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

News and Information about technology

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BMW confirms commitment to diesel technology despite political opposition

Quite a number of carmakers are already reducing or even stopping their lineup of diesel-powered vehicles, as sparked by the diesel emissions scandal at the Volkswagen Group. Nonetheless, German premium automaker BMW seems not affected by backlash against diesel engines. Instead, BMW has just confirmed its commitment to diesel technology.

As quoted by Australian magazine GoAuto at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, BMW AG board member for development Klaus Froehlich boasted of the carmaker’s accomplishments in the field of diesel technology. He remarked that from BMW’s perspective, the development of diesel engines is quite dramatic as the carmaker has managed to develop cleaner diesel-powered mills.

Moreover, Froehlich claimed at Paris that BMW has the best diesel engine, adding that all tests have shown that the German premium carmaker’s offerings have the lowest emissions among diesel-powered vehicles.

Read the entire article BMW confirms commitment to diesel technology despite political opposition

New generation of Mercedes-Benz Actros introduced with MirrorCam technology

Mercedes-Benz Trucks is introducing the latest generation of its flagship heavy-duty truck – the all-new Mercedes-Benz Actros. The all-new flagship truck is now more efficient, more comfortable, more integrated and more high-tech. For the newest generation, the all-new Actros gets rid of the conventional side mirrors and makes use of side mirror cameras called MirrorCam.

The online introduction of the new Mercedes Actros serves as a precursor to the official unveiling of the all-new flagship truck at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show, which is scheduled to happen from September 20 to 27, 2018 in Hanover, Germany. It will be available to order as soon as the 2018 IAA show starts, with first batch of deliveries set in spring 2019. The new Actros can be configured according to the requirement and needs of its customers.

Compared to its predecessor, the all-new Mercedes Actros consumes up to five percent less fuel on rural routes as well as up to three percent less fuel on long-distance haulage. Annual mileage in long-distance haulage usually exceeds 120,000 km, and a three-percent less fuel consumption on motorways and expressways means that a lot of fuel and money is saved. This feat is achieved through improved aerodynamics, advanced Predictive Powertrain Control and a new rear axle ratio.

Read the entire article New generation of Mercedes-Benz Actros introduced with MirrorCam technology

Mercedes-Benz is working on a new app that warns on safety of parking areas

Crime prevention is usually a job for the police authorities. Nonetheless, being in the wrong time and wrong place can make one a victim of a crime. Mercedes-Benz is currently working on an app that would allow drivers and their passengers to not become crime victims.

Places usually not frequented by many people are the usual venues for crimes. Criminals lurk in these places simply because the chances of being seen or caught are quite low. One of these places is the parking area, where vehicles typically outnumber people, except when it is time to go home. Going into a safe parking area already means a lot for any driver. At Mercedes-Benz, its software developers are finding ways to help Mercedes-Benz drivers avoid parking areas that are prone to crime.

Still under development and planned for future use on Mercedes-Benz models in the United State, this new app allows cars to use crime data to recommend safe parking spaces or areas. An in-car service, the new app would cross-reference police statistics with available parking spaces, to tell Mercedes-Benz drivers whether it is safe or not to park in a certain parking space.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz is working on a new app that warns on safety of parking areas

Cadillac puts diesel engine development on hold due to declining demand

It is better not to expect any new diesel engines from Cadillac, the luxury vehicle division of General Motors. After all, following much considerations of a number of factors, the top management of Cadillac has now decided to stop the development of diesel engine within the luxury carmaker.

During the North American launch of the Cadillac XT4 compact crossover in Seattle, Washington, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle revealed that the luxury car brand is indeed re-evaluating diesel technology. He noted that Cadillac has been working on diesel technology. However, the conditions in the markets around the world – especially their attitude towards diesel engines – have been changing more quickly than the company has anticipated.

It is well known that for the past years, Cadillac had been concentrating its engine development works on diesel mills, in particular four- and six-cylinder units. This diesel engine development work forms part of the luxury carmaker to further penetrate the premium car market in Europe. In addition, Cadillac was also planning to create and offer a number of vehicles powered by diesel engines in the US. In fact, the new XT4 was slated to have a version powered by diesel engine, as slated to arrive before or by the end of the decade (2020). GM’s luxury division had also expected to introduce diesel engines in more of its models.

