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News and Information about technology

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You also might be interested: ford, driving, magna, partnership, united states, autonomous cars, electric car, volvo, volvo xc60, bmw, bmw 5-series, toyota, consumer electronics show, patents, autonomous car

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

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

Here is How to Keep Your Car A/C Vents from Smelling Bad

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

Ford and Magna’s carbon fiber subframe project offers amazing green potential

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

Latest WikiLeaks report how the CIA could compromise vehicle control systems

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

Whether or not you’re a tech addict, you realize that the digital revolution is now moving at high speed. Before you know it, there’s already a new one on the loop. Last year’s CES has just brought us BMW’s “Connected” software and “Open Mobility Cloud”. And now, BMW welcomes 2017 with a new and better offer.

The German brand will demonstrate its latest “Connected Window” system at the ongoing CES 2017 in Las Vegas. In line with BMW’s “Open Mobility Cloud” and “Connected” app, BMW’s “Connected Window” lets you retrieve information whether at home, from the car or essentially anywhere with your mobile device.

BMW’s newest technology is set to bring more convenience to the user’s digital lifestyle. By sending information to the vehicle at the comfort of your home, there’s no need to hop into your car every time just to input an address at the navigation system.

Read the entire article A glimpse into the latest BMW Connected Window

Like other car companies, Volvo is also busy preparing for the autonomous future. As a matter of fact, the Swedish manufacturing firm is giving its first customers their firsthand experience of what self-driving technology has in store for the coming years. To prove it, a family from Gothenburg Sweden will be given this great opportunity of riding a fully-autonomous Volvo.

Volvo’s full autopilot feature is expected to be ready by 2021. In line with their research program, the Hain family from Sweden was chosen to take part in the experience. This extraordinary offer means that they will be riding on a fully-autonomous vehicle in the most realistic traffic environment. With the driver’s role in mind, this type of strategy will help Volvo in enhancing their technology even further.

Following the launch of its “Drive Meresearch program, Volvo has provided its first 100 customers the chance to ride the autonomous-ready XC90 SUVs. These vehicles will be going around Sweden, China and the UK. The engineers at Volvo are slated to perform public road tests within California even if the US is excluded from the project.

Read the entire article Volvo offers self-driving technology to its first 100 customers

Imagine a large city that is clean and green and laden with highly advanced technologies, brimming with autonomous vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians not having to worry about any accident or collision. Certainly, this city is one that starts as a dream. Could it be realized or will it remain just a dream?

Currently, no such city exists. Even in small cities, vehicle accidents frequently occur and the amount of pollution is increasing each day. In a large metropolis, there are the issues of heavy road traffic, lack of road discipline and scarce parking space. In many cities around the world, air pollution has become a major problem, with heavy smog wrapping the urban areas in one sweep every morning. So, if you ask us if a city like this would be possible in the near future, the answer is no. But, we also aren’t saying that it is impossible.

If you ask Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, his answer would be that such a city could be achieved. Bill is heavily betting on the result of the “City of Tomorrow” project initiated by Ford’s City Solutions team in cooperation with different cities around the world and with Bloomberg Philanthropies. According to Bill, the issue regarding cities is not just about road congestion – it is a mobility challenge. He noted that this mobility challenge is a massive issue that affects people’s access to clean drinking water, food and a safe place to live as well as health care and their ability to find a job.

Read the entire article Ford envisions a City of Tomorrow with no traffic, pollution, or road accidents

Now, you can control your car from the safety of your home. That is if you’re using Google Assistant-powered Google Home and your car is any of the Blue Link-enabled vehicles from South Korean carmaker Hyundai.

Hyundai will be unveiling at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show the seamless integration between its Blue Link Agent and the Google Assistant – allowing customers to connect with their Hyundai cars even though they are in the confines of their house doing some household chores. This integration is made possible through Google Home, a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant.

Through this small device, users could voice-command Google Assistant to do a number of functions. For instance, a user may voice-command Google Assistant to activate and control smart home devices. Moreover, a user may also voice-command Google Assistant activate streaming music services. Now that it has been integrated with Blue Link Agent, Google Assistant could now be used to activate cars. Yes, users could voice-command Google Assistant – without going inside a Blue Link-enabled vehicle – to remote start their Hyundai units or even remote lock them. All a user should do is to start the command phrase with “Ok Google” and tell it to send a request to Blue Link.

