PPG expert talks self-driving car paints
The popularity of automotive paint colors changes all the time. Jane Harrington, head of PPG's design group, stopped by the Roadshow booth at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show to tell us what her company thinks is going to be hot and on-trend in 2018. What's more, she also talked about how self-driving technology could impact future paints and finishes.To get more car news
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Based on the prevalence of oranges and reds, Harrington says copper tones are going to be the ones to watch for this year. Add in the growing popularity of tinted clear coats that makes these already-bright hues appear even deeper and more rich-looking. Blues are also growing in popularity with Ford and Subaru taking the crown for most pleasing blue hues.
Perhaps even more interestingly, Harrington and Roadshow Editor-in-Chief Tim Stevens also talked about PPG's research into the world of high reflectivity paints designed specifically for autonomous vehicles. She explains that there is some concern that lidar may not be able to accurately read dark paint colors because of the way they absorb light, and PPG hopes to combat that through new formulations. PPG is also working on coatings for the lenses of autonomous vehicle cameras that will work to prevent dirt and bugs from sticking to them, thus reducing their effectiveness.
The future is looking pretty shiny over at PPG, but Jane and Tim cover a bunch more ground, so check out their conversation in its entirety in our video.We expected the production version of Audi's E-tron electric SUV to be one of the big debuts of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, but the automaker has done something, well, more oblique. Audi has descended on Switzerland with part of its E-tron prototype test fleet wrapped in conspicuously designed black-and-orange camouflage and set them loose on the streets of Geneva.
Beneath the special E-tron camo -- which is designed to attract attention with its orange highlights while hiding details of the SUV's design -- the prototypes are powered by a trio of electric motors outputting a combined 320 kW (or about 429 horsepower). Together, they form an electronic version of Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system. Powering those motors is a battery pack that can be recharged at fast-charging stations in just 30 minutes with a rough-estimated range of about 310 miles per charge.