In-Car Tech

Audi Q8s with C-V2X tech communicating with Virginia Dept. of Transportation signs, lights

Audi Q8s are utilizing new technology to help study how technology can make roads safer.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG
The future is multi-way communication. Not just human or computer, but multi-channel communication for businesses and transportation, among others. There are many players in the space, many working cooperatively to test and deploy these technologies.

Audi, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and Qualcomm are working with American Tower Corporation, Commsignia, and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to deploy cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication technology. It's the result of an effort between Audi, VDOT, and Qualcomm Technologies aimed at making Virginia's roadways safer and reducing the number of road hazards and fatalities.

Audi Q8 The Audi Q8 shows information from road hazards on the car's driver information screen.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

VTTI and V2X solutions provider Commsignia are using the 5.9 GHz wireless communications band that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed to allocate for C-V2X enhanced surface transportation safety to deploy the tech.

The collective has given several use cases for the technology. In work zones, the tech can offer greater awareness for drivers who can "receive messages through low-latency direct communications" while maintenance personnel who can also receive messages and warnings that a vehicle is approaching using a C-V2X-enabled vest.

In the case of traffic lights, VDOT's signal controllers are broadcasting signal status information through roadside infrastructure provided by Commsignia. That information supplements Audi's Traffic Light Information service, which is part of the MIB 3 infotainment system in the Audi Q8 testers.

"We expect neutral host models and shared roadside unit enhanced infrastructure to play a key role in the deployment of C-V2X in the Virginia Connected Corridors, a connected vehicle environment in Northern Virginia," said Ed Knapp, CTO, American Tower. "We are pleased to be working with industry-leading organizations to identify ways to accelerate C-V2X technology adoption and 5G edge infrastructure at scale. Widespread adoption will deliver on the vision of intelligent roadways and intersections for enhanced safety and connectivity while also improving the environment and overall quality of life."

"The deployment of C-V2X on the Virginia Smart Road Corridor allows a new generation of vehicles capable of communicating not just through cellular towers but also directly with roadside infrastructure and vulnerable road users," said Pom Malhotra, director, Connected Services, Audi of America. "Today's milestone will allow Audi to accelerate the deployment of innovative use cases that have the potential to increase driver confidence on the road by providing warning – and in the future, take autonomous action – when sensing an impending collision or even a traffic rule violation."

"We are proud of the work we've done with Audi of America, VDOT, American Tower Corporation, VTTI and Commsignia to not only showcase momentum and value of C-V2X to communities and stakeholders, but to also innovate on deployments such as these to continue opening paths to widespread adoption," said Jim Misener, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The Virginia deployment is a significant milestone, serving as a successful proof point showing public and private organizations working together to apply C-V2X to achieve transformative safety and mobility benefit."

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Lexus has one of the best reputations as a brand, according to new research.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Reputation.com has ranked North America's automotive brands. Each brand was scored, with the industry average coming in at 594, the highest of any industry Reputation.com measures. However, it's not all sunshine and roses.

The industry's average dropped from February 2020's score of 603. Reputation.com says that the lower average is driven by a decrease in review volume due to Google suspending reviews for weeks in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the health crisis, Reputation.com found that a dealership's valet service is the top new driver of positive sentiment while dealership hygiene is the key driver of negative sentiment. Overall, price-related complains constitute the second-highest factor driving negative sentiment, behind service.

Nissan retained its ranking as the top dog with its Reputation Score nearly the same today as it was in February. Mitsubishi had the highest increase over the February rankings (up 54 points) while Cadillac's score dropped the most (down 45 points).

Tesla had a hard go of it. While consumers tend to like their Tesla cars, the company has the lowest rate for responding to negative reviews and lowest engagement scores, as well as worst for pricing and speed of service.

Here's a look at the brand rankings, from worst to first.

No. 32 - Genesis

2020 Genesis G70 Photo courtesy of Genesis Motors

Reputation Score: 366
Sentiment Score: 65%
Visibility Score: 24%
Engagement Score: 61%

No. 31 - Cadillac

2020 Cadillac CT6 Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Reputation Score: 504
Sentiment Score: 74%
Visibility Score: 36%
Engagement Score: 80%

No. 30 - Tesla

Tesla Model S

Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Reputation Score: 520
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 40%
Engagement Score: 4%

No. 29 - Jaguar

2019 Jaguar I-PACE

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Reputation Score: 542
Sentiment Score: 74%
Visibility Score: 43%
Engagement Score: 57%

No. 28 - Mazda

2020 Mazda CX-5 Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Reputation Score: 549
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 51%
Engagement Score: 64%

No. 27 - Volvo

2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

Reputation Score: 560
Sentiment Score: 74%
Visibility Score: 43%
Engagement Score: 57%

No. 26 - Fiat

2020 Fiat 500L Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Reputation Score: 578
Sentiment Score: 66%
Visibility Score: 57%
Engagement Score: 65%

No. 25 - Land Rover

2020 Land Rover Defender Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Reputation Score: 588
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 49%
Engagement Score: 71%

No. 24 - Mitsubishi

2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors America

Reputation Score: 593
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 52%
Engagement Score: 61%

No. 23 - Volkswagen

2022 Volkswagen Taos

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Reputation Score: 596
Sentiment Score: 69%
Visibility Score: 54%
Engagement Score: 66%

No. 22 (tie) - Ram

2020 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Reputation Score: 601
Sentiment Score: 70%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 63%

No. 22 (tie) - Chrysler

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Reputation Score: 601
Sentiment Score: 70%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 63%

