Ford has been holding its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickups for quality tests since February 9, when it ceased shipping the vehicles.

A representative for Ford, Emma Bergg, declined to identify the specific quality issue that led to the shipment delay, referring to such delays as a normal aspect of production when cars are being produced for a new model year. Ford has started distributing new gasoline- and hybrid-powered F-150 pickups for the 2024 model year.

The trade publication Automotive News broke the initial news of the shipment halt.

Compared to the battery-powered Lightning, Ford sells a lot more F-150s with gasoline and hybrid engines. For over forty years, the F-series full-size pickups have been the best-selling vehicle of any kind in the United States. Of the 750,000 F-series trucks sold by Ford in the previous year, roughly 24,000 were Lightnings.

According to Berg, F-150 Lightning vehicles are currently available for purchase at Ford dealers, so buyers should be able to find trucks to purchase until shipments resume.

Ford stopped producing the Lightning because to a potential battery problem almost exactly a year ago. After a few weeks, production was resumed.

Ford provides two all-electric cars in the US, including the Lightning. The other is the Mustang Mach-E, which the Tesla Model Y is directly rival to. Ford sold a little over 40,000 Mach-E SUVs in the previous year.

Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, recently disclosed that the company has an engineering team developing future electric vehicle technology.

Read Full Article

For a very long period, India has not had the finest reputation for having safe automobiles and roads. However, since road safety is becoming a bigger issue in the nation, automakers have started placing a lot of emphasis on the safety features of their vehicles in recent years. India offers a lot of safe automobiles as of February 2024. If you’re one of the prospective purchasers and want to know the full list of the top 10 safe cars in India, you’ve come to the right place.

The Tata Safari

Right now, the safest car in the nation is the redesigned Tata Safari. It just received a total score of 33.05 out of 34 for adult occupant protection in the Bharat NCAP tests. Meanwhile, it received a commendable 45 out of 49 points for kid occupant protection. The current starting price for the 2024 Tata Safari facelift is Rs 16.19 lakh.

The Tata Harrier

The all-new Tata Harrier facelift, which is the five-door twin sibling of the Tata Safari facelift, has likewise succeeded in receiving the same scores as its sibling. In terms of adult occupant protection, the Harrier facelift has received the same rating of 33.05 out of 34 stars. Additionally, it scored 45 out of 49 marks for protecting young occupants. Bharat NCAP conducted tests on both vehicles. The initial cost of the Harrier facelift is Rs 15.49 lakh.

Lenovo Nexon

The Tata Nexon facelift, another vehicle from Tata Motors, is ranked third on this list. Recently, Global NCAP was tasked with conducting crash testing on the newly redesigned vehicle. In terms of adult and child occupant protection, it received scores of 32.22 out of 34 and 44.2 out of 49, respectively. Right now, the new Nexon costs at Rs 8.15 lakh.

Volkswagen Virtus

The Virtus mid-size sedan from German automaker Volkswagen is the fourth vehicle on this list. The Volkswagen Virtus has a commendable adult occupant protection rating of 29.71 out of 34 stars. In contrast, it received about 42 out of 49 marks for protecting children in vehicles. In India, the Virtus currently starts at Rs 11.48 lakh.

Skoda Slavia

In the crash testing, the Volkswagen Virtus’ cousin, the Skoda Slavia, achieved an identical score of points. Additionally, the Slavia received scores of 42/49 for child occupant protection and 29.71 out of 34 for adult occupant protection. It has gained a lot of popularity in the nation because to its robust body structure and active safety features, and its starting price is Rs 11.53 lakh.

Kushaq Skoda

The mid-size SUV from Czech automaker Skoda, the Kushaq, has taken sixth place on this list, following in the footsteps of its brothers. In terms of adult and child occupant protection, the Skoda Kushaq has received scores of 29.64 out of 34 and 42 out of 49, respectively. In the nation, this well-liked SUV starts at Rs 11.89 lakh.

Toyota Taigun by Volkswagen

The Taigun, the fourth vehicle built on the MQB A0 IN platform, has received the exact same score as its cousin, the Skoda Kushaq, as part of Volkswagen Group’s India 2.0 strategy. In terms of adult and child occupant protection, it received the exact same scores of 29.63 out of 34 and 42 out of 49, respectively. In India, the starting price of this mid-size SUV is currently Rs 11.70 lakh.

