Concours de Zoom

Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom car show featuring Ludacris, Jay Leno, Rickie Fowler

Celebrities will be showing off their vehicles

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The inaugural Mercedes-Benz Concours de Zoom will go live on Friday, May 1 at 5:00 pm EST (2:00 pm PST) and feature iconic vehicles and their high-profile owners. The event is free to attend and watch.

Notable participants include Jay Leno, Rickie Fowler, Martha Stewart, Madelaine Petsch, Ludacris, Hannah Elliott, and Cole Walliser. Each participant will showcase their favorite Mercedes-Benz vehicle, which regularly reside in their garage, and discuss what they love about it.

Among the vehicles to be showcased are a 908 chain-drive Mercedes with a Benz Aero engine (nicknamed Rabbit-the-First), a 1956 300 SL Gullwing, a 1988 560 SL and a 1991 G 300 D. In addition, dynamic new models that will also be highlighted include the A 220, the GLS 550, the AMG S 63 Coupe, the AMG G 63 and the AMG GT C Coupe.

Many auto shows have already been cancelled for the year, including the Geneva Motor Show. The New York International Auto Show has been postponed to late August. Organizers have canceled most of the activities surrounding Monterey Car Week, including the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

These cancellations have put a pinch on automakers who traditionally use these events to debut new product.

Viewers can click the following link and will be admitted to the Zoom webinar once the event begins: https://zoom.us/j/99721462795. To participate you'll need to download the Zoom app for your computer, tablet, or smartphone, which can be done at Zoom's website.

Jay Leno Mercedes-Benz SLRHost Jay Leno stands by his Mercedes SLR during the Robb Report's "Best of the Best" at Hangar Eight on August 28, 2004 in Santa Monica, California. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz USA will make a donation to the American Red Cross on behalf of the participants.

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New performance sedan

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 on the way with F1 tech

The new C 43 gets engine tech straight from Formula 1.

Mercedes-AMG

It's about time we started considering Mercedes-AMG's 43-level cars in some of the same conversations that include the 53- and 63-level monsters. Today, Mercedes-AMG announced the 2023 C 43 Sedan. But even though it's the "entry-level" C-Class performance car, AMG gave it some serious upgrades, including standard rear-wheel steering, a mild-hybrid system, and plenty of power.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanRear-wheel steering is standard, as is adaptive suspension. Mercedes-AMG

The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 402 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque - up from last year's 385 ponies. It's paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and rear-biased all-wheel drive. Mercedes says the powertrain is strong enough to propel the C43 to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.6 seconds.

The four-cylinder is the first production engine with an electric exhaust-gas turbocharger. The tech came directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, who won the 2021 Constructor's Championship. Where traditional turbochargers have to build boost over a short period of time, an electric motor spins the turbo to start before allowing the exhaust gases to take over. The system is driven by the car's 48-volt mild-hybrid system and should reduce turbo lag and improve responsiveness.

2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 SedanThe car's electric turbocharger is a first in a production car. Mercedes-AMG

Five driving modes are available, including Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. The drive modes alter throttle and steering response, transmission shift points, exhaust sound, and settings for the adaptive dampers. Shockingly, the car comes standard with rear-wheel steering with an angle of up to 2.5 degrees. The system works at speeds of up to 37 mph, and can drastically reduce the C 43's turning radius while improving turn-in and handling.

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Toyota patented a dog-walking robot.

Toyota

Pets are one of life's great pleasures, but there's no disputing that they're a ton of work. Cleaning, vet visits, and walks are just the beginning, so it's always interesting to see the products that promise to make pet ownership more manageable. Toyota, the world's largest automaker, filed a patent for a self-driving dog-walking robot that looks nearly as advanced as many cars today.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotLogic helps the bot determine when to clean up a mess. Toyota

The main structure appears to be a platform with various attachments, and though the intention is for the machine to walk the dog for you, there's space for a person to ride. The vehicle is completely autonomous and does not require a person to guide it on walks. Sensors keep the robot from running over the dog and maintain speed.The patent paperwork includes several decision trees and logic for how the vehicle responds in various dog walking scenarios. One uses the vehicle's sensors to gauge the dog's distance from the robot. If the dog wanders too far, the machine can lock the leash and adjust its speed to maintain proper distance. It's the same sort of "thinking" done by autonomous cars on the road, just adjusted for scooping poop and leash management.

Speaking of number-two, dogs tend to poop when they walk, so Toyota had to prepare the robot for some poop scooping. In its decision-making process, Toyota added logic that asks, "Is it detected that the dog has pooped?" If the answer is yes, the machine is then instructed to "Execute collection process." A camera helps determine when the pooping has happened so the machine can do its job. If the dog pees, there's a water sprayer with an onboard tank to rinse the ground.

If your dog is anything like some of ours, it's likely you don't make through more than a few walks without some antics. Our lazy pups frequently get tired of walking and decide it's time for a mid-sidewalk nap, but Toyota's dog walker isn't going to tolerate any of that. The platform features paw sensors that can sense the dog's position and even let it do some driving.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotThe bot will scoop poop and wash away pee during a walk.

Toyota's patent filing is fun to think about and imagine what could be, but it's still just a patent. The automaker could turn its idea into a line of puppy walkers sold at dealers across the country or file it away as a thought exercise, never to be seen again. Either way, Toyota's got an exciting year ahead of it with the GR Corolla release and bZ4X hitting the streets, and there are rumors of a Crown SUV coming to the automaker's lineup.

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