Read the entire article Cadillac puts diesel engine development on hold due to declining demand

Using cameras to replace the rear and side mirrors isn't something new. However, this technology is usually found on concept vehicles and some exotic cars. But at Lexus, this technology will be installed on one of its premium sedans starting October this year.

Lexus is introducing the world' first Digital Outer Mirrors, which will initially be fitted on the new 2019 Lexus ES. Digital Outer Mirrors make use of small exterior cameras on the front doors. They are mounted on stalks that swell on the place where conventional side mirrors are usually found.

The cameras send images onto displays – each monitor measuring five inches diagonally– inside the cabin, as positioned at the base of the front pillars. Instead of looking through the windows onto the side mirrors, a driver just have to view the images on the displays. This means that the driver’s view of the sides and the rear of the cars aren’t compromised when the windows are dirty or hazy.

Read the entire article Side mirrors in 2019 Lexus ES sedan can be replaced with camera-based Digital Outer Mirrors

Amid the excitement surrounding the launch of the BMW M2 Competition, many BMW enthusiasts have also been talking about the upcoming Operating System 7.0 that the automaker recently previewed. For now, here’s a glimpse at the updated fully digital instrument cluster that will soon be equipped in future production cars.

There is also a high likelihood that the new digital driver display will first be seen in high end models like that of the 7 Series facelift, 8 Series Coupe & Convertible, as well as the X7, and later on will be installed in lesser cars of BMW’s expansive range.

Now, the new BMW Operating System 7.0, as part of the iDrive infotainment system, will be getting a new display that can show the navigation map alongside individually selected content based on the driver’s preferences. It is purely digital and highly sophisticated.

Read the entire article Take a peek at BMW’s next-gen digital instrument cluster

Back in 2004, Bugatti first introduced to us the telemetry system on its road-going production model. This tech debuted with the Veyron, making it the very first in the industry to utilize this kind of system. Now, if you own a Chiron, then you can also benefit from this. So in case you get a flat tire or any such issue, you will be alerted by Bugatti’s “flying doctors” about the specific problem you are currently having in real time.

The telemetry system, if you didn’t know, got its inspiration from Formula 1 and DTM race cars. It relies mostly on mobile radio to monitor the condition of a Veyron and Chiron, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And the only time that telemetry won’t be able to monitor your car is when there is no mobile phone network coverage. Around 14 years after this technology was introduced, it has been greatly improved, and now can monitor 10,000 signals in the case of the more high tech Bugatti Chiron.

What the telemetry focuses on in each of these cars would be the key components such as the 8.0 liter quad turbo engine, the seven speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, and even hardware such as the infotainment system and air conditioning. As mentioned earlier, Bugatti has three “flying doctors” that are in charge of the Chirons and Veyrons. One of them is focused on Europe and Russia, the other one in Middle East and Asia Pacific, and one is in charge of North America.

Read the entire article Bugatti’s telemetry tech remotely monitors your Chiron anywhere in the world

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has been known to be more than just luxurious as it is also prestigious and exclusive. Now, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has been updated to feature a distinct and revolutionary lighting technology, as unveiled to the global public at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Image projection is not a new concept in cars. So-called heads up display (HUD) uses light to project images onto the windshield just in front of the driver. The projected image by the HUD system features various information considered as relevant to the functions of the vehicle. This lighting concept is taken into another level by the groundbreaking revolutionary headlamp technology Digital Light. While other headlamps just illuminate the road ahead, Digital Light also projects certain symbols – in HD quality -- directly in the field of vision, serving as a visual aid to the driver of a Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Likewise, the projected symbols serve as communication with the surroundings.

This marks the first time that Digital Light is employed in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Digital Light will be soon entering small series production in the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, with only a select few of its fleet customers taking delivery of the symbol-project luxurious flagship in the first half of 2018.

