GM’s “Ultra Cruise” Aims to Take on Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Option

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 19:10

The future for General Motors includes hands-free driving everywhere, a top executive said in regards to company plans to expand the capabilities of its Super Cruise system. The hands-free driving feature currently works on pre-mapped highways.

Taking hands-free driving to the streets is the next logical evolution of the technology and GM has a big team working on it. The setup is referred to as Ultra Cruise, was formally announced by GM’s Doug Parks at the Citi 2020 Car of the Future Symposium.

“Ultra Cruise’s domain would essentially be all driving, all the time,” Parks said. “Ultra Cruise would be all [that] Super Cruise [offers], plus neighborhoods, cities, subdivisions.” Unfortunately, Parks was light on details, such as when Ultra Cruise will reach production vehicles, as well as which vehicles will receive the tech first.

Ultra Cruise Sets Its Sights on Tesla’s Autopilot

The name Ultra Cruise is an internal moniker for now, but we think GM ought to make it the system’s official name. Unlike Tesla’s Autopilot, the name Ultra Cruise does not imply the system is capable of taking over driving duties entirely.

In fact, Parks was careful to point out Ultra Cruise is not a fully autonomous driving system and the driver must be ready to grab the wheel at times. “We’re not saying that Ultra Cruise will be fully autonomous 100 percent of the time, although that could be one of the endgames,” he said.

This pits Ultra Cruise against Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Capability package that adds a more advanced version of Autopilot capable of steering the car on highway on-ramps and off-ramps and park itself. The setup also includes a feature called Summon that allows the car to drive itself to a user’s location. Tesla claims the package will eventually gain features such as the ability to operate on city streets and respond to traffic signals.

 Super Cruise Rollout

Super Cruise, which was first introduced on the 2018 Cadillac CT6 sedan, is being enhanced and rolled out across more vehicles in the Cadillac lineup later this year, starting with the  2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans, as well as the 2021 Escalade. The updated Chevrolet Bolt will be the first non-Cadillac to get the system that GM plans to offer on 22 of its vehicles by 2023.

The current Super Cruise system is geofenced, and it works on more than 200,000 miles of highway across North America, with GM continuing to expand the feature’s geofenced area. Unlike other automaker’s semi-autonomous driving systems, Super Cruise users do not need to have their hands on the wheel. That said, users’ eyes must remain directed straight ahead. A camera monitors those behind the wheel of a Super Cruise-equipped vehicle to ensure users are prepared to take back control of the car if necessary.

Enhancements for 2021 model-year Cadillacs equipped with Super Cruise include better steering and speed control, improved cameras that are less likely to be blinded by the sun, and the system’s newfound ability to navigate freeway interchanges. Super Cruise is also now able to change lanes and execute passes on clear roads when a user activates the car’s turn signal.

The post GM’s “Ultra Cruise” Aims to Take on Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Option appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Arcadis and Tibbalds submit planning for 5,000 homes

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 18:42
Arcadis and Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design have submitted a planning application for the infrastructure and final 5,000 homes of a 10,000-home Homes England development in Northstowe, Cambridgeshire.
Categories: Property

CBRE joins 150 companies asking suppliers to report environmental data

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 18:42
CBRE has joined over 150 companies in a global initiative to ask suppliers for environmental data.
Categories: Property

Molto Bello: A Visual History of Alfa Romeo’s Iconic Triangular “Trefoil” Grille

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 18:05

You probably know that quadrifoglio means four-leaf clover, and that when said good-luck charm appears on the flanks of an Alfa Romeo, it recalls the brand’s motorsports heritage and portends dynamic brilliance. But did you know Alfa refers to its trademark three-element grille design as a “trefoil,” which essentially means three-leaf clover? Let’s take a historic look back at what is probably the next most iconic grille after BMW‘s twin kidneys.

1947 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Freccia D’Oro

The classic trefoil design featuring the central three-sided shield as we know it today first appeared on the newly designed postwar 6C 2500 cars that integrated the front fenders with the grille surround. Cars like the Freccia D’Oro (“golden arrow”) expressed the three “leaves” as a vertical shield flanked by two horizontal grilles.

