme Event Test procedure – repeated and sustained impacts, above and beyond the normal standard for SUV and passenger cars.



During development testing, prototype models have covered millions of kilometres across some of the harshest environments on earth, ranging from the 50-degree heat of the desert and sub 40-degree cold of the Arctic to altitudes of 10,000ft in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.



A world-class expert off and on-road



A transformational breadth of capability sets new Defender apart. Permanent all-wheel drive and a twin-speed automatic gearbox, centre differential and optional Active Locking Rear Differential ensure it has all the hardware required to excel in the soft sand of the desert, the freezing tundra of the arctic and everywhere in between.



Configurable Terrain Response debuts on new Defender, allowing experienced off-roaders to fine-tune individual vehicle settings to perfectly suit the conditions, while inexperienced drivers can let the system detect the most appropriate vehicle settings for the terrain, using the intelligent Auto function.



The new body architecture provides ground clearance of 291mm and world-class off-road geometry, giving the 110 approach, breakover and departure angles of 38, 28 and 40 degrees (Off Road height) respectively. Its maximum wading depth of 900mm is supported by a new Wade programme in the Terrain Response 2 system, which ensures drivers can ford deep water with complete confidence.



On dry land, Land Rover’s advanced ClearSight Ground View technology helps drivers take full advantage of Defender’s all-conquering capability by showing the area usually hidden by the bonnet, directly ahead of the front wheels, on the central touchscreen.



As a result, the new Defender redefines breadth of capability, raising the threshold for both off-road ruggedness and on-road comfort. It can negotiate crowded city streets as effortlessly as climbing mountains, crossing deserts and withstanding freezing temperatures. Its carefully honed handling delivers both a rewarding drive and first-class long-haul comfort across all terrains.

21st century technology

New Defender is as technologically advanced as it is durable. It introduces Jaguar Land Rover’s new Pivi Pro infotainment system. The next generation touchscreen is more intuitive and user-friendly, requiring fewer inputs to perform frequently used tasks, while its always-on design guarantees almost instant responses.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director, Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We’ve embraced Defender’s stunning capability and minimalistic, functional interior to reinvent the icon for the 21st century. New Defender gives us the licence to do things differently, to push the boundaries and do the unthinkable, without ever losing the character and authenticity of the original. From the start we had an absolute obsession with functionality beneath the skin, from choosing the right materials through to state of the art connectivity. The result is not only the most capable Land Rover ever made, but also a truly comfortable, modern vehicle that people will love to drive.”

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Jaguar Land Rover develops info tech for safe driving




aguar Land Rover is developing next-generation head-up display technology that could beam real-time safety information in front of the driver, and allow passengers to stream 3D movies direct from their seats as part of a shared, autonomous future.

Engineers are working on a powerful new 3D head-up display to project safety alerts, such as lane departure, hazard detection, satnav directions, and to reduce the effect of poor visibility in poor weather or light conditions. Augmented reality would add the perception of depth to the image by mapping the messages directly onto the road ahead.



Studies conducted in Germany, show that the use of Stereoscopic 3D displays in an automotive setting can improves reaction times on ‘popping-out’ instructions and increases depth judgments while driving.*

In the future, the innovative technology could be used by passengers to watch 3D movies. Head and eye tracking technology would follow the user’s position to ensure they can see 3D pictures without the need for individual screens or shutter glasses worn at the cinema.

In a fully autonomous future, the 3D displays would offer users a personalised experience and allow ride-sharers to independently select their own infotainment. Several passengers sharing a journey would be able to enjoy their own choice of media – including journey details, points of interest or movies – and optimised for where they are seated.



The research – undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at University of Cambridge – is focused on developing an immersive head-up display, which will closely match real-life experience allowing drivers to react more naturally to hazards and prompts.

Valerian Meijering, Human Machine Interface & Head-Up Display Researcher for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Development in virtual and augmented reality is moving really quickly. This consortium takes some of the best technology available and helps us to develop applications suited to the automotive sector. Not only does it provide a much richer experience for customers, but it also forms part of our Destination Zero roadmap; helping us to move towards a safer, more intuitive and smarter future, for everybody.”

Professor Daping Chu, Director of Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors and Director of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics, said: “This programme is at the forefront of development in the virtual reality space – we’re looking at concepts and components which will set the scene for the connected, shared and autonomous cars of the future. CAPE Partners are world-leading players strategically positioned in the value chain network. Their engagement provides a unique opportunity to make a greater impact on society and further enhance the business value of our enterprises.”

The next-generation head-up display research forms part of the development into Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Smart Cabin’ vision: applying technologies which combine to create a personalised space inside the vehicle for driver and passengers with enhanced safety, entertainment and convenience features as part of an autonomous, shared future.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Toyota plans self-driving escort for Olympic torch, marathon




oyota will deploy some 3,700 vehicles and mobility products at next year’s Tokyo Summer Olympics, nearly all of them electrified, including a futuristic self-driving pod car that will escort the Olympic torch and lead the marathon race.

