Items tagged with Automobiles

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...
By now it's been beaten into all of our heads that text messaging or otherwise farting around on a mobile phone while driving is a bad idea. Study after study shows that bad things are prone to happen when we take our eyes off the road and fixate them on our phones or other objects, but according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the problem is worse than previously thought. Far worse. In what's being billed as the most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers, it was found that distraction as a whole was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe... Read more...
Google this week made its Android Auto platform now available for devices running Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and higher, provided you own a compatible car stereo head unit. Pioneer gets first dibs on that front with a trio of compatible models -- AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX, and AVH-4100NEX -- though Google says more partners will jump on board. "Starting today, you can get Android Auto in your car with your Android 5.0+ phone and compatible Pioneer head units," Google stated in a Google+ post. "Available in the US, UK, and AU. Stay tuned for more partners coming soon." This has been a long time coming.... Read more...
Goodyear isn't necessarily reinventing the wheel, but it is attempting to improve upon tire design for a new generation of electric vehicles. The company showed off two concept tires at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show, one of which could charge the batteries of electric cars, both while in motion and when parked. The charging tire is codenamed "BHO3" and it incorporates a number of clever technologies designed to generate electricity. Part of that entails a heat absorbing tread that consists of an ultra black texture. Underneath the tread is a thermo-piezoelectric material... Read more...
If you grew up watching The Jetsons like I did, you might have thought we'd all be commuting in flying cars by now. We're still a long ways from that kind of technology, though in its place are self-driving cars like the ones Google has been experimenting with. According to a new study, it won't be all that long before autonomous vehicles become a part of everyday life. Not only that, but we'll have lots of reasons to kick back and sing "Everything is Awesome" as our self-driving cars whiz through traffic and deliver us all to our destinations safely and more efficiently than we're currently able... Read more...
If you can't beat 'em, and you don't want to join 'em, then what can you do? Settle, of course! Apple is currently in discussions with electric car battery maker A123 Systems on a settlement over a lawsuit the latter initiated, in which it accuses the former of poaching engineers and other top level talent to build a battery division.It's been rumored that Apple is working on an electric car of its own to compete with Tesla. Reports have Apple pegged to release its first model in 2020, which is an incredibly short time frame. However, it's believed that Apple's been working on this project for... Read more...
Google is engrossed with self-driving cars and Apple has reportedly assembled a super team of engineers to build an electric vehicle to take on Tesla. Whether or not either venture makes it into the mainstream is something we won't know for at least several more years, but in the meantime, both companies are also jockeying for dominance in the in-car dash market. As in-car electronics become more sophisticated and connected with our mobile devices, there's definitely a growing market for platforms like Google's Android Auto and Apple's CarPlay. And as each company makes its respective pitch, expect... Read more...
One of the hottest rumors in tech right now is that Apple is working on an electric car. Word all over the web Apple is approaching the project hyper aggressively with hopes of launching an electric vehicle as early as 2020. If Apple pulls it off, it would mean that this is something the Cupertino company has been working on for several years now, or was able to skip some steps in the R&D process by poaching talent and seeing what other manufacturers have done to this point.Building a car typically takes five to seven years. An electric car is a bit more complicated, though Apple has plenty... Read more...
The web at large nearly wet it pants when word got out that Apple might be working on an electric car of its own. In reality, if that's what Apple wants to do, the $700 billion company has the cash and resources to dive in, along with the connections. The company lacks experience -- building an electric car is a bit different than sourcing an iPhone -- though even that can be purchased (Apple is no stranger to poaching talent). But before anyone trips over themselves in a mad dash to the dealership to find out when they'll receive a shipment of iCars, let's slow down a moment... Read more...
Google's self-driving car project has crossed a new milestone with the unveiling of its first fully functional prototype. The team behind the project will spend the holidays testing the newest build on its private track with the hope (and goal) of having it ready to hit the open road in Northern California sometime next year. In the meantime, Google's safety drivers will go along for the ride and intervene with manual controls as needed. "The vehicle we unveiled in May  was an early mockup—it didn’t even have real headlights! Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes,... Read more...
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