1950 Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlinetta

With the advent of unibody construction that incorporated the front of the car as part of the structure, a common face became applicable across numerous body styles. This was especially true of the 1900 series, which Alfa endeavored to design in such a way as to allow coachbuilders to construct special variants. For example, Touring built the sporty 1900 Sprint coupe, Pinin Farina built an elegant cabriolet and coupe, and Zagato built a series of SSZ Coupes—most of which shared the same general trefoil façade. On these, the horizontal elements look a bit like a moustache.

1954 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint

Pictured at the top of the post, this car features the vertical “Scudetto” flanked by much larger and toothier horizontal grilles that give the car’s face the appearance of grimacing.

1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia

These light, compact, powerful compact four-door executive cars were lauded in their day for dynamic brilliance. Extensive wind-tunnel tuning gave this boxy-looking car an impressive 0.34 drag coefficient, which was quite low for the era. In this iteration, the Scudetto is simply set in a horizontal grille, kind of stretching the whole trefoil concept.

1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto

Here the trefoil “graduated” to a low, sleek design comprised of a chrome scudetto flanked by horizontal bumper openings in one of its most beautiful and iconic iterations.

1972 Alfa Romeo Alfetta

Named for the winning Type 158/159 racing cars that snagged the first two Formula 1 titles in 1950 and 1951, this Type 116 sedan and fastback coupe featured a front engine, rear transaxle powertrain and a tubular deDion rear axle setup that was praised for its even weight distribution and low polar moment of inertia. Here again, the scudetto takes prominence and there’s not much in the way of a true trefoil in evidence.

1987 Alfa Romeo 164

This Italo-Scandinavian collaboration saw a common vehicle architecture, dubbed Type Four, serving duty under completely unique skins as a Saab 9000, Fiat Chroma, Lancia Thema, and the Alfa Romeo 164. Wedgy design language yielded an impressive 0.30 drag coefficient, and the trefoil grille paid some homage to the early 6C 2500 with horizontal elements nearly the same size as the scudetto.

1997 Alfa Romeo 156

A much more rounded aesthetic cast the trefoil as a truly focal element of the car’s design, with the shield and horizontal grilles initiating character lines that flowed up the hood and into the main bodywork.

2003 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

Virtually all engine breathing and cooling happens via the trefoil elements on the Maserati-derived Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione. The scudetto shield forms the dominant focal point of the entire face, establishing the hood shut lines.

2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio GTA and Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Today the central shield still dominates and identifies the modern Alfa Romeo, with a bold diamond-mesh grille pattern in all three openings, which still handle all the cooling and breathing needs. In an era when mainstream car buyers struggle to distinguish many mainstream brands, Alfa Romeo’s trefoil face and certainly its sporting Quadrifoglio models certainly help its expressive vehicles stand out from the crowd. Hopefully this will keep Alfa Romeo “in clover” for years to come.

The post Molto Bello: A Visual History of Alfa Romeo’s Iconic Triangular “Trefoil” Grille appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Stock market summary: 20 May

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 17:50
Great Portland Estates saw a 1.22% drop in share price on the announcement of its full year results.
Categories: Property

Watch Big 1970s Cars Decimate Their Smaller Siblings in Vintage Crash Test Footage

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 17:00

You might remember that a while back, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crashed a few modern cars into their vintage counterparts to show, in part, how far crash safety had progressed. But what stuck in our minds wasn’t how intact the passenger cells of the modern cars remained, but rather how mangled the old cars were. We’re thinking in particular of the ’59 Bel Air slamming into a 2009 Malibu, and the Nissan Tsuru (an early 1990s Sentra sold in Mexico until 2017) crashing into a modern Sentra. Yowzers.

How about two 1970s-vintage cars crashing into each other? And make one of them full-sized in the 1970s sense of the term—aircraft carriers, basically—and the other the relevant company’s compact. We’re talking about the Ford Pinto, Chevrolet Vega, and AMC Gremlin here—three vehicles without much of a reputation for safety. In the video below, each compact smacks into its bigger stablemate: A Ford Galaxie, Chevrolet Impala, and AMC Ambassador, respectively.

