In-Car Tech

NissanConnect Services Premium Plus trials extended by three months, free of charge

Nissan has been assisting clients throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Owners of Nissan vehicles with eligible, previously expired NissanConnect® Services Premium Plus trials will be gaining three months of service, complementary.

The free trial was originally offered for a six-month period. It includes safety and security services as well as Automatic Crash Notification, Emergency Call, Connection to Roadside Assistance, and a number of remote services that can be used on the NissanConnect Services mobile app.

NissanConnect Services screen car Drivers can access NissanConnect Services in a variety of ways.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"As people deal with uncertainty and change in the world, we want to give owners support and peace of mind," said Dan Teeter, director, Vehicle Connected Services, Nissan North America, Inc. "Our hope is to bring some much-needed comfort to our customers with this NissanConnect Services trial extension."

Nissan Concierge is also offered for owners of the 2019 Nissan Altima Edition One and 2020 Nissan Titan. The service provides live, 24-hour access to a professionally trained concierge team available to assist owners with a variety of everyday tasks.

While most of the country has been self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nissan Concierge has been assisting clients with a variety of tasks including finding testing stations, identifying modified grocery store hours, assisting with new home workout routines, and finding activities for children, among other tasks.

As the country's businesses begin to open up, Nissan Concierge can help you order takeout from your favorite restaurant, find out which parks and pools are open, and assist with identifying accommodations during your spot of the moment road trip.

The service can be accessed in equipped Nissan vehicles, or while owners are at home by using the NissanConnect Services app for smartphone, smartwatch or voice assistant. Nissan Concierge will be offered on several additional Nissan models for the 2021 model year.

Customers eligible for this offer have been contacted via email and informed that the extension can be activated through June 30.

For additional information on how Nissan is assisting current and future owners, dealers and employees during this challenging time, please visit nissanusa.com/coronavirus.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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2022 Hyundai Kona N revealed, but the automaker isn't telling all just yet.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai is giving its highest performance Kona the same transmission that you'll find in the Veloster N. For enthusiasts, that's a very good thing.

The compact crossover is more and more being seen as the American successor to the hot hatch. The Mazda CX-30 Turbo recently piqued enthusiasm among true drivers who can't afford supercars and need something more practical to hoon around in.

Now, the Kona N is poised to deliver similar driving dynamics and performance. Hyundai has slowly been leaking out details about the 2022 Hyundai Kona N over the last year and the revelation that it will have an eight-speed wet-type dual-clutch transmission, known as N DCT, is just the latest tidbit to come to light.

2022 Hyundai Kona Hyundai has upgraded its wet DCT mechanics in recent years making it hard-wearing.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

2022 Hyundai Kona

The Kona N DCT is based on a modified version of its in-house-developed 8DCT. It's had enhancements in recent years that have made it more durable and ready to handle the demands of high-performance vehicles. The N DCT will be standard on the Kona.

Hyundai will pair the N DCT with a 276-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injected engine that has been tuned especially for the model. The transmission control unit is calibrated for N enthusiasts.

The wet-type DCT is structurally similar to a manual transmission but, instead of the typical dry-type gearbox, it uses two electric oil pumps that are designed to reduce friction between the moving parts, cooling the clutch, and allowing greater torque.

Other features of the N DCT include N Grin Shift, N Power Shift and N Track Sense Shift functionality. These settings have dedicated shift-logic management. N Power Shift engages when the car accelerates with more than 90-percent throttle. N Grin Shift maximizes engine and DCT performance for 20 seconds, providing a boost. N Track Sense optimized adaptive shift for the race track.

The N Grin Control System has five different drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport, N and Custom. Unlike with a traditional automatic transmission vehicle, in Hyundai vehicles with N DCT, the driver can choose to turn off the creep function. When the creep function is turned "off" and the car is in gear D, the car does not automatically roll forward when the brake pedal is released.

Drivers can switch to manual mode for more control over shift points, utilizing the paddle shifters or gear knob. In manual mode, the downshift memory logic will avoid downshifting during high RPM operation. Memory functionality remembers the command and executes only when the acceptable RPM is reached.

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