Automotive companies like to have fun with April Fool’s jokes in the media. Lyft gave smiles a lift by offering Mono a self-flagging way of calling for your Lyft ride. Last year, MINI touted the Hipster Hatch outfitted with a twin-deck cassette player, a fixed-gear transmission, stonewash denim upholstery and Instagram filter tinted windows.
Last year, Verizon’s Hum offered phone calls for life advice. Lexus offered the V-LCRO Performance Driving Seat. Grubhub offered transportation during food deliveries. There was also autonomous RVing.
In 2015, during the New York Auto Show Honda used social media to launch the bogus HR-V SLF car with ten different selfie cameras. Other crazy Honda April Fools’ pranks were in 2013 with the Honda Hair trimmer and a DIY car building kit also launched April 1 in 2014.
This year’s April Fools come from Lexus, Honda and Progressive Insurance.
Lexus Takes to the Autonomous Lane
Have you ever wished that you could get those slow pokes out of the left lane? Lexus announced a new April Fool connected car feature “Lane Valet.”
Autonomous driving and Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communications continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with Lexus leading the way. Today, the luxury automaker announces its commitment to the development of a new technology feature for all models: Lane Valet. This advanced system will improve traffic flow by assisting the movement of slower moving vehicles from the left lane into the more appropriate right lane, which, in turn, helps make the highway safe and more enjoyable for all parties. Utilizing unprecedented radar and lane monitoring technology, in conjunction with 802.11p V2V wireless data protocol, this new semi-autonomous system will help Lexus drivers to communicate temporarily with the slower vehicle and do the driver the courtesy of safely moving their vehicle for them.
With just the touch of a button located on the front dash, Lane Valet will activate. The Lexus vehicle’s radar and camera systems will scan the road to ensure safe operation while the V2V technology communicates with the misplaced driver’s vehicle. Once connected, Lane Valet will initiate a careful but prompt lane change. The slow driver’s right turn signal will illuminate as the system confirms the adjacent lane is clear of other vehicles or obstructions. Lane Valet will then carefully deposit the unhurried driver into the right lane before disengaging, thus allowing others in the lane to continue moving at their previous pace.
“Lane Valet was conceived by top Lexus engineers who understand the importance of safe and steady driving conditions,” said Brian Bolain, general manager, Lexus product and consumer marketing. “An appropriate vehicle speed without excessive braking offers optimal fuel efficiency, better traffic flow and decreased driver frustration. We’re just trying to give everyone the best possible driving experience.”
Lexus Lane Valet will be rolled out as an optional feature in all models on April 1, 2017. A broadcast spot for Lane Valet will air this Saturday during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Game 2 on CBS, on Comedy Central and during an encore presentation of Saturday Night Live on NBC. More information about this new Lexus innovation can be found at:
Honda Emoji Horn
Another Japanese automaker took to news releases and YouTube for April fun.
Honda has announced a major update to the conventional vehicle horn with the introduction of Honda Horn Emojis, an integrated vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-human communications system for the modern driver. Honda Horn Emojis offer more expressive horn sounds than a traditional car horn, providing drivers a contemporary way of communicating.
Integrated into the steering wheel of the new 2018 Honda Odyssey, Honda Horn Emojis are easy to access and safe to use in a multitude of situations, such as the Rush Hour Traffic emoji, which helps share the pain of being stuck in traffic with other drivers. Honda Horn Emojis also include the Happy Honda Honk emoji that enables the driver to say “hello” to passersby, and the Honda Dog emoji, which is silent to humans but warns canines of approaching vehicles, among others.
To make a more personal and expressive horn, Honda utilized data compiled by social scientists and audiologists to identify situations in which the horn can best communicate the driver’s emotions, and through their findings, developed sounds to express specific emotions that are deployed through the new Honda Horn Emojis.
Research showed that anger is the number one reason the driver uses a standard horn. Honda’s goal was to take horn expression to the next level by expanding the emotional spectrum into other audio-based gestures such as happiness, love and empathy. Through the rigorous development process, Honda engineers have achieved a seamless transition from a traditional horn to Honda Horn Emojis. Honda Horn Emojis were developed by Honda Dream Labs, the same creative folks behind the HondaVac, the world’s first in-car vacuum that debuted in the previous generation Odyssey minivan.
The tongue-in-cheek news release states; Honda Horn Emojis will come standard on the 2018 Honda Odyssey, and join the available advanced connectivity and technology features that will debut on the sleek, sophisticated and innovative new 2018 Odyssey this spring.
Progressive Insurance is now offering faux insurance for life on Mars for your pod, rover or aircraft. Be the first to get Red Planet Protection. You can bundle with earthly insurance to save.
Progress will cover for every out-of-this-world scenario. Alien theft on Mars is real. Coverage includes dust storms, meteorites and alien thefts.