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As autonomous driving technology becomes more prevalent, the distinctions between various systems are increasingly important.

SAE International has been a driving force behind this as their definitions for automation were first released in 2014. They’ve been updated since then, and now range from relatively ‘dumb’ cars at Level 0 to fully autonomous Level 5 vehicles that can “drive everywhere in all conditions.”

However, some companies use generic terms such as “self-driving.” Tesla is the most obvious example and they even admit “currently enabled features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”

Also Read: German Court Rules Tesla’s Autopilot Claims Misled Consumers

Safety groups have called for changes and now Waymo has announced they’ll stop referring to their vehicles as “self-driving.” Instead, the company will use “more deliberate language” when talking about their autonomous driving technology.

Waymo went on to say “It may seem like a small change, but it’s an important one, because precision in language matters and could save lives.” The company added they’re hopeful the new terminology will “differentiate the fully autonomous technology Waymo is developing from driver-assist technologies – sometimes erroneously referred to as “self-driving” technologies – that require oversight from licensed human drivers.”

Waymo criticized automakers who incorrectly use “self-driving” and noted this can give consumers a false impression of a vehicle’s capabilities. This, in turn, can to lead to dangerous behaviors such as not paying attention, falling asleep behind the wheel or filming a video from the passenger seat.

As part of the effort, Waymo has renamed their public education campaign “Let’s Talk Autonomous Driving.”  It was previously known as Let’s Talk Self-Driving, but the new site is still littered with references to “self-driving.”

 


Ford abandoned plans to bring the Focus Active to America, but the company hasn’t given up on crossover-inspired wagons.

That’s clear today as spy photographers snapped an interesting prototype which has been tentatively dubbed the Fusion / Mondeo Active.

While the model is heavily disguised, it features a stylish grille with a three-dimensional mesh-like pattern. On either side are slender LED lighting units, which are presumably daytime running lights and turn signals.

Also Read: New Ford Fusion / Mondeo Prototype Spied As Crossover-Inspired Wagon

The bold design continues further back as there’s sleek bodywork and flush-mounted door handles. We can also see a rakish windscreen which flows into a sloping roof that continues all the way to the rear end. This gives the model a sportback-like appearance and it was presumably done to appease wagon hating Americans.

Elsewhere, we can see large wheels and a generous amount of ground clearance. The prototype also sports roof rails and eye-catching red brake calipers.

The cabin is barely visible in the spy photos, but a revealing image surfaced last month showing a nearly full-width screen. It will likely be broken up into three different sections including a digital instrument cluster, an infotainment system and an entertainment screen for the front passenger.  Putting that aside, there were also minimalist air vents and what appeared to be a rotary shifter.

Ford has been tight-lipped about the upcoming model, but previous reports have suggested it could be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. There have also been rumors about a plug-in hybrid variant, but we’ll likely learn more later this year.

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Picture credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

Mark you calendars, because what promises to be the most powerful production Cadillac ever is set to be revealed in less than a month’s time.

Last April, Cadillac confirmed that it would launch the Blackwing versions of its CT4-V and CT5-V. Now, according to Cadillac Society, who cites sources familiar with the matter, the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will debut on February 1.

Although the CT4-V and CT5-V were launched in 2019, they are the tamer, more approachable sporty sedans. Like Audi’s S models, or, say, BMW’s M340i, the V-Series are an entry point in the sporty sedan lineup. The Blackwings, meanwhile, are more akin to Audi‘s RSs or BMW’s full-blown M cars.

Read Also: Cadillac Is Making The CT4/5-V Blackwings’ Manual Tougher And Quieter

Cadillac has revealed that the Blackwings will get magnesium wheels, carbon-fiber sports seats and 6-speed manual transmissions, but little more has been officially shared.

Reports suggest that the CT4-V Blackwing will make use of GM’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6. That’s the same engine used by its predecessor, the ATS-V, in which it made 464 hp and 445 lb-ft. The CT5-V Blackwing, meanwhile, will reportedly get a supercharged LT4 6.2-liter V8. Again, that’s the same mill its spiritual predecessor, the CTS-V, used. In that case, the engine made 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque.

The engine has other homes, though. Specifically, in the Chevrolet Camaro, where it makes 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and is paired to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic.

The Blackwings, apparently, won’t be sold in Australia or China.