From the driver’s seat, one can control four main functions: navigation, phone, air conditioner, and audio-visual system.
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Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
If you have love for both the planet and your car, there's no reason you can't have it all. As hybrid, electric and fuel-efficiency have established themselves as the buzzwords of the automotive world, makers of luxury cars have listened. These eight cars make fuel efficiency look good. The MKZ Hybrid gets a remarkable 41mpg in the city and 36 highway, so you can drive more than 500 miles around town before you need to gas up. That means you spend a lot more time looking good in your ride and enjoying the heated and cooled leather seats in the near silent interior. Simply put, this car is a winner.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc
Porsche Panamera S Hybrid
The 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid may have been beaten by Infiniti’s M Hybrid in a race, but it's still among the best of the fuel-efficient luxury cars. The 3.0-liter V6 produces 333 horsepower; an electric motor adds another 47. The $95,000 price tag puts it at twice the cost of the MKZ- so it comes down to just how much you want the Porsche name on your ride.
Mercedes E350 BlueTec Diesel
There are plenty of reasons to switch to diesel, not the least of which is improved fuel mileage. The E350 fits into a long line of diesel-powered Mercedes cars, dating back to 1935. The mid-size sedan's V6 engine only pumps out 210hp, but comes back with 400lb-ft of torque. It goes from zero to 60mph in 7.2 seconds. For $51,775, you can bring home the BlueTec Diesel, with 24mpg city, 34mph highway.
Nissan North America, Inc.
Infiniti M Hybrid
When it comes to speed, Infiniti is ahead of the game: the M Hybrid is officially the fastest accelerating full hybrid in the world, even taking down Porsche's Panamera S Hybrid in a head to head race. With a combined fuel efficiency of 29mpg, the new record holder brings a lot of muscle and luxury to the green car market.
Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Imag
Fiat 500 Abarth
For $22,000, you can be the owner of the Fiat 500 Abarth, the car that "feels like a double shot of espresso straight to your veins,” according to Tim Kuniskis, Head of Fiat Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC.. With a different look for a luxury car, the 500 gets a combined 33mpg, enough to power its 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft. of torque all day.
Audi of America
Knocking out combined 28mpg, the A6 runs for $41,700. Audi knows how to build a luxury car. The A6 comes with a keyless start function and can turn on your house lights as well as open your garage door. The cruise control function lets you stay a set distance back from the car in front of you, and an infrared camera can detect pedestrians up to 300 feet away at night.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Lexus CT 200h
With an impressive 43mpg in the city and 40mpg highway, the CT200h is among the best green cars on the road today. Priced at just below $30,000, the CT features a warning sound when in EV mode, so unassuming pedestrians stay safe.
Audi of America
Audi A3 TDI
Audi's A3 Turbocharged Direct Injection burns diesel for an impressive 42mpg highway, and gets 30mpg in the city. It's been popular since its 2010 debut, largely thanks to its exquisite interior. Follow Alex on Twitter.
It’s Saturday afternoon and you have to drive your daughter to soccer practice and pick up her friend on the way. You also want to listen to a particular radio program and make some important phone calls.
To make your driving experience easier, Mitsubishi Electric is developing predictive technology that will suggest a route based on your previous driving history, come up with an alternative route if you hit a traffic jam, and make it simple as pushing a button to find that radio program, make those phone calls, and even adjust the air conditioning to boot.
Mitsubishi expects to ship its Ultra-simple HMI (human-machine interface)[/url ]technology for in-car operations to auto manufacturers by spring 2018. It demonstrated a prototype system in a recent Open House event at its headquarters in Tokyo.
In a mock-up driver’s seat, the driver was able to easily operate four main functions: navigation, phone, air conditioner, and audio-visual system.
This was done in one or two steps using a set of three buttons on the steering wheel while viewing three predicted operations on a 44-cm heads-up display (HUD) on the windshield above the dashboard -- operations such as Go to soccer practice ground, Call boss, Tune to radio station XYZ. Voice commands can also be used to control such operations and is activated by long-pushing one of the buttons.
For navigation control, the voice recognition technology uses “data stored on board, as well as up-to-date cloud-stored destinations data covering about 10 million locations,” explains Hiroaki Sugiura, general manager of Mitsubishi’s design department.
The predictive technology relies on such operational history as past destinations and routes taken, and previous use of in-car functions, as well as time and day, location, speed, fuel level, and current traffic and driving conditions. It then estimates the three most likely operations to be used and displays them on the HUD.
They can be overridden using a set of four separate buttons that provide direct access to the main functions.
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