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McLaren Hyper-GT prototype reaches 250 mph more than 30 times during testing

The McLaren Hyper-GT prototype has reached impressive speed during testing.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited

McLaren's chief test driver, Kenny Brack, has taken the McLaren Hyper-GT prototype up to 250 mph at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The Speedtail prototype has undergone its final high-speed testing as part of its development and validation process. The car, nicknamed "XP2" reached that 250 mph maximum speed over 30 times on the space shuttle landing runway at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds. Other test facilities where the feat was achieved include Idiada in Spain and Papenburg in Germany.

McLaren Hyper-GT prototype McLaren tested the vehicle on NASA's space shuttle landing strip in Florida.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited

"It's fitting that the Speedtail's high-speed test program concluded with multiple maximum-speed runs at a location so strongly associated with pushing the boundaries of extreme performance and engineering excellence," said Mike Flewitt, CEO, McLaren Automotive. "The Speedtail is a truly extraordinary car that epitomizes McLaren's pioneering spirit and perfectly illustrates our determination to continue to set new benchmarks for supercar and hypercar performance."

XP2 is 17-feet long and made of carbon fiber, It's a three-seater and has the lowest aerodynamic drag coefficient of any vehicle McLaren has ever produced. The lower the drag coefficient, the better the vehicle is able to slip through the air, allowing it to be more efficient with its power usage.

McLaren Hyper-GT prototype The nose of the model is familiar to McLaren brand enthusiasts.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited

The model is powered by a gas-electric hybrid powertrain that delivers more horsepower and torque than any McLaren road-worthy vehicle to date. It can get from zero to 186 mph in less than 13 seconds thanks to its 1,055 horsepower and 848 pound-feet of torque.

The car's battery pack has a density of 5.2 kW/kg making it the best power-to-weight ratio of any automotive high voltage battery system. Like a traditional hybrid powertrain, the batteries recharge as the vehicle is driven. However, the battery can also be trickle charged via a wireless charging pad. This pad is standard equipment with the production model and allows the car to stay charged even when it's not in use.

McLaren Hyper-GT prototype The model is 17 feet in length.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited

The first customer-ready models of the 106 McLaren Speedtails that will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, England. They will be assembled to order and deliveries will be scheduled starting in February 2020.

All of the Speedtails have already been sold. The asking price? Right around $2.1 million each.

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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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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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