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KBB Names 2020 Kia Telluride on Best Family Cars List

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With all the sour news going on, it’s nice to know that there are some beams of light here and there. Although the auto industry is putting a pause on things to help stop the spread of COVID-19, automobile reviewers and publications don’t have to slow down in the digital age. Recently, the well-known name Kelley Blue Book finished putting together some lists, their usual “Best of” for each car segment, and that includes family cars. It doesn’t seem like anyone can get enough of the large SUV from Kia Motors, the 2020 Kia Telluride, recently winning the Automobile All-Stars award, the “Triple Crown” of Automobile Awards, and the 2020 MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year (held by the Midwest Automotive Media Association). Doesn’t take a genius to guess that Kelley Blue Book also put the 2020 Kia Telluride on their list of the “12 Best Family Cars”.

A 3-row SUV with a lot of possibilities, the Kia Telluride is the new vehicle for active families who are always on-the-go and in need of the extra space. Kelley Blue Book was sure to focus on the number one reason the Kia Telluride makes for a great family car – safety. Along with amazing car warranties, Kia Motors is all about keeping passengers safe, and their latest vehicles come with an assortment of safety features and more advanced safety options. Standard in all 2020 Kia Telluride models is the Kia’s Drive Wise package, an assortment of safety systems to help keep rides in the SUV incident-free.

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Mitsubishi Electric Enhances LiDAR Tech

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Mitsubishi Electric, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC), is a large part of all the cool technology Mitsubishi Motors puts into their vehicles and is continuing to design technology that will greatly benefit the automaker for years to come. During the last two Consumer Electronic Shows, Mitsubishi Electric showed up with plenty of self-driving tech, concepts, and demonstrations. The 2020 CES focused mainly on mobility solutions and the recent contract between Maas Global Oy and MMC. Since 2017, Mitsubishi Electric has been developing autonomous technology, and over the last few years, has continued to advance this tech. The newest system is called the MEMS LiDAR solution.

A little review, LIDAR systems are what many self-driving vehicles use to scan the world around them. Through the use of lasers that illuminate objects, vehicles, and pedestrians, and then reflects that data back to the LiDAR. Through the use of mirrors rotated by motors to capture the light reflected back to the LiDAR, the system is then able to use the data to create three-dimensional recreations of its surrounding environments in real time. Some systems are advanced enough to create entire 3D maps, whereas others mainly develop a grid of objects and their range.

Mitsubishi Electric is taking this kind of technology a step further through the use of a micro-electromechanical system (MEMS). Via the incorporation of a LiDAR system and a dual-axis (horizontal and vertical) MEMS mirror, an extra-wide horizontal scanning angle has been created to accurately detect the shapes and distances of objects ahead of the vehicle. This leads to better scanning of vehicles ahead, oncoming vehicles, pedestrians crossing the road, traffic lights, traffic signs, and roadside obstacles.

This new system is not only lightweight in design but is much easier to mass produce. Unlike conventional LiDAR systems that require large mirrors to maximize light collection and create a wide scanning angle for an accurate representation of information surrounding the vehicle, Mitsubishi Electric’s new MEMS LiDAR is small, measuring 7mm by 5mm, and made from a silicon substrate using semiconductor-processing technology. Going forward, Mitsubishi Electric aims to also achieve a larger vertical scanning angle to allow the detection of vehicles and pedestrians in close proximity.

Whether or not this technology has already been put to work in the Mitsubishi Electric xAUTO is unclear, but we do know how well this self-driving concept operates. During the 46th Tokyo Motor Show in 2019, the xAUTO doesn’t require the latest and most high-definition maps available on one’s mobile device to navigate its way around the world. This concept vehicle can actually operate its way through residential areas, private roads, farm roads, etc. without over-the-air maps. Sounds like a system that can create its own high-definition local map.

We may also see this kind of technology popping up in the mobile solutions that MMC and MaaS Global Oy are working towards, one of which will be a competing self-driving ride-hailing service. Through the utilization of a camera system, congestion predictions, and real-time crowd prediction, consumers will be able to hail an autonomous ride from anywhere that’s designed to pick them up from virtually anywhere and take them where they need to go. It’s going to be a crazy world when the autonomous car race picks up.

Stay up to date with all the latest technology coming from Mitsubishi Motors when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Mitsubishi Electric
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Mitsubishi Motors Ranks Third in J.D. Power 2020 CSI Study

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Alliance Ventures, the $1 billion investment plan funded by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, may have seen better days, but let’s be honest. Mitsubishi Motors doesn’t seem to be the brand to be slowing down anytime soon. If anything, Mitsubishi Motors is an auto brand that consumers have been showing some love in recent years, with sales for the plug-in hybrid vehicles on the rise, leading to the production of new concepts like the Mi-TECH. New vehicles and technology aren’t like the only thing consumers like Mitsubishi for though. Recently, J.D. Power finished analyzing all the data for the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) StudySM, and Mitsubishi Motors ranked high for the second year-in-a-row amongst mass-market brands.

