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You also might be interested: apple, autonomous car, lamborghini, vw, vw caddy, maserati, maserati levante, chrysler pacifica, hybrid, mercedes-benz, renault, nissan, engine, four-cylinder, peugeot

Apple CEO confirms company is developing autonomous technologies for vehicles

Apple Inc. is certainly entering the automotive market by working on autonomous technologies for vehicles, the tech giant’s chief executive confirmed to Bloomberg Television.

During an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang, Apple CEO Tim Cook has divulged several details about the tech giant’s plans in the automotive market. This marks the first time that Cook divulged more elaborate information about its automotive ambitions, after the company ended a not-so-secret car project.

Apple has been testing the grounds of the automotive industry through its so-called Project Titan, which is essentially a supposedly secret electric car scheme. This car project had Apple poaching employees from Tesla – including former Tesla senior engineer Jamie Carlson – and a number of experts from other carmakers and tech giants. Tesla had responded by also poaching employees from Apple.

Read the entire article Apple CEO confirms company is developing autonomous technologies for vehicles

Lamborghini works with Houston Methodist Research Institute on medical use of carbon composites

Automobili Lamborghini is extending its expertise in the field of carbon fiber composite materials – in the area of research and production in particular – into the medical world by entering into a collaboration project with the Houston Methodist Research Institute.

Lamborghini and the Houston Methodist Research Institute is now pursuing a research project into the biocompatibility of these lightweight composite materials when used to create prosthetic implants as well as subcutaneous devices, as employed in the medical industry. The new research project should help Lamborghini discover new materials that aren’t only lighter than the existing composites in the medical field, but are also better tolerated by the human body. Likewise, these new materials should also be more resistant and more durable than existing composites.

The agreement for the research project was inked between Mauro Ferrari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. Ferrari’s primary fields of specialty are nanotechnology research and applied bioengineering in medicine. Lamborghini, meanwhile, boasts of being one of the leaders in research and production of carbon fiber composite materials.

Read the entire article Lamborghini works with Houston Methodist Research Institute on medical use of carbon composites

VW commercial vans will have autonomous emergency braking feature as standard

Commercial vehicles have always been late to the game when it comes to cutting-edge technologies in the automotive business compared to passenger vehicles. The American automaker, Ford, had an important breakthrough with its 13th-gen F150 by fitting it with second-row inflatable seat belts. However, we will not be talking about Ford, but instead we will be setting our sights on the brand new system offering of Volkswagen. The important tech is the Autonomous Emergency Braking feature that will be made available on the Caddy, Transporter and Crafter vans as standard equipment for orders that come in on June 1 of this year and onwards.

There’s no doubt that autonomous braking is really a very useful feature to avoid a vehicular collision but these systems are typically offered as an option. However, we applaud Volkswagen for making this move as it will be the first ever auto manufacturer to equip their commercial vans with autonomous emergency braking as standard. It's the latest in a series of steps to standardize the feature across the board.

The recent Euro NCAP crash test requires an effective AEB system to be able to score max points, and vehicles which don't have crash avoidance techs are fined. Due to this, it's uncommon for new vehicles to not be equipped with the system. Starting June 1st, those who will order a Caddy, Transporter or Crafter van units will be fitted with the aforementioned safety feature without needing to mark an option box. Sarah Cox, VW's head of marketing for commercial vehicles, indicated that producing safe, dependable vans has been at the heart of their company for over 60 years.

Read the entire article VW commercial vans will have autonomous emergency braking feature as standard

Maserati Levante SUV will get a hybrid version with Chrysler Pacifica tech

In today’s world, hybrid, plug-ins and EVs are not only trendy as they’re also highly vital. Due to the demand of the market, automakers are forced to adapt to the new norm, turning their cars into electric vehicles. In fact, even hypercars nowadays are becoming a hybrid, just like the Porsche Panamera in Turbo S E-Hybrid. However, some automakers such as Fiat Chrysler are a little behind in this department, which means that they have got to step up their game.