Read the entire article Hyundai Blue Link-enabled cars can now be voice-commanded remotely via Google Home

Just days after Google’s autonomous vehicle project became an autonomous tech company dubbed as Waymo Inc., the company now unveiled its first fully self-driving vehicles in the guise of 100 driverless Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

Back in May 2016, Waymo – then known as the Google Self-Driving Project – and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles entered into a partnership in which the carmaker would provide a number of vehicles to the project. The partners saw it fitting to choose Chrysler’s new 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivans – 100 of them -- for the self-driving vehicle project. The Pacifica Hybrid minivans were specifically built by Chrysler to be fitted with the latest of Google’s hardware and software.

While these Chrysler Pacifica units are based on the 2017 production model available to the market, the carmaker modified them – including their chassis, powertrain, structural and electrical systems – so that Waymo could properly install its own technology into these new minivans.

Read the entire article Waymo provides glimpse of its fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans

BMW hints on revealing a new hologram touchscreen concept for the upcoming 2017 CES (2017 Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. The new technology is supposed to be a combination of direct touchscreen operation, gesture control as well as the convenience of heads-up display. In January, BMW will be showcasing the HoloActive Touch system, which is made up of advanced interface for better connection between the vehicle and the driver.

This HoloActive works like a hologram touchscreen that floats freely and is controlled with the use of gesture control. The command is determined through the “tactile feedback” coming from the driver. The holographic display concept will come with BMW’s 5 Series and 7 Series’ latest technology.

As mentioned earlier, the system will have the classic direct touch screen control, gesture control and HUD. Simply put, its entire features can be controlled without the need for physical touch. The same technology lets the driver interact with the vehicle with the same advantage of using a traditional touch screen.

Read the entire article BMW prepares for 2017 CES with HoloActive Touch Concept

Google’s autonomous vehicle project has become an autonomous tech company. Here comes Waymo, a company with utmost focus on self-driving technology. Starting off as a project inside the tech company eight years, Waymo has now become a standalone business under Alphabet Inc. – the corporate parent of Google -- with an aim to commercialize its self-driving technology and build related products with it.

However, it seems that Google’s strategy for its self-driving unit actually involves a slim-down of its operations – similar to what Apple has done to its own autonomous car project. Apple has said that it was refocusing its energy from building self-driving cars to just creating self-driving technology. It was really a goodbye for Apple’s Project Titan, although the tech giant has not explicitly admitted that it was seeking to build a self-driving.

As for the formerly Google Self-Driving Project, now Waymo – which stands for a new Way forward in Mobility – the path it is treading seems similar to Apple’s. A report by The Information says that Waymo would not build its own self-driving vehicle, even though it – when it was still a project -- already unveiled its and the world’s first fully self-driven car in October 2015.

Read the entire article Google Self-Driving Project now a separate company as Waymo under Alphabet umbrella

Autonomous cars are slowly but surely gaining more appeal among drivers around the world. While a complete self-driving system has yet to be launched, carmakers have been finding ways to make sure it would be plausible and viable in the near future.

Now, Audi is showcasing at the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Barcelona, Spain (December 5 to 10, 2016) a new technology that it believes would be one of the keys for autonomous cars – a self-learning system that could intelligently park by itself. Developed by Audi subsidiary Audi Electronics Venture (AEV), this technology is showcased through an Audi Q2 small crossover – more specifically a 1:8 scale model car – that could develop intelligent parking strategies. In a sense, this model car called the “Audi Q2 deep learning concept” is able to learn through trial and error. How does this concept achieve that?

Of course, there is a lot of sensing involved. The Audi Q2 deep learning concept is installed with sensor technology that makes use of two mono cameras – one mounted on the front facing forward and another fitted on the posterior facing rearward. In addition, this sensor technology makes use of 10 ultrasonic sensors installed around the Audi Q2 deep learning concept. These two cameras and ultrasonic sensors transmit data to a central on-board computer that in turn translates these data into control signals for steering and the electric motor.

Read the entire article Audi Q2 ‘deep learning concept’ explores possibility of self-learning intelligent parking technology
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