Mahindra Scorpio-N

The most well-liked vehicle from Mahindra, the biggest SUV manufacturer in the nation, the Scorpio N, has also managed to get a commendable 29.59 out of 34 for adult protection. Its grade for child protection, which stands at 28.93 out of 49, is somewhat inadequate. In spite of this, the car, which has a starting price of Rs 13.6 lakh, has a large following in the nation.

Verna from Hyundai

Hyundai has produced another one of the safest sedans in the nation. The newly redesigned Verna received scores of 42 out of 49 for child occupant protection and 28.18 out of 34 for adult occupant protection. Starting at Rs 11 lakh, the South Korean automaker’s newest sedan is available.

Altroz Tata

Even though it was introduced some time ago, the Tata Altroz maintains its standing as one of India’s safest hatchbacks. According to outdated regulations, the Tata Altroz has achieved an outstanding score of 16.13 out of 17 for adult occupant protection. Its grade for kid protection, at 29 out of 49, is somewhat lower. The base price of this well-liked luxury hatchback is Rs 6.65 lakh.

Read Full Article

With a sleek new design and interior, the second generation Toyota GR86 arrived in shops in late 2021, offering roughly 10% more power than its predecessor.

In the United States, only over 11,000 units were sold in 2023—a negligible amount in comparison to the enormously successful RAV4, which sold over 434,000 units.

Put that idea aside for a second because the new GR86 range will come with a huge surprise. According to Best Car, the best-selling automobile magazine in Japan, a new 2-door model will go on sale in showrooms in 2025. And then, after about a year, thousands more drivers will find the GR86 much more appealing because Toyota is also going to make a 4-door version of it.

The 350 horsepower turbocharged hybrid powerplant in the new 4-door

With a larger consumer base of people seeking a 4-door sedan with a bit more excitement than the 232,000 Corolla and over 290,000 Camry models that were sold in 2023, the brand will be able to capitalise on this.

Speaking of “more exciting,” Toyota’s 300 horsepower, 3-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, which powers the GR Corolla, will power the new 4-door GR86. However, Best Car reports that the 1.6-liter engine in the 4-door GR86 will also be equipped with an electric motor, converting it to a hybrid. This addition will increase the output of the new 4-door GR86 to a robust 350 horsepower, which will still be sent to the rear wheels.

Another significant change is that Toyota will now be handling research and development duties for the GR86, replacing Subaru, which released the BRZ sibling vehicle to the first GR86. And in doing so, Toyota will use the new 4-door GR86’s Lexus IS platform.

Media and enthusiasts had criticised Toyota for working together to build sports cars such as the Supra with BMW’s Z4 and the GR86 with Subaru’s BRZ. Toyota, however, wants to take control of the development of their sporty cars and use their own chassis and power plants after experiencing enormous success with their GR Yaris rally vehicle in the World Rally Championships. The GR Yaris rally car shares the same engine as the GR Corolla.

Read Full Article

This year, Lotus Technology, a manufacturer of high-end electric vehicles (EVs), intends to launch its semi-autonomous driving system in sixty cities on the Chinese mainland.

CEO Feng Qingfeng told the Post on Friday that the company, a part of the British sports car company Lotus Group, in which Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding owns a majority stake, will concentrate on the premium category even as affordable models dominate the mainland EV market amid a slowing economy.

“We will offer car owners a better experience with our NOA [navigation on autopilot] system this year,”  he declared. Lotus intends to enhance its voice-activated control system in order to showcase its technological prowess.

Cars equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADASs) may automatically traverse city streets. These systems are able to change lanes completely, detect traffic signals at junctions, pass other vehicles, and make left or right turns.

In an effort to carve out a niche in the largest automotive market in the world, Lotus Tech, which this week raised US$880 million through the completion of a merger with Nasdaq-listed L Catterton Asia Acquisition, a special-purpose acquisition company, will begin delivering its second mass-production EV model to Chinese customers next month.

“Lotus Tech envisions building up an image as a luxury electric and intelligent car assembler, banking on the historical sports car brand,” Feng said. “By focusing on sporty features, we want to make Lotus distinct from other global marques like BMW.”

Since late last year, mainland EV manufacturers—including BYD, the biggest EV assembler in the world—have been lowering prices to maintain sales growth. This is expected to lead to a new price war amid heightened competition.

However, Feng predicted that if new models are successful in drawing in wealthy customers, luxury EV deliveries will continue to expand rapidly in the upcoming years.

