Buick Paving Way to Smarter and Safer Driving at All-New Active Safety Test Area

22 crash-avoidance technologies offered on 2016 Buick models

MILFORD, Mich.07.24.2015 – Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will offer 22 different active safety technologies across their 2016 model year U.S. lineups, ranging from driver alerts to those that automatically intervene and assist the driver in critical situations.

Safety engineers will develop and test these and other safety technologies for products around the world at GM’s new, 52-acre Active Safety Test Area at its Milford Proving Ground near Detroit. The $14 million facility officially opened Friday.

“Our comprehensive safety strategy of helping customers before, during and after a crash continues,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “GM historically has been a leader in the development and testing of safety technologies, and applying our deep knowledge and expertise to prevent crashes from happening in the first place.”

Examples of available crash-avoidance technologies for 2016 GM models include:

  • City Speed Front Automatic Braking: If the vehicle is traveling at a low speed and the system detects that a front-end collision situation is imminent while following a detected vehicle and the driver has not already applied the brakes, the system automatically applies brakes to help reduce the collision’s severity. The system may even help avoid the collision at very low speeds.
  • Front Pedestrian Braking: If the system detects that a pedestrian is directly ahead and a collision is imminent, and the driver has not already applied the brakes, the system alerts the driver and, if necessary, automatically applies the brakes to help reduce the collision’s severity or avoid the collision.
  • Rear Camera Mirror: Compared to a traditional inside rearview mirror, this rear view mirror display provides a wider, less obstructed field of view to assist when driving, changing lanes, and checking for vehicles and traffic conditions.
  • Night Vision: Provides the driver an infrared night vision image of the area lit beyond the headlamps that highlights and provides alerts to detected pedestrians or large animals.
  • Curb View Camera: When in Forward gear during low-speed maneuvering (e.g., parking),  this system provides the driver a view of the scene immediately ahead of the vehicle on the vehicle’s center stack display to help the driver avoid low-speed collisions into nearby objects, such as curbs, poles, and parked vehicles.

“The technologies we are developing and testing at this facility are available to our customers across our GM brands,” said Cynthia Bay, director of Active Safety Electronics and Controls. “Front Pedestrian Braking will be offered on the 2016 Chevy Malibu, and the lowest-priced Chevy we offer in the U.S. – the new 2016 Chevy Spark – has available Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Alert.”

The new Active Safety Test Area concentrates the company’s active safety testing into one, state-of-the-art site. It features:

  • A 16-acre dynamics pad for testing a variety of robot-controlled and automated vehicles.
  • Highway simulation with six lanes, on/off ramps, controlled lighting and road signs that represent specifications around the world.
  • A parking test area with different curb types and landscaping detection.
  • Pedestrian test area with a 90-degree traffic intersection and specially designed rig for accurate dummy movement.
  • Simulated tunnel with walls and posts.
  • A building for observation, indoor testing, hoists for test preparation and a robotic control station.

Bay said the facility is ideal for testing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies, which will be standard on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.

“In addition to helping customers all over the world avoid crashes, many of the technologies we develop and test here are integral to our ongoing V2V communications work and even the development of future autonomous vehicles,” she said.

The V2V dedicated short-range radio communication enables vehicles to “talk” to each other and exchange basic safety data such as speed, location and braking status. It complements existing safety components like radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors; some of the components rigorously tested at the new Active Safety Test Area facility, in a fast and efficient way.

The facility is also used to assess performance in regulatory and insurance industry consumer metric tests, such as those conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and others.

“General Motors is committed to setting a new standard for global product safety, and developing vehicles that continue to provide leading safety technologies which can help drivers avoid crashes,” said Boyer. “This facility will accelerate GM’s development and testing of innovative safety technologies.”

Buick Introduces 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive

LOS ANGELES – 07.22.2015 – Buick and its participating dealers today introduced the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, a daylong test drive experience complemented by sounds, smells and even yoga techniques to help encourage well-being and happiness on the road.

