Uber Moves to Resume Autonomous Testing on Public Roads
Uber wants to resume testing of its autonomous vehicle systems eight months after a Volvo SUV, part of the Uber test program struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Now, Uber wants to kick off testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and hopes to regain public trust.
Back in March, a Volvo XC90 SUV equipped with Uber’s self-driving systems hit a pedestrian who was crossing a street at night in Tempe, Arizona. Although the person was hit away from a crosswalk, Arizona officials quickly suspended Uber’s permits that allowed it to test the new technology on public roads in the aftermath of the incident.
Now, Uber has released a detailed safety report to showcase the lengths it will go to to ensure that future testing of the autonomous technology will be carried out safely. The company stated that it carefully analyzed what went wrong and that it has improved the onboard systems and now wants to resume testing in Pennsylvania.
13 Crossover Wagons You Could Buy Instead of an SUV
High-riding vehicles, like crossovers and SUVs are at the height of popularity right now, but they’re not the only way to go if you want practicality and some off-road capability. Crossover style raised wagons are a great alternative and while they can still drive you over a rough field or rutted road with ease, they’re better to drive on road and actually pretty stylish.
They are essentially the wagon versions of different cars which have gained extra ride height and plastic cladding on the outside to protect them from scratches in their most vulnerable points. These vehicles usually have standard all-wheel drive and are usually a higher trim level, so they are not cheap (compared to the vehicle they’re based on) but they also come with a lot of equipment.
Here’s a list of the 13 coolest crossover-style wagons you can buy today.
Wallpaper of the day: 2016 Volvo XC60
As the largest model of Volvo’s 60 Series of vehicles, the XC60 has big shoes to fill. Even bigger than ever before now that SUVs and Crossovers are just so popular. And, that’s exactly why Volvo decided to completely revamp the XC60 for the 2018 model year. It hit the market with more technology than ever, a plush interior equal to that of cars that sit well above it, tons of power (up to 407 horsepower in the right configuration,) and an exterior design that is to die for. It has now been joined by the 2019 Volvo V60 Wagon and the recently-debuted (as in this week) Volvo S60 sedan. And, with these two cars now gracing our lives, we thought it would be nice to honor the biggest model of the 60 Series by making the XC60 our wallpaper of the day. Check out our hand-picked favorite or slip on down to the gallery below for a healthy selection of other wallpaper-quality images.
Volvo Cars and Trucks Will Gossip About Road Hazards
Volvo is rolling out a new cloud-based service called “Connected Safety” that will let Volvo cars and trucks talk with one another to alert each other of hazardous traffic situations. Connected Safety will roll out this year in Sweden and Norway and builds upon the cloud service already available to Volvo cars that are connected to the cloud. That system allows 2016 and new Volvos to alert other connected Volvos when cars around them have their hazard lights switched on. When Volvo turns on this feature for its big trucks, it will allow the system cover a wider area, identify more hazards, and (assumingly, of course) improve overall safety traffic.
Volvo could eventually expand the system to include other safety-enhancing functions like warning of slippery roads, various road hazards, accidents, slower traffic, etc. It’s even possible that other automakers could opt into the service, allowing even a larger area and more vehicles to make use of the service. Of course, Volvo isn’t the only automaker that has made strides in this department and, as connected infrastructure continues to develop, we’ll see more and more of this to the point that’s we may very well know what’s around every curve or corner before we ever get there.
2017 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription – Driven
Volvo has been making the XC90 since 2002, and with great success. The first generation SUV sold well all over the globe. Even in the U.S., the XC90 sold roughly 35,000 examples annually before the crash of 2009. Updates late in the first-generation XC90’s life kept it kicking, though with only modest sales in America. That’s all changing with the second-generation XC90, which debuted for the 2015 model year. A highbrow design, an opulent interior, sophisticated powertrain options, and a matured sense of luxury all bring the XC90 into the modern times. Even with the 2017 model already two years old, the Volvo SUV continues to look like a futuristic concept.
To get a better feel for the Swede, I spent a week driving a 2017 XC90 fitted with the T6 AWD powertrain and decked out with the high-end Inscription trim line.
For those unfamiliar, the XC90 (and most Volvos, for that matter) come standard in the Momentum trim. The XC90 is also available in the R-Design, the Inscription, and the range-topping Excellence trim. While the limo-like Excellence trim is absolutely stunning thanks to its reclining second row bucket seats and full-length center console, the Inscription trim provides all the luxury anyone without a chauffer could desire. Skipping the Excellence trim also keeps the XC90’s third-row seats.
So what’s it like to live with the 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription? Keep reading to find out.
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What Is Volvo Testing Here?