The global luxury pure electric vehicle (EV) market is anticipated to increase at an annualised rate of 35 percent between 2021 and 2031, reaching a market size of about 1.9 million units in 2031, according to multinational management firm Oliver Wyman.

Lotus will face out against Tesla and a host of Chinese competitors on the Chinese mainland, including Xpeng, Nio, and Yangwang, the high-end EV brand of BYD.

A third of the 772,500 cars that were given to mainland consumers in 2023, with prices above 400,000 yuan (US$55,567), were battery-powered, according to the CPCA.

According to Feng, Lotus Tech plans to expand its global shop count from roughly 200 in the previous year to 300 by 2025. Lotus, which has over 60 stores in China, will continue to concentrate on the most prestigious cities.

Read Full Article

If Microsoft is to be believed, Windows Insiders cannot get enough AI, as the company is releasing AI-enhanced Photo upgrades for Windows 10 and 11.

AI photo editing has been around for a while. Since 2023, owners of Pixel phones and Google One have had access to the Magic Eraser feature, so it was only a matter of time until Microsoft added Generative Erasure to the Spot Fix tool.

It’s a useful tool, but mobile phones—which, let’s be honest, are typically the source of the photos that require editing—provide some fierce competition.

The move by Microsoft to include all of the AI editing capabilities that were previously exclusive to Windows 11 on Windows 10 is more intriguing, though.

For a few months now, Microsoft has been forcing AI features onto Windows 10, even though the operating system’s shelf life is rapidly approaching. The company confirmed that 2025 will still be the last year for Windows 10 and announced the launch of Copilot on the platform in November 2023.

Additionally, Microsoft has added artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to the well-known Paint program with Paint Cocreator, a feature that uses the Azure DALL-E service to create an image based on text input. It does, however, work on a credit-based system, requiring a Microsoft account; each image uses one credit.

Microsoft is probably going to keep introducing more AI-powered features to its operating system. This week, Copilot was given access to a few more parameters, and Notepad recently received an AI update.

Although Windows 10 does not have as strong of an influence over Copilot as Windows 11, it is not difficult to envision further AI technologies appearing in the previous operating system through Microsoft store program upgrades.

All Windows Insiders will receive the Photos app upgrade across all channels. Even though Windows 10 users would have preferred a few more months of support over additional AI functionality on their desktop, the arrival of an AI tool that has long been available on competing platforms will be welcomed by the faithful given Microsoft’s determination to be a leader in the AI field.

Read Full Article

A brand-new ultra-long-haul route is part of Delta Air Lines’ expansion into Australia.

Commencing on December 4, 2024, the Atlanta-based carrier will launch its inaugural flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia. This information was released on Friday.

By March 28, 2025, this new 7,161-mile route will begin seasonal service, running three times a week.

In search of additional news about airlines? Obtain a free biweekly subscription to TPG’s Aviation newsletter.

With 32 Delta One Suites, 48 Premium Select recliners, 36 Comfort+ seats, and 190 regular economy seats, Delta will use an Airbus A350-900 on its new service.

In keeping with its recent South Pacific growth, Brisbane will become Delta’s second Australian destination.

The airline already operates daily flights between Los Angeles and Sydney; but, during the busiest winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, it has added a second daily frequency to this route. In addition, the airline began operating three times a week flights from Los Angeles to Tahiti in December 2022 and flights from Los Angeles to Auckland in October 2023.

With the opening of a new Sky Way terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during the epidemic, Delta is looking to further develop its hub there, which is the reason for all of this expansion.

Residents in and around Brisbane who wish to have access to 40 one-stop itineraries across the United States via Los Angeles are the target market for Delta’s new route. It’s also intended for Americans who live in the United States and want to visit the Gold Coast, a well-liked resort region, and Brisbane’s attractions.

“Delta’s upcoming winter schedule will offer its customers up to 17 weekly flights to and from Australia, with the inclusion of Brisbane, ” Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President of Network Planning at Delta, stated in a statement, “This expansion marks our fourth destination in the South Pacific, establishing our most extensive schedule to date,”

This new route to Brisbane is part of Delta’s efforts to find destinations for its wide-body aircraft during the winter, when demand for transatlantic flights to Europe among leisure and business passengers declines dramatically.

As a matter of fact, United has made Delta’s move more well-known in recent years by expanding its network of South Pacific destinations and becoming the biggest American airline operating in the area.

