Paolo Uggetti, one of the nation’s most talented young sports journalists, has joined ESPN as a college football writer.
Uggetti has covered the NBA nationally for The Ringer for the past five years, writing features on everything from Devin Booker’s Mexican heritage to players’ mental health in the bubble, to tracking down the KIA that Blake Griffin dunked over in the 2011 dunk contest.
Uggetti also interned with The Wall Street Journal sports department, where he discovered the kinds of stories he loves to write — niche, sometimes quirky, but always human.
“After working on finding compelling stories in the NBA for a few seasons, I’m really looking forward to diving into the unique culture of college football alongside the team at ESPN,” said Uggetti. “The number of story opportunities in a sport that’s going through so much change is exciting, and I can’t wait to get a chance to tell some of those stories.”
ESPN college football deputy editor Ryan Canner-O’Mealy added: “We couldn’t be more excited to add Paolo to our talented team. His eye for interesting stories and history of in-depth reporting will make for a seamless transition into the world of college football.”
Uggetti is proudly from El Salvador but moved to Los Angeles when he was nine years old, falling in love with other sports besides fútbol. Uggetti is fluent in his native Spanish and graduated from USC in 2017. There, he covered the Trojans football team for two seasons and won two LA Press Club awards for stories he wrote for the student-run online publication.
Forbes Wheels just published a summary of data indicating the links between the car Americans drive and who they’re likely to vote for. Below are the highlights — does your car match your political affiliation?
A month ahead of the U.S. presidential election, pollsters might gain more insight into American consumers’ voting preferences by the vehicle they drive. Based on exclusive data from Strategic Vision, in an analysis of 250 car models and 11 political affiliations:
Republicans make up 55% of the SUV market and 53% of the heavy duty pickup market.
Democrats make up 38% and 36% of the small and mid-size APT (hybrids, EVs) market, respectively.
Among heavy duty pickups, Republicans outnumber Dems 8-1.
Democrats drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars (think Honda, Subaru, or Prius).
Brands also convey political leanings. Audi, BMW and Volvo over-index on Democrats, while Cadillac, Land Rover, Lexus and Lincoln are heavily Republican. Chrysler, Genesis, Jeep and Kia are more balanced between political preference.
For additional insights, a breakdown of top models by political affiliation or more on the data, view the chart below or visit the full synopsis here.
Hyundai CRADLE, Hyundai Motor Company’s corporate venturing and open innovation business announced today its strategic investment in allegro.ai, a leading technology company specializing in deep learning (DL) – based computer vision. This partnership with allegro.ai will allow to speed up deployment of AI technology in many business areas. This will improve the quality of Hyundai’s products, thereby increasing customer satisfaction while creating a safer driving environment.
Founded in 2016, allegro.ai offers the first end-to-end DL lifecycle management solution focused on deep learning as it applies to computer vision. The company’s platform simplifies the process of developing and managing deep learning-powered solutions – such as autonomous vehicles, drones, security, logistics and others.
“Deep learning computer vision is one of the core technologies that can be applied to autonomous driving to navigate roads and make quick decisions in real-time – and allegro.aiis clearly an innovation leader in that field,” said Ruby Chen, Head of Investment at Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv. He added, “Our investment in allegro.ai is a further step in enhancing our presence in the Israeli market, a global leader of technological innovation in the fields of automation, artificial intelligence and deep learning. This is our fifth investment in an Israeli company and our activities will continue to grow the coming year”.
“We are proud to partner with Hyundai and share Hyundai’s belief that AI empowers the industry to provide greater road safety, autonomy, to better understand customers’ needs and to help broaden their experiences,” said Nir Bar-lev CEO and Co-founder of allegro.ai. “Whether a company is developing autonomous vehicles, drones, security, or other types of applications, allegro.ai makes it easy for them to manage their data-sets and build deep learning-based solutions while guaranteeing complete and confidential control of their data.
As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.
The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.
The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.
The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.
The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.
The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.
The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.
All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.
This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.
The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.
In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.
In-Car Multimedia Technology Still Vexes Vehicle Owners, but Some Automakers Showing Strong Improvement, J.D. Power Finds
In-car multimedia technology, perennially the leading source of complaints among new-vehicle owners, is still a sore spot for customer satisfaction, but is improving. According to the J.D. Power 2018 Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study,SM the number of reported problems with in-car audio, communication, entertainment and navigation (ACEN) technologies has decreased for a third consecutive year, with several technology standouts emerging among manufacturers.
The study measures the experiences and opinions of vehicle owners regarding the quality, design and features of their ACEN system in the first 90 days of ownership. Multimedia system quality is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality.
Top-performing vehicles in each segment are as follows:
• Small Mass Market: Kia Rio
• Compact Mass Market: Kia Forte
• Midsize Mass Market: Ford Mustang
• Large Mass Market: Ford Taurus
• Small Premium: BMW 2 Series
• Compact Premium: Porsche 718
• Midsize Premium: Lincoln Continental
• Large Premium: BMW 7 Series
“In-car multimedia has been a problematic category for automakers for several years, as ever-more elaborate navigation, voice recognition and entertainment systems have proliferated in vehicles of every type,” said Brent Gruber, Senior Director, Automotive Quality Practice, J.D. Power. “While the area is still the leading cause of new-vehicle complaints—with voice recognition technology continuing to lead the way as the number one complaint for a sixth consecutive year—we are seeing some serious improvement across the board, with some manufacturers really raising the bar on delivering quality multimedia technology experiences for their customers.”