Having said that, there have been a lot of firsts for Maserati lately, from their very first SUV that is the Levante, and now they are going to make use of hybrid technology for that same model, featuring a charging port. Since this is going to be the company’s very first hybrid car, you might be wondering where they got the technology from. To answer your question, it’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, another member of the FCA Group, that will lend its PHEV technology to the Italian SUV.

Maserati’s estimate indicates that less than 10 percent of their SUV market will probably choose the eco-friendly version. Therefore, it is impractical for them to develop and build the technology from scratch, which is why they decided to just work with Chrysler Pacifica’s technology, to save them time and money. Instead of going through all the work, Maserati just needs to adapt Pacifica’s hardware to the new application.

Read the entire article Maserati Levante SUV will get a hybrid version with Chrysler Pacifica tech

You guys are probably aware of the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan. Knowing this, you would expect that both companies will come up with something impressive. Sources say that the partnership has been working on some new gasoline four-cylinder engines. However, rather than developing a more powerful engine, they seem to have come up with 1.2- and 1.4-liter engines instead. Why small engines, you might want to ask?

The reason behind the downsizing is because the German company aims to lower emissions while increasing the efficiency of the new engines. The new 1.2- and 1.4-liter units will benefit from direct injection, and will be a standard in the next generation base variants of the A-Class and B-Class lineups, according to reports from Autocar. There are currently eight cars lined up for Mercedes’ compact models for 2018 including: the A-Class hatchback, A-Class Sedan, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class, GLA, a rumoured GLB, and an unknown model that has yet to be announced by the company.

The new four-cylinder units, which currently go under the codename M282, are being engineered exclusively for transverse applications. Therefore, these engines will not be available for use in larger Mercedes-Benz models. These new units will be joined by an updated version of the “M274” which will soon be given a codename that is “M260”. The M260 will be bigger and is going to be available in two versions: 1.6- and 2.0-liter units.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan to downsize engines, will use 1.2- and 1.4-liter powerplants

Self-driving sports utility vehicles from Peugeot may soon hit the roads as part of a project to test fully autonomous vehicles. The French carmaker has entered into a strategic partnership with nuTonomy – a self-driving car startup that had been formed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013 – to have the Cambridge-based company install and implement its self-driving technology into Peugeot’s 3008 SUV.

Once nuTonomy’s software system has been fully installed into the Peugeot 3008 SUV, the partners will commence on-road testing of the self-driving vehicle in Singapore. The partnership is eyeing – ultimately -- to deploy thousands of fully autonomous cars in cities around the world.

As agreed, the initial phase of the partnership will entail nuTonomy having to seamlessly integrate its autonomous vehicle (AV) system – including its software, specialized sensors and computing platforms -- into the Peugeot 3008 SUVs. The partners consider the seamless integration of the AV system with vehicle hardware as a critical step toward deploying self-driving vehicle in large numbers and over extended life cycles.

Read the entire article Peugeot and nuTonomy collaborate to test and deploy self-driving in Peugeot 3008 SUV

Think of it as a temporary mobile prison, but for a good cause. Nissan has revealed details of its new concept that will prevent drivers from being distracted while they cruise around town. This means that driving would be the only thing that they must focus on when behind the wheel of this machine built on high speed metal and combustible gas.

The number of drivers that admitted to checking their phones while behind the wheels has surged from 8% in 2014 to an alarming 31% in 2016, as revealed by Britain's Royal Automobile Club (RAC). The Japanese automaker also showed statistics, stating that one out of 5 drivers (18%) has texted while driving. Stricter penalties are imposed now for using a phone while driving and British drivers are at risk of being caught if they will pick up their device while behind the wheel. Nowadays people are interconnected with their gadgets, and a whole lot of drivers are ignoring safety on the road just to be able to check on their text messages or notifications. That's why Nissan has come up with a life-saving solution addressing this pressing issue. At the very least, it will save the Brits from being charged with steep fines.

The concept, which is called the Nissan Signal Shield, will be able to provide selective connectivity that will give drivers the option of being able to contact and be contacted from the road, or devising a phone-free duration. It roughly translates to a sort of digital detox and will reduce the risks of travel significantly.

