Volkswagen: The company unveiled a concept car called the I.D., which is expected to go on sale in 2020, VW projects that it will cost about as much as a nicely equipped Volkswagen Golf diesel, about $30,000. The I.D. is expected to have a driving range somewhere between 250 and 375 miles, according to VW. Renault: The French automaker debuted a redesigned version of its Zoe electric car that it says can go 300 kilometers, or about 186 miles, on a single charge. That puts it in the same league as cars like the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla's Model 3. Prices for the Zoe start at about $29,000, but the battery has to be leased separately. Opel: General Motor's European division, Opel, revealed the Ampera-e. This is essentially Opel's version of the Chevrolet Bolt -- an affordable plug-in car that can go 238 miles on a charge, according to the U.S. EPA. The Ampera-e will even be built in the same Michigan factory as the Bolt. The Ampera-e is expected to go into production next spring, but no pricing has been announced.
Consumers are more aware of self-driving cars, but slightly less interested in riding in them, according to two surveys conducted after a fatal crash of a Tesla equipped with self-driving technology. An online survey of more than 1,500 Americans in mid-July by AlixPartners found that overall consumer interest in self-driving dropped about three percentage points after news of the May 7 Tesla crash was reported on June 30, according to results released on Friday.
A software update to the Tesla Model S will make the electric car the second quickest vehicle in the world, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 2.4 seconds. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the update on Twitter, saying the update will be made available for the Tesla Model S P100D next month. The 0.1-second improvement moves the Tesla Model S alongside Ferrari’s LaFerrari in terms of acceleration. Only the Porsche 918 Spyder is capable of reaching 60 mph in less time.
Al Tayer: Vehicles are fitted with several components of self-driving technologies HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, and Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, has launched the operation of 50 Tesla electric vehicles to the limo fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation. HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) attended the launch of these vehicles which are fitted with several components of self-driving techniques. The operation of Tesla electric vehicles is a manifestation of the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. It also replicates the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative of HH, and the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy aimed at converting 25% of total journeys into driverless journeys by 2030 and is part of RTA’s expeditious efforts to provide self-driving transit means by going through technological tests designed for autonomous transit means.
The BMW i8 is already one of the most futuristic-looking cars on the road, but it’s about to get more innovative inside, too. BMW has just announced a brand-new tech collaboration with IBM, which will see the tech giant’s Watson AI tested in four of BMW’s hybrid sports cars. The project will see BMW engineers and IBM researchers work together in Germany, as both IBM and BMW have research facilities in Munich. The project aims to make driving assistance and information more personalised and intuitive – and Watson looks to be the perfect candidate for the job. IBM’s powerful AI should make the car’s existing systems much easier to use, and BMW has already given a few examples of how it could work. The i8’s manual will be by Watson, so drivers will be able to enquire about vehicle information in natural language, rather than select phrases. In the same way, BMW and IBM want the Watson-fitted i8 to provide updates on everything from fuel levels to traffic updates in a simple, easy way.