Showing posts in the category of gadgets

BMW Develops "Light and Charge" Street Lights for All EV Users

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Simple ideas are usually the best ideas: BMW has developed street lights equipped with sockets to charge electric cars and said it will test the new technology in Munich next year.

Consumer Reports Gives Android Auto the Quick Once-Over in LA

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Android has finally reached dashboard-mounted touchscreens and if you’ve seen the latest mobile version of the operating system, it will be instantly familiar. That’s what Consumer Reports says after having had a chance to try it out at the Los Angeles motor show this week.

Google’s Self Driving Cars are Designed to Expect the Unexpected

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There’s only so much you can script into code for a car to drive itself and make sure it’s safe on unpredictable public roads. In fact, if you go down the scripting route too much, you may end up with a product that lacks adaptability, and that’s exactly what Google is reportedly trying to avoid in developing its autonomous car tech.

Mercedes Shows Future Path for its LED Headlights [w/Video]

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Mercedes has just announced that for future models that are to use LED headlights, it’s going to switch from units featuring 24 diodes to ones with 84 per lamp. The promise is better quality lighting for improved safety and a lesser chance of dazzling oncoming traffic.

Volvo Details New Interior Air Quality Filter for XC90

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Smelling the smog as you’re sitting in traffic is one of the least pleasurable aspects about in-town driving. Not only are some particles unpleasant to the senses, but they also cause health hazards too, so Volvo is selling its new XC90 SUV with what a multi-filter system that cleans the air before it goes into the cabin.

Next-Gen Prius to Get Technology Tested in Toyota’s Le Mans Racer

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Race on Sunday, sell on Monday; the old adage is most certainly used by automakers’ marketing departments as they try to make some short of connection between their on-track success and the models they actually sell to the public.

The truth is, though, that these days racing technology is so sophisticated, and thus costly, that its use on everyday cars is all but prohibited. Sure, some of it eventually trickles down eventually on production models but not quite in the same form – even if those PR departments would like us to believe otherwise.

Toyota, however, went the other way around, as it is already testing certain parts of the current Prius replacement in its TS040 Hybrid Le Mans racer, which currently leads the championship standings.

“Our components already have parts from the next-generation Prius”, president of Toyota Motorsport GmbH Yoshiaki Kinoshita told Autonews. Although he wasn’t willing to go into much detail, Kinoshita said that they weren’t mechanical parts but rather preproduction prototypes of microchips and microcontrollers that are tested for longevity in the harsh environment of endurance racing.

One thing the racer and the street-going hybrids have in common is the need for fuel efficiency. The TS040 has been redesigned in order to reduce its consumption by 25 percent compared to the 2013 TS030 car while, at the same time, increasing a much higher output of 1,000HP to the previous racer’s 750!

Kinoshita revealed that one technology that most certainly won’t feature in the fourth-generation Prius is the racing car’s electric power storage system. That’s because the former uses supercapacitors for its braking energy storage and subsequent release, an energy flow that happens much faster than in any street car that’s perfectly OK with batteries.

Then there are the semiconductors, which manage the energy flow between the hybrid’s battery, motor and generator. Toyota revealed last May that it has developed a silicon carbide semiconductor that can increase fuel efficiency by 10 percent and that it plans to commercialize it in around six years’ time. Probably after they have been thoroughly tested on a future hybrid racer for a sufficient amount of time, we presume.

By Andrew Tsaosusis

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Expert Says 50 Percent of All Radio Stations Will be Gone by 2024

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With the revolution in how we interact with cars via their dashboards, which are becoming increasingly tech-rich, the way we listen to music and the radio will also change.

Gordon Borrell, a specialist in the field of media history, for instance, believes that half of all terrestrial radio stations will have gone extinct within the next 10 years.

215 HP Nissan Juke Nismo RS Has its Tech Checked by CNET

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The profile buyer of a 2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS is hard to peg down. He or she wants their car to be compact-sized, but a crossover, yet also fill the role of hot hatch and fashion accessory at the same time.

It’s an odd mix of characteristics, but is it talented enough to attract as a whole package too?

OneWheel is Like Half a Segway and it Works

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If you live in a typically crowded city where oftentimes you’d be better off just parking your car somewhere and continuing your journey by other means, then the OneWheel could be a solution.

It’s basically like half a Segway, using only one wheel and computer brains to keep things balanced.

What Autonomous Emergency Braking is and Why it’s Important to Have

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You probably already know what AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) is. It’s a system that’s now being fitted to some cars which automatically applies the brakes when it senses an imminent crash via its array of sensors.

Audi’s Upcoming Self-Driving Tech to Perform “Better than Human Beings”

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While this article’s title makes a big claim, it’s really not that far fetched to believe - just hard to achieve right now.

Audi’s head of product and tech communications, Stefan Moser, recently made the statement that “if we have a proper system it will always be better than human beings,” then explained it’s because “they are not phoning, not looking at pretty girls, no distractions."

Japan Builds a Working Transformers Robot That Turns Into a Car

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Your childhood dreams or…perhaps nightmares are about to come true as a Japanese group has built a fully working Transformers robot.

New HUD Heralds Arrival of Real Life, Game-Like Track Ghosts [w/Video]

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There are a lot of ways you can enjoy racing games, and track time attacks is one of them. Most titles offer a ghost facility which basically lets you race against yourself, in the quest to beat your best time – now, with a system called GhostDash, you will be able have the feature when real-life racing too.

CR Looks at the Usefulness of Night Vision Tech in Cars

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Night vision in luxury cars is nothing new; it’s been around since the early 2000s on Lexus and Mercedes models. Now, it’s been adopted by an even wider array of manufacturers who’ve also integrated new pedestrian and obstacle recognition tech into it for added capability.

Hyundai Engineers Unveil Wild Concepts at the R&D IDEA Festival

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Hyundai’s annual R&D IDEA Festival in Korea is a fertile ground for unusual concepts, with the competition being open exclusively to engineers from within the company.

Audi Says RS7 Piloted Driving Concept Is the Sportiest Autonomous Car [w/Video]

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Audi unveiled the RS 7 Piloted Driving Concept car that will lap the Hockenheim track on October 17 and 19 at racing speed without a driver.

First "Vertu for Bentley" Smartphone Costs Just...$17,100

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Bentley and Vertu have revealed the first smartphone from their co-designed “Vertu for Bentley” line announced in July this year as part of a five-year partnership.

Michael Schumacher’s Brain Injuries May Have Been Caused by GoPro Camera's Helmet Mount

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An intriguing hypothesis regarding the cause of Michael Schumacher’s terrible head injuries has been launched by Formula 1 commentator Jean-Louis Moncet.

Handsfree Audi RS 7 to Lap Hockenheim Circuit at Racing Speed

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Audi will unleash an autonomous RS 7 Sportback on the Hockenheim race track on October 19, in the season finale of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM).

Mazda to Showcase Advanced LED Headlights, Self-Driving Car in Tokyo

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Mazda says it will be the first Japanese automaker to launch its own version of the adaptive LED headlight idea. It will be an advanced system that monitors oncoming traffic and adjusts accordingly, while at the same time being able to light up the sides of the road that were difficult to see with conventional setups.