Driving can be stressful, especially during rush hour or for those who get lost. A recent survey of drivers conducted online by Harris Poll– commissioned by Buick – shows 57 percent are interested in learning how to reduce their stress while driving.

Separately, a recent AutoTrader.com “Car Buyer of the Future” study found that 88 percent of consumers said they would not buy a car without test driving it first. And a majority of those surveyed said they wanted more convenience and less pressure while test driving.

“From the refined and sculptural design of our vehicles, to the environment of our showrooms, to our award-winning customer service, happiness and a sense of well-being are inherent in everything we do,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick.

The 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive content includes exclusive videos, podcasts, compressed digital images, and even a recipe for an in-car fragrance designed to make any car journey a happier experience. The online content is expected to help to engage new customers and complement the dealer-offered 24-hour test drive.

To create the 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive, Buick brought together some of America’s leading experts on happiness and well-being. They used the beauty, calm and refined comfort of Buick vehicles to inspire their specialized content.

The experts include:

  • Shawn Achor, author, happiness researcher and CEO of GoodThink Inc.
  • Chad Dennis, yoga instructor to the stars
  • Bar Refaeli, Israeli supermodel and yogi
  • Amanda Chantal Bacon, wellness guru and Moon Juice founder
  • Jeff Kober, actor and meditation coach
  • Irene Neuwirth, jewelry designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America award winner
  • Dr. Dot, masseuse to the stars.

The content includes:

“The Buick Road to Happiness,” a motivational podcast and short film created by Achor with Buick. Intended to be listened to on the road, it is designed to help increase a driver’s sense of happiness and well-being.

“The Buick Body Shop,” is a custom yoga video by Dennis, starring supermodel Bar Refaeli. As touring yoga instructor to Maroon 5 and One Direction, Dennis is well-versed in practicing yoga while on the road. His simple yoga sequence, performed before or after the test drivea drive, is designed to alleviate tension, improve physical performance and aid mental clarity and focus.

“The Buick Atmosphere” is an in-car aroma created by Bacon and Neuwirth. Bacon turns her culinary talents to fragrance – mixing a custom in-car scent inspired by Buick’s calm and comfortable interiors and designed to elevate and stimulate the senses.

Red carpet jewelry designer Neuwirth created a unique diffuser for the fragrance featuring wood, crystals and Choccachino Buick leather, her first non-fine jewelry creation. The Buick Atmosphere fragrance is easy to create at home and the recipe, a simple mix of Amanda’s favorite essential oils, will be online. A suggested soundtrack and menu of healthy snacks complements the fragrance.

“The Buick Meditation Map” is a podcast and short film by actor and meditation coach, Kober. For Buick, he created a special guided meditation to be performed before or after the drivea drive. His Buick Meditation Map has been designed to increase awareness, mental clarity and focus, and get participants in what he calls “the drive zone.”

“The Buick Pressure Check” is a series of compressed digital images, or GIFs, by Dr. Dot, also known as “massage therapist to the stars.” With the stress of driving in mind, Dr. Dot designed a simple pressure point massage technique intended to be self-administered before , during (while safely stopped) or after the testa drive. The techniques are designed to ease tension in the head, ears, jaw, neck and shoulders.

“We believe this innovative content and dealership experience will connect Buick with a heightened sense of well-being and create additional excitement about the brand,” Aldred said.

The 24 Hours of Happiness Test Drive content, as well as information on how to participate in a test drive in your area, is available here. Content also can be accessed from the Buick Verano, Regal, LaCrosse, Encore or Enclave using the available OnStar 4G LTE and WiFi hot spot.

The survey was conducted online within the United States between June 25 and 29, 2015 among 2,018 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, 1,841 of whom are drivers, by Harris Poll Online on behalf of Buick.

Introducing The 2016 Buick Encore Sport Touring

New 1.4L turbo engine adds performance, exclusive exterior cues add distinction

DETROIT – 07.20.2015 – Buick today introduced the 2016 Encore Sport Touring – a more spirited take on the brand’s popular crossover. It is distinguished by unique exterior cues and driven by an exclusive, all-new 1.4L turbocharged engine featuring direct injection and stop/start technology.