Read the entire article Avoid driving distractions with Nissan’s Signal Shield, an armrest based on Faraday cage concept

Faraday Future, California based company, usually pops up when the topic is about technology and electric vehicles. Though the company currently isn’t doing very well in terms of its production facility, they continue to stick to their mission, hoping that one day, things will turn out well for them. For those of you who aren’t updated, they had to shut down their Nevada factory earlier this year due to lack of funds. But now, FF is making some news and things seem quite promising.

One of the patents from Faraday Future that caught our attention is called “System and Method For Operating Vehicle Using Mobile Device”. Basically, if you lose the key to your car, this technology will let you use your smartphone to open it, by sending a code to the car to open the door, without having to be connected to the Internet. Sounds cool enough?

By looking at the patent that is in partnership with this, you might find it a little disturbing that the sketch looks almost like the Chevy Volt concept. But we promise that this isn’t a reinvention of the Chevy concept, and was taken from a Faraday Future patent application.

Read the entire article Faraday Future’s new patent is on controlling EVs using mobile devices

In September 27, 2016, Porsche initially filed for a patent that is the “Unique Active Rear Diffuser”. And earlier this week, on April 27, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published this. When the patent was published, several images of the sketch surfaced on the internet.

We do know that some of Porsche’s vehicles already feature active deploying rear wings. And supposedly, this new patent they filed offers similar functions with the use of its unique diffuser.

Yes, diffusers do exist in cars already. But according to Porsche, what differs with the patent is that the installation and integration in the underbody region is very complicated. The location of the diffuser will have to be directly below the bumper. The purpose of this is that when the diffuser is not in use, it will blend into the body, which explains its concave inner shape.

Read the entire article Porsche patents unique Active Rear Diffuser for future vehicles

If you’ve ever visited an arcade, chances are you have already seen a Logitech G920 wheel. If that doesn’t ring a bell, it’s the steering wheel that you use when playing racing games. For Apple however, this device can serve a better purpose than simply gaming.

According to Business Insider, through documents that came to its possession, the brand’s entry to the world of autonomous cars will have a training program wherein testers will be taught how to get back manual control. Those familiar with racing games will likely see that the main feature of this training program is the Logitech wheel. While the photo included in the documents were in black-and-white and appear sketchy, there is a high possibility that it is indeed the Logitech G27. Though no longer being sold by Logitech, a similar version being sold on eBay is priced at about $200.

The documents further reveal that there will be a makeshift rig wherein the individual is expected to sit. They will then undergo a total of seven tests from driving at different speeds to undergoing maneuvers. Once the brakes or the wheel are used, this will immediately disengage the electric mode. Operators though can still use the accelerator.

Read the entire article Apple selects steering wheel for games as backup for autonomous driving

Earlier this week, the revamped 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class was revealed ahead of the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show. As expected, Mercedes Benz’s flagship model is now offered in several variants including the AMG specced sedan. Unique to this update is the suite of driver assistance technologies and active safety features under its latest Intelligent Drive system.

According to Mercedes-Benz, the new enhancements on the S-Class are the closest it could get to actual autonomous driving. The most notable ones include the new Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active emergency Stop Assist, Active Steering Assist and Active Distance Assist Distronic feature. It also comes equipped with the new Route Based Speed Adaptation technology that adjusts the vehicle’s speed according to the information seen on the map such as exit ramps, toll booths, roundabouts, junctions and curves.

Most mid-cycle updates are not technically considered as facelifts. Instead, the automaker performs a few tweaks here and there to bring a fresh new offer for their customers. This time however, the luxury sedan is almost not the same as its previous model.

Read the entire article 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift: here are the changes

Ford is not just about cars nowadays, they seem to come up with just about everything. Only recently they have commissioned a new invention that might be all the craze with the parents in the near future - the Max Motor Dreams.

