Super Bowl LIV

Go behind the scenes to see how Porsche's Super Bowl LIV commercial was made

A team of 150 people was use to shoot Porsche's Super Bowl commercial.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Porsche's Super Bowl commercial was half "The Italian Job", half security guard fantasy. As interesting as it was, the behind the scenes footage and stories are nearly just as much so.

The spot was filmed primarily in and around Porsche's headquarters in Zuffenhausen, Germany at the end of November 2019. Most of the 10 vehicles featured in the commercial are part of the Porsche Museum collection in the town including the new all-electric Porsche Taycan.

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"We have a lot of experience preparing historic vehicles for all kinds of operations but driving a 917 through the centre of Stuttgart, at night, was a first even for us," explains Alexander Klein, Head of Vehicle Management and Heritage Experience at the Porsche Museum. "When we travelled to the location in the Black Forest the roads were covered in snow, and stayed that way until the evening before the shoot. Fortunately, we were prepared and had different tyre profiles and compounds with us, especially for the racing cars. We did not make any technical changes to the museum vehicles though."

Locations for the advertisement are easily identifiable to locals of the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen area. The opening cuts of the commercial were filmed inside the museum. The cars zoom around the famous Porsche roundabout in Zuffenhausen and the route taken in the spot moves from Stuttgart, Heidelberg, and Heppenheim to the Schwarzenbachtalsperre dam in the northern Black Forest.

The driving was't left to amateurs. One of the drivers, Harald Müller, held the World Record for drifting, while Porsche factory driver Lars Kern was behind the wheel of the iconic 917 K.

Including the drivers, it took a team of 150 people to make the 2:31 extended cut of the commercial come to to life.

Porsche Super Bowl Commercial 2020 Porsche filmed most of the scenes for the ad around its Germany headquarters building.Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The director of the product was Wayne McClammy, who, at points during filming, was using up to four cameras at the same time and had a Cayenne fitted with a Russian Arm: a roof-mounted camera crane. Arial shots were completed by two drones, including one that has a top speed of 160 km per hour.

The Super Bowl does't have to be the last time you see the ad. Check out the extended cut here.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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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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