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Hyundai Blue Link-enabled cars can now be voice-commanded remotely via Google Home

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

Toyota builds new artificial system that eradicates fatal crashes

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

Hyundai unveils smart house and Ioniq Scooter concepts

The concept of the vehicle nowadays takes primary consideration of the transition from one place to another, most commonly from home to work or any other destination. There is also another transition that takes place – from the living space to the driving space. Typically, you have to leave your living space and proceed to the garage where the vehicle is parked before you could take off and go where you want to.

Now, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, South Korean carmaker Hyundai is showing off a concept in which there is virtually no interval between the living space and the driving space. This concept is the Hyundai Mobility Vision smart house concept, in which the car becomes part of the house’s living space.

You may have seen this in TV or movies -- a seemingly ordinary chair turns out to be a high-tech seat that when activated, takes the user to a hidden laboratory inside the house (see Despicable Me), or to a crime-fighting car or robot.

Read the entire article Hyundai unveils smart house and Ioniq Scooter concepts

A glimpse into the latest BMW Connected Window

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

The highlight of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show may be based on some of these keywords---connectivity, integration and partnership. Just like in the previous year, you’ve probably heard and read a lot about automation. But for Honda, 2017 comes with all of these along with mobility, cloud, robotics and AI technology.

Honda this year introduced two amazing concepts at CES under the company’s new Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem. One is a “self-levelling motorcycle” while the other one is a highly intelligent two-seater electric vehicle.

By now, you must have been aware that the “Riding Assist” motorcycle features a technology that always keeps it steady. But instead of incorporating the usual gyroscopic elements, the self-balancing bike uses Honda’s UNI-CUB personal mobility concept. The UNI-CUB concept lets the driver take control of the speed and direction of the motorcycle just by the movement of his bodyweight.

Read the entire article Honda reveals NeuV smart car and self-balancing motorcycle

For those who love driving, future autonomous cars should be like the Toyota Concept-i that is drawing in a multitude of visitors at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is an autonomous car, and yet it has been designed for the driver.

We are not just referring about the appearance of the Toyota Concept-i, but the vehicle as a whole. However, the Concept-i boasts of an appearance that is outrageously futuristic but it is still something you would want to parade on the streets.

You shouldn’t be surprised at the revolutionary design of the Toyota Concept-i. After, the man behind its design is the Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in California. If you could remember, Cartabiano is the same man that penned the design of the stunning Lexus LF-LC concept coupe. This concept coupe eventually became the LC500, which means the Concept-i could also become an actual car, pending the full development of related and pertinent technologies.

Read the entire article Toyota Concept-i is a futuristic driver-friendly autonomous car-companion

Faraday Future brought the FFZERO1 Concept to last year’s Consumer Electronics Show but it’s back this year with yet another astonishing revelation. This year’s CES trade show in Las Vegas has set the stage for the EV startup’s first ever production vehicle.

Dubbed as the FF 91 (or FF nine one), Faraday’s all-electric supercar is a mix of highly advanced intelligence features, luxury, precise handling and performance in one. Powered by 130 kWh battery pack, the FF 91 is capable of delivering up to 1,050 hp and 1,800 Nm of torque.

LG Chem co-created the battery pack which can be charged 50% full in less than 4.5 hours with the use of its 240-volt home charger. But there’s more to admire about this new EV. It not only boasts of 0-60 miles per hour in just 2.9 seconds, it also has an EPA-estimated range of 378 miles to go with its exceptional battery performance.

Read the entire article 2017 CES: Faraday Future introduces FF 91 all-electric EV with 1050hp

2017 is a very busy year for BMW. The German automotive brand this week exhibits the “i-Inside Future” sculpture concept. Now happening at Consumer Electronics Show, it is also at this event that they are introducing the self-driving 5 Series but let’s save that for another write-up. For now, let’s have a closer look at what the “i-Inside future” concept is all about.

Expect the most advanced BMW interior as you take a peek into the “i-InsideFuture”. Wow. The designers this year not only added autonomous mobility into their car, but they also created this highly futuristic HoloActive Touch that will put any touchscreen to shame.

The HoloActive system features a holographic interface to use for communication, infotainment system and navigation. BMW equipped its new product with the most advanced gesture control that turns the centre console into a floating display. This basically works along with a camera that monitors the movement of your fingertips. After which, a pulse or vibration is emitted from an ultrasonic source every time an input is made.