No one will be shocked that the results are gruesome, right? It’s a dumpster fire, basically. And—spoiler alert—the Pinto doesn’t explode. But there’s knowing in your mind that vintage cars aren’t nearly as safe as a modern one, and there’s the searing reality of seeing these cars ball up with your own eyes.

That said, there’s a clear disparity in the results. As one staffer put it, “The Gremlin does OK. Vega? Dead. Pinto? Double dead.” The Pinto fares especially poorly. It’s hard to see perfectly from this vintage footage, but you’d swear the front of the Galaxie actually intrudes all the way into the passenger compartment. That crash dummy had a bad day, for sure. The Vega is also obliterated, although the fact that the Impala punts it backwards a few feet probably mitigated further destruction.

The Gremlin, on the other hand, takes a solid shot to the nose in stride, with the passenger compartment apparently maintaining decent integrity. Did the Gremlin’s engine end up in the dummy’s lap? From this footage, it’s not clear, but from what we can see, the Gremlin is the clear winner—if you can call any of these a winner. Stick around at the end to see how a 1991 Buick Park Avenue fares against a Geo Storm in an offset frontal crash some twenty years later.

The post Watch Big 1970s Cars Decimate Their Smaller Siblings in Vintage Crash Test Footage appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2021 minivans compared, best car chase scenes, GM's 600-mile EV forecast: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 16:30
Family matters: How the 2021 minivans compare on paper We take a look at what's coming for 2021 in minivans, including the new hybrid Toyota Sienna. 2020 Nissan Frontier mid-size pickup starts at $27,885 for new V-6, but old body It's been a long time coming. The updated 2020 Nissan Frontier comes with an updated price of $27,885 that effectively...
Categories: Property

Long income outperforms ‘mainstream’ market, says CBRE

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 16:22
Long-income funds are outperforming the “mainstream” commercial property market, according to data from CBRE.
Categories: Property

Intu Metrocentre lenders braced for restructuring clash

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 16:05
Intu Metrocentre’s lenders are set to appoint advisers in a potential move to negotiate a financial restructuring with the struggling shopping centre’s owners.
Categories: Property

Treasury likely to ban debt-for-yield council property investment

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 16:04
The Treasury is likely to ban local authorities from using taxpayer-funded debt to invest in properties purely for yield.
Categories: Property

Garlin Asset Management to use Yardi software

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 16:01
Garlin Asset Management will use a range of proptech solutions by software developer Yardi for its real estate operations.
Categories: Property

2022 GMC Hummer Truck and SUV Getting Jeep-Like Removable Roof Panels

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:48

Hummer just teased a brief photo and video showing the open-air roof of the forthcoming 1,000-hp GMC-badged Hummer EV, with no further explanation or clarification as to how this roof works, what it looks like with the panels in place, or even whether this roof belongs to the promised pickup or the promised SUV model. Such a roof could be applied to either—or, hopefully, both, just as Jeep’s Wrangler 4×4 and Wrangler-esque Gladiator pickup both offer topless options.

From the look of it, the GMC Hummer’s open roof design involves removable panels. There is a traditional “basket handle” structure where the B-pillars would be—the roof pillars just behind the front seats—that allows for complete removal of the roof over the front seats, though we can’t tell if this roof section will be comprised of one panel or two. Two would obviously be a lot easier to store in the back, though it would present formidable weather-sealing challenges; in Hummer’s imagery released so far, the central protrusions from the windshield header and B-pillar basket handle could provide latch points for two removable panels that also would clamp into the vehicle structure at their front and rear edges. This would be similar to Jeep’s Freedom Top (hardtop), which uses two removable panels over the front seats held in by clamps and hooks at the windshield header and roll bar.

Then again, the two outboard clamping points might suggest a single panel that engages slots at the rear and then clamps at the front. While we’ve yet to see either the GMC Hummer pickup or the SUV, we suppose at least the truck model would have the space in back to store such a large, single roof piece, so that it could be removed on the go.

Oh, and what about the roof over the rear seat? It clearly appears to be divided by a structural T-bar spanning from the B-pillar hoop to the C-pillar structure, with the receivers for locating pins and clamping locations clearly in view. Second-row T-tops? Sounds cool to us.