Volvo seems to be up to something interesting. Spotted in the wilds of some urban parking lot is this mutant of an XC90 test mule. Hoisted above its rear cargo area with a one-off support system is a steel pedestal presumably holding extra weight. But that’s not the biggest change. No, this experimental vehicle has a lengthened wheelbase. Its rear axle has been pushed rearward, requiring Volvo engineers to cut a larger wheel well into the XC90’s body. This begs the question: what is Volvo testing here?
We’ve heard nothing of Volvo testing some new type of SUV or even pickup truck, but that’s exactly what our minds conjure up. One theory is Volvo is making a long wheelbase version of the XC90 for China. That easily explains the rearward axle placement on this tester, but what about the weights on top? Perhaps Volvo is planning to offer an armored version of its XC90. Rather than installing armor into a test mule, Volvo engineers simply constructed a massive weight to increase the XC90’s center of gravity. Volvo wouldn’t be the first automaker to offer an armored version of a production vehicle. Mercedes and Audi both offer factory armament up-fits.
Another possibility – and one what pickup truck fans might like – is an XC90-based mid-size pickup. Close examination of the high-mounted load put its exactly between the rear doors and ahead of the rear axle. That’s right here heavy loads should go in a pickup. The XC90’s standard wheelbase measures 117.5 inches, but this long-wheelbase version likely has another 10 inches atop that. A 126.5-inch wheelbase would put it directly in line with other mid-size pickups, including the Honda Ridgeline at 125.3 inches, the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab at 125.9 inches, the global T6 Ford Ranger at 127 inches, and the Chevy Colorado Crew Cab Short Box at 128.3 inches.
Will Volvo enter the mid-size truck segment? Keep reading for more speculation.
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The 2016 Truck Rodeo: The Full Results
By now you’ve probably read how the 2017 Ford Super Duty was crowned the Truck of Texas and that the 2017 Nissan Armada won the SUV of Texas. But the Super Duty and Armada were far from the only winners at this year’s Truck Rodeo put on by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
More than 70 journalists and social media influencers descended upon the 1,623-acre Longhorn River Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas to test approximately 71 pickup trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles in TAWA’s annual event.
A total of 17 categories grouped the vehicles with their competition, ranging from compact crossovers and full-size SUVs to Off-Road pickups. Other categories included best connectivity, best technology, and best powertrain.
Keep reading for the full results.
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TopSpeed’s Top 5 Premium Wagons – 2017 Edition
At this point, it should be more than obvious that if you want a car with utility and space for at least five people, but don’t wanna join the crowd of crossovers you see crammed onto the roads, your best option is to get your hands on a wagon. Once a steadfast bastion of the practical, wagons have seen a sharp decline in popularity over the last few decades, the result of an all-out assault from the tall-bodied insanity of the current SUV craze. But fear not – the wagon hasn’t gone gently into that good night, at least not yet, and we’ve assembled five top-shelf options right here for your perusal and approval.
Rather than limiting ourselves to what’s currently available, we decided to look ahead in anticipation of what’ll be in dealers in the next year or so, including both existing offerings and those that have yet to be released. As it turns out, there are a few very strong entries barreling down the pipeline right now, which means buyers will have a nice selection of premium wagons when shopping in 2017.
So what’s topping the menu? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s Top 5 Premium Wagons for 2017.
When the all-new 2016 Volvo XC90 debuted in 2014, most of the world was in shock just from how awesome it looked. Volvo has always been about class, but it’s also prided itself in being more reserved than other automakers. And the new XC90, while reserved to some, is a pretty dramatic shift for Volvo. Its Thor’s hammer headlights and swoopy lines are new for the Swedish SUV, as is its insane, twin-engine, plug-in hybrid version. Despite its awesomeness, the XC90 was still lacking something: some love from Polestar.
Well, you may not have to wait much longer, as a report from Auto Express claims that Volvo has handed the D5 and T6 versions of the XC90 to its tuning and motorsports arm. Though there are no confirmed details to pass on yet, Volvo did tell Auto Express to look for a Polestar XC90 around 2016.
With the performance-oriented SUV reportedly only less than a year away, we went ahead and created a rendering of the XC90 Polestar, Volvo’s quickest and most powerful people hauler yet.
Updated 02/22/2016: Based on the recent spy shots and rumors, we created a rendering for the upcoming XC90 Polestar. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2017 XC90 Polestar.
Volvo must pay their marketing department big bucks. The heavy-duty truck side of the Swedish company is known for outlandish stunts that put Volvo trucks to the test. Well, at least a simulated test.
Remember when Volvo Trucks’ president, Claes Nilsson, stood on the front grille of a FMX truck as it dangled hundreds of feet in the air, supported only by the front tow hook? And no one can forget the “epic split” done by none other than Jean Claude Van Damme. With one foot on either truck, the two Volvo FM semis eased apart – while driving in reverse – forcing Van Dam to show off is legendary martial arts abilities in the form of a split.
