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Change.org petition gathering support to name Chevrolet Suburban 'National Vehicle of Texas'

Chevrolet has started a campaign urging people to sign a Change.org petition showing support for the Suburban to be named "National Vehicle of Texas."

Image courtesy of Chevrolet

In 1986, Texas Monthly declared the Chevrolet Suburban the "National Car of Texas," saying that it was, "the most Texas vehicle there is… It's big, it's strong, it's fun, it doesn't put on airs, but it doesn't keep you from putting on a few." In the time since, the Suburban has undergone many iterations, but still maintains its original focus as being a capable people-hauler.

A new Change.org petition started by Chevrolet seeks to bring attention to the Suburban and gain support to name the vehicle the "National Vehicle of Texas." Why not the State Vehicle of Texas? That designation was given to the chuckwagon in 2005.

"Honestly, the petition is not intended to result in any official proclamations," Monte Doran, Manager, Chevrolet Truck Communications said. "Instead, the petition is a way to celebrate the long-lasting connection between Texans and the Suburban." This year, the Suburban nameplate turns 85 years old.

According to Chevrolet, more Suburbans are sold in Texas than in the lower 25 states combined. Five of the top 10 Suburban dealerships in the country are in Texas.

"Suburbans are a familiar sight in the parking lot of the Argyle Club in San Antonio, which is not surprising since it's hard to drive a block in surrounding Alamo Heights without seeing one," said Doran. "At the end of a school day in North Dallas, Suburbans are lined up outside Hockaday and St. Mark's. On weekday mornings Memorial Drive in Houston is a processional of Suburbans hauling children to private schools."

They're not just for families. "Around the Capitol in Austin, Suburbans are so popular with the influence-peddling crowd that they are known as lobby wagons. A single lobbyist can take as many as eight legislators to lunch, while tinted windows all around … ensure the anonymity of his passengers."

Suburbans translate into life beyond the city and suburbs in Texas. You can find them on boat ramps, on rugged ranch roads, hunting and fishing locations, and camping areas. "Last year when the hunting season opened at the venerable St. Charles Bay hunting club in Rockport, there were 12 vehicles in the parking lot and every one of them was a Suburban," Doran (rightly) bragged.

Every Suburban sold in the world is built in Arlington at Arlington Assembly Plant.

The next-generation of the Suburban will be revealed on December 10 along side the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe. Both SUVs will be 2021 models.

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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A new Texas-themed version of the Jeep Gladiator is on the way.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep has brought the Gladiator's off-road chops to the trails of the Lone Star State. The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail is another of the the traditional of special edition vehicles for Texans who occupy the nation's largest truck market. It's the first time Jeep has offered a unique-to-Texas truck.

The new model builds on the Gladiator Sport S trim adding 17-inch Mid-Gloss Back Aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch mud-terrain tires, four-wheel drive, standard side steps, and the Trailer Tow Group. The Gladiator Texas Trail has a unique hood and decals that feature the year 1836 in the graphic as a nod to the year of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It also wears a black hardtop, black leather seats embossed with the Texas Trail graphic and comes equipped with the Technology Group and Convenience Group packages.

2021 Jeep Gl The vehicle is ready to be fully accessorized to the buyer's wishes.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

2021 Jeep Gl

The Texas-themed model features the buyer's choice of Jeep's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine that's rated at 260 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque or the tried and true 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 power plant, which achieves 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Jeep has badged each of the models with Trail Rated status. To achieve this status, Jeep vehicles must pass extreme off-road capability challenges.

The Gladiator Texas Trail is available in 10 colors: black, white, Snazzberry, Granite Crystal, Sarge, Nacho, Hydro Blue, Firecracker Red, Billet Silver, and Sting-Gray. Jeep recently introduced a Snazzberry-colored Wrangler.

Each Gladiator comes with the Jeep Wave customer service program, which includes three years of maintenance, 24/7 phone/online support, trip interruption/first-day loaner coverage, and VIP access to Jeep events.

The 2021 Jeep Gladiator Texas Trail has a starting MSRP of $40,435 (plus $1,495 destination) and is currently available at Texas dealers.

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