What is the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study?

If this study doesn’t sound familiar, it’s not like it’s the kind of thing one would hear in the news unless an avid reader of automotive news and journalism. J.D. Power & Associates should be a familiar name though, an American-based data analytics and consumer intelligence company that reports on millions of used cars & trucks each year. Every year, many studies are also conducted, all relying on consumer survey responses to get an unbiased result. Recently, the J.D. Power U.S. CSI Study was completed.

Out of all the surveys sent, 71,286 responses were collected from verified registered owners and lessees of 2017 to 2019 model-year vehicles. Every year, the surveys are sent out to owners and lessees of 1- to 5-year old vehicles are surveyed and pose questions in relation to their most recent dealership service experience. Everything from the service to the comfort of a waiting room is looked at, but the major factors measured are Service Initiation, Vehicle Pick-Up, Service Facility, Service Quality, and Service Advisor. The most recent study took place from August 2019 through December, and these are the results.

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Why Has Alliance Ventures Slowed Down?

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Last week, we were joking but also praising how much Mitsubishi Motors has done for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in recent years. One would think it’s the main contributor to future development, and with a sudden change in the Alliance Ventures funding campaign, Mitsubishi may grab more of the spotlight. For those that don’t follow news about the Alliance, the Alliance announced in February that new plans were taking shape and the future of Alliance 2022, the six-year plan for the Alliance, will be announced in May. The Alliance Ventures funding campaign is a $1 billion investment plan to be used to start partnerships with various start-ups. The latest news has Nissan backing out the campaign.

As far as anyone knows, Nissan is still alive and well part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. In late January 2020, Nissan announced the development of a new cross-brand EV platform that could be used by either brand for various types of vehicles. However, investments via the Alliance Ventures campaign has slowed down to a crawl and might just be dead. At first, investments were being made like clockwork, with six investments made in 2018 focusing largely on robotaxi startups, as well as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. The latest investment was with The Mobility House, and that one will mainly benefit Mitsubishi Motors.

With the 2020 Geneva International Motor show cancelled, we still have the great showcase Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Electric had in store with the new Dendo Drive House. The Dendo Drive House (DDH) was a product of the clean-energy project Mitsubishi Motors put together with Hitachi Europe Ltd. and ENGIE. Using a system of solar panels around the housed, energy is converted and stored in a house battery, and then excess energy can be stored in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) to be used as a spare battery. In essence, the goal is to reduce the need for energy not only through the power grid, but to also use renewable energy. The Mobility House has a similar goal, working towards a zero-emission energy network where PHEVs and electric vehicles are actually plugged into the power grid to be used as mobile energy sources.

That’s all great and all, but what’s this about Nissan dropping out? According to Reuters, Nissan insiders have been talking about Nissan making a decision to leave the funding campaign to cut costs. It seems the automaker is dealing with its own unforeseen circumstances with the latest virus outbreak. Pulling out of the campaign may sound dramatic, but from the beginning, Alliance Ventures was supposed to gather $200 million a year in total from the three partners, but if Nissan is losing profits, then the automaker can’t put it is share. With only one or two investments in 2019, it doesn’t seem like that goal has been met since the campaign started.

How will this affect the plans to make a big announcement about Alliance 2022 in May? It’s unclear. Although Alliance 2022 and Alliance Ventures are linked, the two are also independent of one another. Just like with the new EV platform coming from Nissan, each automaker is set up to be in charge of two pillars and will share its technology with the other partner. Alliance Ventures is a failing funding campaign, but the investments made thus far were smart choices that can lead to greater things for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Follow along with all the news when you follow us on Miami Lakes Mitsubishi social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst
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Mitsubishi Motors’ Contributions to the Renault-Nissan Alliance

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When Mitsubishi Motors first joined the Renault-Nissan Alliance, it was quickly becoming a great move for the automaker. Soon after, there was talk about a cross-brand EV platform from Nissan, and re-badged Renault vehicles, and Mitsubishi Motors was quick to make use of Alliance resources to expand. However, Mitsubishi Motors seems to be the only Alliance partner moving the needle with concepts like the Mitsubishi Engelberg Tourer at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, or the Mitsubishi Mi-TECH system. According to Alliance Plans, Mitsubishi Motors is only supposed to be in charge of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) development, but Mitsubishi Electric is having a lot of success with the xAUTO, and when it comes to mobile solutions, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is the one getting the contract. Are Renault or Nissan even doing anything at this point?

Mitsubishi Motors > Renault-Nissan?

Most recently, we finally got some news about what Renault and Nissan are bringing to the Alliance. During the mid-term business plan announcement, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance discussed a triangle concept where each automaker would be in charge of two goals out of plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, electric vehicle (EV) technology, and autonomous cars. It’s been three years and so far all that seems to be coming out of Renault is a Mitsubishi-branded version of the Renault Trafic van at its factory in Sandouville, France. So, in other words, a rebadged van…like Mitsubishi Motors needs more of that.

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