The so-called Concept-i will be a working version of a concept first unveiled in 2017. Toyota said the vehicle will demonstrate Level 4 autonomous driving ability and “agent conversation” technology, which uses artificial intelligence to “understand” and interact with humans.

It was unclear whether the Concept-i will be driving itself during its torch and marathon duties.

Despite its wild exterior, replete with top-to-bottom slashed side windows, a wedge-shaped silhouette and concealed rear tires, the Concept-i still gets a conventional steering wheel.

Toyota’s Olympic plan also encompasses a small fleet of autonomous boxcar-like people movers that will shuttle up to 20 passengers apiece. At least a dozen of these e-Palette runabouts will transfer staff and athletes around the Olympic and Paralympic Village. Toyota will also marshal about 500 of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedans to usher people between sporting venues.

Toyota, a top sponsor of next summer’s Olympic games, fleshed out its plans in a news release on Friday under a mobility for all theme. Japan’s biggest automaker said its Olympic vehicle fleet will have the lowest emissions footprint of any so far, thanks to its reliance on electrification.

Toyota also offered the clearest picture yet of the e-Palette, a concept shown at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The vehicle is pitched as a cornerstone of mobility as a service.

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

Stallion NMN offers enthusiasts Nissan SUV range




tallion NMN, the Nissan sales company has unveiled a sales offer for cutting-edge Nissan SUV range to enable automobile enthusiasts take advantage of its ongoing bargain sales tagged: “The best time to own a brand new Nissan SUV is now.”



Structured in line with the Nissan tagline ‘Innovation that Excites,’ the offer promises limitless access to Nissan SUV range including the Kicks, Qashqai, X-Trail and Patrol at a starting price of only N7,995,000.



The dealership is also assuring intending buyers of Nissan’s ambitious 3-year or 100,000km warranty plus other niceties that could broaden customers’ affections for the Japanese-engineered brand.



Head of Sales and Marketing, Stallion NMN, Amit Sharma, who gave the hint in Lagos said: “Nissan SUV range are great family vehicles packed with full safety features that ensure safe smooth ride – whether you are on the school run or exploring the country.”



Also stressing that the offer is subject to availability, Sharma said Nissan SUVs are uniquely designed for easy drivability and exceptional value for money, yet reassuring on comfortable and spacious interiors that make even the most mundane trips a delight.




He said Nissan has introduced series of technological details in the entire powertrain, chassis systems and platform of its vehicle line-up as well as the SUV range to enhance the lightweight architecture and advanced aerodynamics of Nissan vehicles, which deliver segment-leading efficiency and refinement.



“We believe the Nissan SUV range are drivers’ delight and they surely will lead the market in terms of driving quality, refinement, efficiency and ride handling, and that is why we are introducing this offer to enable more prospective customers switch to Nissan brand of SUV vehicles,” Stallion NMN sales and marketing helmsman quipped.”

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AutoBeat / Auto Trends

World first: Bosch, Daimler set for driverless parking without human supervision




osch and Daimler have reached a milestone on the way to automated driving: the two companies have now obtained approval from the relevant authorities in Baden-Württemberg for their automated parking system in the Mercedes-Benz Museum parking garage in Stuttgart. The automated valet parking service is accessed via a smartphone app and requires no safety driver. This makes it the world’s first fully automated driverless SAE Level 4¹ parking function to be officially approved for everyday use.



“This decision by the authorities shows that innovations like automated valet parking are possible in Germany first,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Driverless driving and parking are important building blocks for tomorrow’s mobility. The automated parking system shows just how far we have already progressed along this development path.”



“This approval from the Baden-Württemberg authorities sets a precedent for obtaining approval in the future for the parking service in parking garages around the world,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, the head of drive technologies and automated driving at Daimler AG. “As a pioneer in automated driving, our project paves the way for automated valet parking to go into mass production in the future.”




The technology behind driverless parking



Drive in to the parking garage, get out, and send the car to a parking space just by tapping on a smartphone screen – automated valet parking has no need for a driver. Once the driver has left the parking garage to go about their business, the car drives itself to an assigned space and parks. Later, the car returns to the drop-off point in exactly the same way. This process relies on the interplay between the intelligent parking garage infrastructure supplied by Bosch and Mercedes-Benz automotive technology. Bosch sensors in the parking garage monitor the driving corridor and its surroundings and provide the information needed to guide the vehicle. The technology in the car converts the commands from the infrastructure into driving maneuvers. This way, cars can even drive themselves up and down ramps to move between stories in the parking garage. If the infrastructure sensors detect an obstacle, the vehicle stops immediately.

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