Now Volvo has handed the controls over to four-year old, little Sophie. Yep, in its latest stunt to show off the updated Volvo FMX truck line, engineers rigged the truck to run via remote control and “gave her control” of the nearly 20-ton vehicle. As expected, little Sophie’s driving skills aren’t fully developed. The truck crashes and bangs into obstacle after obstacle. Of course, this allows Volvo to show off just how strong the FMX truck is.
The notable features found on the FMX include a front bumper constructed of 3 mm-thick steel and attacked to the frame, designed to keep the cab, engine components, and driver safe. All the important drivetrain bits are tucked up under the truck, preventing debris (or concrete road dividers) from hurting things like axle shafts or universal joints. The truck’s part-time, automatically engaging 4WD system keeps it moving though goopy mud and over rocks.
The final test came via a cinderblock building. Poor little Sophie’s driving record takes a hit as she propels the truck off course and into the concrete structure. Heck, Sophie even lets the truck topple off the side of an embankment, making the truck to a full 360-degree roll. Beside a shattered windshield, broken from running through the building, the truck is said to escape damage. Impressive and entertaining.
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Every fall, dozens of journalists from all over Texas and around the country gather to compare, test, and crown the winner of the “Truck of Texas” competition. It’s a coveted award from the Texas Auto Writers Association that signifies Texas’ collective approval of a truck. And not only are trucks involved, awards go out for the SUV and CUV of Texas.
I already touched on the topic in the preview piece, but awards are also given to the winner in each vehicle category and for various things like “best connectivity” and “best powertrain.”
This year’s competition was fierce. There were 84 vehicles present from 21 automakers entered into 17 different categories. Evaluating the field were 69 TAWA members comprised of journalists and social media influencers.
So let’s get down to the results. Keep reading for the full breakdown.
Continue reading for the results of the 2015 TAWA Truck Rodeo
Volvo won’t be among the large number of automakers that you’ll see advertising in this weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX, but if you are a Twitter user, there’s a good chance you will still hear plenty about the Swedish brand during the Big Game. Rather than spending the millions of dollars for a 30-second Super Bowl ad, Volvo is “intercepting” the commercials from rival automakers by giving away a 2015 XC60 crossover.
To enter the Volvo Interception contest, all you have to do is wait for any car commercial to come on during the Super Bowl (don’t worry, there will be plenty) and then post a tweet with a person’s name who you think should win the car along with the hashtag #VolvoContest. Volvo says it will respond to all “eligible tweets” to ask why that person deserves a new car. The best part is that you can nominate anyone: a friend, neighbor, family member or just someone you know in passing. Talk about the ultimate way to pay it forward.
From there, a panel of five judges will whittle the list of entrants down to just five potential winners. Rules state that the participants and the winner must be legal residents of the U.S. and at least 18 years old, and are limited to one nominee per Twitter account. Other than that, Volvo did not say what will go into its decision when picking the grand prize winner, so sharpen up your writing skills and think of someone you know who deserves a new car.
As a bit of a dry run before Volvo attempts to break Twitter by giving away a free car, Jimmy Kimmel Live also took part in the contest, giving away a new XC60 to a nurse at a car wash, which you can check out here.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo Interception giveway.
Volvo has received its fair share of criticism for building boring cars in the past. Sometimes, it deserves it. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But the Swedish brand does have one model that has consistently drawn admirers since it made its debut in 2008. That would be the XC60, Volvo’s entry-level crossover and the company’s best-selling model since 2009. The XC60’s popularity makes it the perfect vehicle to get a limited edition variant dedicated to a sporting event that has a certain Swedish automaker as its title sponsor. Hence, we have the Volvo Ocean Race X60.
The Volvo Ocean Race XC60 made its debut at the 2014 Miami International Auto Show, which runs from November 7 to 16. In keeping with the spirit of the triennial race, the Volvo Ocean Race XC60 carries special design elements attributed to the event, including a splashy “Ocean Blue II” exterior paint finish and a morsel of identifiable design pieces that are associated to the Volvo Ocean Race.
The limited-edition XC60 is available in the T6 Drive-E FWD and T6 AWD trims options and will be available at prices of $42,100 and $43,600 respectively.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo Ocean Race XC60.
Volvo is the king of the family-hauling luxury SUV. When the XC90 hit the scene, it began a slow domination of the three-row market. Soon after, the Swedish automaker moved into the smaller market with the XC60 and once again, Volvo had a relative hit for the brand. Now for the new 2015.5 model, the XC60 is updated, upgraded and supposedly better than ever, and I was going to drive the new, more fuel efficient T6 Drive-E model.