Read the entire article Updated Mercedes-Maybach S-Class can project driving aid symbols onto the road ahead

We all know that Volvo has a lot of things planned for their future. In fact, the Swedish automaker is going to reveal the next generation S60 this summer, and apart from that, they are planning to come out with a Cross Country version of the V60. In general, they will develop more powerful and efficient hybrid powertrains, while they transition to purely electric power.

This does not surprise us though. Instead, what comes as a surprise to us is the fact that Volvo’s current generation of turbocharged internal combustion engine is the last of its kind. It was Hakan Sameulsson, the brand’s CEO, who revealed this information the same time they presented the new V60 wagon in Stockholm, Sweden.

This statement may be shocking to most of you, but it will take quite some time for Volvo to completely get rid of their gas engine – in around seven years perhaps. Also, there will be a new generation of the SPA architecture that they have planned for 2021, but it will continue to use the current generation ICEs albeit heavily modified.

Read the entire article Volvo will not develop more combustion engines amid focus on electric power

In today’s world, it is not unusual to have smart phones or other electronics that could recognize their owner’s faces. Actually, in the near future, it will likely be a standard feature in all personal gadgets. Having said that, even the automotive industry is looking into this technology - how cool is that?

We applaud Volkswagen for developing this idea and eventually offering it in its vehicles. We could certainly all benefit from using sophisticated forms of autonomous technology on the road. In fact, VW has recently announced a new partnership with Nvidia. At the 2018 CES, the automaker talked about the next-generation technology on the upcoming I.D. Buzz concept. The automaker believes that this van is the perfect model for showcasing the technologies it has been working on.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, said during the announcement of the partnership that after a few years, most, if not all, vehicles will have AI assistants for voice, gesture, and facial recognition, along with augmented reality. He then said that by working with Volkswagen, they are beginning to create a generation of safer and more enjoyable vehicles that will soon be accessible to everyone, something that they have not seen before.

Read the entire article Upcoming VW Buzz will use facial recognition tech

The rivalry among automakers to create the most sophisticated and intuitive vehicle interior is at an all-time high. But there’s one name that stood out at CES. Technology company Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, has shown us what the future could be. At the 2018 CES event, Harman launched its new Digital Cockpit Concept. It has certainly caught a lot of attention with its superb execution.

Firstly, Harman decided to lose the standard central infotainment screen that you see in most vehicles today. And to replace that, they added a massive, retractable display that stretches from the center of the dashboard, all the way to the passenger door instead. While this isn’t the first time for this kind of design to be unveiled, it is by far the best that we’ve seen. It comes with a huge QLED screen that gives both the driver and the passenger access to control it, choose options, and customize it to how they personally want it. Passengers of this car will never be bored.

What makes it even more practical is the fact that two people can simultaneously use the single screen. In other words, the passenger can use it to play games, browse through the internet, or stream videos, at the same time the driver utilizes the navigation information or music. As for the design, it may look like one massive QLED screen in the centerpiece, but it is actually made of a number of smaller OLED screens that can barely be distinguished throughout the cabin.

Read the entire article Harman Digital Cockpit displayed at 2018 CES could be the future of luxury cars

One thing that more car buyers look for is a panoramic sunroof. So naturally, automakers aim to give its customers what they want. Nevertheless, safety is a pertinent issue that has to be addressed. This is why Hyundai is making sure to answer all safety concerns regarding the glass sunroofs. Hyundai has developed a panoramic sunroof airbag, which they claim to be the first ever in the industry.

So how does this work? Well, the South Korean automaker installed the airbag inside the sunroof mechanism of the tempered glass roof. The airbag gets activated when the car’s on-board sensor detects the vehicle about to roll over when it crashes. In around 0.08 of a second, the airbag can be deployed from the front to the rear of the car, covering the entire roof surface. Now that is indeed a first.

If in any case the car rolls over, the sunroof airbag will prevent passengers from spilling out of the car. This reduces their risk of getting serious injuries.

Read the entire article Hyundai presents first-ever panoramic sunroof airbag

Just as we are on the verge of entering the autonomous driving future, some car manufacturers are trying to hold on to the most precious things from the present, one of which is keeping the steering wheel on their vehicles. This thought comes most especially as we go about the time when the use of autonomous driving technology will become a mandatory obligation instead of a choice.