No. 20 - Jeep

2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Reputation Score: 602
Sentiment Score: 70%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 63%

No. 19 - Honda

2021 Honda Ridgeline

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Reputation Score: 603
Sentiment Score: 71%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 63%

No. 18 - Kia

2021 Kia K5 Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Reputation Score: 604
Sentiment Score: 69%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 63%

No. 17 - Porsche

2021 Porsche 911 Targa Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

Reputation Score: 612
Sentiment Score: 78%
Visibility Score: 48%
Engagement Score: 70%

No. 16 - GMC

2020 GMC Terrain Photo courtesy of GMC

Reputation Score: 614
Sentiment Score: 74%
Visibility Score: 52%
Engagement Score: 68%

No. 15 - Dodge

2020 Dodge Challenger

Photo courtesy of Dodge

Reputation Score: 615
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 64%

No. 14 - Chevrolet

2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet​

Reputation Score: 616
Sentiment Score: 73%
Visibility Score: 53%
Engagement Score: 69%

No. 13 - Infiniti

2021 Infiniti Q50 Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Reputation Score: 617
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 54%
Engagement Score: 70%

No. 12 - Audi

Audi E-Tron Sportback Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Reputation Score: 625
Sentiment Score: 73%
Visibility Score: 56%
Engagement Score: 71%

No. 11 - Hyundai

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Reputation Score: 626
Sentiment Score: 73%
Visibility Score: 59%
Engagement Score: 66%

No. 10 - MINI

2020 MIIN Cooper Photo courtesy of MINI

Reputation Score: 630
Sentiment Score: 79%
Visibility Score: 50%
Engagement Score: 68%

No. 9 - Ford

2021 Ford Ranger Lariat Tremor Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Reputation Score: 631
Sentiment Score: 73%
Visibility Score: 59%
Engagement Score: 68%

No. 8 - Mercedes-Benz

2020 Mercedes-AMG C63 S

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Reputation Score: 633
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 59%
Engagement Score: 69%

No. 7 - Toyota

2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Reputation Score: 633
Sentiment Score: 71%
Visibility Score: 62%
Engagement Score: 74%

No. 6 - BMW

2021 BMW M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe Photo courtesy of BMW

Reputation Score: 654
Sentiment Score: 75%
Visibility Score: 61%
Engagement Score: 73%

No. 5 - Lincoln

Lincoln Aviator Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Co.

Reputation Score: 658
Sentiment Score: 73%
Visibility Score: 63%
Engagement Score: 71%

No. 4 - Acura

2021 Acura TLX

Photo courtesy of Acura

Reputation Score: 666
Sentiment Score: 78%
Visibility Score: 57%
Engagement Score: 71%

No. 3 - Subaru

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Reputation Score: 669
Sentiment Score: 75%
Visibility Score: 65%
Engagement Score: 78%

No. 2 - Lexus

2021 Lexus RX Black Line Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Reputation Score: 673
Sentiment Score: 77%
Visibility Score: 63%
Engagement Score: 77%

No. 1 - Nissan

2021 Nissan Rogue

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Reputation Score: 681
Sentiment Score: 72%
Visibility Score: 71%
Engagement Score: 79%

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Pininfarina is set to begin delivers of its Battista hypercard soon.

Photo courtesy of Pininfarina

The Pininfarina Residenza at-home electric vehicle charging point may be the most exclusive wall box charger in the world. The exclusive home charger is available to buyers of its 1,900-horsepower Pininfarina Battista.

The box was designed in partnership with Green Motion and is badged with the Automobili Pininfarina name. It has up to 7.2 kilowatts of energy flow in North America.

The design of the wall box was inspired by the lines of the Battista. It features a painted cover finished in the same color the owner has selected for their pure electric, Italian luxury hyper GT. The box is constructed of recycled and organic materials.

Pininfarina Battista Pininfarina promises 1,900-horsepower Battista electric hypercar deliveries will begin soon. Photo courtesy of Pininfarina

For North American customers, the Residenza wall box features a tethered Type 1 cable (Mode 3) which includes an integrated cable management system which automatically gathers and rolls the lead into the box.

Each Battista is powered by a 120-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. The pack can be charged by the wall charger in six hours. The top-up provides 310 miles of range (WLTP).

Pininfarina has announced a partnership with ChargePoint for charging outside the home. ChargePoint's network has approximately 115,000 places to charge in North American and Europe, as well as 133,000 charging spots through roaming integrations with other charging network providers.

Using a 180kW DC-charging system, owners will be able to charge their Battista from 20 percent to 80 percent in just 25 minutes.

Battista owners receive five years of unlimited public charging at no extra cost with their purchase.

"Our clients will love the thrill of Battista's extreme electrified performance, yet they also need to enjoy living with this advanced technology," said Automobili Pininfarina Chief Product and Engineering Officer Paolo Dellacha. "For that reason we have ensured there are a comprehensive number of public charging points available to them, made possible through our collaboration with ChargePoint.

"At the same time, a large proportion of the Battista's charging will be done at home and our exclusive wall box design provides owners with a bespoke solution, finished to their exact taste."

The Residenza wall box may be activated through a dedicated app, which allows owners to remotely schedule the charging of their Battista and monitor its charging status. The app also enables owners to view the charging history and is integrated with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for enhanced convenience.

Owners use their Battista keyfob or app to link to ChargePoint network chargers. Each fob contains a secure RFID chip that can be used to complete a charge purchase without any additional charging cards required.

The Pininfarina Battista is priced at over $2 million.

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