Read the entire article BMW reveals i-Inside Future at 2017 Consumer Electronics Show

Aligned with BMW’s futuristic showcase at 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, the company has also built an all-new self-driving BMW 5 Series (G30). BMW’s self-driving vehicle may still be at the early stages, but it’s almost as good as any production vehicle you’ll find anywhere. BMW came up with this prototype version in its continuous effort to bring semi-autonomous driving in the next five years.

In case you’re wondering what goes on in the background, BMW used an onboard computer to countercheck the car’s current position and environment through the digital map. So this is basically how it works. Aside from sensors, the on-board system also makes the “lane-keeping assist” more accurate.

Also in this event, BMW offers new technology that enables the drivers to stay updated on the upcoming schedule or appointment. The program largely depends on the road condition, weather and flow of traffic it receives in real-time. What’s more, when you purchase an item at Amazon Prime for example, you can choose the designated pickup point to where the vehicle is going. Perhaps you’re also familiar with the brand’s “Open Mobility Cloud” service wherein the gathered information calculates the route and advises the owner on when is the best time to depart.

Read the entire article 2017 CES: BMW introduces 5-Series (G30) with self-driving technology

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is indeed placing more of its focus into in-car technology as evidenced by its decision not to unveil any new production vehicle or show car at the Detroit Auto Show as well as by its intention to demonstrate a concept version of its planned Google Android-based infotainment system at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Essentially, the UConnect connect vehicle system to be shown at the CES 2017 isn’t the final version yet. The demonstration aims to show the seamless integration of Google’s Android operating software and FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. This means that via the demo, FCA and Google want to show that the new UConnect still has the easy-to-use interface and functionality of the current system but now comes loaded with several elements that are only found in Android-powered devices.

As part of the hands-on concept demo at the CES 2017 (scheduled from January 5 to 8, 2017), FCA and Google will showcase a Chrysler 300 unit. Its current 8.4-inch UConnect software has been replaced with a prototype UConnect system that is based on Google’s Android 7.0 (Android Nougat) operating system.

Read the entire article FCA to demo a concept of its new Android-powered UConnect infotainment system at CES 2017

Some might be disappointed to not be able to hear or see anything new from FCA at the upcoming 2017 Detroit Auto Show. However, this doesn’t mean that FCA doesn’t have anything fresh to present to the public. In fact, FCA will be taking the veils off its all-electric Chrysler Portal autonomous concept at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chrysler Portal is basically an all-electric SUV that shares some physical similarities with the brand’s other electric crossover – the new Chevrolet Bolt EV. However, the exterior of the Chrysler Portal is laden with a number of eccentric design elements. For instance, the Portal concept features an uncanny nose with a front bumper that has a central hole, which possibly contains the front sensor or camera used for its autonomous driving system. Unlike other SUVs, the Chrysler Portal concept is provided with doors that open sideways. The doors for the front passengers slide forwards while those for the rear occupants slide backwards. Overall, the exterior of the Chevrolet Portal features compact packaging.

The most amazing part of the new Chrysler Portal concept is its 180-cubic-foot interior. As its name suggest, the concept serves as a portal that serves as a perfect transition from home to work – and vice versa -- as a third space. In addition, the concept serves as portal that connects the driver to the passengers and vice versa; and the occupants to the vehicle and its surroundings.

Read the entire article All-electric self-driving Chrysler Portal Concept will appear at 2017 CES

What happens when you fuse Renault’s Twizy and smart fortwo electric drive city cars together? One possible outcome is the Eli Zero electric city car, a creation of Eli Electric Vehicles.

Eli Electric Vehicles is all set to display its flagship product – the Eli Zero electric city car – at the 2017 iteration of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. At first glance, some people may confuse the Eli Zero with the Renault Twizy electric city car. Both electric city cars feature similar shapes, similar sloping roofs and similar sides. But while they may appear identical, there are quite a number of major differences between the two electric cars.

For instance, the wheels of the Renault Twizy extend outward of the body to the front end. This results to a longer wheelbase with no front overhang and a very short rear overhand. The wheels of the Eli Zero, meanwhile, are still within the length of the body, although this electric city car features very short front and rear overhangs – just like that of the smart fortwo electric drive. However, the Eli Zero is visibly shorter than the smart fortwo electric drive, with a size that is similar to the Renault Twizy.