The first in line to make such a bold statement was Lamborghini, affirming that they will be the last automotive brand in the world to offer an autonomous driving vehicle. But then, a member of Volkswagen Group must have caught wind of what Lamborghini has said about driverless technology and declared too that Porsche will be one of the last to offer vehicles with a steering wheel.

Published on Porsche media website, Lutz Meschke has stated that the company will always offer a car that you want to be able to drive on your own and that they will be among the last cars that come with a steering wheel.

Read the entire article Porsche will offer owner-driven cars as long as it’s legally possible amid inevitability of self-driving systems

Following the Tesla Roadster’s electrifying revelation on Thursday, Musk’s highly ambitious goals have skyrocketed when he tweeted about his future plans for the new sports car. Well, kind of.

The now controversial tweet, which was published on the 20th of November hints at the possibilities of enabling the 2nd generation Roadster to “fly short hops”. Does that mean the new Tesla Roadster could actually fly? We don’t know the answer. But according to Tesla’s CEO, the new Roadster’s special option package could take it “to the next level” while explaining how rocket technologies could open up ground-breaking possibilities if applied to a car. While he admitted flying is “certainly possible”, Musk at least is well aware of its threat to safety.

Let’s just say Elon Musk is simply having one of those “it’s not rocket science” episodes where he tends to dream big and doesn’t hold back when he wants the whole world to know all about it. And it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to figure this out either. The “flight” option could only mean that the new Roadster could take off faster than 1.9 seconds or maybe go beyond what the entry level Roadster now has to offer.

Read the entire article Elon Musk might use rocket tech on new Tesla Roadster

Does your vehicle’s sunroof come with an airbag? This may be the first time you’ve ever heard that such a thing actually does exist. Since safety often tops the priority list of all car manufacturers, automotive parts suppliers are relentlessly seeking new innovations to offer to their clients.

Enter Hyundai Mobis, which brings to us what is now known as the very first airbag for your car’s panoramic sunroof. This may take a long while to be seen everywhere as the company will be focusing on premium SUVs at the moment. If eventually this becomes available worldwide, we believe these special airbags will further raise our standards for safety.

But why place it over your head? Well, its main concern is to prevent occupants from being ejected out of the vehicle’s panoramic sunroof in case of a rollover accident. At the time of an emergency, the sunroof airbag can deploy in as quick as 0.08 second which is pretty similar to what the side-curtain airbags on most vehicles accomplish. Hyundai Mobis’ patented technology will work whether the sunroof is closed or open to keep passengers safe no matter what. Imagine an airbag that goes down from the back and moves forward to cover the entire panoramic glass roof. That’s how it works.

Read the entire article Hyundai Mobis develops first-ever sunroof airbags

Just last year, Cruise Automation was acquired by General Motors, and today, it is the self-driving startup that is gobbling up companies on its own. General Motors is stepping their game up once more. To make things easier for them when it comes to the development of autonomous cars, they decided to acquire California-based Strobe, Inc. Not a lot of you may have heard of this company, but Strobe specializes in LiDAR technology, and that is a huge step forward for companies who are into autonomous systems for automobiles. After the acquisition, Strobe engineers will become part of the automaker’s Cruise Automation team.

Julie Schoenfeld, Founder and CEO of Strobe, Inc., said in a statement that the successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will have to depend on the availability of LiDAR sensors. Furthermore, GM and Cruise will benefit from Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by a number of patents. And hopefully, the automaker brings these autonomous vehicles sooner than we would think.

LiDAR is different from radar systems because the former uses laser pulses to “see” an area, whereas the latter relies on radar systems to do the same thing. And the LiDAR, as we know, is much more detailed as it creates a better picture of its surroundings, which translates to a more accurate processing of information. In other words, the LiDAR system can see a more realistic picture of what’s around it - from cars, pedestrians, and the road. Therefore, the LiDAR systems will play a pivotal role in the current and future development of autonomous cars. However, radars and LiDARs can complement each other to create a more robust and fault-tolerant sensing suite, operating in a wide range of environmental and lighting conditions.

Read the entire article GM gets closer to producing fully autonomous vehicles with acquisition of Strobe Inc.

