Honda unveils 2016 Accord in Silicon Valley

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Accord Is The First Honda To Use Android Auto.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. At an event in Silicon Valley today, Honda revealed that the 2016 Honda Accord will be the first of its models to sport Android Auto, bringing the connected platform to both sedan and coupe models of the car.

The automaker celebrated the opening of its beefed-up research and development facility in Mountain View, CA Thurday, where it will explore the kinds of technologies that are changing the way we drive and interact with our vehicles. Honda also announced a new open innovation R&D initiative, Honda Xcelerator, which will provide resources to breakthrough technology innovators to help rapidly develop prototypes with the potential to transform the automotive experience.

It will also have Honda Sensing, the company’s name for its suite of safety and driver-assisting technology that gives the car semi-autonomous capabilities, such as lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control that adjusts to the speed of traffic. “Where else to introduce the most technologically advanced midsize sedan, the 2016 Accord, than in Silicon Valley?” John Mendel, Honda’s top sales executive in the U.S., said in a statement. It integrates features that would be useful while driving such as navigation with some others that connect to the smartphone, such as messaging or calling or even music playback, in an interface that would be easily visible at a glance and with touchscreen controls that would be as easy to press.

Honda’s Silicon Valley operation, which was first established in 2000, is charged with researching and prototyping game-changing innovations and harnessing new ideas and technology. Earlier this month, new Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo, signaled that he was putting advances in technology ahead of aggressive sales targets, the Journal reported. The Tokyo-based company led Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan Motor Co. in U.S. sales for the first half by less than 0.2 percentage point of market share, 753,001 to 736,483, according to researcher Autodata Corp. “The real value is reducing collisions and fatalities,” he told reporters. “We hope to cut in half the number of collisions involving our vehicles by 2030 and to completely eliminate collisions by 2050.”

Current areas of focus include connected mobility, novel human-machine interfaces, supporting app developers through initiatives like Honda Developer Studio and computer science research for vehicle intelligence. Mr Hachigo had said that Honda will develop technologies on its own as much as possible but is open to considering cooperation with other auto makers if there are benefits. This is certainly a great step forward from Honda’s last flirtation with Android, in which it bypassed Android Auto for a custom in-dash system built on Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Silicon Valley engineers also spearhead the company’s working relationship with Silicon Valley-based technology companies. “As an industry, we are on the verge of some major transformational changes brought on by the convergence of what have been, to this point, largely disparate technology disciplines,” said Honda R&D Americas President, Frank Paluch. “Honda will embrace and help lead this convergence.

Since it was announced last year, very few cars have been spotted using this system, this year’s models include the Hyundai Sonata and VW Polo and the Chevrolet Cruze for next year is also compatible with Android Auto, but even then, it’s not available in every country. This is actually not the first attempt of the company to use Android, as previous navigation systems used in the Accord and the Pilot were based on this platform, but as Honda has no expertise in building computers like they do building automobiles, they are letting the experts equip their cars with this new approach. The program offers funding and “Honda mentors” for proof-of-concept prototyping, and for some, an opportunity to pitch new ideas to Honda’s global businesses. The features brought by Android Auto will be more dedicated to integrating the smartphone into the driving experience and include services like Google Maps and Google Now.

Other changes of the car include some redesigned elements and use of more LED lighting, so it looks more like a piece of technology, mirroring the new software experience. That includes a collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, and lane departure warning, among other features.

In front is a more sharply creased and intricately structured bumper fascia with outside edges that tuck into intake-like meshed areas that house new LED fog lights (Sport trim and above). Expanding the open innovation theme, Honda announced the upcoming release of a remote API for the Honda UNI-CUB, a unique personal mobility device that features Honda’s original balance control technology and an omni-directional driving wheel system.

While all models feature restyled wheels, the Accord Sedan (Sport and Touring trim) and Coupe (Touring, new for Coupe) get new, larger 19-inch wheels and tires. HRA has the capability of “complete product creation” – developing all-new products, starting from market and technology research and design styling through engineering design, prototype fabrication and testing, local parts procurement, and support for mass production preparation. All models, Coupe and Sedan, feature the expanded use of LED lighting – LED taillights for all models, LED headlights for the new Touring Coupe, and LED daytime running lights (DRLs) for Sport and above trims. With major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, HRA is engaged in the development and testing of Honda and Acura automobiles, and Honda power sports and power equipment products, and is also taking a leading role in the advancement of leading-edge safety, driver assistive and environmental technologies. All 2016 Accords also can now be equipped with Honda Sensing™, among the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies in the class.

The intuitive and easy-to-use capacitive touchscreen lets users swipe, tap and pinch—just like on a tablet or smartphone—to control the vehicle’s audio system, display settings and other advanced features. Android Auto™ was designed to give drivers a simple, intuitive way through touch and voice to minimize the potential for distraction so the driver can stay focused on the road. To take full advantage of these new systems and features, the 2016 Accord’s new 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen is paired with an upper 7.7-inch high-resolution display screen and steering wheel-mounted controls. The upper screen can display audio settings, turn-by-turn directions, time and trip information, LaneWatch™ and Rearview Camera displays, incoming calls, SMS text messages when stopped, and parking sensor alerts. The Accord will continue to be offered with two advanced Honda engines: a direct-injected (DI) 2.4-liter inline i-VTEC™ 4-cylinder and a 3.5-liter VTEC™ V-6 that is the most powerful engine offered in a Honda sedan to date.

Available transmissions include a sporty and fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the 4-cylinder engines, unique 6-speed manuals for the 4-cylinder and V-6 engines, and a 6-speed automatic for V-6 models.

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