New Ford Trend Report Touts Influence Of ‘Generation Z’

DEARBORN — The Millennials are old news. Now it’s time for the spotlight to shine on Generation Z.

There’s no exact definition of when Generation Z started, but most analysts put their birth date somewhere between 2000 and 2005. Thus, the oldest Gen Z members are now just entering high school — but Ford Motor Co.’s latest trend report suggests they’re already key players in today’s technology-driven culture.

The report says Gen Z is digitally savvy, socially conscious, motivated to buck conventions and set new standards, to reject the stigma of failure, and to embrace new forms of mobility that enable more freedom and creativity.

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Pure Michigan Puts Snow in the Spotlight

LANSING — It was a green Christmas for much of Michigan, but this being Michigan, the white stuff is surely on the way.

And this week, Pure Michigan announced the launch of its winter advertising campaign, which highlights Michigan’s cold-weather recreation opportunities to travelers throughout the Great Lakes region.

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Ford Rolls Out New Features Of Sync AppLink

DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. has announced new features of its Sync AppLink in-car app system, including Life360, which helps keep family members in touch while commuting, and a new hyper-local weather report from AccuWeather.

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Visteon, Finnish Firm Partner On Electronic Graphics

VAN BUREN TWP. — Auto supplier Visteon Corp. (NYSE:VC) and the Finland-based user interaction design software developer Rightware say their collaboration has expanded to delivering superior UI and graphics systems for the automotive industry.

Visteon and Rightware say they will now provide vehicle manufacturers with industry-leading human machine interaction products and services using high-definition three-dimensional graphic rendering technologies, capable of delivering photorealistic
graphics in various configurations inside the vehicle.

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Taubman Launching New Mall Shopping App

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Taubman Centers Inc. says it is piloting a new mobile shopping app at its new Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, Fla.

The free “Mall at UTC” iOS app offers indoor navigation technology for shoppers. It’s being piloted at UTC now and is scheduled to roll out to Taubman properties across the United States next year.

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RheTech To Be Acquired By Swedish Firm

WHITMORE LAKE — RheTech Inc., a producer of resin compounds, color concentrates and additives, says it has agreed to be acquired by the Malmo, Sweden-based rubber and plastics compounder Hexpol AB.

The company said the acquisition is expected to be completed in early 2015, pending regulatory approvals. Company officials said no changes are expected immediately in employment or production at RheTech’s four United States plants.

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TRW To Exhibit At 2015 International CES

LIVONIA — TRW Automotive will be exhibitng several advanced technologies at the International CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show) Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

Included are:

* TRW’s S-cam 3 camera, which supports Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for highway speeds as a standalone sensor.

* TRW’s next-generation camera system – the S-Cam4 family – will include a premium three lens camera, TriCam4, which has an expanded object detection range and field of view over prior camera generations. The TriCam4 adds a telephoto lens for improved long distance sensing, and a fish-eye lens for improved short range sensing ideal for semi-automated driving functions such as Highway Driving Assist and Traffic Jam Assist.

* TRW’s next generation radar family, AC1000, can enable 360-degree sensing capabilities and the option of dual mode functionality that covers both low speed and high speed applications in one unit. Suitable for front, rear and side sensing applications, the AC1000 can be used for a range of safety functions including
forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, emergency steering assist and pedestrian detection.

* TRW’s Safety Domain ECU (SDE) uses open AUTOSAR architecture and integrates a number of chassis, suspension and Drive Assist Systems (DAS) control functions. The second generation SDE will offer greater performance when compared to its previous generation and will be a key technology in supporting
semi-automated driving and car-to-car communication.

* TRW’s traffic jam assist function enables a car to follow the vehicle in front while keeping in its lane, up to a specific vehicle speed. This is another example of a semi-automated driving function.

* TRW’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) combines advanced Driver Assist Systems (DAS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to slow a vehicle travelling at high speed and potentially mitigate the severity of an impact when a collision is unavoidable.

* TRW’s Emergency Steering Assist function supports the driver in an emergency situation where the driver initiates an evasive steering maneuver. The function calculates optimal trajectories around the target vehicle. An additional steering torque is applied to assist the driver during evasive maneuver and also assist the
driver in stabilizing the vehicle

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Kart 2 Kart Hosts Student Formula SAE Racers Dec. 28

STERLING HEIGHTS — Want to catch a little fun indoor racing action over Christmas break? Head to Kart 2 Kart Indoor Karting and Conference Center in Sterling Heights Dec. 28, when Kart 2 Kart hosts members of the Formula SAE racing teams from both Wayne State University and Lawrence Technological University for an endurance race.

The public is welcome to attend the races as nearly two dozen engineering students hone their skills on the Kart 2 Kart indoor circuit. The race starts at 7 p.m. Dec. 28. There is no cost to attend.

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Calumet Electronics Sees $3M Capital Investment

CALUMET — Calumet Electronics Corp. has announced an investment of close to $3 million in capital equipment, infrastructure improvements and technology upgrades.

Calumet produces high-performance printed circuit boards with some of the industry’s highest defect-free manufacturing (DFM) rates. Due to such investments over the prior decade, Calumet has thrived at a time when 70 percent of its competitors have shut their doors.

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More Toyota In The Mitten — $126M Expansion Planned

ANN ARBOR — Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. announced a $126 million expansion of its southeast Michigan research and development campuses, the third time in just over a year that the Japanese automaker has announced plans to increase employment and investment in Michigan.

The announcement includes a 50,000-square-foot expansion of Toyota’s powertrain operations at its Ann Arbor Township campus and consolidation of vehicle development operations at a new, 260,000-square-foot building on its campus in York Township, just south of Ann Arbor.

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