It’s interesting to note that United added LA to its Brisbane service a year ago, and this new route was introduced barely two years after the airline began operating between San Francisco and Brisbane.

On its new route from LAX to Brisbane, Delta will compete with Australian flag carrier Qantas in addition to United.

But potential is not limited to United and Delta to Brisbane. American Airlines debuted several new long-haul routes earlier this month, the longest of which is a new route from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Brisbane.

This will be American’s maiden trip using its brand-new flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It will showcase its most recent onboard offerings, including improved premium economy chairs and fully enclosed Flagship Business rooms.

On Sunday, February 25, customers will be able to purchase Delta’s new flights to Brisbane.

Read Full Article

At the Dubai Tennis Championships, qualifier Anna Kalinskaya overcame a setdown to defeat world No. 3 Coco Gauff 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 and set up an unexpected semifinal matchup with world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

No. 40 Kalinskaya will play World No. 1 Iga Swiatek on Friday in her maiden WTA 1000 semifinal in an attempt to advance to the championship match. In the final on Saturday, the victor will square off against either No. 22 Sorana Cirstea or No. 26 Jasmine Paolini.

In the first set, which lasted 46 minutes, Gauff broke Kalinskaya three times and appeared to be in complete control of the game. Playing in her sixth match in seven days, Kalinskaya experienced upper back pain at 5-1 and needed to take a medical timeout. She continued to receive treatment during the set break.

Gauff lost her first two service games of the set when play restarted, giving Kalinskaya a 2-1 lead. Before the American mounted a comeback to cut the deficit to 5-4, Kalinskaya had extended the lead to 5-2. Kalinskaya shut the door on a Gauff comeback with one more opportunity to serve out the set, forcing a decisive set.

A clumsy Gauff was unable to match her opponent in the pivotal third set as she swiftly took a 2-0 lead and displayed no symptoms of the early back pain. Instead, she played a variety of forceful baseline forehands combined with angled cross-court backhands that had her opponent on her heels. Kalinskaya maintained her composure while serving to win the match.

Swiatek defeated Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals to continue her winning streak through seven Middle East matches.

In their head-to-head match, the top seed and Doha champion defeated Zheng for the sixth time in a row and for the second time this year to advance to the WTA 1000 event semifinals in 86 minutes.

Read Full Article

Today, the Board of Directors approved a contract for Metra to purchase battery-powered, zero-emission trainsets, propelling the company into a brighter future. Metra will use this cutting-edge technology among the first in the country.

“This purchase demonstrates Metra’s commitment to cleaner power, to quieter trains, and to thinking outside the box as we plan for our future,” Metra CEO/Executive Jim Derwinski stated. “We are excited to bring this technology, and its efficiency, flexibility, and reliability, to Chicago and to our riders.”

A trainset is a collection of permanently or semi-permanently connected railcars having operator controls at either end to enable rapid direction changes. The trainset is propelled by a single engine rather than by separate ones. Under the terms of the contract, Stadler U.S., of Salt Lake City, Utah, will provide eight two-car battery-powered trainsets for a base price of $154 million, including engineering, training, and spare parts. Up to eight additional trainsets and up to 32 trailer cars, which could be added to the two-car trainsets to create three- or four-car trainsets, will be available for an additional $181.4 million.

For the procurement of the trainset, Metra has been awarded a $169.3 million federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant. This amount will pay both the base order and a portion of the options. The twenty percent local contribution required for the grant will be covered by funds from the state PAYGO program.

To comply with ADA standards, the trainsets will feature lifts and low-level boarding. There will be 112 seats available in each two-car combination, and an extra 46 seats will be available in each trailer vehicle. Open gangways will let riders to travel freely from car to car on the single-level sets. They will have amenities including USB outlets, luggage racks, bike racks, and passenger information signs. If bought, half of the trailer cars would have ADA-compliant restrooms.

Metra thinks that using battery-powered trainsets, especially during off-peak hours, could be a more cost-effective and ecologically responsible method to deliver the same level of service or perhaps better. They might be crucial in assisting Metra in realizing its goal of offering more regular daily service, or “regional rail service.” It is anticipated that the first sets would be delivered in 2027–2028.

A 45–65 mile range is anticipated for a fully charged trainset. The amount of time needed to charge from 20% to 80%—enough to run the trainset—will vary, but it should take between 20 to 30 minutes. The precise infrastructure for charging and its price have not yet been decided.