Read the entire article 2017 CES: Eli Zero electric city car -- a cross between Renault Twizy and smart fortwo

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

Every time Swiss think tank and renowned mobility Rinspeed unveils a new concept, it always brings a unique excitement to anyone who sees it.

After all, their creations have been outrageous but are still within this world. Now, at the upcoming 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Rinspeed is unveiling another concept vehicle that is entirely unique from what we have seen so far – the Rinspeed Oasis concept.

Essentially, the Rinspeed Oasis Concept is an electric vehicle in a hatchback form powered by two in-wheel electric motors with torque vectoring that have been sourced from ZF. However, that is not what makes the Rinspeed Oasis concept a unique and outrageous vehicle. While full of technologies – most of them now existing – the fascinating thing about the Rinspeed Oasis concept is how it employs them to ensure that its user-passengers could relax while on the move and be able to do things usually not viable in today’s passenger cars.

Read the entire article Rinspeed offers refreshing self-driven mobility solution through Oasis 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

It seems that tech giants Apple and Google are progressing on automotive projects faster than the top honcho of German carmaker Daimler had assumed. Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche told German weekly Welt am Sonntag that Silicon Valley companies that are working to develop a self-driving car seemed to know and can do more than assumed.

He noted that these companies have more respect for Daimler’s achievements than they thought. Google is currently testing prototype vehicles and is seeking partners from the auto industry, the company car’s project leader John Krafcik recently told the Automotive News World Congress.

There were also rumors that Apple is working on a vehicle, but the company did not confirm any speculations. In response to Google’s car project, Mercedes-Benz developed an S-class sedan that managed to drive 103 km (64 miles) sans any driver input.

Read the entire article Daimler CEO says Apple and Google are getting nearer to making a self-driving car

At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visitors will surely be excited by the BMW’s concept car as it hints at how car technology may develop in the future. With an emphasis on connecting the driver, the vehicle and mobile devices, BMW has developed a range of vehicles using the AirTouch facility.

This exciting new feature enables the driver to control communications, navigation and entertainment with simple hand gestures similar to Xbox and Wii hand commands. The display can be operated like a touch screen but without the need for the driver to actually make contact with the screen. Sensors positioned between the central console and the interior mirror read hand gestures to select menu features or activate icons.

Gesture control is not a new concept for BMW. Last year, they revealed finger gesture control at the CES. Using ‘Tommy Thumb’ style gestures, the driver can operate volume control or receive telephone calls, making operating the car ‘child’s play’.

Read the entire article BMW set to present futuristic AirTouch gesture control at 2016 CES

Smartphones are now able to link to vehicle infotainment systems but automakers will be controlling the data that technology partners such as Apple and Google can get access to. Automakers are starting to find ways to monetize the information generated from these systems. They have the potential to gain billions of dollars in e-commerce.

Smartphone use has already generated money for Apple and Google. They offer different products and services, ranging from digital music to targeted advertising. But with the linking of phones and car systems like with Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto, they will be able to extend their reach even farther.

However, auto companies want to limit what tech providers are able to access. Computer systems in cars are capable of acquiring a ton of possibly profitable information. Several automakers have stated that data from the functional systems of the car won’t be given to Apple and Google. Examples are data on steering, throttle, and brakes.

Read the entire article Auto companies to limit in-vehicle data accessible to Apple, Google

Audi cited how internet-assisted driving may put passenger privacy at risk as a reason for saying no to Google’s invitation to be a partner. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told executives via a speech last Tuesday that a car is private as it’s seen today as a “second living room.” He believes that the customer is the only person who needs access to the data onboard.

It’s apparent from Stadler’s comments that Audi, as well as the other German automakers, have been harbouring concerns on data protection as they work to create platforms that compete with Google when it comes to Internet-assisted motoring. He explained that what customers don’t want to be “exploited” as a car owner.

Rather, they want to control their data and not be monitored. At the same event, Eric Schmidt (the chairman of Google) said that it has been a year since the company has entered an “Automobile Alliance" with Audi, Opel and Volkswagen. Schmidt pointed out that Google is undertaking this with partners and that specifically, it is working with a “whole infrastructure” in Germany.

Read the entire article Audi turns down Google’s invitation due to worries about privacy