As someone who ordinarily hates family hauling crossovers, but loves nicely designed cars like those from Sweden, I was interested in giving this car a run for its money. One of my favorite small hatches of all time is the Volvo C30, so would Volvo be able to make me like a crossover?
It is great to look at, has lots of nice details and features, plus it has 300 horsepower under the hood. I took the keys for a week and a few hundred miles to see if it was worth buying. Would the fuel saving features ruin the fun? Would the generally boring driving dynamics of a family car make me hate driving it?
Read on to find out more about the new 2015.5 Volvo XC60 T6 Drive-E.
Volvo’s recently released 2016 XC90 has the industry abuzz about the all-new crossover’s elegant design and futuristic interior. While the ink is still wet on the XC90’s debut headlines, Volvo has dropped an important piece to its latest vehicle’s puzzle. This Volvo-originated testing shows the new crossover getting subjected to the worst kinds of treatment.
The first battery of testing involves the common frontal offset crash at 40 mph. As the vehicle hits the barrier, the crumple zones do their job in defecting the majority of the crash’s energy away from the passenger compartment. It doesn’t even look like the side door was even scratched. Not even the windshield shows signs of damage.
The side impact test comes next, as the XC90 gets slammed with a dummy car at 35 mph. The simulated T-bone crash shows the side doors getting pushed inward, however the dual side-airbag system prevented the test dummy from ever hitting the door panel or window.
Lastly the rollover crash test simulates just that — a dreaded rollover where the vehicle spends time bouncing down the road on its roof. The test shows the side-curtain airbags deploying as the roof structure stays in place. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it seems all the occupants could simply open the doors and walk away from this crash.
While it hasn’t been official tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, it appears the all-new Volvo XC90 will pass with flying colors. It’s amazing how far crashworthiness of vehicles has come since Volvo became the first automaker to include seat belts in all its vehicles back in 1959.
We have been following the development of the all-new Volvo XC90 for quite some time. Last year we brought spy shots of the 2015 Volvo XC90 mule, and now we have a true pre-production model.
It may be covered in heavy camouflage but one look at the rear lights and it’s immediately obvious this is a Volvo. This prototype looks to be sized similarly to the previous car, and will include room for seven passengers.
The 2015 XC90 will be built on Volvo’s new Scalable Product Architecture platform. The SPA platform has been designed to be extremely safe and employs a massive amount of ultra-high-strength steel in the main safety shell of the vehicle. The 2015 XC90 will be the first model to utilize the new platform, but it will become the core of every product Volvo sells from the S60 up.
Thanks to the SPA construction, Volvo expects the 2015 XC90 to be the safest SUV ever sold to the public.
Volvo is expected to drop all the engines in the current-gen XC90 in favor of more fuel-efficient, four-cylinder powertrains. All the engines will be turbocharged, and Volvo is developing both gasoline and diesel engines. No word on if the oil-burner will hit U.S. shores.
We are not entirely sure if American buyers will responsive to a three-row SUV without at least a six-cylinder engine, but only time will tell.
Expect the new Volvo XC90 to be put on sale in early 2015.
The current-generation XC60 was unveiled in 2008 and the revision announced at 2013 Geneva Motor Show is the most impressive one. In fact, Volvo opted to update the entire lineup, before unveiling the new generation.
Just like with all the other models, Volvo only updated the XC60’s exterior and interior with design elements in a way similar to the one initially revealed in the new V40, which was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. This means it receives a redesigned hood, new front bumper and new headlamps on the outside. On the inside, it receives new materials and packages.
Volvo also includes a series of new safety features and convenience features that took the XC60 to the next level of elegance and sophistication.
Updated 08/02/2014: Volvo announced all of the juicy details on the 2014 XC60. Click past the jump to read all about it.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volvo XC60.
Volvo is expanding its lineup this year with the addition of the new XC40, a new compact crossover built on the V40 architecture. This higher-riding V40 will be making its debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September, but a couple of months is still too long for us to wait, so we decided that a clear look at the upcoming Volvo XC40 was in order. Enter our rendering specialists.
We’ve already mentioned the fact that the "new" XC40 will be built on the V40 platform, but it seems as though everything will be borrowed from the V40, minus the higher ride and the features needed to prepare the XC40 for off-road use. Under the hood, the XC40 will continue borrowing from the V40. There will be a turbocharged 1.6-liter petrol engine and a 2.0 liter engine with power ranging from 150 to 240 HP. Diesel fans will get a 155 HP engine. The top versions will be offered with an all-wheel-drive system.
The "brand new" XC40 is being built as a competitor to the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1. Of course, we’ll have to wait until the Paris Auto Show to determine whether it can actually be considered competition.