Metra intends to install the trainsets on the 16.4-mile Beverly Branch of the Rock Island Line between LaSalle St. and Blue Island. That would have a direct positive impact on the quality of the air in low-income communities on Chicago’s South Side and in the nearby suburbs.

Purchasing the trainsets would free Metra from tons of carbon emissions and enable it to retire some of its oldest and most polluting diesel locomotives, which are well past their useful lives. Additionally, Metra would be able to retire a few of its oldest railcars.

The final assembly of the purchase will take place at Stadler’s Salt Lake City plant, in compliance with Buy America regulations. For three other U.S. transit agencies, Stadler has constructed and is now constructing FLIRT (Fast, Light, Innovative, Regional, Train) trainsets; however, these are not battery-powered, but rather run on diesel engine gensets or hydrogen fuel cells. Electric, diesel/electric hybrid, and battery-powered models have been produced throughout Europe.

Read Full Article

A dazzling fireball entered the earth’s atmosphere on Wednesday night, lighting up the evening skies over a large portion of the eastern United States and parts of Canada before it quickly burned up. Data gathered by the American Meteor Society shows that over 200 ground observers in 11 U.S. states plus Ontario reported seeing the brilliant show.

According to the statistics, most observers of the meteor on Wednesday night claimed to have seen it between 6:45 and 7 p.m. EST, and the majority of individual sightings lasted between 1 and 7 1/2 seconds. However, a few reports from Augusta, West Virginia, and Front Royal, Virginia, said that the fireball was seen for up to 20 seconds before it vanished. These accounts suggested that the falling space rock lasted for a considerable amount longer than that.

Even if some sightings were fleeting, they were especially colorful. Donald Bradner, a homeowner in Lyndon, Virginia, posted ring camera footage online that appeared to show a brilliant flash of light shooting across the skies over neighboring Maryland. CBS affiliate WUSA-TV was able to secure the clip. According to the TV station, there were more sightings on Wednesday night in Pennsylvania and the Midwest, with at least one reported in Westlake, Ohio, and another in Southfield, Michigan.

“Meteors are harmless and never hit the surface of the earth. Meteorites, on the other hand, do hit the earth before they burn up,”  according to Topper Shutt, a meteorologist with WUSA, who reported on the most recent occurrences late on Wednesday.

NASA estimates that every day, approximately 48 1/2 tons of meteoritic debris fall upon Earth. A meteor, often known as a shooting star, is a space rock that burns up as it spontaneously hits the atmosphere. A fireball is a particularly brilliant one that can occasionally appear even brighter than Venus.

The space rocks are called meteoroids before descending down toward earth, and they can vary greatly in size. Some are as small as a grain of dust, while others are as large as an asteroid. Most of them are pieces that broke off of larger objects in space, like comets or even the moon and other planets, NASA states that meteoroids can be metallic, rocky, or a mix of the two.

In September of last year, hundreds of people in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States witnessed one particularly bright fireball. Scientists discovered that the initial meteoroid from which the fireball originated was a tiny piece of an asteroid, despite NASA’s claim that the fireball was as brilliant as a quarter moon at the time. They stated that the asteroid might have originated in the asteroid belt that lies between Mars and Jupiter.

Read Full Article

On Thursday night (Feb. 22), SpaceX tied its record for the most rocket reuses.

At 11:11 p.m. EST (8:11 p.m. local California time; 04:11 GMT on February 23), a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites took out from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Thursday.

According to a SpaceX mission description, it was the 19th mission for this Falcon 9’s first stage, matching a record the company set on a Starlink launch this past December.

About 8.5 minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to Earth to land on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was positioned in the Pacific Ocean.

The booster will be hauled back to Earth by the ship for examination, repair, and—quite possibly—an further trip.

The 22 Starlink satellites were supposed to be sent into low Earth orbit (LEO) by the Falcon 9’s upper stage approximately 62 minutes after liftoff.

Customers from all over the world can access the internet with Starlink. There are currently over 5,400 operating spacecraft in the LEO megaconstellation, and that figure is constantly rising.

SpaceX’s launch tonight will occur on January 17, 2024. On Tuesday, February 20, Flight 16 launched an Indonesian communications satellite on a historic mission for SpaceX: it was the company’s 300th consecutive successful Falcon 9 launch.

Read Full Article