Data for the annual Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study is derived from each year’s J.D. Power Vehicle Quality Survey (VQS). The data is augmented with supplier sourcing information where available, which affords multimedia suppliers with a comprehensive view of the overall multimedia industry, as well as the performance of individual products and systems, and problems that owners experience.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments and private equity firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.
New-Vehicle Initial Quality Improves Again, J.D. Power Finds
Genesis, Kia and Hyundai Are Three Highest-Ranked Brands
New-vehicle quality has improved for the fourth consecutive year—by 4% from 2017—and has reached its best level ever, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM released today.
Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, quality improves across six of the eight categories measured, with 21 of the 31 brands included in the study improving their quality from 2017. The industry average of 93 PP100 is 4 PP100 better than in 2017.
“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”
Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:
• Most vehicle areas improve: Of the eight categories measured,vehicle exterior improves the most, now at 15.2 PP100, compared with 16.6 PP100 in 2017. Improvements include less wind noise and fewer paint imperfections. Significant year-over-year improvements also occur in the seats (8.0 PP100 vs. 8.7 PP100) and vehicle interior (14.3 PP100 vs. 14.7 PP100) categories.
• Porsche 911 posts best score of any model: The Porsche 911 has the lowest overall problem level (48 PP100) of any model this year. This is also the lowest level recorded in this generation of the study (2013-2018). The U.S. Initial Quality Study, which was first published in 1987, is currently in its fourth generation.
• All domestic corporations improve faster than the industry: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (7 PP100 improvement), Ford Motor Company (5 PP100 improvement) and General Motors (5 PP100 improvement) all outpace the industry average rate of improvement (4 PP100).
• Infotainment problems are decreasing: Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) remains the most problematic category for new-vehicle owners. However, this area has improved for the third consecutive year, led by fewer problems with built-in voice recognition systems.
• Globalization of auto industry continues: Vehicles in the 2018 study are manufactured in 25 countries, 11 of which weren’t present in the study five years ago. Those 11 countries include Brazil, China, Finland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and Turkey. The other 14 countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.
• Increasing problems with driver assistance systems: As automakers add more advanced driver assistance systems to their vehicles, more consumers are experiencing problems. The level is still low (3.5 PP100 on average) but has been increasing by about 20% a year for the past three years.
“As we look to the future, avoiding problems with safety and driver assistance technology is critical,” Sargent said. “In an era of increasingly automated vehicles, vehicle owners have to be comfortable using foundational technologies like lane keep assistance and collision avoidance. Otherwise, automakers will not easily overcome consumer resistance to fully automated (driverless) cars.”
Highest-Ranked Brands and Models
Genesis ranks highest in overall initial quality with a score of 68 PP100. Kia (72 PP100) ranks second and Hyundai (74 PP100) ranks third. This is the first time that three Korean brands are at the top of the overall ranking, and it is the fourth consecutive year that Kia is the highest-ranking Mass Market brand. Porsche (79 PP100)ranks fourth and Ford (81 PP100) ranks fifth.
Mazda is the most-improved brand, with owners reporting 25 PP100 fewer problems than in 2017. Other brands with strong improvements include Mitsubishi (20 PP100 improvement), Cadillac (15 PP100 improvement), Infiniti (15 PP100 improvement), Hyundai (14 PP100 improvement) and Lexus (14 PP100 improvement).
The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Ford Motor Company (five awards), followed by Hyundai Motor Group (four),and BMW, General Motors and Nissan (three each).
• Ford Motor Company models that rank highest in their respective segments are Ford Expedition; Ford Mustang; Ford Super Duty; Lincoln Continental; and Lincoln MKC.
• Hyundai Motor Group models that rank highest in their segments are Genesis G90; Hyundai Tucson; Kia Rio; and Kia Sorento.
• General Motors models that rank highest in their segments are Buick Envision; Chevrolet Silverado; and Chevrolet Silverado HD.
• BMW models that rank highest in their segments are BMW 4 Series; BMW X1; and BMW X6.
• Nissan models that rank highest in their segments are Nissan Altima; Nissan Frontier; and Nissan Maxima.
Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are Acura ILX, Dodge Grand Caravan, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Toyota Corolla.
Plant Quality Awards
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Yoshiwara plant (Japan), which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions. Plant quality awards are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s Cambridge North (Canada) plant, which produces the Toyota Corolla, and Georgetown 3 (Ky.) plant, which produces the Lexus ES, each receive the Gold Plant Quality Award in a tie for the Americas region. BMW Group’s Dingolfing 02 (Germany) plant, which produces the BMW 6 Series and BMW 7 Series, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award for the Europe/Africa region.
The 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 75,712 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery organized into eight vehicle categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2018.
Find detailed information on vehicle quality, as well as model photos and specs, at jdpower.com/quality
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.