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Mercedes lights up Yuletide, introduces all-new GLB to Nigeria

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Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the newest member of its passenger car segment, an all-new GLB, thus bringing the best of the premium auto brand with its strong SUV DNA to light up the Yuletide celebrations for Nigerians.

According to a statement from Mercedes Benz representative in Nigeria, Weststar Associates Limited, the all-new GLB is the 8th entry in Mercedes-Benz’s compact class as it joins the A-Class, B-Class, CLA, GLA, A-Class Saloon, CLA Shooting Brake and the long-wheelbase A-Class Saloon.

Weststar, the authorised general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, says it is proud to announce the arrival of the all new GLB to the Nigerian market.

Exterior

It says the exterior design of the new GLB comes with great off-road appeal with its front apronwith a visual skid plate that emphasizes the GLB’s unmistakable SUV character.

Giving the other exterior details, it states, “The radiator grille comes with a double louvre finished in chrome inserts and there is the option of a diamond radiator grille with pins in chrome for the AMG line. Another highlight on the front end is the headlamps which come with the MULTIBEAM LED lighting technology.

“The side view comes with recognizable features like a raised roof railing in chrome finish, 17 – 20-inch light-alloy wheels,door panels and wheel arches (claddings). The rear-view features two-piece tail lamps with the reflectors relocated to the bumper, a chrome plated loading sill protector and visible tail pipe trim elements that complements the overall design of the vehicle.”

Interior

Mercedes-Benz GLB, Edition 1, Interieur
Mercedes-Benz GLB, Edition 1, Interior

The new MB, sporting a high-quality design, has an interior said to stand out with several comfort and luxury features.

It notes, “From fully digital displays to an off-road character, the GLB’s interior is interpreted in a young way. The dashboard wears a technical, avantgarde look, with the Widescreen Cockpit free-standing, positioned on the lower part of the dashboard, while the air-conditioning control panel wears an analogue-look with buttons in an aluminum finish.”

It gives the other standout features as three different seat variants that offer good ergonomics and a high level of comfort, ambient lightening provided exclusively by energy-saving LEDs and a centre console that comes with a stowage compartment which houses a cup holder, a 12 V socket and a USB port.

Weststar says, “The GLB impresses with plenty of space combined with compact dimensions, at 2829 mm the GLB has the longest wheelbase of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz.

“The headroom in the first seat row is 1069 mm – an optimum in this segment. At 967 mm, the effective legroom in the rear of the five-seater is at an especially comfortable level.

“The GLB is equipped with MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience), the system features as standard two 7-inch displays (optionally: 2 x 10.25-inch), a sports steering wheel with Touch Control buttons on the left and right, a USB port (Type C) and Bluetooth® connection for telephony and audio sources.”

Engine

It comes with four-cylinder petrol engines which have been completely updated to relaunch the compact model series.

The auto firm notes that in comparison to the previous generation, the GLB 200 uses a 1.66 liters M282 petrol engine with an output of 163hp (120kw) and a peak torque of 250 nm; while the GLB 250 4MATIC uses a 2.0-liter M260 petrol engine with an output of 224hp (165kw) and a peak torque of 350 nm.

The GLB 200 and the GLB 250 4MATIC engines are paired with the 7G-DCT and 8G-DCT automatic transmission systems respectively.

The GLB is also equipped with the permanent all-wheel system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC.

It also says the latest driving assist systems from the S-Class are also on board the new GLB. Thanks to improved camera and radar systems, the GLB is able to see up to 500 meters ahead and drive in semi-automated mode in certain situations. This includes, for example, the convenient speed adjustment ahead of bends, junctions or roundabouts carried out by Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC.  The Active Lane Change Assistalso features as a new function of the Active Steering Assist in the GLB, and if the Active Parking Assist with PARKTRONIC is additionally on board, it is included with the extended automatic restart function on motorways.

The statement quotes Managing Director/CEO of Weststar Associates Limited, Mr. Mirko Plath, as saying, “We are proud to introduce this brand-new addition in the Mercedes-Benz family to this market.

“The new GLB caters to a growing demographic which we have also identified here in Nigeria. We strongly believe that our customers will embrace this new product as they have with our better-known products.”

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(Video) Toyota’s new robot takes selfies while cleaning office/home

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Toyota has developed a robot that can clean office equipment including reflective surfaces or do household chores and take selfie simultaneously.

Toyota has released a video demonstrating the robot wiping down tables and other surfaces while taking the video itself.

Vice President of Robotics at Toyota Research Institute, Max Bajracharya, said, “Training robots to understand how to operate in home environments poses special challenges because of the diversity and complexity of our homes where small tasks can add up to big challenges.”

Bajracharya’s team aims to develop robotic capabilities to amplify human abilities, so that machines can help out people in an aging society.

The development is considered a big step towards achieving that goal, according to engadget,com and MSN Auto,

The release of the friendly video was made to coincide with the National Selfie Day marked on Monday — a robot that wants to take selfies while it works around the house.

