Celebrity Test Drive

Let 'Hamilton' star Daveed Diggs help you virtually test drive a 2021 Infiniti QX80

Actor Daveed Diggs accepts the award onstage for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his work in Hamilton during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 in New York City.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now. Instead of having to leave our homes and head to a dealerships to test drive the 2021 Infiniti QX80, we can have someone do it for us. That someone just so happens to be Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, artist, activist, writer and producer Daveed Diggs.

The actor, who originated the role of the Marquis de Lafayette in the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" will be live streaming his experience behind the wheel of the QX80 starting October 13. According to Infiniti, Viewers will have a "driver's seat view" from wherever they are in the world.

Infiniti Live Test DriveDaveed David will showcase the Infiniti QX80 as part of the Infiniti Live Test Drive.Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The expirience is designed to be an "immersive, intimate event" with viewers able to send in questions to Diggs about anything, from projects that he is working on, to the QX80 test drive experience, to life in general.

"Instagram Live offers a more personal, real-time interaction with audiences that's more important now than ever before," Diggs said. "I'm excited to partner with INFINITI on this unique concept that will allow me to connect with fans in a brand-new way."

Diggs currently stars in TNT's "Snowpiercer," Apple's "Central Park," Showtime's "The Good Lord Bird" and will next be seen in Pixar's "Soul". Diggs also co-wrote, produced, and starred in the acclaimed 2018 film "Blindspotting," earning him an Independent Spirit Award nomination. The film will become a Starz spinoff series that Diggs is co-writing and executive producing. Meanwhile, his lauded rap group, Clipping, will release their latest LP on Oct. 23.

"At INFINITI, we believe that luxury should be lived in, and this Live Test Drive is a great example of that philosophy," said INFINITI Americas Group Vice President Jeff Pope. "Daveed's multi-faceted yet relatable personality is an ideal match for this first-of-its-kind Instagram Live from INFINITI. We hope to connect with more consumers than ever, before our Winter Sales Event begins, thanks to this effort."

While INFINITI can't offer up Daveed Diggs for actual test drives at its retailer, the company's Infiniti Now program provides a new way for people to shop for a car on their terms – scheduling test drives online and having test drive vehicles delivered by participating retailers.

More information on how to join the Luxury Live Test Drive with Daveed Diggs can be found here.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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