Concours de Zoom

Check out the cars that celebrities showed off during the Concours de Zoom

Mercedes-Benz hosted the first Concours de Zoom on May 1.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

One week ago, Mercedes-Benz USA hosted the first Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom, via video conferencing app Zoom. During the event, eight celebrities showed off the rides in their garage. From classic to modern, there was something for everyone.

See them all by scrolling down. You can watch the whole event at the bottom of this article.

Ludacris - Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe

Ludacris brought the energy and starpower to the "Concours de Zoom" while he showed off his Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe saying, "This car is my savior during times like this because it's so therapeutic to get into something like it...I am the true, fast and furious….that's why I am on this call and blessed to be a part of this family." He also talked about giving back in his hometown saying, "Man, I have literally been trying to help as many people as I possibly can...we're giving groceries to 50 different families in the Atlanta area."

Jay Leno - 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 & 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600

Jay Leno gave viewers a tour of the impressive Mercedes-Benz section of his garage, showing off some of his favorite vehicles of all-time including his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that he called a "factory hot rod" and his 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600. Leno referred to the 600 as the "ultimate luxury car" and noted that John Lennon, Elvis & Jack Nicholson also owned one in that era as it was "the car to have".

Leno also talked about being in high school and college working at a Mercedes-Benz dealership, admitting that it was a great feeling to own a car like the 6.3 now because when he was younger it seemed unattainable and it was a thrill for him to just be around the cars and drive them when delivering a new car to a customer.

Martha Stewart - 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS 550

Martha Stewart highlighted her 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLS 550 saying, "This Mercedes is such a safe, practical and comfortable way to drive. It's so important to find comfort in your car; sometimes I'm in mine seven days a week!" Martha has a long commute to the office and relies on that time to be productive, catching up on calls and emails.

Rickie Fowler - Mercedes-Benz S 63

Rickie Fowler was excited to show off his Mercedes-Benz S 63 and said, "It's mine and my wife's favorite to drive." He shared he always feels safe in a Mercedes-Benz and loves the speed and performance. Rickie also spoke about some of his experiences from the Mercedes-Benz AMG Driving Academy. He shared, "For me to get behind the wheel and to be able to get that adrenaline pumping like I used to on a dirt bike….something I definitely needed. To be able to go into corners hard, get on the brakes, it's been a great time. Whenever I get on the track, it's a good way to let loose."

Hannah Elliot - 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL

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Hannah Elliot showed off her 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SL. Hannah said she loves her vintage car because of the personality and character. Hannah shared, "The thing that I really like about this car is the fact that it has so much style. You can arrive anywhere in the world...a fancy restaurant, a coffee shop, a hotel lounge, a club and you will always look cool pulling up in this car...it's almost a 40 year old car, but it just has a real sense of style and class."

Madelaine Petsch - Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan

Madelaine Petsch boasted about the fact that her Mercedes-Benz A220 Sedan parallel parks for her at the touch of a button. "LA is very hard to navigate...this car parallel parks for me! The fact that I can press a button and my car will parallel park for me is still exciting a year into having this car." Madelaine also commented on the red interior saying, "On Riverdale, I'm a character who wears a lot of red. I thought it would be fun to have a little hint of Cheryl in my car."

Mike Kunz - Mercedes- Benz 300 SL Gullwing

Mike Kunz from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center highlighted his favorite car, the Mercedes- Benz 300 SL Gullwing, while sharing some of the unique features and interesting historical aspects of the vehicle. He shared, "This is a 1956 car. This car could go 160 miles an hour….This car is a 300 SL coupe, but it's named for its doors...this stems back to the fact that this is a derivative of a race car...so it had a frame underneath that didn't allow a conventional door…like many race cars, they often don't have doors. You jump in the car, so they created a Gullwing type door."

Watch the entire show here:


The Mercedes-Benz 2020 Concours de Zoom www.youtube.com

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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Honda is working with Verizon on self-driving cars technology.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

The Mcity campus was designed to be a proving ground for new technologies. Honda and Verizon are utilizing it as such as they partner to explore how Verizon's 5G Ultra Wideband and 5G Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) can be used to ensure quick and reliable communication between road infrastructure, vehicles, and pedestrians.

The 5G technology leverages cloud technology to deliver lower latency, a large amount of bandwidth, and improved communication. This communication includes the way that vehicles interact with ther cars, traffic lights, pedestrians and emergency vehicles to improve threat detection and avoid accidents when seconds matter most. That's where the "V2" in acronyms like "V2V" (vehicle-to-vehicle) and "V2X" (vehicle- to-everything).

Honda and Verizon Test How 5G Enhances Safety for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles www.youtube.com

Honda has been working since 2017 to develop a technology that will help to create a collision-free society. The technology, called Safe Swarm, uses V2X communication to enable vehicles to communicate with other road users and share key information such as location, speed, and vehicle sensor data.

There are some obstacles, not the least of which is the need to outfit each vehicle with onboard artificial intelligence capabilities. The use of 5G helps move the AI capabilities from the vehicle to the MEC, reducing the need for AI onboard each vehicle.

"The ability to move computing power to the edge of our 5G network is an essential building block for autonomous and connected vehicles, helping cars to communicate with each other in near real-time and with sensors and cameras installed in streets and traffic lights," said Sanyogita Shamsunder, vice president of Technology Development and 5G Labs at Verizon. "When you consider that roughly 42,000 people were killed in car accidents last year and 94% of accidents are caused by human error, our new technologies including 5G and MEC can help drivers 'see' things before the human eye can register and react helping to prevent collisions and save lives."

Three safety scenarios have been explored as part of the testing:

  • Pedestrian Scenario - A pedestrian is crossing a street at an intersection. An approaching driver cannot see the pedestrian due to a building obstructing the view. Smart cameras mounted in the intersection relay information to MEC using the 5G network. Verizon's MEC and V2X software platforms detect the pedestrian and vehicle and determine the precise location of road users assisted by Verizon's Hyper Precise Location services. A visual warning message is then sent alerting the driver of the potential danger.
  • Emergency Vehicle Warning Scenari - A driver cannot see an approaching emergency vehicle and cannot hear its siren due to the high volume of in-vehicle audio. Verizon's MEC and V2X software receive a safety message from the emergency vehicle and send a warning message to nearby vehicles. The driver receives a visual warning.
  • Red Light Runner Scenario - A vehicle fails to stop at a red light. Using data from the smart cameras, MEC and V2X software detect the vehicle and send a red-light-runner visual warning message to other vehicles approaching the intersection.

You can watch the video of Honda and Verizon's Mcity tests at http://honda.us/5GResearch.

Honda isn't the only company exploring what 5G communication can offer. Pirelli has installed the tech in its tires and BMW recently updated its My BMW app to make it compatible with the new technology. Audi is working on similar technology out on the road in Virginia and Georgia.

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