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Cars for our future: electric, empathetic & beyond

Technology ensures these are not your grandparents’ vehicles

This Audi concept car uses artificial intelligence to alleviate the driver's stress.
This Audi concept car uses artificial intelligence to alleviate the driver's stress.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cars that get to know and anticipate the driver to the first all-electric Mustang to second-generation electrics to a car that is powered by hydrogen.

I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to peak at all the new technology that’s increasingly being incorporated into new vehicles. Some of this new tech will be on display at this weekend’s Jacksonville International Auto Show, but on our prime-time special Thursday night, Richard Nunn and I preview some of the newest vehicles and automotive tech. That’s at 8-9 p.m. Thursday on WJXT/Channel 4.

Audi’s Empathetic Car

We all expect our best friends to know us, but Audi is designing that same relationship with your car.

Let me explain, it’s called the Empathetic Car (pictured above) and by answering a few questions and setting up certain features, Audi’s empathetic car is designed to get to know and even anticipate your wants over time.

The car can regulate the temperature and even color inside the car depending on your mood -- and when it senses you’re stressed, the massage chair can even turn on.

The technology to do this is already here and we got to take it for a spin at CEO. On our prime-time special Thursday at 8 p.m., we’ll take you along.

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

All-electric Mustang

The Ford Mustang is as American as Apple pie, but Ford taking transforming its classic into a vehicle for the future.

This year Ford introduced the first all-electric SUV -- the Mustang Mach-E SUV -- to its lineup.

We know what you’re thinking: All-electric and a bigger vehicle? No way can it match up to the Mustangs we know and love. In Thursday’s special, we’ll compare the numbers and reveal if it meets expectations and when you can see this car on the market.

MORE AUTO SHOW INSIGHT: Richard Nunn on some of the biggest and best on display

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Toyota: Powering a car out of thin air

Toyota wasn’t the first auto companies to introduce a hybrid car for the public to the mass market, but it made the Prius a popular choice for eco-, or just penny-pinching American consumers.

Now Toyota is looking towards the future of powering a vehicle and they believe it’s hydrogen.

Toyota is currently installing hydrogen filling stations along the East Coast and will introduce it’s Mirai model later this year.

As I’ll show you in our Jacksonville Auto Show preview, the only emission from the Mirai is water.

Lauren Verno hears about the latest version of the Nissan Leaf at CES in Las Vegas
Lauren Verno hears about the latest version of the Nissan Leaf at CES in Las Vegas

Nissan: Affordable electric

Nissan believes the future of energy is all-electric and built one of the first electric cars most of us could afford. And a new, improved Nissan Leaf with greater range is at dealerships right now.

Starting at $31,000, the 2020 Leaf can now go up to 226 miles on a single charge.

While we don’t know how many of the vehicles on the cutting edge of technology will be at the Jacksonville International Auto Show this weekend, but the Leaf will be there.


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