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List of News and Information about technology on 4WheelsNews.com

News and Information about technology

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You also might be interested: porsche, patent, apple, autonomous car, mercedes-benz, mercedes-benz s-class, facelift, sedan, ford, audi, audi r8, autonomous cars, tesla, tesla model 3, elon musk

Porsche patents unique Active Rear Diffuser for future vehicles

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

Apple selects steering wheel for games as backup for autonomous driving

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

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

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

Get your baby to sleep well with Ford’s crib that mimics car rides

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

One of the most frustrating dilemmas we can ever face is on finding out that we’ve lost our car key. If you’ve exhausted all means to find it, then you’ll definitely need a replacement key.

Here are some tips to assist you in your quest. There are numerous reasons why you would need a replacement key.

Read the entire article Lost your key fob? Here are ways on how to solve that problem!

Seriously, autonomous vehicles are now becoming fast enough to race on the track. This comes after Roborace – hoping to claim the title as the world’s first driverless racing series – recently unfurled the first driverless and emission-free racing car at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Touted as the first driverless electric racing car in the world, “The Robocar” boasts of a futuristic design that places emphasis not only on its advanced electrified powertrain but also on the use of autonomous technology, both hardware and software. The Robocar is the brainchild of Daniel Simon, the same man behind the design of vehicles for the futuristic movies like Tron: Legacy and Oblivion. Before landing a job in Roborace as its chief design officer, Simon was a senior designer at Bugatti. His portfolio of designs includes drones, spaceships, motorcycles and Le Mans cars – making him become renowned as one of the best designers of the world.

In designing The Robocar, Simon’s goal was to create a self-driving car with all the needed race car provisions sans any compromise in its beauty. To achieve a fine balance between beauty and performance, Simon is leading a team that includes not only aerodynamics experts but also racing engineers. Simon accompanied Roborace chief executive Denis Sverdlov during the unveiling of The Robocar at Mobile World Congress. During the unveiling, Sverdlov disclosed that the Roborace is willing to share the Robocar to engineers around the world to enable them to further advance its software and its driverless electric technology.

Read the entire article Roborace unveils The Robocar -- the world’s first self-driving electric racing car

By 2020, Volvo aims to bring a host of active and passive driver aids to prevent serious injuries or deaths in all its vehicles. Just a few days before the Geneva Motor Show kicks in, Volvo has got a few more teasers to whet our appetites for the new XC60 SUV. The 2018 Volvo XC60 would come out with not just one but three driver assistance features--- one of which could autonomously drive you out of danger.

Since two out of three systems are mere updates, Volvo’s City Safety suite has been added with the new steering support feature that instinctively works alongside the automatic braking system in case it isn’t sufficient enough to prevent sudden impact. In other words, this clever technology could steer itself to thwart any possible collision ahead of time.

The latest safety feature will work when you’re driving between 50-100kph and will then increase the odds of being able to detect possible road threats such as large animal, pedestrian crossing or if another vehicle is on the way. Rather than limiting itself to a semi-autonomous cruise control system, all three assistance technologies are using the new automated steering to help the driver maintain his or her safety on the road. This new steering assistance device helps the driver avoid a crash if brakes are not enough to do the job.

Read the entire article Volvo teases new autonomous steering driver assist for 2018 XC60

It’s not your typical key fob, and it’s only available with the new BMW 5 Series. As a premium carmaker, German company BMW develops and builds vehicles aren’t only stylish and elegant, but are also of high quality and superbly luxurious. In fact, one of its creations -- the new BMW 5 Series – could be considered as a true showcase of both luxury and style.

Regarding the new BMW 5-Series (G30) or any other vehicle, one of the most important accessories that many drivers couldn’t do without is the key fob. After all, a key fob serves as an important device through which a driver could lock or unlock the doors of their cars remotely with just a touch of a button.

Aside from locking and unlocking doors, there are key fobs that could also pop the trunk latch or control the car’s automatic windows. There are also key fobs that allow drivers to arm or disarm the vehicle’s security system as well as remotely start the car’s ignition.

Read the entire article BMW, Montblanc reveal their stylish key fob for your wrist

Do you warm up your engine for more than a few minutes before driving? Well, the myth of having to idle their engines for warming up has been repeatedly busted. However, there are still drivers who believe that it is still best for the engine to be warmed enough before going for a drive. That could be because they used to drive older cars that use carburetors or are just advocates of the to-see-is-to-believe mantra.