The unnamed machine is the latest step forward in the TRI’s robotics studies as engineers and far smarter minds work to teach the robot new skills, the firm says.

It also states, “Most robots are programmed to react to the objects and geometry in front of them” and can’t differentiate between an actual object and its reflection.

It notes that something as common as a drinking glass or a shiny toaster could prevent robots made to work in homes from doing their tasks properly.

The automaker also says it has overcome that problem by developing the novel training method allowing robots to “perceive the 3D geometry of the scene while also detecting objects and surfaces.”

In the video, one can see the robot move the cups out of the way to continue cleaning a surface.

All of this led to a breakthrough TRI calls “programmable data.” The robot can take synthetic data to recreate a situation and learn, rather than collect physical data for quite some time, and then practise a task.

This machine primarily focuses on cleaning and helping around the house, and that’s a goal for the firm.

The TRI says it is not in the business of building robots to replace human activities, but to help humans with tasks.

This, it stresses, is especially true for older folks who may need a hand with carrying groceries and those kinds of things. The robot will happily take a selfie while carrying out its tasks.

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Honda discontinues fuel-cell vehicle, Clarity

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Honda says it has stopped production of the Japanese market Odyssey minivan and Legend sedan due to low sale of the hydrogen vehicles.

A Honda official told Autoweek, “We discontinued the RLX after the 2020 model year, so we haven’t had it in the lineup for about a year now.”

Honda launched the Clarity six years ago, and even though it’s going away it has not ruled out working on more hydrogen technology in the future.

“The entire Clarity series played a valuable role in advancing Honda’s portfolio approach to electrification, which is an important aspect of our commitment to reduce CO2 emissions,” the official said.

The official also said, “Now, with a commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, Honda has set a target to make 100% of our vehicles sales battery-electric or fuel-cell electric by 2040.

“We are evolving our strategy with a focus on increased application of our two-motor hybrid system to core models in advance of the introduction of our first volume BEV models in 2024,” Honda told us.

“Consistent with this strategy, Honda will conclude production of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Fuel Cell in August 2021. This will ensure we have the Clarity Fuel Cell available for lease through 2022, and Honda will continue to support our Clarity customers in the marketplace.

The automaker noted that the fuel cell EV would play a key role in our zero emissions strategy, “which is being advanced by our joint manufacturing and development agreements,” Honda told us. “We continue to make significant investments in fuel-cell infrastructure and battery technology.”

To that end, Honda’s partnership with General Motors to develop fuel-cell vehicles and EVs is expected to continue.

The Clarity, Legend, and Odyssey were all built Honda’s Sayama plant, scheduled to close in March 2022.

The Clarity Fuel Cell was a lease-only car and it has been reported that a poor hydrogen refueling infrastructure contributed to slow demand for the model.

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BMW begins road tests of hydrogen EV X5

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BMW has begun real-world tests of its i-Hydrogen Next, an X5 paired with EV and hydrogen tech.

The BMW i Hydrogen Next is an all-electric vehicle fueled by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell. The German automaker firmly believes that hydrogen fuel cell technology can replace internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) as the future of mobility.

Toyota and BMW are collaborating on hydrogen cars, with BMW planning to launch the i Hydrogen Next in 2022.

The i Hydrogen Next will see limited production, as BMW plans to devote more energy to EVs in the coming years.

According to multiple sources including Overdrive and Slashgear, both online auto journals, the testing that began this week will aim to tune the software controlling the car’s driving and operating functions, the automaker has said, following static tests of the fuel cell system and hydrogen tanks.

BMW has been experimenting with hydrogen fuel cell technology for decades.

But BMW’s efforts in this field are still a few rungs below Toyota and Honda, which have already fielded hydrogen fuel cell cars.

“Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for sustainable drive trains – especially in larger vehicle classes,” says Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development.

“That is why road testing of near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train is an important milestone in our research and development efforts.”

According to the automaker, hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrains could become an attractive alternative to EVs, but with a planned small-series production it’s not quite going all-in, unlike Toyota and a few other automakers that have marketed unique sedan designs for years.

BMW is also aiming to get practical experience using this drivetrain in real-world conditions.

The i Hydrogen Next will pair BMW’s eDrive technology already rolled out in vehicles like the iX3 with a hydrogen fuel cell technology developed along with Toyota—one of the other major players in this field.

The vehicle is largely based around architecture and technology borrowed from existing vehicles, rather than being a model developed entirely from scratch, which suits the model’s planned small-series production volume.

The SUV promises 374 hp—the same as the most powerful inline-six gas engine in the automaker’s lineup, as BMW points out.

“The energy stored in the performance buffer battery is generated in a particularly efficient way during driving by recovering energy from coasting overrun and braking phases,” the automaker said.

It also stated, “The hydrogen needed to supply the fuel cell is stored in two 700-bar tanks made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP), which together hold six kilograms of hydrogen.

“Its precisely controlled reaction with oxygen in the fuel cell generates electricity, while water vapor is the only emission produced by the drive train.

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