It seems Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. has found a new way to implement a rear spoiler on its vehicles. In fact, Mazda has filed two patents – with the United States Patent & Trademark Office -- that would become vital elements of its innovative active rear spoiler.

Carmakers typically try to increase the aerodynamic performance of their vehicles by installing rear spoilers, which are also called rear wings. By spoiling unfavorable air movement over a moving vehicle, a rear spoiler could decrease the so-called aerodynamic turbulence or drag while generating more downforce. These rear spoilers are typically fixed – mounted permanently with an undeviating position – on the rear of the vehicle. Since these are fixed-mounted to the rear of the vehicle, the aesthetics of the model seems compromised from the rear viewpoint.

Nonetheless, there are those so-called active rear spoilers that rise automatically when the vehicle reaches a certain speed, and then settles down to fit flush with the vehicle when the speed goes down to a certain level. This way, the aesthetics of the vehicle would be enhanced, as the rear spoiler could be hidden flush when not really needed.

Read the entire article Mazda patents new type of active rear spoiler with US Patent Office

A lot of people have been wondering what is that on the Genesis G70’s grille. One really would not notice such a thing from afar, but if you get up close and personal, then you would see something planted on the center of its grille.

Well, experts say that this is a front-mounted radar that works with the driver assist system that the G70 features. This new technology features adaptive cruise control, emergency automatic braking, frontal collision warning and such. A number of automakers have this technology installed on the front end of their cars, but so far, not many of them have great results, but we have yet to see how it works on the Genesis G70.

As mentioned earlier, the front-mounted radar has not performed as well as automakers and customers expected it to. For instance, Hyundai, Genesis’ mother company used the same technology for its mid-size Sonata sedan - and this might be the worst mistake they have ever made.

Read the entire article Let’s have a closer look at what’s on the Genesis G70’s grille

If you search for the word "grille" on the dictionary, what you will get is a definition that says "a grating forming a screen or barrier, or an ornamental one found at the front end of the automobile". Depending on who you are talking to, some would say that modern cars can have one or two grilles, one on top of the other.

But if you speak with Porsche, they will say that the grille refers to the upper part, while the lower one is called the air intake. And if there’s only one section then that is an air intake. With that being said, does it mean that all Porsche cars do not have grilles?

During the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Road and Track magazine had the chance to speak with Volkswagen's head of design, who is also Porsche's chief designer Michael Mauer. While being interviewed, Mauer dropped a bombshell that was in relation to the grille. He mentioned that all Porsche vehicles only have air intakes, instead of grilles, because there is only one structure. Apparently, if there is only one opening on the car’s face, this automatically becomes the “lower” section, making it an air intake.

Read the entire article Porsche says it never had grilles, just air intakes

The idea of sourcing electricity from solar energy to power and operate vehicles is nothing new. We have seen cars mounted with solar panels, but they don’t seem to look appealing and also appear to be bulky. Likewise, installing solar panels on a car might greatly reduce the vehicle’s aesthetic value. However, integrating solar cells into panoramic glass roofs could be a very good idea.

This is the strategy conceptualized by German premium carmaker Audi and Chinese partner Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Limited, as represented by American subsidiary Alta Devices. The endeavor – dubbed as the Audi/Hanergy Thin Film Solar Cell Research and Development Project -- plans to integrate Alta Devices’ thin-film solar cells into panoramic glass roofs of Audi’s electric vehicles, which mean that these models won't have to sacrifice aesthetics to gain an unlimited source of energy – unlike mounted solar panels. Interestingly, the project plans to cover almost the entire surface of the panoramic roof with solar cells.

Then, the electricity generated by these thin-film solar cells will be sent to the EV’s electrical system. This electricity could power up the vehicle’s air-conditioning system or even its seat heaters. As a result, the EVs become more efficient and experience a considerable increase in its electric range. To note, the integrated thin-film solar cells aren’t meant to fully power the whole vehicle, especially its propulsion system. Instead, the integrated thin-film solar cells are expected to extend the range of Audi’s EV.

Read the entire article Audi partners with Hanergy to integrate thin-film solar cells into glass roof of its EV models