New parents who are in the lookout to purchase the best baby crib for their newborns, don't be bewildered if you ever chance on a baby rocker with Ford's brand etched on it. Believe us, this is not a late April Fool's prank. Ford, the American automaker that has a large following with their commercial and luxury vehicles, is recently targeting a new market- parents with infants.

You heard it right, Ford has a game plan in ensuring your tyke will get the much needed sleep he/she gets. Officially labelled as "Max Motor Dreams", the contraption is equipped with built in speakers that mimic a muffled engine sound and road noise, LED lighting that stimulates the warmth glow of passing street lights, and motion enabled mattress that gently moves side to side and Ford made sure to entirely imitate the feeling of sleeping at the back of the car, sans the usage of car fuel.

Read the entire article Get your baby to sleep well with Ford’s crib that mimics car rides

Audi’s high-tech laser headlights are coming to the United States. Moreover, they won’t be just an available option, but rather, these are a standard lighting unit on the 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus, the premium carmaker’s ultimate flagship for its sports car range. This means the US-bound 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus won’t be just the fastest and most powerful production model that Audi has, but it will also be the most advanced in terms of lighting technology.

Audi’s laser light technology was first seen on its R8 exclusive edition models, of which only 25 exclusive examples were made. These laser lights – complemented by dynamic front turn signals – features a characteristic blue light signature in the headlight housing. This means that if an R8 has a blue light emanating from the headlights, it is equipped with laser lights.

Of course, light emitting diode (LED) units are still the technology behind the low and high beams for the R8 V10 plus. However, Audi wanted to boost the visibility for the driver when moving at higher speeds. Thus, when the Audi R8 V10 plus reaches speed of 40 mph and above – as situations permit, the laser lights are activated and then projects low and wide beam of light on the road on front, thereby supplementing the high beam projected by the LED units. Interestingly, the R8 was also the first Audi model to feature all-LED headlights (2008). The new laser lights as well as full LED headlights are also available as an option for the Audi R8 V10.

Read the entire article 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus comes standard with laser headlights upon US launch

It was only known recently that Ford had filed for an autonomous driving patent as published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. What is its content, you ask? A revolutionary tech in which any electric vehicle with a built in internal combustion engine could automatically start the said engine, and in turn it will recharge its own battery. The guys of the Blue Oval always think of everything, man. And now they have another plan up their sleeves -- Ford plans to manufacture the world's first autonomous vehicle sans a steering wheel and pedals by the year 2021, and will be targeting the ride hailing and ride sharing automobiles. What can we say, the future has arrived.

An issued Navigant Researcher Leaderboard report was recently revealed, ranking the major original equipment manufacturers according to their autonomous driving tech. Located on top of the list is Ford, trailing closely behind is GM, Renault-Nissan and Daimler, with Hyundai at number 10. But the other car maker and tech companies like Uber and Tesla are deemed as worthy competitors. Apparently, not many people agree or even know that Tesla is reigning in the autonomous car competition.

During the opening of WXC's keynote- Ken Washington, Ford's vice president of research and advanced engineering, announced he is not expecting Ford to release a fully autonomous automobile that is readily accessible to the public until 2026 at its earliest, and definitely not until 2031. For what it's worth, Washington indicated that Ford will further produce automobiles capable of 4 level autonomy on the SAE scale.

Read the entire article Ford’s autonomous cars will be available for sharing by 2021, sales to begin in 2026

Yes, it will take at least ten more years until Mercedes-Benz introduces fully-autonomous driving capabilities on its vehicles. Having “the best or nothing” for its company slogan certainly explains why Mercedes is not in a hurry for fully autonomous driving. All the same, the brand is looking forward to make it all work one day.

While at the Australian Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Jochen Haab reveals that the company’s self-driving systems are currently at the second and third level--at least in terms of technology. That means, getting onto level 5 will be a long way down the road.