In that case, a famous channel in YouTube – Engineering Explained – has created and posted an educational video in which he used a thermal camera to show how fast a cold engine (at zero degrees Celsius) of a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek could warm up to a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the engine speed (rpm) begins to drop since there is already enough heat. Engineering Explained started off by stating that the Crosstrek hasn’t been turned on in the past 24 hours, adding that the ambient temperature is negative 5.8 degrees Celsius.

As soon as the engine was turned on, its speed jumped to 1,800 rpm. However, it wasn’t around five minutes and 20 seconds later before the engine speed began to drop from 1,800 rpm. At this time, the engine temperature has already reached 50 degrees Celsius, which is enough heat for optimal operation.

Read the entire article Thermal camera shows how frozen engine warms up in real time [w/video]

The race to autonomous driving has been dictated by the need to make the road safer and reduce the incidents of vehicle crashes. Several major carmakers in the world have already entered the race, with tech giants Google and Apple also developing the technology for cars that could drive by themselves. Now, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) being held in Las Vegas, Toyota is presenting a one-of-a-kind concept that represents its goals and aspirations for autonomous driving.

With the Toyota Concept-i, the Japanese carmaker is letting the world know that the driver is still very much involved in its vision of autonomous driving. The Toyota Concept-i allows its users to become the driver, or become the passenger-commuter. It imagines a future in which driving technologies have become human-like, transforming the car into a travel companion instead of just a transportation tool. With the new Concept-i, Toyota hopes to create a car that is good enough to be not engaged in any road accident or crash, while still providing an enjoyable driving experience.

Center to this goal is the advanced AI (artificial intelligence) that takes care of a variety of things for the driver. Christened by Toyota as Yui, this AI doesn’t only connect with the driver, but engages with him or her to ensure that the drive to any destination is both safe and enjoyable. For instance, Yui – whether the Concept-i is in manual driving or automated mode – continuously monitors road activity (the driver’s focus and road conditions), providing increased levels of automated driving support as needed to boost driver engagement or to help steer through dangerous road conditions.

Read the entire article Toyota builds new artificial system that eradicates fatal crashes

Amazon is now moving beyond the four corners of online retailing. Only recently, the retail giant has been awarded a patent for its Road Network system. Since the patented technology is specifically made for self-driving vehicles, it goes without saying that Amazon is also headed towards the autonomous future.

Amazon’s roadway management deals with autonomous vehicles that the company would possibly use in delivering their products to their consumers. The system lets the vehicles determine which lanes are most suitable for the current traffic situation. This is very useful on multiple lanes as it comes with features that can read overhead signals. That way, the vehicle can switch to reversible lanes as needed.

The technology works by defining the current requirements of the autonomous vehicle at a given situation. Aside from maximizing the traffic flow on the highways, it can help in traffic management in several ways such as maximizing the speed of the vehicles as well as boost the parking and toll revenue.

Read the entire article Amazon gets new patent for road network, adding to rumors of driverless delivery trucks

As if seeing the future more than a decade from now, one of the top scientists in the world of robotics and automations is predicting that children born today won’t need to apply for a driving license in the next 10 to 15 years. Why did he say that?

The person who made that prediction is Henrik Christensen, and he is not your ordinary tech guy. He is already a famous Danish roboticist and is serving as Professor of Computer Science in the University of California. His credentials have prompted the University of California to tap his services in July 2016 to run UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute. Next month, he will be gathering 30 of the world’s top scientists at the University of California for a discussion of the toughest challenges in robotics and automation -- including making autonomous cars safe on the road.

Christensen was recently interviewed by The San Diego Union-Tribune about what he thinks about the near future. According to Christensen, he expects all vehicles in the next 10 to 15 years to be fully automated. This means that the children of today won’t need to drive anymore thanks to these autonomous vehicles, rendering getting a driving license moot and academic. He based his predictions on the promises and statements made by major global carmakers – like GM, Ford and Daimler -- that they would be able to introduce driverless cars into the road within the next five years.

Read the entire article Robotics expert says autonomous cars will make driving licenses obsolete 10-15 years from now
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