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LA Auto Show: Attack of the 3-Ton Hybrids

Automakers show off hybrids, hydrogen fuel-cell concepts, and their thriftiest vehicles at the "green auto show"

4 min read

Los Angeles—You know what a hybrid car looks like—the Toyota Prius, right? At least that was the prevailing wisdom before this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show in mid-November.

Now a ”hybrid electric vehicle” may well be a 2500-kilogram sport-utility vehicle with a huge V8 engine. General Motors and Chrysler together now have no fewer than five of them. But underscoring the cost of developing hybrid systems, all five—new versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Dakota, and GMC Yukon—use the same Two-Mode Hybrid transmission, jointly engineered by GM, Daimler and Chrysler, and BMW.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-range radar, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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