The current level it has been using, (or level 3) still requires human touch. Although it depends on the situation, moving on to the next level (or level 4) will also mean that we’ll be seeing those vehicles drive themselves in almost complete autonomous mode-- even if it may sometimes require a human driver to be in control.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz expects full-autonomous driving in a decade or so

CEO and Chairman of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk is a very ambitious man, and is known by many as the man who wants to redefine transportation on Earth and in space. He also plans to expand fully autonomous vehicles to the mass market - which indeed are pretty cool ideas. But sometimes, Musk has brilliant ideas that most people don’t agree with.

For instance, earlier this week, he confirmed to the public that he will ditch the head-up display (HUD) for the Tesla Model 3, and it that it will not feature any traditional instrument.

Instead, he feels that all the information the driver needs can be put on a large center display.

Read the entire article Tesla CEO confirms plan to scrap Model 3’s head-up display (HUD)

A lot of people get anxious while driving - especially at night. Why? Because humans naturally fear the dark. And I’m not just making things up. Numerous studies conducted by Ford cites that people are not very fond of the dark due to the fear we inherited from our “caveman ancestors”. Weird, huh? But while it’s a stretch to believe these things, driving in the dark does cause some anxiety. And that’s a fact.

However, Ford has good news. It has finally updated its Pedestrian Detection system to work better in low light. That’s why drivers, as well as pedestrians, should be thankful as there’s one less thing to worry about at nightfall.

Ford’s active safety engineer in Europe, Gregor Allexi, states that hitting the road at night is a stressful situation. And you can’t blame people for that. This upset feeling is experienced by many drivers, both in small towns and in cities, no matter how seasoned of a driver you may be.

Read the entire article Driving in the dark is less of a worry with Ford’s pedestrian detection tech

It’s a hot day outside and you’re ready to go the beach with your family. You get in the car, only to realize that the air from your A/C system has a disgusting odor.

It only really releases this foul odor after you’ve had your car for quite some time. Very unpleasant, isn’t it? Your car’s air conditioning system shouldn’t have an awful smell once you turn it on.

What you’re supposed to experience once you turn on this system is an immediate flow of cold air that increasingly cools the whole vehicle. Ultimately, if you start to notice unpleasant odors then there is definitely a problem there. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently. The most common cause is mildew in the vents and the solution is to install a new air filter.

Read the entire article Here is How to Keep Your Car A/C Vents from Smelling Bad

After years and years of cars being built and developed, Ford and Magna joint forces and developed a carbon fiber subframe that will reduce as much as 34% of a steel subframe’s weight. The developers recently unveiled a prototype of this.

What difference does it make, you ask? With a much lighter car, fuel consumption will dramatically decrease. Who doesn’t want that? Not only will it save us a few dollars, we can also save the planet by reducing our carbon footprint. In fact, the biggest car companies have been leaning towards building lighter vehicles by exploring other options such as aluminum engines, optimized chassis components, and probably the most common nowadays, carbon fiber panels for the car’s structure and exterior.

Another great thing about this development, according to sources, is that a carbon fiber subframe only uses a few parts - with two molded and four metallic components. Compare that with a standard steel equivalent which uses 45 steel part (thus the 34% weight difference). So imagine, from 45 parts down to only 6 parts.

Read the entire article Ford and Magna’s carbon fiber subframe project offers amazing green potential

WikiLeaks last week has insinuated that the US Central Intelligence Agency may hack the car’s computer system. The news came after the pro-transparency organization has released the highly confidential Year Zero documents of the CIA. This immediately led to speculations about vehicles being used to perform undetected murder--- particularly on highly classified CIA operations.

Many modern vehicles today as we know are run by vehicle control systems. WikiLeaks revealed that since October of 2014, the Central Intelligence Agency was looking at the possibilities of “infecting” the control system of some vehicles. Possibly to let them carry out virtually untraceable assassinations if they have to.

The leaked documents pointed out Blackberry’s QNX automotive software as part the list of vehicles under the CIA’s feasibility study for certain “potential mission areas”. If there are about 60 million vehicles using the software, it only means that most vehicles from 2014 onwards are also prone to CIA-developed hacking techniques.

Read the entire article Latest WikiLeaks report how the CIA could compromise vehicle control systems
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