World Drive, Detroit Decision & Polestar Markets
Mercedes-Benz is testing self-driving technology on a global scale. The company is on the 4-th leg of their Intelligent World Drive. An autonomous S-Class is being tested in South Africa. Engineers are seeing how the technology handles a variety of real world situations, including different road surfaces, wildlife on rural roads and many pedestrians. The drive began in Germany. Then it was on to Shanghai in October, and Australia in November. The drive on five continents in five months ends in the U.S. next month.
Ford’s vision for the future is firmly planted in the past. Ford has announced plans to locate its autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle business and strategy teams in Detroit. They’ll be working in a 110-year old building known as “The Factory” in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. The industrial complex has been refurbished. Ford expects to begin operating out of the facility early next year.
Polestar has chosen the markets where the Polestar 1 will be initially launched. Polestar Spaces, their term for dealerships, will be in the U.S.A., China, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. Polestar says these countries showed strong customer interest when the brand launched in October. The Polestar 1 is a 2+2 Grand Touring Coupé with a 600hp Electric Performance Hybrid powertrain and an electric range of 93 miles. The Polestar Spaces are expected to open the middle of 2019, around the same time when production begins at the new Polestar plant in China.