Honda unveils 2016 Accord in Silicon Valley

24 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Honda Accord refresh adds Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.

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.

Highlighting the growing importance of Silicon Valley to the car industry, Honda on Friday debuted the 2016 Accord at its research facility in Mountain View. The front and rear bumpers have been refined, there’s a new grille and wheels and LED tail lights and an aluminum hood are now standard on all models. 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. One of those launch partners was Honda and despite the manufacturer having promised to support the platform from the beginning, it has yet to release any car model with support for CarPlay. Typically, car makers use an auto show or other industry event to showcase new models, but Honda said it wanted to unveil it in the Bay Area to highlight the role that the Valley is playing in the auto world as well as the fact that the redesigned sedan is the first Honda model to include Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay.

Honda unveiled a midlife update for its midsize Accord in Silicon Valley on Thursday, a lightly freshened model that will play nice with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 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.

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.” Last November, while dropping in on the west coast’s largest auto show, I attended the Los Angeles Connectivity Conference, and was just a bit blown away (and mildly concerned) as to what was shared there. The systems, available on EX, EX-L and Touring models, allows users to access many of their smartphone’s features and apps through a new 7-inch touchscreen in the car’s dashboard. For model year 2016, the reigning best-selling car in California also will receive Honda Sensing™, the comprehensive suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies that helps reduce driver workload and avoid or mitigate the severity of a vehicle collision. Just weeks before, a specially equipped 2014 Acura RLX had completed a hands-off 8 mile loop around the city of Detroit in demonstration of technology that would some day relieve the human occupant of the car of driving duties.

There’s a larger, 7.7-inch screen above the Display Audio screen, with steering wheel-mounted controls that allow access to things like audio information, the rear-view camera, and side LaneWatch camera. Today in Michigan, we find a massive, full-blown uninhabited city-driving course, complete with buildings, sidewalks, streets, crosswalks and traffic lights – built exclusively for the testing of Autonomous automotive driving and active accident avoidance systems.

The Accord navigation system, like the Pilot before it, runs a customized version of the operating system. “I don’t think Honda wants to differentiate on Pandora,” Honda senior program director Nick Sugimoto said at a May conference, adding that most of the apps that a consumer wants to run in the car already exist for Android. Now, I was sitting in a 2 day multiple speaker conference where experts from city government, high tech and the automotive industry incubator of near-future driverless hub traffic interface, and car-train-like commuter lanes, remotely controlled by a yet unknown authority. Being ‘old school’ to the 10th degree, I wasn’t willing to give up control of my car or light truck anytime soon, that just wasn’t going to happen! We reviewed CarPlay on an aftermarket Pioneer head unit earlier late last year and noted that while CarPlay has promise, it has more than its fair share of bugs.

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. On the base end there’s a 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated inline-four, available with either a continuously variable transmission or a six-speed manual ‘box. The Future Technology section included a demonstration of the ability for sensor fusion technology – the combination of disparate sensor data – to accurately detect and predict bicyclist and pedestrian movement from a significant distance.

Cities like Los Angeles, ground-zero for Honda, Toyota and other U.S. ( that’s right ) manufactured automotive brands, is a case study for autonomous driving. 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. 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). 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.

And, that’s where you’ll find the current and future talent that will continue to evolve Honda hard-drive and software driven personal connectivity, voice command, touch screen component control, information search, and yes – self driving Autonomous technologies. While all models feature restyled wheels, the Accord Sedan (Sport and Touring trim) and Coupe (Touring, new for Cupe) get new, larger 19-inch wheels and tires. 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. Honda Sensing includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and is available as a standalone option on all trims with the exception of Touring, where Honda Sensing is included as standard equipment. 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. 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.

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