Holiday Season

Carol of the (Alert) Bells: 2020 Nissan Leaf's sound effects create their own Christmas music

Nissan has added its own holiday-themed twist to typical pedestrian alert sounds.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Jingle, jingle, jingle. It's not just Santa Claus that you hear. There's a new Christmas carol out this holiday season and it features the sounds of the 2020 Nissan Leaf.

For the 2020 model year, the Leaf received several updates that including warning sounds. The two pedestrian safety sounds received updates in tone and volume. For the U.S. market, the all-electric Nissan Leaf makes a constant tone (known as "Canto," derived from the Latin verb for "I sing") for forward movement under 18.6 mph and a pulsing chime when reversing.

The volume of these sounds was updated to meet the standards of the U.S. electric vehicle regulations that go into effect Sept. 1, 2020. An additional speaker has been added to the engine compartment to aid in the compliance.

The creative team at Urban Green Lab put those sounds to use, combining them with "Jingle Bells" and "Angels We Have Heard on High" to create a unique holiday melody. Take a listen.

Also new for the 2020 model year, the Nissan Leaf comes with Nissan's Safety Shield 360 technology, a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies.

The 2020 Nissan Leaf will arrive at dealerships in the coming weeks.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The 2021 Lamborghini Urus has six drive modes for on- and off-road driving.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is a whole lot of race car packed into one SUV. It's dynamic and engaging and immensely practical, but not very fuel efficient. It can conquer city streets, trails, ice, and tracks. The Urus may be more car than you realize.

That starts under the hood where the Urus packs at 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 640 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. That propels the two-row SUV from zero to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. Its top speed is 190 mph.

Lamborghini engineers have developed six different driving modes plus EGO, a fully customizable drive experience, for the Urus. Drivers are able to select the way their vehicle's rigidity with selections enabling everything from sporty and aggressive riding to a comfortable cruise, steering, and traction.

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Anima in Italian means "soul" but in Lamborghini speak, the word is short for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management. Using the Anima selector in the center console to the left side of the electronic shifter of the Urus, drivers can select from Strada, Sport, Corsa, Sabbia, Terra, and Neve drive modes. Three of the modes are for on-road driving and three are for off-road experiences.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Neve

This mode is designed for winter weather driving conditions. Slick, slippery, and snowy conditions that require extra traction tech are this mode's speciality.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sabbia

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When you're heading off-road and require more ground clearance, the Sabbia drive mode is here to help. It's especially effective on sand dunes like those in Nazarè, Portugal, where the above picture was taken.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sport

There's comfortable cruising and then there's an engaging drive in the country.This drive mode is for the latter. It is ready and eager for the Urus to traverse uphills, downhills, and turns, giving the driver the agility they need to tackle the terrain.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Corsa

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is track-ready in Corsa mode. The drive mode is the most performance oriented of the bunch. It works to minimize roll to deliver a thoroughly engaging drive experience.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Strada

Use your Lamborghini as a daily runaround? The Lamborghini Urus has a drive mode for that. Strada ups the comfort factor of the ride and enhances the height of the Urus at speed.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Terra

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When drivers are ready to turn off-road, it's time to turn on the Terra drive mode. Drivers looking to spend more time on the trail will want to switch up their performance tires for something more substantial.

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