The exterior features include a winged rear spoiler, 18-inch aluminum premium-finish wheels and body-color door handles, while the technologically advanced 1.4L turbo is part of a new, global family of small, power-dense engines developed to balance performance and efficiency with exceptional refinement.

Direct injection helps it generate an estimated 153 hp (112 kW) and 177 lb-ft of torque (240 Nm), for about 11 percent more horsepower and nearly 20 percent more torque than the Encore’s standard engine – and a greater feeling of power on demand, particularly at low- and mid-range engine speeds. It’s matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Stop/start technology contributes to reduced fuel consumption in stop-and-go driving. It automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop under certain driving conditions, such as a stoplight. The engine automatically restarts when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake.

Buick Encore is a driving force behind Buick’s expansion and a catalyst for introducing a new generation of customers to the brand,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick. “The all-new Encore Sport Touring broadens that base, giving customers more choices – along with more performance, more technology and more efficiency.”

The 2016 Encore Sport Touring goes on sale this fall. All Encore models offer room for five and up to 48.4 cubic feet (1,371 liters) of storage space. Standard features include:

  • Blue-accented halogen composite projector-beam headlamps
  • IntelliLink voice-activated infotainment system with a seven-inch-diagonal, high-resolution, full-color display
  • OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a Wi-Fi hotspot, including a three-month/3GB data trial
  • Rearview camera system
  • Fold-flat front passenger seat that extends the cargo length and accommodates items up to eight feet long
  • Ten standard air bags, including side-curtain and knee air bags
  • QuietTuning with Bose Active Noise Cancellation technology
  • Heated outside rearview mirrors with signal indicators
  • Fuel-saving electric power steering
  • Four-wheel disc brakes.

Encore Sport Touring also includes the Convenience package, which adds a 120-volt power outlet, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, fog lamps, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert and remote starting.

All-wheel drive, a premium Bose® audio system, navigation radio and a moonroof are available.

1.4L turbo details
The Buick Encore Sport Touring’s exclusive 1.4L turbo is based on an all-new engine family, sharing only its displacement with the Encore’s standard 1.4L turbo engine. It features an aluminum cylinder block and head, which helps reduce mass for better performance and efficiency.

Engine efficiency is also bolstered through reduced friction, including low-friction piston rings, a low-friction camshaft drive and a low-friction oil pump. Additional engine features include:

  • A durable steel crankshaft for strength and reduced engine vibration
  • Powder-metal steel connecting rods and hypereutectic-alloy aluminum pistons that are tough and contribute to quietness. They are used with low-tension rings that reduce friction
  • A variable-flow oiling system that helps maximize fuel efficiency. The crankshaft-driven oil pump matches oil supply to engine load, changing its capacity based on the engine’s demand for oil – eliminating energy wasted to pump unneeded oil
  • Piston-cooling oil jets that minimize piston temperatures – helping to make the most of performance, refinement, efficiency and emissions.

The cylinder head has a water-cooled exhaust manifold integrated within the aluminum casting. Its single-piece design helps quicken engine warm-up, which contributes to better emissions performance. Improved durability results from eliminating the need for gasket sealing around the exhaust ports, as well as offering under-hood packaging advantages.

Along with performance and efficiency, the new 1.4L engine offers excellent refinement, with low vibration and noise levels – a hallmark of Buick’s commitment to quiet vehicles. Highlights include:

  • The camshaft drive-chain, with an inverted-tooth design, and chain architecture designed for low sound levels
  • A lower, stamped steel sump at the bottom of the aluminum oil pan
  • The front-end accessory drive features an overriding alternator coupler to remove the effect of crankshaft oscillations. It also allows a reduction in tensioning force, which reduces friction levels and improves efficiency
  • Acoustically optimized covers for the top and front of the engine
  • Crankshaft isolation with iron main bearing inserts.

FAST FACT: Encore sales increased 29 percent for the first six months of 2015.