It’s a fair bet that solid roof panels will be standard, or at least included with the open-roof option, should a fixed roof come standard. But tinted glass panels will be an irresistible optional upgrade or aftermarket accessory item. Who knows, maybe the Hummer accessories folks will even work out temporary cloth “bikini” style covers to serve in a rainy pinch to allow off-road alfresco roving without the bulky rigid roof panels consuming precious cargo space. Regardless, the revived Hummer name appears to be getting serious attention within the halls of General Motors, where designers and engineers clearly are aiming to maintain the brand’s legendary off-road capability and adventurous personality. A Hummer, even an electric one, can not be a poser, it seems.

Stay tuned for more details as we approach the fall 2021 launch of the GMC Hummer EV “super truck.” And be sure to peruse the rest of our fevered coverage of the Hummer’s return:

2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup: What We Know
2022 GMC Hummer EV Getting Pickup, SUV Versions—Both With 1,000 HP
2022 GMC Hummer EV to Get Fully Independent Air Suspension

The post 2022 GMC Hummer Truck and SUV Getting Jeep-Like Removable Roof Panels appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Merger to create largest independent surveying practice in Stockport

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:43
Property companies Buckley Commercial and Fairhurst Estates have merged to become Fairhurst Buckley.
Categories: Property

South African investor offers share swap with Hammerson

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:28
South African property investor Lighthouse Capital has offered owners of Hammerson shares the option to swap them for new stock in Lighthouse.
Categories: Property

Acura Just Set a Thirst Trap With This 2021 TLX Rear-End Teaser

Motortrend News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 15:00

We finally have a date for when Acura will show us the all-new TLX: Thursday, May 28, at 10:00 am PST.  Bookmark this link if you want to watch the live reveal. Additionally, Acura was kind enough to give us our best look yet at the new TLX, even if it is just one dark image. According to Acura, the new TLX will “be the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sport sedan in Acura history, with the Type S being the model’s performance pinnacle.”

That’s a big claim. Granted, the TLX doesn’t have the lineage of something like the BMW M3.

The lone teaser image gives us a pretty good look at the new TLX Type S’s rear end, and to our eyes, it looks focused, sporty, and ready to take the fight to competitors like the Lexus IS and BMW 3-Series. The teaser image also gives us a good look at the car’s quad exhaust tips, wide stance, and low roofline.

Additionally, the picture includes the TLX’s badging, which all but confirms that the high-performance Type S trim will include all-wheel drive (Super Handling All Wheel Drive in Acura parlance). The system delivers power from a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine to all four of the sedan’s wheels.

The TLX’s design will pull heavily from the Acura’s Precision and Type S concepts and promises to reveal a new design direction for the Japanese luxury brand.

The post Acura Just Set a Thirst Trap With This 2021 TLX Rear-End Teaser appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2021 Audi A6

The Car Connection News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 13:00
The 2021 Audi A6 isn’t a crossover SUV. It’s a sedan, and that makes it a refreshing choice among mid-size luxury cars. The A6 is available as a sedan or wagon; with 4-, 6-, or 8-cylinder power; and can focus on practical luxury or wild power. It is mechanically related to the A7 Sportback, which may be considered to be yet another...
Categories: Property

Amazon to pre-let former Toys ‘R’ Us in Croydon

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:29
Amazon has signed a pre-let for a new storage and distribution centre at a former Toys ‘R’ Us store in Croydon, south London.
Categories: Property

GPE secures 39,970 sq ft pre-let at 1 Newman Street

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:10
Great Portland Estates has pre-let three floors at 1 Newman Street and 70/88 Oxford Street in London’s West End to Exane BNP Paribas.
Categories: Property

Supreme Court win for retailers in £430m ATM business rates case

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 12:00
The UK supreme court has ruled that ATMs inside and outside stores should not be assessed separately for business rates in a decision that will cost local authorities £430m in tax rebates.
Categories: Property

BoKlok appoints modular housing partner

Property Week News Feed - Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:34
BoKlok, the housing joint venture between Skanska and IKEA, has appointed modular housing manufacturer TopHat to help deliver its first UK homes.
Categories: Property