Such a Tease

Next-gen Rolls-Royce Ghost will debut later this year

Rolls-Royce is teasing the looks of the next-gen ghost ahead of its debut.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Car

Though much of the world has pressed pause on forward development over the last four months, the team at Rolls-Royce did not. They continued moving ahead with the redesign of the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös detailed the progress in a new open letter.

“As we reached the final development stages of this our new product, we were faced with the coronavirus pandemic. This invisible enemy cast a grave and stubborn shadow on the world. At Rolls-Royce, we kept our spirits up. With the utmost focus on the wellbeing of our people at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, and around the world, we carefully and responsibly continued work on finalizing this remarkable motor car. The experience reminded us that Rolls-Royce, with the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy at its prow, has endured with resilience and continues to serve as a symbol of ambition and endeavor.“

The new Ghost comes 116 years after the Goodwood Ghost, the most successful motor car in the marque's history. It is five years in the making. It’s not just an upgraded BMW. The new Ghost has been designed, engineered, and crafted from the ground up at the Rolls-Royce Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

With the redesign, the company promises a minimalist yet complex take on the model. The teaser image shows a refined exterior in keeping with the body lines of the new Phantom and Cullinan.

The bespoke automaker has already begun teasing some of the innovations in the model. A few weeks ago they detailed how the new Rolls-Royce Micro Environment Purification System allows the Ghost to have the cleanest micro environment available in a motor car. The system uses Nanofleece filtration technology to produce "unprecedented levels of purity". The result, Rolls-Royce says, complements the design and materials of the model to create a "sense of oasis".

Rolls-Royce has committed to unveiling the new Ghost virtually later this year followed by a number of client events.

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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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New electric SUV

Cadillac kicks off Lyriq EV production

The new SUV is being built in Spring Hill, TN.

General Motors

General Motors is moving more intentionally than most in its goal to become an electric automaker. New GM EVs will start to arrive in rapid succession over the next few years, and even luxury brand Cadillac is getting in on the action. The Lyriq is Cadillac's electric SUV that features sharp styling, an upscale interior, and solid electric range. Today, Cadillac announced that production of the new SUV has begun.

Spring Hill LYRIQ Sizzle Reelyoutu.be

The SUV is being built at GM's Spring Hill, TN plant, where its Saturn brand operated for several years. The facility for a $2 billion overhaul to prepare for production, and the GM team finished the project ahead of schedule. The facility currently produces the Cadillac XT5 and XT6, along with the GMC Acadia. General Motors notes that the factory overhaul took place in the midst of vehicle production, and says that the team pulled off Lyriq prep while still working on the factory's three existing products.

Reservations for the electrified Caddy sold out almost immediately. The SUV is expected to have an electric driving range of more than 400 miles and it will ride on GM's new Ultium architecture, which underpins many of the auto giant's new electric vehicles. Pricing is expected to start around $60,000 when the Cadillac goes on sale this year as a 2023 model.

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