Items tagged with Automobiles

Nobody likes it when their smartphone gets hot. High thermals can lead to processor throttling and reduced battery life, and while most phones have built-in mechanisms to prevent the latter, they can cause the phone to pause charging or even turn off completely. To prevent such things from occurring while in transit, Chevrolet is unveiling an in-vehicle phone caddy to keep your phone cool. The system is called Active Phone Cooling and it will be available in several Chevy vehicles, including 2016 Impala and Malibu models. Not only does it keep your phone cool, it also wirelessly charges your handset,... Read more...
It was reported yesterday that there was a "close call" between two prototype self-driving cars from separate companies (Google and Delphi). The so-called "incident" involved an Audi Q5 crossover vehicle from Delphi that was planning to change lanes. Before it could, a self-driving Lexus RX400h crossover from Google entered the lane first, causing the Audi Q5 to stay put. While Google has declined comment, Delphi is taking exception to Reuters calling what happened a close call rather than just a routine driving scenario. The folks at ArsTechnica spoke with John Absmeir, director of Delphi's Silicon... Read more...
Nobody likes getting behind a semi-trailer truck. Those 18-wheelers typically drive slower than four-wheeled cars (not all the time, mind you), and because of their size, there's quite a bit of roadway that gets blocked. You can't see what's going on in front of the truck, and passing isn't always easy, especially if you're on a road where the passing lane is for opposing traffic. To solve those problems, Samsung is mounting giant displays on the back of 18-wheelers. Those displays consist of a video wall made from four exterior monitors. Wireless cameras mounted to the front of the truck feed... Read more...
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has grown tired of waiting on future technologies to help curb the dangers of distracted driving and is recommending that currently available collision avoidance systems be a standard feature on all new passenger and commercial vehicles. From the NTSB's standpoint, consumers don't pay extra for seatbelts, nor should they be charged for technology that can help prevent an accident from occurring in the first place. NTSB's recommendation is part of a special report that was issued this week. In it, the government organization points out that rear-end... Read more...
If you're old enough to remember The Jetsons, a cartoon series that ran from 1962 to 1988, you probably thought we'd all be taking to the skies in flying cars by now. We're not there yet, but in place of flying cars, automakers and wealthy tech companies are testing out autonomous vehicles. Several prototypes already exist, including Audi's revised R8 E-Tron that broke cover at CES Asia.The self-driving R8 E-Tron is also an electric vehicle, resulting in a marriage of two cutting edge technologies. Equipped with a T-shaped battery with a 92 kWh capacity and two electric motors, the R8 E-Tron... Read more...
Remember when power windows were considered luxuries in the automobile world? Times are changing and these days there are all kinds of fancy pants features out there, from cars that park themselves to ones that even drive on their own. Those technologies are still in development and won't become mainstream for quite some time, though there are other fun features available right now, like Ford's "Pro Trailer Backup Assist" technology. It will be available on the 2016 Ford F-150 and what it does is allow the driver to steer the trailer with a control knob while the truck steers its wheels and limits... Read more...
We've long heard about the dangers of text messaging while behind the wheel, yet according to a survey conducted by AT&T, it's still the most prevalent activity by those who admit to engaging in smartphone activities when driving. And how many admitted such behavior? Seven out of 10 surveyed, a staggering number made even more frightening if you consider that some might have been too embarrassed to fess up. Either way, knowing that at least 70 percent of drivers use their smartphones while navigating the streets in metal boxes on wheels that weigh thousands of pounds is unsettling at best.... Read more...
The automobile industry is changing right before our very eyes. We have companies like Chevrolet building insanely powerful modern-day muscle cars; Ford and others getting fancy with newfangled technology integrations; Tesla pushing new and used sales of electric vehicles; and of course companies like Google ready to hit the road with self-driving cars. Take your pick on which is the most interesting, but if you ask Nissan, the company might tell you that autonomous technology is where it's at.More than just a passing interest from the sidelines, Nissan's Chief Executive Office Carlo Ghosn indicated... Read more...
Summer is fast approaching, and that means swimming pools, backyard barbeques, vacations, and self-driving cars. Wait, what? That last one is being added to the list as Google gears up to unleash a few of the prototype autonomous vehicles it's been testing onto public roads in Mountain View, California, where the search is headquartered. Safety drivers will be inside the self-driving vehicles, and each prototype car is capped 25 miles per hour, a speed that Google calls "neighborhood friendly." Whether that brings you comfort or not depends on how you feel about self-driving vehicles and recent... Read more...
There was a lot of buzz in the media yesterday when it was revealed that four of the 50 self-driving cars deployed in California had been involved in accidents since hitting the streets last September. Three of those automobiles were using sensors provided by Google, though only two of the four accidents occurred when the self-driving cars were in control. None of the accidents were the fault of the self-driving cars or their drivers, though the lack of details made available to the public didn't sit well with those keeping a close eye on the program. To set the record straight, Chris Urmson, director... Read more...
Google and others are investing in a future where automobiles are fully automated, getting us from point A to point B on their own. We're at a very early stage in what could be a revolution in the auto industry, though it doesn't bode well that around 8 percent of the self-driving cars motoring around California have been involved in accidents in the past six months.There are nearly 50 self-driving vehicles deployed in California. The state issued permits for companies to test them on public roads back in September, and of those vehicles being evaluated, four of them have been in accidents. Two... Read more...
Tesla is growing up right before our eyes. The startup that continues to shake up the automotive industry with its lineup of electric vehicles that can only be ordered online is now selling pre-owned Model S cars on its website. Pricing depends on the year, miles, and exact configuration, though each pre-owned vehicle is backed by an extended 4-year, 50,000 mile limited warranty.This is an important step for a number of reasons. For one, it helps legitimize Telsa as more than just a risky startup, especially since the company doesn't sell its vehicles through dealerships. And secondly, it lowers... Read more...
Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman narrates an interesting 17-minute video on YouTube that pits the world's quickest sedan against the world's fastest sedan, those two being the Tesla Model S P85D and Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, respectively, both 2015 variants. Before getting to the results, it's important to understand the difference. As the video begins, Lieberman offers a basic explanation of the difference between quick and fast, and by extension, torque and horsepower. It goes like this -- hitting 60 miles per hour in just three seconds is super quick, but if the top speed is only 60MPH, you can't... Read more...
It's crazy to think what kind of technologies will be commonplace in vehicles within the next 10 or 20 years. Whereas power windows, cruise control, and more recently satellite radio were all once cutting features, today's generation of car buyers may wonder how we ever got by without such amenities. Likewise, the next generation might be accustomed to new technologies BMW is putting in place, like touchscreen displays with gesture controls and key FOBs that take the stress out of parking in tight spaces. Let's start with the touch display. In the next generation of the BMW 7 Series, the iDrive... Read more...
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